Let's just get it out in the open right now. I would like to trade Barack Obama for Benjamin Netanyahu. I know, I know, Netanyahu was not born in the United States, but then…well, let's not open that can of worms again. The bottom line is that the Israeli prime minister is one of the premier leaders in the world today, while Obama is one of the premier aspiring dictators. Ask yourself; wouldn't you honestly prefer an Israeli conservative to a Muslim sympathizer?
In the 63 years since the creation of modern Israel, every American president has met the responsibilities expected of a friend and an ally — until now. From Harry Truman to George W. Bush, the tiny Jewish state could count on the United States of America to honor its commitments. Not any more. Barack Obama has thrown Israel under the international bus and is making no apologies for it.
In his recent speech on the subject of Israeli-Palestinian "peace," Obama informed the world that he expected Israel to go back to its pre-1967 borders. Who does this arrogant man think that he is? Can you imagine Mexico telling Texans they should go back to their pre-1836 borders? (Actually, there are a lot of Mexicans who believe that is exactly what should happen, but that is a topic for another day.)
Obama's incredible hubris was a direct slap in Netanyahu's face and the face of Israel. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton evidently gave the prime minister 48 hours notice of Obama's intentions to announce his ridiculous demands before the speech was actually delivered. In fact, Netanyahu was scheduled to fly to the United States for an official visit to the White House and to address Congress, and was actually in the air at the time of the speech. Coincidence? Hardly.
This was a deliberate slight, just like the slights Obama delivered to our staunchest European ally, Great Britain, early in his presidency. Remember him sending back the bust of Winston Churchill, which was a gift to the White House after 9/11, and the lame gifts he gave Queen Elizabeth (an iPod) and then-Prime Minister Gordon Brown (a collection of DVDs that won't play on a European DVD player)?
Netanyahu was gracious but firm in his remarks before the media in the Oval Office. After listening to Obama blather on about how there are "some differences between us in the precise formulations and language," the prime minister thanked the president and first lady for their hospitality and restated once again his commitment to peace and to Israel's alliance with the United States. He then made it clear that Israel was not going to return to the 1967 lines, which would leave Israel a mere nine miles wide at the narrowest point and therefore completely defenseless to Hamas rockets. Consider that the Israeli airport is within sight of the highest points on the West Bank. And Obama thinks the Israelis should just hand that land back to people who have sworn their destruction. Could the man possibly be more obtuse?
"It's not going to happen," Netanyahu told a tight-jawed Obama in front of the president's adoring sycophants in the press. "Everybody knows it's not going to happen. And I think it's time to tell the Palestinians forthrightly it's not going to happen."
Good for you, Bibi! You are my international hero. You are the bravest leader of the most courageous people on planet earth. Every day you and your countrymen get out of bed knowing that you are surrounded by people who hate you and have sworn to kill you. They will push you into the sea if they can, and despite his smooth rhetoric, Barack Obama is urging them to do it.
© 2011 by Doug Patton
Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself much more often than not. Now working as a freelance writer, his weekly columns of sage political analysis are published the world over by legions of discerning bloggers, courageous webmasters and open-minded newspaper editors.