By Bob Bennett
The president has made a host of statements avowing his support for Israel. In a public meeting between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu on March 5, 2012, he said, according to CBS News:
“The United States will ‘always have Israel’s back’ when it comes to security.” And: “The president called Israel one of America’s ‘greatest allies’ and deemed the bond between the two nations ‘unbreakable.’”
The previous day, at an address before AIPAC, Obama said:
“The United States will stand up against efforts to single Israel out at the United Nations.” And: “America’s commitment to Israel’s security is unshakeable, our friendship with Israel is enduring, and that Israel must be recognized.”
Yet, the Washington Free Beacon reports that former Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren describes a very different relationship between the Obama and Israel during that period, in particular with its prime minister. At one point, our president sounded more like a Chicago gang lord menacing a rival leader, than a president addressing another world leader.
Oren, who served as ambassador from 2009 to 2013, recounted in his just-released memoir, Ally: My Journey Across the American-Israeli Divide, “being threatened and intimidated at multiple junctures by Obama and his senior officials” and watching our president “destroy ‘More Than 40 Years of American Policy’ Toward Israel.” Shouting and foul language were the lingua franca of the Administration.
It’s been long understood that between the U.S. and Israel two rules should prevail: There should be no daylight between the two nations, and no surprises. These rules were repeatedly trashed by the Obama Administration, Oren says.
The tasteless, even crude behavior toward Netanyahu and Oren was ordered by higher-ups, Oren declared:
“In addition to privately embracing the anti-Israel fringe group J Street, the Obama administration sent top officials to speak at its first national conference in Washington, D.C. [An act Jeb Bush recently repeated, incidentally.]
“Oren, who refused to participate in the event, reveals that Obama administration officials had direct orders to criticize Israel publicly.”
When the Palestinians moved for UN recognition, a move that “should result in the closure of the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s Washington office, the cut off of U.S. aid to the PA, and the termination of all U.S. funding to any U.N. organization that recognized Palestine,” Oren protested, and was literally cursed out by Deputy Secretary Tom Nides:
“‘You don’t want the f***ing U.N. to collapse because of your f***ing conflict with the Palestinians, and you don’t want the f***ing Palestinian Authority to fall apart either,’ Nides purportedly said to Oren.”
On the eve of a UN vote on a Palestinian resolution to condemn Israeli settlements, Obama purportedly carried on a 50-minute phone call with the PA’s President Mahmoud Abbas. During that call, Obama allegedly “promised to ‘renew America’s demand for a total freeze on Israeli construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.’ He also promised to lend his support ‘for a Palestinian state based on the 1967 lines,’ an unprecedented call from a U.S. president,” said Oren.
“Israel ‘was never consulted about this conversation nor even informed,’ Oren writes.”
When Oren later met with then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, a surreal episode unfolded:
“Rice sat in her New York office ‘brooding and peevishly tapping her forehead with her finger,’ according to Oren.
“‘Israel must freeze all settlement activity,’ Oren recalls her saying. ‘Otherwise the United States will not be able to protect Israel from Palestinian actions at the U.N.’
“‘If you don’t appreciate the fact that we defend you night and day, tell us,’ Rice fumed, practically rapping her forehead. ‘We have other important things to do.’”
“Oren reveals that in the early days of his tenure, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton refused to meet with him in person.”
When then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton heard of Israel’s plans to transform a slum in East Jerusalem into a swank tourist mall, “she nearly blew her top,” wrote Oren.
“‘We practically had to scrape her off the ceiling,’ according to a senior American official who spoke to Oren.”
Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, notorious for his potty-mouthed eruptions, made an early-morning call to Oren, when his classless interpersonal skills were very much on display:
“‘I don’t like this f***ing sh*t,’ Oren quotes Emanuel as saying about Israel’s refusal to stop building Jewish homes in disputed territories.”
Oren reports that, at their first White House meeting, Obama made this Chicago-style threat to Prime Minister Netanyahu:
“‘Face-to-face, I later heard, Obama had demanded that Netanyahu cease all building not only in the territories but also in the disputed areas of Jerusalem,’ Oren writes. ‘”Not a single brick,”’ the president purportedly said. “I know how to deal with people who oppose me.”’
Even a couple of congressional Democrats got in on the beat-up Israel action, according to Oren:
“‘In our first conversation, Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida caught me off guard with a letter from a constituent alleging ‘Israeli economic apartheid’ in the territories,’ Oren recalls.”
“Later in the book, Oren recalls taking a call from Sen. Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.), who ‘railed at me so furiously [about Israeli criticism of Obama] that I literally had to hold the phone from my ear.’”
Predictably, the Regime launched a failed attempt to discredit the book, as reported by Haaretz:
“Ambassador Dan Shapiro asked Netanyahu to issue a statement disassociating himself from Oren’s remarks, Israeli sources said, to which the prime minister responded that he had no intention of publicly addressing the issue.”
Bob Bennett is a New York-based writer who has written op-eds for the Wall Street Journal and the NY Post, and has appeared on Fox and Friends and America’s Newsroom. He has traveled widely and written travel pieces for the NY Post, a cover article for the Jewish Press, and an op-ed for the medical journal Cancer Biotherapy & Radioimmunotherapy. Bob was also award-winning producer of a travel radio show heard on New York stations: WMCA, WNWK and 50,000 watt WOR and the national Sky Angel Network. He now blogs on Tea Party Nation, Tea Party Community and Red State Diaries.