By RON JAGER—
In recent weeks as the Benjamin Netanyahu hunting season get its official kick off with the White House and its current tenant, President Obama shooting the opening shot, it’s no wonder that throughout the Jewish world there is a hesitancy to stand up and be counted against the tsunami of BiBi hatred and demonization. For the past 6 years, paralleling the Obama Presidency, we have witnessed a worldwide emergence of anti-Semitism unseen since the dark days of Jewish history prior to World War II. President Obama and European leaders have come out publicly against the new anti-Semitism and how they deeply regret the new persecution of Jews throughout the world, however when one examines the hatred and demonization conveyed by the White House and others at Benjamin Netanyahu, one can only come to the conclusion that President Obama and many of his European cohorts have nothing but revulsion for Netanyahu the Jew.
Netanyahu is a fierce opponent of the emerging U.S. nuclear agreement with the Islamic republic of Iran and has served as a kind of thorn in Obama’s backside, of sorts, as the negotiations have progressed. When it comes to Iran, many Republicans and Democrats in the Capitol seem more closely aligned with Netanyahu than with Obama. This little known fact has made President Obama climb the walls. Prime Minister Netanyahu has addressed Congress twice in the past and in 2011, he received a raucous welcome typically reserved for an American president. Netanyahu has left no stone unturned in his pursuit to deter Irans’ developing nuclear capability. What the American public and the European public fail to understand is that an Iranian nuclear missile arsenal threatens not only Israel, but mainland American and continental Europe as well.
In 1996, the President of the United States, President Clinton, invited candidate Shimon Peres to the White House just prior to the Israeli elections in which Peres was running against incumbent Benjamin Netanyahu. At the time, neither the White House spokesman nor the senior media White House corps reported anything negative of this seemingly harmless political meeting. Yet now, after the Prime Minister of Israel who has been leading the world campaign to maintain sanctions against the nation of Iran, receives an invitation from the Congressional House Republican leader, all hell has broken loose. It seems that Netanyahu is the type of Jewish leader that makes Obama’s skin crawl, whose presence represents the sort of Jew who doesn’t mind his own business, who unashamedly represents the future of the Jewish people by publicly embracing Zionism, and without apology. Netanyahu is the very antithesis of the docile and meek Jew so much adored by the White House, the type of Jew who wallows in existential doubts, who takes blame for Israel being forced to defend herself against 120 years of Islamic rejection of the Jewish nation. Now, that Netanyahu has been invited to Congress, to drum up support for maintaining strict sanctions on Iran, it’s not surprising that the Jewish world has responded with a whimper. In today’s anti-Jew atmosphere where in many places in the world a Kippa wearing Jew is violently assaulted or spit upon, Jews have once again begun to mind their own business and act as if this general assault on Netanyahu and Jews in general doesn’t involve them. We cannot escape the general atmosphere in the United States and in Europe that inhibits Jews from being as vocal as they should be leaving most of the major Jewish organizations on the sidelines as Netanyahu slugs it out with the President Obama.
Sadly, Obama has by adopting such an antagonistic disposition towards Netanyahu only reinforces the belief that he is nothing more than a neophyte who has no idea of how to play the global big leagues. White House and State Dep’t officials have been quoted as stating that the President and his staff think Netanyahu “spat” in the president’s face with his actions and vowed “there would be a price” to be paid for his effrontery. Irrespective of whether one may think about the decision to accept the invitation — Obama’s threats shouldn’t impress anyone in the United States and certainly not in Israel. After six years of insults, provocations and staged spats aimed at Netanyahu and Israel by President Obama, his administration has achieved nothing in advancing U.S. interests nor the cause of Middle East peace.
If Obama would have been able to adopt our Israeli chutzpah and try for once not to appease but to let the Iranians sweat, he should have been thrilled with the idea of Netanyahu addressing Congress and rallying it to the cause of stopping Iran. Prime Minister Netanyahu would be doing the White House a favor by accepting Republican head Boehner’s invitation without going through the normal protocol of consulting with the State Department and/or the White House. Instead of attacking and publically humiliating Netanyahu by focusing public attention on Israel’s Prime Minister, Obama should have used Netanyahu’s expected appearance on Capitol Hill to put pressure on the Iranians to stop stonewalling him and running out the clock in nuclear negotiations.
With the Menendez-Kirk Bill (both Democrats) already having a strong majority in both Houses of Congress for more sanctions on Iran being revived, again a step that would strengthen Obama’s hand in negotiations, and with the Republicans being in the Senate majority, the idea of making the Iranians sweat has been understood by Congressional leaders who seem to grasp more aptly than President Obama how to conduct negotiations in the Middle Eastern bizarre of nations.
President Obama would be wise to adopt an anti-intuitive decision and invite Netanyahu for a cup of coffee at the White House after he speaks before both Houses of Congress, that would put the Iranians in an impossible situation, and might even make Obama look as if he knows what he is doing.