On Obama’s “Discretion” And The “Peace” Process

There is a theory, admittedly far-fetched, that PM Benjamin Netanyahu has not veered as far to the left as his actions would have us believe.

Subscribers to this theory say that his appointment of Tzipi Livni as the chief Israeli negotiator in the current “peace” talks and that his constant pronouncements about wanting a two-state solution, are nothing but a guise, a sop to President Obama in order to get Obama’s support for what Netanyahu really feels is important–an attack on Iran.

According to this theory, Obama and his minions have actually convinced Netanyahu that the U.S. will intervene militarily should the Iranian nuclear weapons program reach a critical mass.

After Obama’s speech yesterday afternoon at the White House, the entire world, Benjamin Netanyahu included, now knows definitively that this will never happen. Obama will never sign off on American military intervention in Iran.

More than this, the entire world, Benjamin Netanyahu included, now knows that Barack Obama has no qualms whatsoever about throwing his Secretary of State, John Kerry, under the bus. No amount of dissembling on the part of either man will change the fact that Obama sent Kerry out on Friday to tell the world why the U.S. was going to act militarily and then on Saturday cut him off at the knees.

All of this will have a tremendous impact on the “peace negotiations” with the Palestinians. Obama will undoubtedly try to compensate for his inaction in Syria by becoming more active in forcing Israel into concessions. Kerry will undoubtedly try to compensate for his devastating loss of face by doubling down against Israel in order to give himself credibility. 

The question is how will Benjamin Netanyahu react? Will he continue to play the Obama-Kerry-Livni game and allow Israel to be sucked into ever greater concessions? Or will he finally understand what I wrote two days ago that the United States under Obama is “a diminished world power that will manipulate Israel for American purposes and to Israel’s extreme detriment.” 

Finally, your humble servant would like to state for the record that he did not want the U.S. to get involved in Syria in the first place, but after Obama set red lines that the Syrians crossed so egregiously, he had to act to show that America’s word means something.  He didn’t, and in this case, it doesn’t.

It is a message that is not lost here in the Middle East.

About the Author
George Rooks is a retired faculty member of the University of California, Davis. A lifelong writer, he has been writing the israelstreet.org blog for more than two years with readers in more than 100 countries. Long time chairman of the largest committee in his synagogue back in northern California, he directs numerous Israel advocacy projects in his locale and is a well-known speaker in the area. He and his wife live half of each year in California and half in Ashdod.