Obama Administration Makes War on Israel
John Podhoretz 08.14.2014 - 11:00 AM
What on earth? In the middle of a war this country’s president publicly says is justified owing to the relentlessness of the rocket fire against civilian populations, U.S. officials proudly tell the Wall Street Journal, they are holding up weapons transfers to Israel:
They decided to require White House and State Department approval for even routine munitions requests by Israel, officials say.
Instead of being handled as a military-to-military matter, each case is now subject to review—slowing the approval process and signaling to Israel that military assistance once taken for granted is now under closer scrutiny.
These transfers were taking place through entirely traditional, legal, and uncontroversial means. Israel is an ally. It’s at war. War depletes stocks. So why is this happening?
Simply put: It’s a gigantic hissy fit, an expression of rage against Bibi Netanyahu, by whom the administration feels dissed. The quotes in this article are almost beyond belief. In the annals of American foreign policy, no ally has ever been talked about in this way.
EXAMPLE: “We have many, many friends around the world. The United States is their strongest friend,” the official said. “The notion that they are playing the United States, or that they’re manipulating us publicly, completely miscalculates their place in the world.”
Even in the article’s own terms, the official’s accusation Israel is “playing the United States” is entirely false. The true claim here is that Israel is “playing” the Obama administration because it has support from Congress that limits the administration’s ability to bash it.
EXAMPLE: A senior U.S. official said the U.S. and Israel clashed mainly because the U.S. wanted a cease-fire before Mr. Netanyahu was ready to accept one. “Now we both want one,” one of the officials said.
This is also transparently absurd. Netanyahu didn’t want this war, and is transparently eager for any way to extricate Israel from a long struggle. What he can’t accept is a cease-fire that leaves Hamas with sufficient firepower and with intact tunnels—which is something you’d think the United States would similarly support.
EXAMPLE: “It’s become very personal,” an official tells the Wall Street Journal. Yeah, no kidding. That’s a great way to make policy.
For five and a half years now, some Israel advocates have been attempting to make the case to others that there is something new and dark in the Obama administration’s perspective on Israel—that there is an animus as pronounced as the one during the administration of the Elder George Bush, which was so self-evident the Jewish vote for Bush in the 1992 reelection was a staggeringly low 11 percent.
This Wall Street Journal article should now leave no illusions. In its transparent hostility—not to mention the cowardice of hiding behind anonymity to issue its repugnant bitch-slaps—the Obama administration is worse than the Bush 41 administration. It’s the worst since Eisenhower. Were it not for Iron Dome, it would be the worst ever. And given the decision to hold up weaponry during wartime, it may yet surpass Eisenhower.