by Caroline B. Glick
There are five explanations for president's behavior. And they are not mutually exclusive
Some commentators have claimed that it is
While popular, this claim makes no sense. Obama didn't come to be called "No drama Obama" for nothing. It is not credible to argue that Jerusalem's local planning board's decision to approve the construction of 1,600 housing units in Ramat Shlomo drove cool Obama into a fit of wild rage at Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
Obama himself claims that he has launched a political war against
On Friday Obama ordered Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to present Netanyahu with a four-part ultimatum.
Fourth, Israel must agree to negotiate all substantive issues, including the partition of Jerusalem, (including the Jewish neighborhoods constructed since 1967 that are now home to more than a half million Israelis), and the immigration of millions of hostile foreign Arabs to Israel under the rubric of the so-called "right of return," in the course of indirect, Obama administration-mediated negotiations with the Palestinians. To date,
Obama's ultimatum makes clear that mediating peace between
Obama's new demands follow the months of American pressure that eventually coerced Netanyahu into announcing both his support for a Palestinian state and a ten month ban on Jewish construction in Judea and
Netanyahu was led to believe that in return for these concessions Obama would begin behaving like the credible mediator his predecessors were. But instead of acting like his predecessors, Obama has behaved like the Palestinians. Rather than reward Netanyahu for taking a risk for peace, in the model of Yassir Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas, Obama has pocketed Netanyahu's concessions and escalated his demands. This is not the behavior of a mediator. This is the behavior of an adversary.
And so, in the wake of Obama's onslaught on Israel's right to Jerusalem, Palestinian incitement against Israel and Jews has risen to levels not seen since the outbreak of the last terror war in September 2000. And just as night follows day, that incitement has led to violence. This week's Arab riots from
But if his campaign against
There are five explanations for Obama's behavior. And they are not mutually exclusive.
First, Obama's assault on
Even more important than its usefulness as a tool to divert the public's attention away from the failure of his
For the past several months, an endless line of senior administration officials have descended on Jerusalem with the expressed aim of convincing Netanyahu to relinquish Israel's right to independently strike Iran's nuclear installations. All of these officials have returned to
This brings us to the third explanation for why Obama has decided to go to war with the democratically elected Israeli government. Obama's advisors told friendly reporters that Obama wants to bring down Netanyahu's government. By making demands Netanyahu and his coalition partners cannot accept, Obama hopes to either bring down the government and replace Netanyahu and Likud with the far-leftist Tzipi Livni and Kadima, or force Yisrael Beitenu and Shas to bolt the coalition and compel Netanyahu to accept Livni as a co-prime minister. Livni of course, won the Obama's heart when in 2008 she opted for new elections rather than accept Shas's demand that she protect the unity of
The fourth explanation for Obama's behavior is that he seeks to realign
Given that all of these leaders have demanded that in exchange for better relations Obama abandon
The more Obama fills newspaper headlines with allegations that
The final explanation for Obama's behavior is that he is using his manufactured crisis to justify adopting an overtly anti-Israel position vis-�-vis the Palestinians. On Thursday The New York Times reported that administration officials are considering having Obama present his own "peace plan." Given the administration's denial of
Likewise, the crisis Obama has manufactured with Israel could pave the way for him to recognize a Palestinian state if the Palestinians follow through on their threat to unilaterally declare statehood next year regardless of the status of negotiations with Israel. Such a
Both Obama's behavior and the policy goals it indicates make it clear that Netanyahu's current policy of trying to appease Obama by making concrete concessions is no longer justified. Obama is not interested in being won over. The question is what should Netanyahu do?
One front in the war Obama has started is at home. Netanyahu must ensure that he maintains popular domestic support for his government to scuttle Obama's plan to overthrow his government. So far, in large part due to Obama's unprecedented nastiness, Netanyahu's domestic support has held steady. A poll conducted for IMRA news service this week by Maagar Mohot shows that fully 75 percent of Israeli Jews believe Obama's behavior towards
The other front in Obama's war is the American public. By blaming
First, no foreign leader can win a popularity contest against a sitting
Second, Netanyahu must remember that Obama's hostility towards
Obama has made clear that he is not
Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East Fellow at the Center for Security Policy in
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