Israel’s worst frenemy
by Michael Goodwin New York Post
“Woe is me. President Obama claims he is the best friend Israel ever had in the White House, yet doesn’t get any respect. This is no Rodney Dangerfield act. He is deadly serious.
“Every single commitment I have made to the state of Israel and its security, I have kept,” he told The Atlantic magazine. “Why is it that despite me never failing to support Israel on every single problem that they’ve had over the last three years, that there are still questions about that?”
The question deserves an honest answer, though the truth is not likely to cut through the fog of presidential self-pity. A man who compares himself to Lincoln, Gandhi, King, Mandela and FDR isn’t the sort to welcome disagreement.
And that is the heart of his problem. Obama is certain he knows what’s good for Israel. Given his record and the Iranian threat, it’s an impossible sell.
He came into office thinking Israel was the obstacle to Middle East peace; three years later, his policies are producing more signs of war than peace. The Palestinians won’t negotiate for their own state because the president foolishly urged them to make a ban on Israeli settlements a precondition.
He was wrong from the git-go, and still is. But facts don’t stand a chance. As a Democrat who speaks to Obama about the Mideast told me, he has a “stubborn worldview.”
How stubborn will be revealed today and tomorrow during crucial meetings with Israeli leaders. The Iranian march to nukes will top the agenda, but Obama’s view on Iran is typical of how he sees the region and his role in it.
Stripped of nuance, the gist is that Israel and America are oppressors and Muslims are oppressed. He remains obsessed with the idea that all will be well if only we prove to Muslims that we’re not bigots.
The latest example is his apology to Afghans after our soldiers mistakenly burned the Koran. Six soldiers have been murdered in subsequent riots, yet he insists those involved in the burning face military charges.
His approach to Iran is similarly misguided. Despite its thugocracy, he refuses to accept that his policy of engagement has failed. The White House even says it sees Iran as a “rational actor,” and Obama told The Atlantic that military action against Iran could work to its advantage.
“At a time when there is not a lot of sympathy for Iran and its only real ally [Syria] is on the ropes, do we want a distraction in which suddenly Iran can portray itself as a victim?” he asked.
This is Obama at his faculty-lounge worst. Trapped by his own prejudices and misreading of history and culture, he continues to suggest that Iran is open to persuasion if he can find the right words. It’s not. It’s an evil regime that tortures its people, kills American soldiers, sponsors terrorism and wants a nuclear bomb to use against Israel and to dominate Arab countries.
A friend who recently met with top Israeli officials says the bottom line they will explain to Obama is that there are two things no Israeli government can ever do. First, it cannot allow a mortal enemy to get a weapon of mass destruction or the ability to make one. Second, it cannot entrust its survival to a third party, including the United States.
The policy that flows from those principles is obvious. Israel will attack when it feels Iran is close to getting the bomb. And Israel is more likely to reach that conclusion sooner because it doesn’t trust Obama’s resolve or time line.
For his part, Obama will have to search someplace else for respect. Israel is too busy trying to survive.
2 partie$ vs.the people
My late friend Sidney Zion used to argue that the real political battle isn’t Democrats vs. Republicans but government insiders vs. the public. “Two parties against the people,” Sid often said.
To see an example, look at the battle in Albany over pension reform. Defying mathematics and fairness, legislators from both parties are joined at the hip in selling out taxpayers and pandering to unions. On the reform side are chief executives, led by Gov. Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg, along with mayors and county leaders, who must balance budgets while providing essential services.
The executive branch wants sensible trims in benefits that would apply to new employees, saving $113 billion over 30 years while leaving New York among the most generous states in the nation. But unions have come to believe they should never hear the word “no,” and their legislative puppets say “Amen.”
The face-off is not partisan; it’s responsibility vs. recklessness. The executive branch is stuck with reality while legislators are focused on the next election, no matter the rising tide of red ink.
Most distressing is that the city and state comptrollers, whose job it is to know better, have joined the spendthrifts. Indeed, John Liu and Tom DiNapoli are abusing their offices to argue there is no fiscal problem that time and tinkering won’t solve.
Their numbers don’t add up, and it gets worse. They support the scandalous practice of the state and local governments borrowing from their pension plans to make pension payments.
That’s not just pushing the problem into the future; it’s running up the tab by adding extra interest.
Two parties against the people. Remember that and you will understand most of what’s wrong in Albany.
Live online & learn
The battle over teacher quality has produced a lot of heat, and now an interesting idea. It comes from reader Terri Kaminetsky, who believes a kind of master class of every major subject should be recorded and put on the Internet for any student or parent to view.
“If a kid in school X has a bad teacher, he can go online and get the lesson,” she writes. “The best teachers in each subject would be available to all the kids. It is so doable and would have the effect of leveling the playing field.”
She adds: “MIT puts classes online for free, so why can’t the NYC public schools? It would put the kids into the driver’s seat; they could go as far educationally as their ambition allowed. Isn’t that what America is all about?”
Kaminetsky is on to something. Technology is a tool that can leap over old problems. Many kids live online, and it makes sense to use that fact to connect them to the best teachers.
Fund-raising an eyebrow or two
He’s No. 1! Obama has set a record by doing 100 fund-raisers already, twice as many as George W. Bush by this time. It means he’s spending less time governing — for which we are grateful.
Occupying ‘Fall’ Street
Here’s good news — if you think banks are evil. Wall Street has shed 4,300 jobs, and more cuts are coming. Yippee. Or maybe not. After all, if the banks disappear, the Occupy Wall Street hooligans won’t have a place to occupy or anybody else to blame for their own problems”
Comment: Does Obama really believe himself when he radiates so many lies on so many subjects?
Telling truths is very difficult in the third world. Deceit is highly honored. Some believe deceit and dishonesty become essential skills to create winners at the market. Greed and survival sharpen the haggling which strenthens the bravado of disingenuousness, deception, cheating, and all that goes with the darker corners of dishonesty.
Obama pays ABSOLUTELY NO ATTENTION TO TRUTH. He is the classic third world con artist after a buck. He was NEVER educated to become and American.
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