Netanyahu and the destruction of US-Israel relations

The photo below was released by the White House on June 8, 2009,  with the explanation that it was during a conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. This was less than six months after Obama took office.

Do you remember when an Iraqi man threw his shoe at George Bush, who was at the time President of the United States? Why did he throw his shoe and not another object? In the Middle East, showing the sole of your shoe to another person is a sign of deep contempt. It is exceedingly insulting.

President Barack Hussein Obama, with his deep Islamic roots, surely knows that. To have chosen this photo of Obama displaying the soles of his shoes while talking to the Israeli Prime Minister is a clear statement to the Muslim world which the Jews (or at least the Jews of the United States) will not understand. It tells the Muslims quite clearly where Israel stands in Obama’s estimation.

Obama knows that this is an expression of utter contempt. It was not candid and inadvertent. It was selected for release to the media. He clearly meant it as an expression of contempt.

Furthermore, it was not intended as personal to Netanyahu. This was barely more than two months after Netanyahu became Prime Minister of Israel. The two had never met face to face. It is about Israel.

Anything else that Obama says about his regard for Israel is obviously lying, pandering and condescending. Do you really think Obama’s hostility toward Israel was caused by Netanyahu?


[President Barack Obama talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a phone call from the Oval Office, Monday, June 8, 2009. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza.]

About the Author
Ya'akov has practiced law in New York, California and Israel for a multi-national clientele including Israeli NGO's. He was a professor of law in the US and has contributed numerous opinion pieces to various media outlets.