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Oct. 30, 2014

Is Obama’s Relationship With Israel Really This Bad?

“The thing about Bibi is, he’s a chickens–t,” said an anonymous Obama administration official.

“The thing about Bibi is, he’s a chickens–t.” So said an Obama administration official in reference to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Ironically, the brave official remains anonymous, and the White House has no interest in discovering his or her identity. The episode highlights the two nations’ deteriorating relationship.

The contrast between Netanyahu and our own president is obvious. Netanyahu saw combat as an elite special forces unit leader in the Israeli Defense Force, while Barack Obama was team leader of the dope-smoking “Choom Gang.”

Netanyahu is no stranger to strife with this administration. The last year in particular has featured numerous examples of tension between the two allies. Another Obama official lectured Israel about peace, while Secretary of State John Kerry flubbed cease-fire discussions and showed favoritism toward the Palestinians, all after he called Israel an “apartheid state” – these are but a few of the kerfuffles driving the nations apart.

Now it’s come to name-calling, of which “chickens–t” is merely the latest entry. According to The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, “Over the years, Obama administration officials have described Netanyahu to me as recalcitrant, myopic, reactionary, obtuse, blustering, pompous, and ‘Aspergery.’ (These are verbatim descriptions; I keep a running list.)”

The administration official says the White House views Netanyahu this way because the Israeli leader didn’t launch a preemptive strike against Iran’s nuclear program. “It’s too late for him to do anything,” the official said. “Two, three years ago, this was a possibility. But ultimately he couldn’t bring himself to pull the trigger. It was a combination of our pressure and his own unwillingness to do anything dramatic. Now it’s too late.”

It was the Obama administration that pressured Netanyahu not to strike Iran, and yet this official has the gall to turn around and call him names.

Obama campaigned in 2008 on plans to meet Iranian leaders “without preconditions” to discuss that nation’s nuclear program, and he has largely carried through on his promise. The U.S. has required very little of Iran, and sanctions have had limited effect. That didn’t stop Obama from talking tough in 2012, when he declared, “As long as I’m president of the United States, Iran will not get a nuclear weapon.” Perhaps it won’t happen until after he leaves office in 2017.

Obama has done next to nothing to deter Iran’s nuclear program, besides extend deadlines and meet for more “talks.” In fact, The Wall Street Journal reports, “The Obama administration and Iran, engaged in direct nuclear negotiations and facing a common threat from Islamic State militants, have moved into an effective state of détente over the past year.”

Comparing relations is illustrative. As the Weekly Standard’s Steve Hayes asks, “When is the last time you had anybody from the administration say anything nearly as critical of the Iranian regime as what they just said about Benjamin Netanyahu?”

Indeed, we’re fairly certain Israel would view détente with the U.S. as an improvement.

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