3 readers online now  |  69 million page views

This unnecessary dispute is another example of Obama's inexperience, ignorance, and poor judgement

Reader comment on item: The Worst Crisis in 35 Years?

Submitted by Ken Besig Israel (Israel), Mar 17, 2010 at 15:17

Most Israelis are amazed at just how hysterically the Obama administration has reacted to this Israeli government announcement that building would be taking place in a Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem. This is because just a couple of months ago, the American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had stated how happy the American government was that Israel had declared a building moratorium in the West Bank exclusive of Jerusalem. But suddenly the Americans were outraged by an announcement of renewed Israeli building in a Jewish Jerusalem neighborhood established in 1995.. Thus this American outrage does seem very inconsistent, but was probably due more to the fact that it deprived the visiting American Vice President of the opportunity to announce the start of something called "proximity" talks between Israel and the Palestinians. These talks were supposed to be talks about starting negotiations again, or something to that effect and the Israeli announcement and the withering American reaction to it gave the Palestinians another excuse to once again reject direct talks with Israel.

Of course the whole affair left Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu appearing heroic, courageous, and standing tall in the face of American denunciations and threats while confirming the worst Israeli fears and beliefs that the Obama adminstration is entirely hostile to Israel and the Jewish community while at the same doing it's best to curry favor with the Arab world and the Palestinians. (As an aside,many Israelis were already angered by the fact that Obama sent his Vice President to make this visit instead of coming himself, especially since Obama has found time to travel to both Saudi Arabia and Egypt while avoiding coming to Israel. Obama has also made it a point to avoid even meeting publicly in Washington with Prime Minister Netanyahu preferring to sneak the Prime Minister into the White House by the back door and failing to hold a joint press conference after the meeting.)

The American display of real anger towards Israel over this issue may well have had the unintended consequence of entirely derailing the chance of Israeli Palestinian negotiations beginning any time in the next couple of years. The Palestinians had already demanded that Israel stop ALL building in Jerusalem and the West Bank following the first Obama demands, now of course, they feel even more empowered to stand their ground.

The Obama administration has exhibited extremely poor judgement in this affair, as well as a remarkable lack of diplomatic self control regarding Israel, one of America's strongest and most reliable allies. Worse, Obama has shown that even his political and diplomatic experts and advisors are dangerously ignorant regarding internal Israeli politics, the reality of Palestinian intransigence and rejectionism regarding making even a gesture towards peace with Israel, and the fact that their unbalanced attacks on Israel caused an immediate outbreak of Palestinian violence which could easily have deteriorated into a shooting battle.

This is the second time in six months that Obama has badly miscalculated events in the Middle East, and that is two times too many. Mr. Obama, Rahm Emmanuel, and David Axelrod have used up their free passes, the next time they screw up things could go very very wrong here for all of us.

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to This unnecessary dispute is another example of Obama's inexperience, ignorance, and poor judgement by Ken Besig Israel

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List
eXTReMe Tracker

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2020 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)