Yesterday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proved to the world Jewish community that President Barack Obama is no friend of Israel's. And the media seems to have missed what may be the most outrageous behavior of Obama's since becoming the President of the United States.
When Israel announced that it would move forward with the expansion of Gilo in Jerusalem, it knew full-well what Obama's reaction would be. The president went apoplectic.
Netanyahu's announcement on Gilo was Bibi's version of giving President Obama the finger. It was also Netanyahu's way of sending the signal that he thinks that POTUS is weak and can easily be trifled with.
But, more importantly, Netanyahu was showing the world Jewish community exactly where Obama stands in terms of his support of Israel.
True, the United States has never formally accepted Jerusalem as Israel's capitol, or formally accepted the unification of the city that was made possible by the Six-Day War. As much as the U.S. routinely protested settlement-building in the West Bank, it never made an issue about expanding neighborhoods in Jerusalem.
There stood a tacit agreement between Israel and its U.S. ally that Jerusalem was off the table as a bargaining chip between Israel and the Palestinians. And that’s where Obama parts company with his predecessors.
Which is why Netanyahu did what he did after his disastrous meeting with Obama last week in which POTUS apparently told the Prime Minister of Israel that he would no longer stand with Israel on ANY issue, including Jerusalem. The U.S. was now fully-backing the Palestinians...unless (my guess, of course) Netanyahu completely stopped the expansion of all settlements in the West Bank.
Netanyahu refused to budge and the Gilo announcement was the result of the outrageous pressure Obama has consistently placed on Israel while making ZERO demands on the Palestinians since becoming president.
Regardless of where anyone stands on the issue of expansion in the West Bank or in Jerusalem, one should be concerned over Obama's bullying of a long-time ally. Obama is not a mediator in this fight; he has taken the side of Israel's enemies: The Arabs (for oil), The Palestinians (to assuage al Qaeda), and in a de facto way, The Iranians (out of fear), by giving them the gift of time.
A couple of weeks ago, NY Times writer Tom Freidman suggested that everyone should stop trying to mediate an end to the conflict between the Israeli's and Palestinians. His reason: the two parties weren't ready for a solution. I don't think this is true of the Israeli's. They have bent over backwards to make concessions to no avail.
One thing is certain, there can be no solution with the wrong mediator leading the negotiations, and that is absolutely, what we have here.
It is for this reason that if I were Netanyahu I would refuse to further conversations with Obama at the helm. But since, of course, this is unrealistic, Netanyahu instead gave the president of the United States the finger in his announcement that Israel would begin the expansion of Gilo.
After all, what could POTUS do? Have his press secretary come down on Israel? And that's exactly what Robert Gibbs did do.
But now Jews worldwide know exactly where President Obama stands. And it is not with Israel.
UPDATE: Iran says no to sending uranium abroad.
Halli Casser-Jayne is the author of A YEAR IN MY PAJAMAS WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA, The Politics of Strange Bedfellows. You can read more of her opinions @ http://www.thecjpoliticalreport.com
c. 2009 Reprints with permission.