Oren refuted: Netanyahu has made all the “Daylight” between Israel and America

Israel’s previous Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren will make major assaults on President Obama in his forthcoming book (“Ally”)– and already has in an article in The Wall Street Journal (“How Obama Abandoned Israel“ at, David Horovitz’s interview with him in The Times of Israel (“Michael Oren sees a US alliance in tatters, and Israel ‘on our own’” at, and elsewhere.

There will be more soon- including on David’s fine TOI interview with Oren that unwittingly reveals many more of Oren weaknesses.

Oren’s claims consist nearly entirely of sheer fabrications, deceptions, and fictions, and the opposite of them is usually the emphatic truth.

Oren says Obama’s parameters for peace based on the 67 lines plus land swaps violate 40 years of US policy. But they are actually 48 years of all Presidents of both parties opposition to the settlements, beginning as early as President Lyndon Johnson’s.

And on top of this, Obama’s are simply the same old broadly accepted “Clinton Parameters” based precisely on the 67 lines and land swaps.

Oren says we have never had public disagreements until under Obama.  But we have had them publicly — and not infrequently — from the outset of US-Israeli relations, from the Eisenhower through the George H.W. Bush administrations and onward.

And Netanyahu has himself often and outspokenly criticized the President and the United States, most recently earlier this year at the United States Congress.

Oren says that Obama “lost Israelis” when he went to the Middle East without visiting Israel. Obama’s visit to Egypt was in large part to reset relations between the United States and Arab World so that the United States in order to solicit more Arab and Palestinian trust in order precisely to help resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and bring peace and security to Israel.

Obama inspiringly said:

“America’s strong bonds with Israel are well known. This bond is unbreakable. It is based upon cultural and historical ties, and the recognition that the aspiration for a Jewish homeland is rooted in a tragic history that cannot be denied.  Around the world, the Jewish people were persecuted for centuries, and anti-Semitism in Europe culminated in an unprecedented Holocaust…. Denying that fact is baseless, ignorant, and hateful. Threatening Israel with destruction – or repeating vile stereotypes about Jews – is deeply wrong, and only serves to evoke in the minds of Israelis this most painful of memories while preventing the peace that the people of this region deserve….  …Palestinians must abandon violence. Resistance through violence and killing is wrong and does not succeed… Hamas must put an end to violence, recognize past agreements, and recognize Israel’s right to exist.”

All said in the heart and bosom of the Arab world. For Netanyahu to have quickly felt himself offended was another and one of his earlier generations of daylight between himself and the United States.

But more than on Oren’s many falsehoods: From the very beginning: Netanyahu himself has deliberately generated all of the “daylight” between the Israel and the United States :

  • His advisors’ 2008 insults to President-Elect Obama’s new Chief of Staff, Israeli and Likud-family born Rahm Emmanuel and advisor David Axelrod as “self-hating Jews.
  • His  constant settlement expansionism– opposed by all U.S. Presidencies of both parties for 48 years since Johnson’s;
  • His lifelong opposition to a 2-state solution:

Consider the still-valid 1999 Likud Platform against it made when Mr. Netanyahu led the Likud ;

— That he said in 2002 that if Sharon continued to support a 2-state solution he would withdraw from Sharon’s government (Y-Net, Nov. 28, 2002)  ;

— And that he opposed Ariel Sharon’s famous anti-occupation Speech of May 26 2003, until his grudging and dubiously sincere reversal under obvious American urging, at Bar-Ilan in 2009, all the time since.

— And even if very doubtfully sincere at Bar-Ilan his strong opposition to any 2-state solution that is viable and hence a requirement for peace.

  • As an example of non-viability of his idea of a 2-state solution even if he doubtfully has one, consider his insistence on control of the Jordan Valley and opposition to the sharing of Jerusalem.
  • In 2009 on a state visit Netnayahu gave a major speech that undermined the President’s basic policies — and all US government and presidencies of both parties’ policies since Lyndon Johnson’s and indeed the policies of the whole democratic Free World – when publicly and outspokenly supported continued settlement expansionism, flouting the US since 1967 and the entire world—and any possibility of peace—ever, at all, period.
  • This fundamental fact has been what has constantly generated fundamental daylight between America and Netanyahu’s Israel.
  • And what do the settlements have to do with security? It is  fascinating that Oren and his supporters and Netanyahu backers make the issue that of the occupation and borders– deliberately knowing that for the US it is mainly about the ongoing settlements and settlement expansion, not final border status.
  • And they do that because while they can make an argument that the final lines matter for security, they cannot that the settlements have anything to do with security. So they dishonestly and deliberately omit mention of the settlements in order to help them further and dishonestly — on this enormous issue, enormously dishonestly — pile up on Obama.
  • And Obama’s detractors always do this–consider whether they ention occupation/borders– or settlements/expansionism.

         –It is always only the borders, never the settlements and expansionism– which are irrelevant to security. But if they mentioned the settlements and expansionism it would implode and devastate their arguments.

  • In 2012 his interference in US domestic politics with his obvious support for Mitt Romney ;
  • During John Kerry’s intensive peace shuttle diplomacy in the region, Kerry was often poorly treated, for example with Netanyahu’s Defense Minister Ya’alon’s hateful wish that “John Kerry win the Nobel Prize and leave us alone.
  • Again, Netanyahu’s constant settlement expansion and announcements during Obama’s entirely presidency, including embarrassingly when Vice President Biden and, during Secretary of State Kerry’s diplomacy, have each been at various times in Israel.

These settlement announcements have been so frequent, for example during Kerry’s peace mission, that they finally broke the mission, and Kerry had to report to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee  that finally when “700 settlement units were announced in Jerusalem, and poof,” —

–that this once more announcement was the last straw and finally the end of the intensive American peace effort.

  • In 2015 Netanyahu’s disrespectful and deliberate and never cancelled – which he could have done — intrusion on Congress behind the back of the President against all norms and protocols.
  • And then, over and on top of this, as a guest, to overtly and publicly and deliberately attack the President’s policies.
  • A few weeks later on Israel’s 2015 Election Eve Netanyahu’s reiterated opposition to a viable 2-state-solution — consistent with his nearly lifelong opposition to it, and would, even  whether Bar-Ilan was sincere or not, have constituted a non-viable 2-state-solution which would again, therefore, never have brought peace.
  • And so never peace, just, again, “managed conflict” untileventual takeover of all Palestine, which has been the Likud position in its platform and from the outset.
  • Deliberate generation of Daylight?  Netanyahu’s policies and actions, have caused nearly all the daylight and been nearly all deliberate: 
  • And when they weren’t Netanyahu’s own personal and deliberate acts, a leader is still responsible for his own government’s statements and actions.
  • Netanyahu and Mr. Oren have no courage to take ownership for themselves of Harry Truman’s forthright words on his Oval Office Desk: the words, “The Buck Stops Here”

Bill Clinton was profoundly lucky to have Yitzhak Rabin (and Shimon Peres), who accepted Clinton’s efforts; compare Obama’s terrible luck his whole term with his counterpart Netanyahu’s constant rejectionism.

There is no way better to sum up who – and deliberately – has generated the daylight between the two countries than to note this:

If, instead of Netanyahu, a younger and unharmed Yitzhak Rabin been Obama’s Israeli PM counterpart, then Rabin and Obama would today be making public speeches and warmly embracing one other in — what would still be Kings of Israel Square.

But that Obama did not have Clinton’s good luck with a partner;

–and that history denied Obama warm embraces with Yitzhak Rabin in Kings of Israel Square;

has been Obama’s – but much more importantly, Israel’s— for seven interminable years – the most terrible possible of historical bad luck.

To be continued–

About the Author
James Adler was born in Kentucky, now works in university libraries, and feels especially and intensely bound up with the fate of the Jewish people in the last hundred years, especially the Shoah, the rise of Israel "out of the ashes," and the accidental and mutually tragic collision with the Palestinians in the early and middle of the 20th century, continuing through today. He is happily married and the father of two teenagers.