Elliott Abrams

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Abrams gives his take on U.S. foreign policy, with special focus on the Middle East and democracy and human rights issues.

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The Obama Vendetta Against Netanyahu

by Elliott Abrams
October 2, 2015

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When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to the UN General Assembly this week, neither Secretary of State Kerry nor even our UN Ambassador, Samantha Power, was present.

Why not? The State Department has said Kerry was involved in some kind of conference call or video conference with the White House. OK, let’s call that plausible. What about Power?

Rick Grenell, for years the spokesman at the US Mission to the UN and a very well-informed observer, tweeted yesterday that Power was instructed to stay away.

Think of how petty that instruction, which can only have come from the White House, really is. To sit in the seat and listen to Netanyahu isn’t endorsing his remarks, it is the politeness we owe an ally. Deliberate absence recalls the years in which dozens of delegations, Arab and “Third World,” would leave the chamber when any Israeli rose to speak. This administration is still griping about diplomatic errors Netanyahu has made, but a refusal to have the US ambassador listen to his speech is petty and damaging, hinting to anti-Israel delegations that the United States may be willing to let all sorts of anti-Israel measures go without opposition or criticism.

This is a low point for seven years of Obama diplomacy. I’ll admit to surprise that Kerry, who appears to value diplomatic niceties greatly (and arguably too much) let this happen. But perhaps he knew nothing about it or was overruled by the White House.

As for Samantha Power, one has to wonder what was running through her mind when she was instructed to stay away. Is this really why she left the academic and intellectual life– to be used by the Obama administration to insult and damage Israel?

 

 

Post a Comment 24 Comments

  • Posted by David

    Almost as petty as violating protocol and speaking before Congress without a Presidential invitation?

  • Posted by Jon Gurkoff

    I don’t know about you, but I’d like to know why our UN Ambassador was instructed to not be present for the speech by the PM of a very important ally. Has the White House been challenged on this? What meeting could our UN Ambassador have been in that could not have been scheduled at another time than this speech!

    This ally needs our outward support and our absence sends the exact opposite message to this ally and to all its enemies. I’m ashamed at this definite lack of diplomacy by our government.

  • Posted by Andrew Halmay

    Sad but not surprising. I must correct your last sentence, though. “Insult,” yes, “damage,” no. The unprecedented damage that this piece of dung has cause was to America.

  • Posted by Richard Moby

    Despite his statements to the contrary, President Obama clearly hates Bibi, if not Israel herself. President Obama is in my opinion a childish, narcissistic person, without any idea of just how much damage he does internationally against Israel and the US through his ridiculous maneuvers. And it bothers me enormously that no one in the White House speaks up. Where are the values? Where are the ethics? Powers should resign and state precisely why.

  • Posted by dbatim

    President Obama is a complete embarrassment. I guess when you elect a president who has no leadership capabilities you end up with the mess we have today. This president has single handedly peed on our friends, and invites our enemies to dinner. We have terrorists crossing our borders and he refuses to keep guard. While lying to the American people about it. James O’Keefe dressed up as Osama Bin Laden and walked from Mexico into the U.S. and didn’t get stopped. This is crazy folks. If we had any leadership in congress where our representatives cared more about doing the right thing than their next campaign contribution and reelection. Obama would have been impeached. Do you think the president who has a disdain for Israel and plays these petty high school games is a Muslim? By his actions I would say “Yes he Is”. I have no words for this worth-less president.

  • Posted by N.I. Silver

    You can’t speak truth to power, when Power isn’t there. The thin-skinned one who sits behind the desk in the Oval Office (when he’s not hiding behind it), knows that.

  • Posted by MickBelker

    “Is this really why she left the academic and intellectual life– to be used by the Obama administration to insult and damage Israel?”

    Yes!

  • Posted by Daryl James

    Sam Smith’s song “Writing’s On The Wall” just made history as it becomes the first ever James Bond theme to top the charts.

    For Obama “The Handwriting is on the Wall” also, except he’ll more likely resemble the Ancient King of Babylon who saw the original “handwriting on the wall” and was soundly defeated by the Persians of 2500 plus years ago.
    Obama’s snub of our only ally (Israel) in the Middle East will again, most likely, elicit an unfavorable response from the Persians of today (Iran).
    But Obama’s current groveling to IRAN for any possible deal means the “Handwriting is on the Wall” for the United States as well.
    His personal vendetta against Israel (and Netanyahu) will have serious consequences for him and our country and the world.

  • Posted by Jassem Othman

    Maybe they were attended a meeting for the CAIR Muslim Brotherhood!? Anyway, no surprise at all, that Comrade Obama and his team resort to such small minded actions with Israelis and Saudis…this bad U.S. government is not a friend of Israel, they simply do not like the leader of the State of Israel, Mr. Netanyahu…it could have been better to put aside the personal disagreements and animosity that can lead to undermining American-Israeli relations and security between the two countries, and to work together to fight fiercely all international laws and norms and institutions that could constrain or damage those very special relationships. The only thing I can say “God bless Mr. Bolton.”

  • Posted by Pamela Pratt

    We folks out in small-town America think Obama is the Antichrist, whose plan is to allow Islam to take over the world. We believe this wholeheartedly, without reservation. Not merely a handful of crazies, but the majority of decent citizens. Those who don’t believe our President to be the Antichrist are simply not paying attention. Thought you’d enjoy hearing from us. Thanks for sharing!

  • Posted by shimon russo

    You give Ms. Powers far too much credit to assume she’s not completely onboard with Obama’s instructions.
    After the last two days events in Israel, Bibi must now show that he is the leader of a soverign nation, do what he knows he must do, and pay zero heed to anything coming out of Obama’s White House.

  • Posted by Robert Davis

    Who cares whether obanana assisted or not? frankly I would say even who cares for the PM’s blabber? What Israel need is ACTION not blabber nor who listens to them. If banan had assisted whould it have changed anything? assisting or not he wants Israel’s destruction this is evident ande fortunately what he wants is of NO IMPORTANCE. What is needed is ACTION and thereafter they will all want to talk to Israel. The new PM since Netanyahu is not able to understand politics, will not even have to travel they will all come to Jérusalem to bow and talk the the new PM.

  • Posted by Suleiman Haq

    But then why is Netanyahu so against Obama despite Obama helping Israel in securing a fairly good deal with Iran.

  • Posted by chris jupiter

    I guess most of us feel we can grow and improve as people according to the roles and responsibilities that we take on during our lives, and most of us surprise ourselves with our capacity. In some ways, it’s one of the central themes of life.
    And then there’s obozo who became the most powerful man in the world while retaining the petty vindictiveness of a jealous schoolgirl.

  • Posted by Ed Shapiro

    “Politeness we owe an ally”?? Be polite to Bibi?? Hahaha. Show respect and you deserve the same in kind. Unlike Mr Netanyahu.

  • Posted by June Getraer

    This President has, from the start of his first term, sought to “distance” the United States from Israel by undermining and using the tactics of lack of respect and humiliation towards the leader of Israel.

    He has taken his play book from the Palestinian and Iranian models.

  • Posted by Howard Jaeckel

    This is only the latest episode of Obama’s adolescent compulsion to insult the prime minister of an ally.

    Who was the “senior administration official” who called Netanyahu, on the record, a “chickensh*t”? The administration’s categorical lack of interest in discovering the identity of the who person made such an unprofessional and undiplomatic remark strongly suggests it was none other than Barack Obama.

    Worse, the underlying hostility of this administration to the state of Israel is increasingly undeniable. Has anyone heard Obama or Kerry say anything about the statement of Mahmoud Abbas accusing Jews of desecrating the Temple Mount (or the Noble Sanctuary, if you prefer) with their “filthy feet”? How about Abbas’ deafening silence about the terrorist murder of two young parents in front of their four children?

    The answer, of course, is no, because unlike the construction of an apartment building in Jerusalem, the administration doesn’t get excited about such things. After all, to leftists the wretched of the earth can do no wrong, no matter how utterly wretched they are.

    And now Obama is calling the Syria policy advocated by David Petraeus, America’s greatest living general, nothing but “mumbo jumbo.” We cannot see the back of this arrogant and vindictive man too soon.

  • Posted by Arthur Cohn

    Obama has shown, once again, how malicious he is. The book, “Ally”, by Michael Oren is filled with examples of Obama’s maliciousness which Oren refuses to recognize. But the reader can read for himself.

  • Posted by Richard Gassmann

    Obama’s foreign policies cause me to wonder what his agenda is. He has done so much to ruin America’s image, weaken us militarily, and ignored our constitution re. the separation of powers that I find him not only our worst president, but the most dictatorial ever.

  • Posted by Julian Jacobson

    This is part of Obama’s foreign policy called “Leading from his behind”, also thinking from his behind

  • Posted by Richard Gassmann

    I wish everyone would read the article in Hillsdale College’s Sept. issue of “Imprimis”, by Michael B. Mukasey, U.S.Atty. General. It is a partial laundry list of O’s impeachable offences. That congress has allowed him to get away with this madness all these years is a travesty that also needs addressing, come election time.

  • Posted by Regina Sabin

    The Obama vendetta/ bias of Israel/Jews, not only PM Netanyahu, is a blatant and continuing saga.
    Was it not also a breach of protocol that neither Obama nor Kerry were absent from the Charlie Hebdo rally in Paris? Was it not also inexcusable that the WH Communications Director, Jen Psaki, was unable to provide the name of US citizen Naftalie Bennet, when he and two other teenagers were murdered by Palestinians in Israel? Is it not an unacceptable omission that no word of condolence has been offered for US citizen Rabbi Eitam Henkin and his wife, Na’ama recently murdered in Israel?
    And although both Fatah and Hamas have taken credit and/or celebrated the Henkin murders, the PLO still continues to be allowed an office in our nation’s capital, provided via continuous special wavers issues by our government. A vendetta is putting it mildly.. https://www.causes.com/campaigns/96385-close-plo-office-in-dc-until-henkin-murders-are-condemned

  • Posted by Paul Kessler

    It is clear to see. Obama is enabling destruction of Israel and Jewish people. He cannot outwardly attack Israel, American people would not support it. He is enabling Iran and all the other bad actors in the Middle East to take power to accomplish his goals. Just look at all his actions, backing Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, etc. Read his books, it all there, who he is and who his heroes are.
    We don’t have one real leader exposing this indoctrinated animal. Some say he is weak and so on, no he is doing exactly what he wants and shows his disdain for American way of life.

  • Posted by Abraham

    @ David John Boehner invited the pope to speak to Congress without getting presidential approval. Was that a violation of your imaginary protocol? Congress is an independent branch of government–even under the rule of cell phone and pen–and can invite whomever it wants to speak. It does so daily.

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