The Obama Administration must have been reading from its Marxist playbook (Groucho, of course) when they escalated a non-event into the most serious breach in American Israeli relations since Gen. George Marshall wished for the stillbirth of the Jewish State in 1948. Just imagine - Joe Biden, Barack Obama, David Axelrod, Ram Emanuel, Hillary Clinton - all children of the 60's - irreverant and iconoclastic - suddenly and grievously "insulted" by the announcement that Jews will expand a community in the capital of their own country. Imagine the effrontery! Imagine their injured pride!
And yet, for some inexplicable reason, Joe Biden was apparently not insulted or bothered by his other "peace partner", Mahmoud Abbas, when he dedicated a town square in Ramallah in the memory of Dalal Mughrabi, the terrorist who, in 1978, commandeered a bus and murdered 37 Jewish civilians including 13 children. No "slap in the face" there. As a matter of fact, Joe gave Mahmoud a great big hug when he visited Ramallah last week.
The "insult" has spawned international outrage at Israel for her impertinence of wanting to build apartments in her own capital city. Maureen Dowd and Thomas Friedman of the New York Times penned op-eds condemning the action and the same paper's Ethan Bronner even played the race card in smearing Israelis. In the ensuing feeding frenzy, Ben Cohen of the American Jewish Committee wasman-handled on CNN by an unabashed Ben Ami supporter; J Street could not hide its delight at its Presidential Messiah leading the charge. The EU is now demanding more stringent concessions from Israel and insists on a complete settlement freeze including natural growth. There can be no other interpretation of a ban on "natural growth" than ethnic cleansing.
At the same time, an even more ominous storm has appeared on the horizon in the form of General David Petraeus' report to The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, that the current Israeli government, in effect, is also an "insult" to the Arab and Muslim world in its "intransigence" by not completely acceding to Palestinian demands. Petraeus' report was most troubling in its ultimate warning that Israel's perceived obstructionism in the Peace Process was placing American lives in danger in the region (read soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq). Forget about the fact that during the past twenty years, American blood has been intentionally shed by Palestinians: Scores of American citizens, including the unsolved (and quickly forgotten) murder of three U.S. diplomatic security guards in October of 2003.
Petraeus' and CENTCOM's heaving of Israel under the bus would appear to comport well with the current administration's unprecedented public animus towards one of its staunchest allies. Diana West has been brilliantly following the story here, here, and here.
Biden reinforced the Petraeus message last week when he reportedly said to Bibi, "This [building housing in Jerusalem] is starting to get dangerous for us. What you're doing here undermines the security of our troops who are fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan."
All of these ominous signs beg the question, exactly who is informing Obama on the Middle East conflict? I think we have to look to the antecedents of the current (manufactured) crisis: Rashid Khalidi and Samantha Power, to name just two of the most prominent players. It is worth recalling that Ms. Power is now Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs at the National Security Council working for General Jim Jones. Ms. Power sounded alarm bells when she advocated U.S. military intervention on behalf of Palestinians in the current conflict. Listen carefully to her comments, especially her nervous swipe at Jewish "financial" power:
Jones, it should be noted, was the keynote speaker at the American Task Force for Palestine conference in October of last year. At that conference, its President, Ziad Asali, boasted of nearly a billion dollars in working capital earmarked for building in the disputed areas of the West Bank (don't ever call them Arab "settlements").
Obama's Advisors? G-d Help Us.
Hussein Ibish, an inveterate demonizer of Israel, occupies a high position at the ATFP. Add to the mix the undoubted counsel of Rob Malley, apologist for Arafat, and you have the perfect storm of advisors to a President whose address to the Arab and Muslim world in Cairo in June of last year signaled near submission.
Finally, that leaves us with Rashid Khalidi, another inveterate Israel basher, advocate of a one (none) state solution for the Jews and a close, personal friend of the President. Speaking of Khalidi, what ever happened to the "lost" video of Obama's comments at Khalidi's farewell dinner party?
There is no question of the seriousness of the current administration's hostility towards Israel, especially at a time of plunging polls for the President. Hanging Israel out to dry would seem a no-risk proposition, especially with the cheering on of George Soros' favorite Jewish organization, J Street.