Another Tack: Before the Chickenshit Hit the Fan

Obama and Sarkozy in Cannes: No hint of an apology ever came from either Washington or Paris

Obama and Sarkozy in Cannes: No hint of an apology ever came from either Washington or Paris

Gosh darn! Smack dab on the eve of a midterm election, US Secretary of State John Kerry phoned Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to almost sort-of say sorry for reported name-calling in high Administration places – ‘chickenshit’ comes to mind.

A morsel of humble pie, after all, is prescribed when one’s party suspects its headliners may have offended voters at the close of a crucial campaign.

So, is everything now peachy keen in our world all over again?

Maybe, if this were the only memorable outburst and if Obama’s administration were as forgiving as it imperiously decrees Israel must be. Trouble is, though, that there was loads of loathing even before the chickenshit hit the fan. 

For example, because of Obama’s and Kerry’s incessant choleric grudge, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon couldn’t get any Administration higher-up to hobnob with him in Washington, except obviously for his Pentagon counterpart Chuck Hagel – but that couldn’t altogether be helped.

Ya’alon became quasi-persona non grata precisely because Obama and Kerry weren’t in the least receptive to Israeli expressions of regret over substantially lesser transgressions. The unkind welcome was accorded Ya’alon despite repeated apologies on his part for the impertinence of calling it like it is.

Not unintentionally so, the Obama/Kerry vindictiveness was wind in the sails of our very own persistent political backbiters who vehemently, and not unexpectedly, voiced full agreement with the current White House and the State Department. Their inference was that Israelis (of the ilk that Israel’s misnamed Center and diminishing Left doggedly dislike) have no right to speak their minds freely, much less to talk back to their presumed American masters.

Anything remotely perceived as defiance or giving lip is not only to be frowned upon but also to be unequivocally punished. Hence, contrary to Washington’s sudden spirit of let-bygones-be-bygones, Ya’alon was snubbed and this was shrilly pounced upon by his and Netanyahu’s homegrown political foes as duly earned comeuppance.

“We told you so,” was the jolly mantra at the wholesale hullabaloo to which every line-toeing know-it-all contributed his/her two-cent’s worth.

Never the last to recite a de rigueur refrain, Finance Minister Ya’ir Lapid of Yesh Atid rebuked those Israelis who have so far failed to suitably panic: “There is a crisis with the US and we should treat it as a crisis.” His insightful recommendation is that “we must do everything in the world to get out of the crisis.”

This was indisputably music to Obama’s and Kerry’s ears.  The duo must be delighted on two pivotal counts:

First, Lapid doesn’t openly specify who’s to blame for what he brands “a crisis” but he does more than hint that it’s not above-reproach Obama.

Secondly, and just as scandalously, Lapid puts the full onus on Israel to do “everything.” He sets no bounds. Israel must appease to the hilt. This smacks of precisely the gross obsequiousness that Obama demands of America’s sole dependable ally in the volatile Mideast.

Is Lapid trying to fan the flames of domestic opinion against Netanyahu and Ya’alon? If so, his gambit may backfire spectacularly.

Most Israelis are unlikely to necessarily hold Netanyahu and Ya’alon responsible for the ill-winds that blow from Washington. If opinion polls are any indication, Israelis hardly regard Obama as our bosom bud and that’s despite the authentic affinity Israelis feel for America.

Way before the chickenshit hit the fan, it was quite obvious to mainstream Israelis that Obama is far from our fan.

Portents of what was in store already emerged during Obama’s 2009 sycophantic outreach to Muslims in Cairo, where he unabashedly drew a slapdash equivalence between the Holocaust and the Palestinian “pain of dislocation,” and between ethnic extermination and settlement construction.

Nowhere did Obama deign to note Jewish history in or rights to this country and foremost to Jerusalem (where the first-ever census in the city, conducted in the early 19th Century, already revealed a clear incontrovertible Jewish majority).

Six years into Obama’s presidency, no one can credibly consider this an insignificant oversight. His fierce fury over construction in Jewish neighborhoods beyond Jerusalem’s wholly artificial Green Line (an illegitimate relic of the illegal Jordanian invasion and occupation between 1948 and 1967) was foreshadowed from the outset of his first tenure.

Obama’s calculated bias was further exposed in two farcical incidents in 2010. Initially, his then-secretary of state’s spokeswoman, Victoria Nuland, was adamant that no Israeli capital exists, leastways not one she could name. Hot on her heels, then-White House spokesman Jay Carney stood discomfited on his podium, equally unable to identify Israel’s capital.

Obama’s undeniable pattern of pandering to Muslims was matched with cynical aforethought by unambiguous antagonism to Israel throughout his first term and, all the more so nowadays, during his second term.

His aversion was unmistakable in the merciless and unprecedented protocol abuse heaped on Netanyahu during his first White House visit, when Obama demonstratively abandoned his guest and strode off “to go have dinner” with his family.

Protocol, after all, is by definition etiquette ceremoniously on display to impart an impression. Lack thereof is just as telling. Much as Israel’s Left exultantly cheered Netanyahu’s humiliation, most Israelis intuitively understood that Obama treats their elected head of government in a manner he wouldn’t dare display toward any other visiting dignitary.

No Israeli seriously assumes that such scorn would be shown the leader of Qatar, for instance, despite the fact that he generously bankrolls al-Qaida, the Islamic State, Hamas and many others of the world’s nastiest terrorist syndicates.

Indeed no villain from the global and regional rogues’ gallery has roused Obama’s “red-hot anger” as much as Netanyahu had. According to The Atlantic, Netanyahu is “the foreign leader who seems to frustrate the White House and the State Department the most.”

An official who preferred anonymity told the magazine: “The thing about Bibi is, he’s a chickenshit.” There were more pejoratives: “recalcitrant, myopic, reactionary, obtuse, blustering, pompous, and ‘Aspergery.’”

That the above cited slurs are everyday administration parlance is eminently believable, especially as Obama’s first-term excesses were only exacerbated after he appointed Kerry to be his secretary of state.

Recurrently Kerry has cracked the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) whip against Israel. He never condemned the hostile ostracization of Israel but he issued semi-veiled threats of more of the same should Israel (and it alone) not obey his diktats. Insubordinates are treated as “chickenshit.”

Kerry rammed through a bizarre negotiations scheme with an inane deadline. The subtext was that Israel must sign on the dotted line as if it has no interests to legitimately protect. Nothing of the like was remotely suggested against the Palestinian Authority.

In response, during an entirely off-the-record one-on-one conversation early this year, Ya’alon referred to Kerry’s continual pressuring shuttles as “messianic” and “obsessive.” After Ya’alon’s words were leaked, State Department spokeswoman and etiquette-guru Jen Psaki denounced them as “offensive and inappropriate.”

But that wasn’t all. Ya’alon’s adjectives were blown up into a major diplomatic confrontation when an unnamed “senior US official” demanded that Netanyahu “put this right by publicly expressing his disagreement with the statements against Secretary Kerry, the negotiations with the Palestinians and Kerry’s commitment to Israel’s security.”

This virtual ultimatum overtly turned the entire episode into a round of arm-wrestling in which Washington appeared determined to put down Jerusalem. No such firmness has been evinced by Obama against the international arena’s real miscreants.

Although Ya’alon subsequently “made-nice,” it was intimated that the official rebuff toward him during his latest Washington trip was retaliation for what he dared utter in private. The logic here isn’t that breaches of courtesy are intolerable in international relations but that Israelis cannot say anything, not even during a tête-à-tête.

It’s counterproductive to allude to Kerry’s innumerable gaffes – there are way too many of them to even list. But it’s obvious that the Obama Administration doesn’t hold itself to the same standards it imposes on Israel (except while electioneering). A cogent case in point is offered by the 2011 incident in which comments Obama didn’t mean to spill out were embarrassingly overheard. These were way less polite than the remarks Ya’alon didn’t aim to publicize.

At the time, Obama chitchatted chummily with French president Nicolas Sarkozy during the G20 summit in Cannes. Both were unaware that the microphone before them hadn’t been switched off.

“I can’t stand him. He’s a liar,” a chagrined Sarkozy blurted in reference to Netanyahu. Sarkozy’s feathers were then reportedly ruffled because Netanyahu didn’t credit him with Gilad Schalit’s release.

Pointedly, Obama not only failed to defend Netanyahu but he actually expressed unreserved agreement with his French interlocutor. “You’re fed up with him, but I have to deal with him even more often than you,” Obama carped.

Inadvertently, however, Obama’s animus was broadcast live to journalists covering the event.

No hint of an apology ever came from either Washington or Paris. Of course, it may be argued that what Obama and Sarkozy yakked about in private wasn’t intended for our ears and accordingly doesn’t count. But so were Ya’alon’s observations uttered in private circumstances and not intended for outside ears. They were also markedly less injurious – certainly less than the newest bullying vulgarities hurled at Netanyahu.

To be sure, it’s always desirable for diplomacy to be conducted in an air of impeccably genteel manners, without unrefined distractions. But, alas, in the real world what’s desirable is rarely likely. The latest loutish epithets from Washington coarsely attest to that.

Had Lapid been a tad more politically sophisticated and a smidge more experienced, he’d have steered clear of expedient preaching and implied gloating.

As any statesman knows, it’s the nature of antipathies that they eventually float up to the surface. More often than not, they’re discreetly glossed over. Netanyahu indeed chose to overlook the badmouthing at Cannes (which isn’t unexpected if the insulted party is comparatively clout-deficient).

A not-so-hidden agenda can be justifiably suspected when unholy fuss is kicked up over private pronouncements. This is as true for the dubious fuss Obama kicks up as it is for the dubious fuss Lapid kicks up.

Diplomacy isn’t about sensibilities but about interests and it’s the distinct duty of Israeli leaders to safeguard the most vital existential interests of this country, the chickenshit notwithstanding.

8 thoughts on “Another Tack: Before the Chickenshit Hit the Fan

  1. The reality is that every US president has had conflicted relationship with Israel. For most US presidents it has been because of geopolitical considerations and oil. With obama it grows out of the same dungheap that his antipathy to a strong and economically vibrant grows from. He has a strong emotional attachment to islam from his childhood anchored in the socialist rhetoric of his mentors, grandparents and mother. Couple that with his messianic view of himself and it’s rather easy to see how any disagreement with Israel becomes a personal affront to a egomaniacal sociopath.

  2. Oh well, the verbal attacks on Israels leaders couldn’t save Obama from the wrath of the American people…NOW is the time, to TRASH his secret plans, to safeguard the Iranian nuke program…ONCE AND FOR ALL !

  3. The Hubris of President Barack Hussein Obama

    I voted for Obama in his first run for the White House because I believed it was entirely too dangerous- even unthinkable- to have people like John (Bomb, bomb) McCain and Sarah Palin, in control of the Fate and Destiny of the most powerful Nation on Earth.

    I also, I admit, felt it would send a positive message to the rest of the world that in America, anyone, regardless of race or place of origin, could “rise to the top” if they worked hard enough and appeared to possess the necessary intelligence and requisite good judgment to sit in the Oval Office.

    I honestly believed, back in the day, Obama would represent a breath of fresh air and needed new blood in the White House to challenge the long engrained corruption and “deal making”.

    But by the time he ran for re-election, the “honeymoon” was long over and I only voted for him as representing what I then believed was the “lesser of two evils”. Surely not a happy situation to base one’s vote for the Presidency on.

    I need not rehash here what we all now know. Obama’s true feelings about the State of Israel are now well known. Although, let’s be honest. Is he really the first US President and is his US State Dept. the first State Dept. to reflect a clear and unmistakable dislike for Jews ?

    From the mid 1930’s the entire Washington establishment knew that Hitler intended to try to exterminate all the Jews of Europe and every Jew on Earth if they got the opportunity.
    They even went all the way to Greece to round up and arrest the Jews of Salonika and ship them back to Europe to their deaths.

    President Roosevelt knew all about the Death Camps, even in 1940, but never attempted to intervene- even when the US got into the war after Pearl Harbor. And throughout WW II the US and Great Britain, almost to the very end, claimed their fighter planes could not carry the sufficient fuel to reach the Death Camps and bomb the rail line tracks and the Gas Chambers.

    But at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem there is a vast room where one can view large WW II, American and British airplane Reconnaissance photos that prove their planes not only had the ability to reach the Concentration Camps but continually flew over and well past the Death Camps every day of the war. In fact some of these reconnaissance photos are so clear and detailed that one can observe the long lines of hapless Jewish prisoners being herded, like cattle, into the Gas Chambers. The chimneys of the Crematorium are equally clear in the photos.

    The US President, at the time, only got involved with the Holocaust in the waning days of WW II when Henry Morgenthau, Jr. who was the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury during the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt, approached Roosevelt near the end of the war and cautioned him that after the war ended it would be very difficult to explain why the US failed to try to intervene to save the Jews of Europe.

    Indeed, the US even made willful and knowingly diabolical attempts NOT to save the Jews, as when the US State Dept. released orders that the famous doomed refugee ship, the “Saint Louis” was NOT to be allowed, when it reached the coast of Florida, to disembark her few hundred Jewish Refugees whose only crime was that they desperately wished and hoped to escape Hitler’s Gas Chambers.

    The doomed ship, the “Saint Louis” was accordingly, at the express instructions of the US State Dept., turned away and refused disembarkation rights and most of its passengers did in the end die in the Concentration Camps.

    President Roosevelt and his State Dept. found that saving even a few hundred Jews was a few hundred too many.

    For the US, the State of Israel has always represented one thing only, right from the beginning.
    That is to say a necessary and unique Geopolitical, Military footprint and/or base, in the Middle East- the place where much if not most of the world’s Oil is to be found.

    Imagine what a delicate and truly vulnerable position the US would be in were it not for the existence of the State of Israel. So who needs who more ???

    Thus, President Obama is not the first and surely will not be the last individual to occupy the Oval Office who harbors ill feelings towards people of the Jewish Faith. Many a US President by word and deed has shown they feel no special affinity for the Jews. Just the opposite !

    The anger that so many feel toward Obama for the way he and his Administration stooges and lackeys have treated Israel should be viewed in proper perspective.

    Yes, the anger is justified and well earned. But in truth, compared to the manner in which the US allowed the Holocaust to run its course to the bitter end, encompassing Six Million deaths, Obama’s mindset and behavior is like a strong slap in the face compared to the policies of the USA regarding the Jews from 1939 to 1945.

    In any event It will be interesting to see, going forward, what will be the fallout in the next Presidential Election, due to the behavior of the current Administration for the past several years.

    And finally, it will be interesting to observe, going forward, how much the Presidency of Barack Obama will impact in a negative fashion on the chances of a future African American from attaining the White House.

    It remains to be seen how much will future Minority Presidential candidates suffer as a result of the outrageous total arrogance and unbounded Hubris of America’s current elected Leader- President Barack Hussein Obama.

    • Usually I dont answer to comments, but this was irresistible. Not only obama is the enemy of Israel but he goes hand in hand with YOU the American jews who by supporting the haters of Israel only to show the goym how nice, liberal and broad minded you are raised him on a pedestal of gold he could do no wrong. Please, your excuses are so pathetic i want to cry. Cry at our jews stupidity and blindness. Obum went with a terrorist Bill Ayers who launched his career, he went for TWENTY years to a hater of a preacher, another Farahan
      . What were you all thinking??
      If we are on the Roosevelt subject its APALING how many of you the assimilated liberals still view him as “THE SAVIOUR”. Nobody in America during the war raised their heads to support their families being burned, not the liberals, the ones who coming to the goldene medinee threw out their jewish roots supplanting them with liberalisn, only the religious jews with Bergson at head and rabbi Weissmandel zt”l fought alone without any help from YOU. Now you still have 2 years of the reign of your saviour to bring a new holocaust on the jews, and you voted not once but twice for good measure. Fool me once, but twice is a disease

  4. Sarah continues to ‘say it like it is’, One only has to admire the brilliance and depth of intelligence and knowledge she expresses with each column.
    Certainly, David Pakters above comments are informative and well presented. Being a WW2 verteran I can attest to the truth of his dissertation, especially about FDR and his complete ‘ho hum attitude’ about saving the Jews of Europe.
    But, when it came to voting in the 2008 election for the presidency of the US, it was, in my opinion, a NO BRAINER to cast a ‘No Vote’ for Barack Obams. No racism meant here. All one would have to do was to ‘study BHOs upbringing, background, personal affilations with American and his Jew hating friends, and his long term friend, mentor and preacher the reverend Wright to be TOTALLY CONVINCED THAT BARAK HUSSIEN OBAMA WAS NOT A VIABLE CANDIDATE TO BECOME THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
    I’m just a simple man, but knew at the outset that his candidacy was one I could never accept nor give my vote to….For the rest of the Obama voters, I have only this to say; “First time, A Mistake…..Second Time, A FOOL!

  5. Pingback: Before the Chickens**t Hit the Fan by Sarah Honig | a12iggymom's Blog

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