Monday, March 19, 2012

Barry Rubin Dismantles Barack Obama


The Obama administration has been a disaster for the state of Israel, yet Obama has the temerity to ask the following question:

…Every single commitment I have made to the state of Israel and its security, I have kept….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?

Here is Professor Rubin's response:

The answer: you were forced to do so by circumstances beyond your will. Congress; American public opinion; the behavior of Arab regimes (refusing to cooperate on peacemaking), and Iran (refusing to cooperate on anything). They rejected your concessions; they refused to use you as their instrument.

In the meantime, your policy has been disastrous for Israeli security by encouraging what would inevitably be revolutionary Islamist takeovers in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya; your refusal to support moderate opposition forces in Iran, Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey; your cozying up to Turkey despite that regime’s open hatred for Israel; your long delays on dealing with Iran; and lots more.

But if you have appeared to support Israel’s security—aside from just continuing existing military aid—it has been in spite of your best efforts to damage it.

For example, you withdrew the Bush Administration commitment on letting Israel keep settlement blocs after a deal with the Palestinians but wasforced by circumstances to reverse yourself when the Palestinians gave you nothing. You agreed to an Israeli freeze on construction that didn’t include Jerusalem, broke that commitment, but then had to drop it because the Palestinians gave you nothing. You tried to press Israel into major concessions toward the Palestinians and then gave up once again because the Palestinians gave you nothing.

In other words, external factors ultimately determined your behavior by giving you no alternative:

First, the Arab states, Iran, and the Palestinians refused to go along with your plans. If Syria had made a few small gestures, if Iran had sought an advantageous deal on their nuclear program, or if the Palestinian Authority had eagerly demands a peace treaty with Israel you would have done everything possible to give them lavish concessions and to press Israel into risky arrangements. As Egypt becomes increasingly anti-American and extremist you will have to change your policy toward that country, too.

Yet each time, without exception, Israel’s enemies let you down. Iran will continue to do so.

Second, Israel’s government has maneuvered brilliantly though never elegantly or on the basis of a detailed blueprint. Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, and President Shimon Peres remained calm, avoided confrontation with the White House, and employed precisely the right mix of soothing words while doing what needed to be done. At the end of this three-year-long process, Israel had given up nothing material–not a single actual concession–while facing the least friendly American president in a half-century.

And you can add the continued support for Israel by Congress and the American people, which Obama has had to take into account.

It is close to inevitable that the time will come when Iran is close to getting nuclear weapons. The assessments of Israel and U.S. intelligence as to the precise day will be within a few months of each other.

That situation will trigger an Israeli attack. And Obama, however reluctantly, will have painted himself into a corner.

I am more and more convinced that the Obama administration will not prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weaponry and this guy in Salon is spouting "progressive" anti-Israel triumphalism by crowing how Obama lied to Israel and to the Jews in his AIPAC speech.

President Obama just gave Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a serious whupping. In the process, he greatly reduced the risk of a catastrophic war, made his saber-rattling Republican opponents look like idiots, and seriously weakened the powerful Israel lobby. And he did it all while pledging undying support for Israel.

Rubin's response:

The implication here is that Obama promised to combat Iran but won’t actually ever have to do anything about it. This smug triumphalism assumes that Israel was going to attack Iran within a few weeks—an idea no knowledgeable person in Israel takes seriously—but Obama stopped it through the “brilliant” strategy of lying his head off. Obama supposedly made his Republican opponents who advocated war look like idiots by promising that he would go to war in the future.

In this kind of thinking, the future never arrives and words will always remain just words. Presumably, when Iran gets nuclear weapons Obama would just giggle, say he didn’t mean it, do nothing, and stop Israel from doing anything to defend itself. All the actual threats and crises that would emerge matter not at all and Israel will just stand by passively while this happens.

Indeed, the big argument of such Obama supporters is profoundly disgusting: that a promise to help save an ally from annihilation—and not just to Israel but to all of its remaining allies in the region—is a pledge that the chief executive should have no intention of keeping.

Hah, hah, hah! Wow, did he fool those idiots who thought the word of an American president could be trusted!

How can any Jew trust an American president that validates Arab racism against us by insisting that Jewish people should not build housing for themselves in Judea?

What kind of ghetto Jews go along with this?


  1. "What kind of ghetto Jews go along with this?"

    Those who have BOUGHT the narrative about land for peace; a notion proved wrong every single time. That's EVERY SINGLE TIME for those not paying close attention.

    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    1. I bought that narrative, myself.

      For years I assumed that the Palestinians wanted autonomy in a state of their own, but now that this notion is absolutely proven false, why do so many well-meaning liberal Jews refuse to acknowledge the obvious?

      It's just sad, isn't it?

      Very well educated, very well-meaning, liberal Jews continue to believe that the real problem is other Jews.

      They make enemies of Jews who live in the wrong place or who belong to the wrong political parties.

      What a shame.

    2. "It’s a tragic fact of human psychology that some people targeted by hatred will seek to find in themselves some reason that they are hated. By blaming themselves, they can impose some sense on a universe that otherwise seems terrifyingly senseless. By blaming themselves, they can perhaps hope to find some escape from hatred — short, that is, of the murder or suicide which is what the haters say they want for them.

      “If we abolish this part of ourselves — or that — will you then stop despising us? Will you then grant us permission to continue to exist in some subordinated form or other?”

      It’s a pattern of thought we see in abused children, in battered women, in bullied gays — and in post-Zionist Jews.

      Sometimes it even works a little and for a time, but always at a terrible price.

      The point of Zionism was to put an end to the centuries-old pattern that taught Jews to survive by abnegating themselves. And in that, Zionism succeeded. It succeeded for Jews inside Israel — and as Israel flourished, Zionism succeeded for Jews outside Israel, too. If Jews in Canada and Europe and the United States dare today to speak up for themselves in ways that would have shocked their great-grandparents, it is in great part the success of Israel that inspires them.

      And those Jews who imagine that they can advance or even retain that self-respect by denigrating Israel — or, worse, by appeasing those who seek to destroy Israel — are making a terrible error. There is no “post-Zionism.” There is only “anti-Zionism” — the modern form of an ancient malignity.

      That’s the issue for the Jews in the Israeli bomb shelters. It’s the same issue for the Jews taunted on Canadian university campuses by those who push pamphlets calling for the destruction of this one, and only one, of the nations of the world."

  2. Even as Rubin says, there is nothing happening and Israel is no worse off.

    Israel will do what is best for itself, and has Obama's blessing.

    I hear what Rubin says, and I agree, that Obama could have acted differently when it comes to support for the liberals, that America is more pro-Israel than Obama, and that the aid to Israel was already legislated.

    That said, what does he suggest from Obama? On that I was not so clear. Perhaps to understand that the illiberal forces will continue to blow him off?

    So many of Obama's supporters, like the idiot at Salon, have not a clue. They believe that he walks on water, yet in reality there are large gaps in his performance. He is fortunate that Republicans are politically inept and turn off the voters, even if sometimes they seem more in tune on issues.

    1. I do not believe for one second, School, that Israel truly has the administration's blessings to defend themselves.

      Not for one moment do I believe that.

      Obama may have said it, but then immediately distanced himself even as his people continue to pressure Israel into allowing the Iranians to build their bomb.

      Obama is enabling Iranian nukes.

    2. But in that regard, as Rubin noted, his words will come back at him, like the others in history.

      He said:

      “No Israeli government can tolerate a nuclear weapon in the hands of a regime that denies the Holocaust, threatens to wipe Israel off the map and sponsors terrorist groups committed to Israel’s destruction.”

      “A nuclear-armed Iran is completely counter to Israel’s security interests. But it is also counter to the national security interests of the United States.”

      In furtherance, he has also committed that America's policy is not to contain, but prevent.

      I do not understand what Rubin wants. If Israel is not even ready to strike, then is there another course?

      The US will not do so unless it is convinced that Iran has crossed some line that goes from peace to war.

      In the interim, there are sanctions.

      Rubin says:

      True, sanctions are hurting Iran but this regime is hardly delicate and gives every appearance of using negotiations only as a means to stall for time. Anybody who thinks the Iranian regime will crack under sanctions is living in wishful-thinking world.

      He too quickly blows off too many who don't say that it will make Iran crack, but will prepare for the soil to make them crack.

      We really do not know if they will work or how effective they may be, especially if they are backed by the credible potential of force.

      Rubin says that Israel has given up not one concession in the last three years and has made this clear:

      The actual content of Israeli government statements has been: We are not eager for a war but we might have to attack some day unless you get tougher on Iran. That is precisely what has happened. Israel won its point, getting the world to be tougher on Iran and to move a big step toward accepting the necessity of an Israeli attack in the future.

      As usual, the world started too late to look at this matter seriously, but it is necessary that Israel and the US do not go it alone without sufficient underlying support, which the sanctions should help to build.

  3. Here's what Kossacks think of our position:

    "The upending of human rights terminology (44+ / 0-)

    is pernicious and immoral. I noticed it recently when the meme started going around that the world was denying the rights of Israeli Jews to live where they want when the world demands that Israel stop settling its citizens in Palestinian territory. The implication is that it is anti-semitic to do so.

    When in fact, ALL Israeli settlement in East Jerusalem and anywhere in the West Bank is illegal.

    That's all it takes, really...pressure and time.

    by Flyswatterbanjo on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 07:14:40 AM PDT ";showrate=1#c4

    What a world when it's OK to tell Jews where to live. Yeah, that's real human rights you ignorant swamp dwellers.

    1. Flyswatterbanjo is correct.

      If one wishes to destroy the Jewish people by destroying the Jewish state all it takes is sufficient pressure over sufficient time.

      He is engaged in that project and he is absolutely correct.

      Pressure and time.