Well, it’s Amateur Hour at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue again. Take a look at this report, released today by the British press:
For a head of state to visit the White House and not pose for photographers is rare. For a key ally to be left to his own devices while the President withdraws to have dinner in private was, until this week, unheard of.
Yet that is how Binyamin Netanyahu was treated by President Obama on Tuesday night, according to Israeli reports on a trip seen in Jerusalem tonight as a disastrous humiliation.
After failing to extract a written promise of concessions on Jewish settlements, Mr Obama walked out of his meeting with Mr Netanyahu but invited him to stay at the White House, consult with advisors and “let me know if there is anything new”, a US congressman who spoke to the Prime Minister said today.
“It was awful,” the congressman said. One Israeli newspaper called the meeting “a hazing in stages”, poisoned by such mistrust that the Israeli delegation eventually left rather than risk being eavesdropped on a White House phone line. Another said that the Prime Minister had received “the treatment reserved for the President of Equatorial Guinea”.
To say that I am angry and embarrassed by the treatment that Barack Obama gave the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, would be understatement of the year. Can you imagine any other president of the United States telling a visiting Head of State–any State–to “let me know if there is anything new” while leaving him and his aides to find their own way out the door, so to speak. I mean, was there a basketball game on or something?
Whatever the reason, such rude treatment can only come from someone who is actively determined to humiliate his guests. And this is something we’ve seen before, whether it was the lackluster gifts–a $15 model of Marine One from the White House gift shop and stack of American DVD movies which would not play in European players–given to British PM Gordon Brown and his wife during their first official visit, or whether it was shuffling the Dalai Lama out the back door next to snow-covered trash piles in order to appease the Chinese. We’ve seen it before, and it’s troubling.
From my perspective, this is just as much a concern as the passage of the healthcare reform bill. You might say that I am livid at the arrogance shown by President Obama and his representatives because Israel is the only friend that we have in the Middle East and because, without the support of the U.S., Israel faces an existential threat that few other than the Jews have had to deal with on a daily basis.
Of course, explaining the conundrum of the number of Jewish members of Obama’s administration while all this takes place would require someone much more knowledgeable than I in the diverse ways of the Jews, but from the perspective of this evangelical gentile, Israel and the Jews will always be “the apple” of God’s eyes. In my opinion, Israel is truly the “epicenter” of world affairs, as Joel Rosenberg so clearly and eloquently represents in his writings. Without joining the conspiracy theories that Barack Obama is a closet Muslim, the obvious disrespect that the Obama administration has shown for the rights of the Israelis to merely exist in peace is a clear indication that all of his claims of being a follower of Jesus Christ are merely an attempt to obfuscate his true religious commitment.
Important changes are taking place here in America, but don’t take your eyes off the relationship between the Obama administration and Israel. As Obama maneuvers to gain support of the U.N., Russia and China for “acceptable” sanctions against Iran, Israel must know that support from the U.S. is becoming more tentative every day. That being the case, I am convinced that it will drive Israel towards the inevitability of an armed response to Iran’s nuclear ambitions. If that should happen, the U.S.–along with the U.N. Security Council members–will blame Israel for being aggressive just when they were on the verge of implementing sanctions against Iran and a “two-state” agreement with the Palestinians. Israel will be left to “twist slowly in the wind.”
Jimmy Carter, in recent years, has demonstrated a propensity toward hugging Hamas members. Bill Clinton’s most frequent foreign guest to the White House was Yasser Arafat. This, it seems, is Barack Obama’s thumb in the eye of Israel, and it may be the worst of all of them.
Regardless, don’t be fooled. It will eventually come down to Israel against the rest of the world if we don’t demand that our elected officials guarantee protection of Israel against all aggression. I urge everyone to contact their representatives and insist that we remain steadfast in our commitment to Israel. Of all of the failures that the U.S. will be held accountable for in the sight of God, the failure to protect Israel will be right at the top of the list. At least that’s how I see it.