Reports emerging in the last few days quoting Republic Poll master John Mclaughlin saying that Likud and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu knew conclusively that they were leading in the polls 2 days prior to the election, and yet still Bibi came out with his bombshell turnaround that he is against a two state solution, now at the time it was widely reported that this was pure politics and was only said to draw right wing voters to Likud, but in light of the fact that he knew he was leading, why did he risk his relationship with the US for no reason with this incendiary statement, what was to be gained from it?
Besides pondering only Bibi moves, Obama decisions are equally troubling. It seems too simplistic to say he is just pro-Palestinian, his moves towards Iran, he disdain with Egypt, and his blindness towards ISIS/Assad all seem to point to a much more sinister direction. Conspiracy theories abound of connections to the Muslim Brotherhood seem so far out left field and I have no desire to jump on that band wagon, but actions speak louder than words. In the last few weeks alone Obama has, appointed a new middle east envoy with strong ties to MB, declined renewing a treaty dating back to President Ford to supply Israel with oil during war time, and finally a state department report ludicrously stating Iran and Hezbollah as no longer terrorist threats (apparently the enemy of my enemy is now my friend).
As always when struggling to understand the present I reach back to history because there is no clearer barometer than that. Throughout our long and rather tortured but glorious history this type of abandonment is not something new, nor is it new coming from America either. In 1936 the State Department closed the borders and refused to accept any more Jews fleeing Nazi persecution, in fact if not for FDR and an executive order they would have turned a ship back to Berlin carrying 14,000 refugees. Post WW2 the US paid little heed to the thousands languishing in DP camps and the state department tried to renege on its commitment to support the UNs partition plan, it was only Truman’s former Jewish business partner that managed to save the day. Again in 1956 when Israel together with France and Great Britain attacked Egypt Eisenhower promise severe sanctions, & going as far as threatening military action. There have been other times when America’s state department has been on the precipice of abandoning Israel. The relationship has weathered its ups and downs and in no small measure Israel owes its very existence to America, for if not for the Nixon airlift during the Yom Kippur war (when not one single European country allowed the US to fly over its airspace) who knows what would have happened.
Bibi a son and student of history knows that a major collision between the US and Israel is inevitable since there is no stopping what must be done, while Obama is desperate to gift Iran nuclear power, Netanyahu knows as per the Begin doctrine that Israel cannot allow this in the middle east and like it did prior with Libya, Syria and Iraq, Israel will have to take out Iran’s nuclear facilities. Now last time Israel took out a reactor she was racked over the coals by Reagan (Osirak 81) this time the fury will be tenfold and may finally lead to that break that has so many times appeared on the horizon. Post Osirak Reagan held up on delivering promised F15’s, this time around it could be much more severe. If one can cast back to Obama holding back ammunitions during Gaza 2014 one can only shudder what he would do here, when his “legacy” is left in tatters along with a direct challenge to his authority.
For all these reasons I think Bibi anticipating the inevitable bust up wants to expose Obama hand now at this juncture. As we can clearly see it worked, Obama and his administration as reported today by the WSJ want to reassessing the relationship in the UN. Strikingly Bibi puzzling calmness and resigned acceptance of the White House vicious rhetoric along with his refusal to replace Ambassador Dermer tells me that he has something up his sleeve.
While it would be incredibly hard for America to abandon its only true ally in the middle east and congress and the senate would fight tooth and nail against it, as per John McCain’s brilliant retort with regards to defunding 27% of the UN budget (that would be amazing) it is a possibility.
Israel needs a super power for coverage, and I think it will be China who will step into the breach. It is to be noted that China once outspokenly pro-Palestine and self-involved has been toning down its rhetoric along with taking up the slack left by the US in the middle east, when Obama abandoned Al-Sisi and Egypt, China stepped in with important loans to help them battle Islamist in the Sinai and both recently signed a defense pact. China also recently signed new counter terrorism laws allowing them to act oversees to protect its cargo vessels sailing through said canal along with also enlarging the Suez Canal, a four billion dollar project.
In Israel it’s to be noted that China is currently constructing the “steal canal route” from Ashdod to the Red sea along with a $900ML new port in Ashdod, (there are also premature talk of building a similar canal through Israel) all vital for its “Silk road” it would lead one to think that just as China has protected its investment in Egypt would it not follow suit and do the same for Israel where it is also making a similarly huge investment.
Coupled with the spread of Christianity in China which means more and more Chinese are visiting Israel, along with its own problems with extremist Islamic terrorist (which China deals with in a most ruthless manner) should only make them more sympathetic to what Israel is going through?
Most telling though is China seems not to fear the US administration and in complete defiance of Obama has opened its own world bank, this along with some fiery retorts recently in the UN between ambassadors tells me that this could be the new Middle Eastern alliance. All of this must be going through Bibi mind and maybe hence the reason for his shocking but oh so truthful explosive statement.
With China wating in the background it will give the administration pause to think, do they really want to hand over the reins to the Chinese, both in the UN and the Middle East. Finally this cooling down period could also work to Israel favor, the $3.4Bill in aid means Israel has severe restrictions on developing its military hardware programs, and Israel is not allowed to develop a plane or sell its tanks or laser guided missiles abroad. It must spend that aid money buying US hardware. It wouldn’t be such a bad thing for Israel to stop being such a dependent client state of the US for a little while (until the new president) gain cover from the newest power player on the block China and spread its wings a little,
Israel is not the fledgling defenseless state anymore and if the tech boom continues Israel coffers should continue to fill. Either way as Bibi said in his own “State of the Union” Israel will go it alone if it has to, and while I hope it doesn’t need to, it will not be the first time that the Jewish people have been abandoned and stood alone in the face of enormous adversity, or the last time that an ally appeared on the horizon as the hour of need became so apparent.