Hubris: From Greek Hybris, meaning wanton violence, insolence, outrage; originally presumption toward the gods.
These days, we’re looking at spectacular displays of hubris, on steroids. Scan the horizon in any direction, and there lies a threat, and/or a maturing scandal. For those with eyes to see, the façade has slipped, and the mystery of iniquity is no longer hidden by shadows, or confined to once-secret rooms. Rather, we are being openly misled, as we witness an overt, deliberate and intentional campaign of disinformation, distraction and deception, on both the domestic and foreign-policy fronts.
Despite cascades of evidence to the contrary, we are constantly reassured by Obama and Company, Inc., that all is well in the Middle East, not to mention here in Wonderland, and that we are more secure than we have ever been in our history. Like the self-indulgent ruler and his faithful enablers in the Emperor’s New Clothes, it would be comical, if it wasn’t so dangerous.
As citizens, the only antidote to this relentless campaign of disinformation, distraction and deception is to stay constantly engaged, remain ever vigilant (alert), and keep our eyes fixed on the values embedded in our founding document, the Constitution. No longer can we indulge in the passive assumption that our government is entirely benign, deriving its ‘just powers from the consent of the governed,’ nor can we safely presume that our current form of government could never ‘become destructive of these ends.’
For example, when at first 47 Senators, then 367 members of the House wrote formal letters expressing their concerns about ‘grave and urgent issues’ (vis-à-vis the impending nuclear deal with Iran), we were informed by the White House that the President was embarrassed. Not cooperative, not responsive – as any reasonable person would expect – but ‘embarrassed.’ This was followed with a display of contempt from the Executive branch that no single generation of Americans has ever seen. Meanwhile loyal members of the Democratic Party responded with their own barrage of condescension and derision, while describing the entire effort as ‘amateurish.’
Nonetheless, as Michael Flynn said recently:
“We’re not all going to suddenly wake up and peace is going to be breaking out in the Middle East. We’re going to face increasing complexity in the Middle East and the escalation of this sectarian civil war. And what seems to be a ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ when it comes to Iran isn’t that at all, but it’s a train, and it’s heading in our direction.”
President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu
As with so many of the byzantine policies of this Administration, the recent 30-car pile-up between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu didn’t just suddenly erupt with unexpected, spontaneous violence, right in the middle of the heated Israeli elections. Quite the contrary, the tectonic shift leading to the pile-up began years ago, well before the latest well-choreographed flurry of official declarations about ‘divisive rhetoric,’ ‘racism’ and ‘evaluating our approach’ were released for public consumption.
Referring to statements Mr. Netanyahu made on the last day of the Israeli elections, U.S. State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf summed it all up so nicely on March 19, 2015, when she opined:
“When you say things, words matter. And if you say something different two days later, which do we believe? It’s hard to know.”
So true, Ms. Harf! These days, it really is hard to know exactly who (or what) we should believe…
Oddly, then, from their commanding perch, way up in the lofty, panoramic heights of moral clarity, it seems the Administration somehow managed to overlook all of the ‘Words Matter’ statements made by Fatah and/or Saeb Erekat and the Palestinian Authority in the lead-up to the Israeli elections. Or, perhaps the State Department thought it was all just harmless rhetoric, or merely a passing mirage?
Should we believe them, Ms. Harf, or you? It’s really hard to know…
Note: Just this past January, I observed that “If the first postings on the Fatah and/or PA official websites provide any indication, we will see a steady stream of violent anti-Israel propaganda in 2015.” Boy, did that turn out to be true (see more on this below).
Meanwhile, in addition to Fatah, et al., the Administration had several other excellent opportunities to miss an opportunity (thanks, Abba Eban) in the days and weeks pre- and post the elections, vis-à-vis a cascade of other ‘Words Matter’ statements made by the PLO, and Hamas, and One Voice / V-15 and J-Street. In the permissive environment of this Administration, even Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is participating in the verbal festivities, and has thrown his hat into the ring for the title of World Champion Liar and Deceiver.
So many spectacular displays of hubris, on steroids! Should we believe all of them, too, Ms. Harf, or not? Apparently not, since not a single barbed, pithy admonition has been directed toward any of them, either. Maybe such an effort would be just a ‘waste of time’?
Among many of the ironies embedded within this whole bizarre (cynical) fiasco, Ms. Harf made her authorized ‘Words Matter’ statements on the fifth anniversary of Obamacare (remember ‘You can keep your doctor’?) and the twelfth anniversary of the founding of the Department of Homeland Security.
Are we safer now, then we were before 9/11? Again, it’s hard to know…
Sadly, it seems that much of this multi-faceted nuanced irony is lost to our elected custodians of freedom and democracy, who spend their time floating around in the self-contained bubble of D.C. For, on the one hand, they are obviously capable of decisive, high-speed action (remember the 2013 WWII Memorial shutdown?), and of using direct, pointed criticism…if/when they want to.
On the other hand, despite their ‘deep concerns‘ about Mr. Netanyahu’s rhetoric, they remain remarkably (dangerously) myopic and childish, especially when you consider their chronic, deliberate & intentional efforts to minimize the malevolent threats coming daily from individuals and organizations who plainly express their intention to destroy us and our friends (i.e. Israel).
Apparently, Obama and Company, Inc., doesn’t realize what a gigantic Freudian slip this is, as they publicly treat their friends like their enemies, and their enemies like their friends, while pretending to be competent.
Background – Where Did This All Start?
First, I’d like to suggest three recent articles that summarize macro ‘turning point’ events preceding the March 2015 elections in Israel. The first article is entitled A Statement On The Crisis In The U.S.-Israel Relationship. The second is entitled The Religious Dogma of Palestinian Statehood, and the third is entitled Obama-Netanyahu Hostility Is ‘Unprecedented’ In History.
The first article includes these insightful observations (vis-à-vis policies toward Israel and Iran):
The relationship between the United States and Israel is in jeopardy because, from the moment his administration began, Barack Obama has consciously, deliberately, and with malice aforethought sought to jeopardize it. He did so in part because he is committed to the idea that Israel must retreat to its 1967 borders, dismantle its settlements, and will a Palestinian state into existence. He views Israel’s inability or unwillingness to do these things as a moral stain. But the depth of Obama’s anger toward Israel and Netanyahu suggests that there is far more to it than that. Israel stands in the way of what the president hopes might be his crowning foreign-policy achievement: a new order in the Middle East represented by a new entente with Iran. Netanyahu’s testimony on behalf of his country and his people is this: A nuclear Iran will possess the means to visit a second Holocaust on the Jews in a single day. His testimony on behalf of everyone else is this: A nuclear Iran will set off an arms race in the Middle East that will threaten world order, the world’s financial stability, and the lives of untold millions. Simply put, Obama finds the witness Israel is bearing to the threat posed by Iran unbearable.
President Obama Enters The Scene
Many of the bitter seeds of today’s failing official Middle East Policy, as well as the festering conflict between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu, were planted in the aftermath of the failed July 2000 Camp David Summit. As Robert Malley* described it: Nowhere was this [failure to reach a ‘Peace Agreement’] more evident than in the case of what is known as the Haram Al-Sharif to Palestinians and the Temple Mount to Jews…In the end, the Palestinians would have nothing of it: the agreement had to give them sovereignty [of Haram Al-Sharif], or there would be no agreement at all. Mr. Malley also observed that, according to Yasser Arafat, “there was no [generous Israeli] offer; besides, it was unacceptable; that said, it had better remain on the table.”
NOTE: See more on Robert Malley below.
Fast forward to August 12, 2008, and we find the same no-deal scenario played out again, only this time between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. According to Mr. Abbas, this offer was rejected because  it did not provide for a contiguous Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, and  showed a “lack of seriousness,” despite the fact that Israel had pledged to return 93 percent of the West Bank and all of the Gaza Strip (which Hamas had inconveniently seized from Fatah in June of 2006).
Another major turning point came on May 18, 2009, when Mr. Obama held a White House press conference together with Mr. Netanyahu and declared that “Settlements have to be stopped in order for us to move forward. That’s a difficult issue. I recognize that, but it’s an important one and it has to be addressed.” Netanyahu responded to this demand by announcing a 10-month settlement freeze, while for the next nine months, Mahmoud Abbas refused all invitations (from the US and Israel) to negotiate. Afterward, President Obama offered this astute analysis: “Although the Israelis, I think, after a lot of time showed a willingness to make some modifications in their policies, they still found it very hard to move with any bold gestures.”
Next, we’ll transition to President Obama’s June 04, 2009 major policy speech at Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt, where he stated “That is why I intend to personally pursue this outcome with all the patience that the task requires. The obligations that the parties have agreed to under the Road Map are clear. For peace to come, it is time for them – and all of us – to live up to our responsibilities.”
So far, so good. However, in the same speech, Mr. Obama went on to express sympathy for the Palestinians by referring to the “daily humiliations, large and small, that come with occupation.” These reassuring public comments left the Palestinians (and Arabs across the Middle East) in a jubilant mood (i.e., more ‘Hope & Change‘), but offended many Israelis after he went on to declare that the “United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop.”
Less than a year later (on July 13, 2009), President Obama met in the White House with about a dozen leaders of the American Jewish community, where Malcolm Hoenlein, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, told him, “If you want Israel to take risks, then its leaders must know that the US is right next to them.” Apparently, Mr. Obama’s reply caught them all off-guard: “Look at the past eight years. During those eight years, there was no space between us and Israel, and what did we get from that? When there is no daylight, Israel just sits on the sidelines, and that erodes our credibility with the Arab states.”
A few months later (January 21, 2010), Mr. Obama declared during an interview with Time Magazine that he intended to continue “moving forward…we are going to…work with both parties to recognize what I think is ultimately their deep-seated interest in a two-state solution in which Israel is secure and the Palestinians have sovereignty and can start focusing on developing their economy and improving the lives of their children and grandchildren.”
Any uncertainty about what Mr. Obama really meant by ‘moving forward’ were dispelled on March 12, 2010, when Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton informed Mr. Netanyahu that his March 08, 2010 announcement of plans to build 112 new housing units in East Jerusalem sent a “deeply negative signal” about Israeli-American relations, adding that it had harmed “the bilateral relationship.”
According to (unnamed) ‘Administration officials,’ Mrs. Clinton was relaying the anger of President Obama at the announcement. As she pushed aside Mr. Netanyahu’s diplomatic apologies, Mrs. Clinton maintained that she “could not understand how this happened, particularly in light of the United States’ strong commitment to Israel’s security.” Meanwhile, Vice President Joseph Biden added his own emphatic condemnations to the proposed housing plan.
And now we come to May 19, 2011, the most decisive turning point in the relationship between Mr. Obama & Mr. Netanyahu (if not Israel and the pro-Palestinian West). In a well-advertised policy speech at the U.S. State Department (given on the very eve of Mr. Netanyahu’s scheduled visit to Washington), Mr. Obama officially declared his support for a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict based on the pre-1967 borders, when Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Golan Heights and Sinai Peninsula. “The United States believes that negotiations should result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine. We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states.”
Mr. Obama added that “The recent announcement of an agreement between Fatah and Hamas raises profound and legitimate questions for Israel – how can one negotiate with a party that has shown itself unwilling to recognize your right to exist. In the weeks and months to come, Palestinian leaders will have to provide a credible answer to that question.”
Note: Four years later (and counting), not a single Palestinian leader has provided a credible answer to ‘that question.’
In response, Mr. Netanyahu announced that Israel viewed Mr. Obama’s proposal as “unrealistic” and “indefensible,” while adding that Israel still intended to build 1,500 new housing units in east Jerusalem. Seizing the opportunity, Palestinian officials quickly declared that peace negotiations with Israel were now ‘pointless,’ since Mr. Netanyahu had openly rejected Mr. Obama’s call to base any future peace talks on the pre-1967 borders.
At the same time, Fatah officials announced they would defy Mr. Obama, and seek UN recognition of Palestine as an independent state. On November 29, 2012, the UN General Assembly approved the de facto recognition of a sovereign Palestinian state, despite threats by the US and Israel to withhold funds for the West Bank government. Just prior to the vote, Mahmoud Abbas used the UN podium to demonstrate his world-class diplomacy and statesmanship, by denouncing Israel for its “aggressive policies and the perpetration of war crimes.”
Ms. Harf, once again, I am so glad you reminded us that “When you say things, words matter. And if you say something different two days [months/years] later, which do we believe? It’s hard to know.”
Now…let’s fast-forward six more years, to the events surrounding the 2015 elections in Israel. Aside from President Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who were the other major players in this drama?
Fatah, Palestinian Authority (PA), PLO and Hamas
In the weeks and months before the March 2015 elections were held, Fatah and the Palestinian Authority (PA) continued working to isolate and delegitimize Israel through political/diplomatic means, while continuing non-stop their official incitement of the Arab populations in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank.
Here is a chronological sample of just a few official Fatah/PA postings from January 2015 thru the March elections:
01-02-15 Fatah Promotes Violence and Martyrdom-Death To Mark Its 50th Anniversary
01-21-15 Abbas’ Fatah To Hezbollah: We Are In The Same Trench, And Are Resisting The Same Enemy
01-21-15 The PA And Fatah Paved The Way For Today’s Stabbing Attack In Tel Aviv
01-21-15 Fatah Calls Stabbing Attack Self-Sacrificing Operation
01-21-15 Fatah Facebook Page Incites Terror Hours After Stabbings
02-09-15 Abbas’ Fatah: Martyrdom-Death Is A Destiny We Assume Willingly And Serenely
02-09-15 Abbas’ Fatah Threatens Rocket Attacks And The End Of Israel
03-04-15 Abbas’ Fatah Promotes Rocket Attacks
03-10-15 Fatah Celebrates Murder Of 80 (sic) Israelis In Most Lethal Palestinian Terror Attack
03-10-15 On International Women’s Day Fatah Praises Female Terrorist Who Lured Israeli Youth To His Murder As O Glorious One
03-11-15 Collect Your Body Parts And Leave!
03-13-15 PA TV Host Lauds Poem: “Jaffa, Acre and Haifa…Leave, Leave. This Land Is My Land”
03-26-15 PA Schooling: Fight The Jews, Kill Them, And Defeat Them
03-30-15 PA Mufti, Top Religious Leader: Muslims Have Religious Obligation To “Liberate Palestine”
After the elections, Mahmud Abbas declared that a two-state solution would be ‘impossible with a new government led by Mr. Netanyahu,’ adding that it was clear from Netanyahu’s campaign pledges that there was ‘no prospect of a negotiated settlement with him.’ Mr. Abbas also stated that “Netanyahu’s statements against a two-state solution and against a Palestinian state…are proof, if correct, that there is no seriousness in the (future) Israeli government about a political solution.” Finally, Mr. Abbas also declared that the Palestinians would continue to “demand international legitimacy. It is our right to go to anywhere in the world to achieve international legitimacy.”
All this, despite the fact that Mr. Abbas has not held elections since 2009, ‘does not take anyone into account, and is not accountable to any institution.’ Since there is no functioning Palestinian parliament, the only legislative decision-making body is the PLO Central Council. However, its policy decisions can only be activated by the PLO’s Executive Council – which answers exclusively to Abbas.
Apparently, Zionist Union leaders Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni agreed with Mr. Abbas, publicly blaming their six-seat loss on Mr. Netanyahu’s racist statements, while insisting that his re-election was a “victory of hatred and fear,” and that Mr. Netanyahu was extreme in his warnings against a “government led by Tzipi and Buji [Herzog] backed by the Arab List.”
According to Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat, Netanyahu’s victory “Show[ed] the success of a campaign platform based on settlements, racism, apartheid and the denial of the fundamental human rights of the Palestinian people.” On March 18, 2015, Mr. Erekat also told Voice of Palestine radio that “It is clear Israel has voted for burying the peace process, against the two-state choice and for the continuation of occupation and settlement.”
Not to be outdone, Izaddin Al-Qassam (the armed wing of Hamas) used an election-day Twitter campaign urging all Palestinians to vote for Aymen Odeh, head of the Joint Arab List, in hopes that the party would garner 20 seats and bring about an “end to the occupation” and lead to a “majority representation” of Arabs in the Knesset. This action (by a foreign power aka terrorist group) prompted Mr. Netanyahu to post a Facebook video, warning Israeli voters that “The right-wing government is in danger. Arab voters are going en masse to the polls. Left-wing NGO’s are bringing them on buses.”
As the outcry from the Arab leaders and leftists from around the world (including the US Administration) gained in volume, Mr. Netanyahu later clarified that “What’s wrong is not that Arab citizens are voting, but that massive funds from abroad from left-wing NGO’s and foreign governments are bringing them en masse to the polls in an organized way, thus twisting the true will of all Israeli citizens who are voting, for the good of the Left.”
The Likud Party
Israel’s multiparty political system is based on forming (and maintaining) coalitions of ‘like-minded’ parties that represent specific groups such as Israeli Arabs, Russian immigrants, Sephardic (i.e., non-European) Jews, and a wide spectrum of observant (‘religious’) Israelis. Mr. Netanyahu leads the Likud Party (‘The Consolidation Party’), which has a strong base among middle-class Israelis (many who emigrated from the Arab world). In general, ‘Likudniks’ tend to be politically conservative, protective of a homeland for the worldwide Jewish community, and supportive of an aggressive policy towards terror attacks.
On December 02, 2014, after a series of disagreements with centrists in his coalition, Mr. Netanyahu fired Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, then immediately called for the dissolution of Parliament and early elections, which were then held on March 17, 2015. According to the final official tally, Likud won 30 seats in the 120-seat Parliament, while the leftist opposition Zionist Union party came in second with 24 seats. The parties that followed were the Joint Arab List (13), Yesh Atid (11), Kulanu (10), Bayit Yehudi (8), Shas (6), United Torah Judaism (6), Yisrael Beytenu (6) and Meretz (5). After the Central Election Committee released the final election results on March 25, 2015, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin officially assigned Mr. Netanyahu the task of forming a new coalition government.
On the last day of pre-election campaigning (March 16, 2015), the NRG site published a video interview with Mr. Netanyahu. During the interview, he said, “I think that anyone who is going to establish a Palestinian state today and evacuate lands is giving attack grounds to radical Islam against the state of Israel. Anyone who ignores this is sticking his head in the sand. The left does this time and time again. We [i.e., Likud] are realistic and understand.” When Mr. Netanyahu was then specifically asked whether a Palestinian state would not be established if he were reelected Prime Minister, he answered, “Correct.”
Back in Washington, the Obama Administration chose to respond to the preposterous situation (i.e., active attempts to influence the elections from both terrorist groups and foreign leftist groups) by announcing on March 18, 2015 that the US government was “deeply concerned about Mr. Netanyahu’s campaign rhetoric against Arab voters,” adding that the US would not only “convey its concerns,” but would now have to “reevaluate its position on Mideast peace process.”
From there, things went from bad to worse, when US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki held a press briefing on the same day and stated, “Based on the Prime Minister’s comments, the US is in a position going forward in which we will be evaluating our approach with regards to how best to achieve a two-state solution,” adding that “the fact that he has changed his opinion certainly has an impact on US decision-making moving forward.”
Apparently, a reasoned, rational response to Mr. Netanyahu’s reality-based concerns was just too much for some of us to hope for. Mr. Netanyahu did not say ‘never,’ just that the two-state solution would not be possible ‘today.’ We were also told that Mr. Netanyahu reiterated that fine point during a telephone phone call with the President, and that Mr. Obama didn’t believe him, adding that “I indicated to him that given his statements prior to the election, it is going to be hard to find a path where people are seriously believing that negotiations are possible,” while ignoring the Prime Minister’s post-election attempts to walk back [explain] his comments. Instead, Mr. Obama has repeatedly made it clear – along with senior members of his administration – that now they all believe Mr. Netanyahu is opposed to the creation of a Palestinian state.
To complicate things even further, on March 19, 2015 (two days after the elections), the Administration declared that it could ‘take a tougher stance’ toward Mr. Netanyahu following his election victory, saying ‘there will be consequences for his sudden reversal on the idea of an independent Palestinian state.’ Senior officials also said that the Administration was ‘still evaluating options,’ and suggested that the US could ease its long-held official opposition to allowing the UN Security Council to create a Palestinian state. “There are policy ramifications for what he said,” one official said of Netanyahu’s election campaign rhetoric rejecting the creation of a Palestinian state. “This is a position of record.”
Truth be known, this ‘tougher stance’ just reiterated an earlier Administration position, when it became evident that President Obama would not meet with Mr. Netanyahu before (or after) his March 03, 2015 speech to Congress. According to White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, the decision not to meet with Mr. Netanyahu was made partly out of a stated desire not to influence Israel’s elections, and partly because what he described as a ‘departure from protocol.’ At the same time, anonymous background sources had let it be known that Mr. Obama, Joe Biden and John Kerry would all shun Mr. Netanyahu during his visit to Washington, stating that “There are things you simply don’t do. He spat in our face publicly and that’s no way to behave. Netanyahu ought to remember that President Obama has a year and a half left to his presidency, and that there will be a price.”
The U.S. State Department (John Kerry and Hillary Clinton)
On February 25, 2015 (during the volatile lead-up to Mr. Netanyahu’s March 03, 2015 speech before Congress), John Kerry testified at a hearing of the House Committee on Homeland Security, where he offered the following opinions about Mr. Netanyahu (vis-à-vis Iran and Iraq): The Prime Minister “may have a judgment that just may not be correct here,” while adding that Mr. Netanyahu, “was profoundly forward-leaning and outspoken about the importance of invading Iraq under George W. Bush. And we all know what happened with that decision.”
On March 19, 2015, the Administration restated and clarified (?) its position, stating that the relationship between Israel and the U.S. would remain strong, but would no longer be managed by President Obama. Instead, Secretary of State Kerry, will take over, along with Pentagon officials who handle the close military alliance with Israel. “The president is a pretty pragmatic person and if he felt it would be useful, he will certainly engage. The premise of our position…has been to support direct negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians. We are now in a reality where the Israeli government no longer supports direct negotiations. Therefore we clearly have to factor that into our decisions going forward.”
Along with what was discussed earlier in this article, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton publicly stated that she was “often the designated yeller,” as she represented the Administration’s efforts to force Mr. Netanyahu make concessions for the sake of ‘peace.’ According to Alon Pinkas, who was Israel’s Consul General in New York when Mrs. Clinton was a Senator from New York, “Her relationship with [Netanyahu was] very bad, just not as toxic as Obama’s.”
The United Nations
After the election, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon called Mr. Netanyahu and urged him to renew Israel’s commitment to a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, while informing Mr. Netanyahu that the “two-state solution was the only way forward,’ while urging him to renew Israel’s commitment to that goal.”
One Voice International (OVI) / V15
According to media reports, Paul Begala, who is ‘one of the prime architects of President Bill Clinton’s political victories,’ went to Israel to consult for the campaign of the Zionist Union party, led by Yitzhak Herzog. Along with Mr. Begala, several other well-known political strategists who are closely-affiliated with Mr. Obama – led by field organizer Jeremy Bird – travelled to Israel to work with One Voice International, a ‘non-profit’ organization that fiercely opposed Netanyahu (just like their mentor, Mr. Obama). Some of these same individuals will probably join the (prospective) Hillary Clinton presidential campaign.
Though it remains to be seen whether this deceitful abuse of officially-endorsed authority will rise to the level of a major scandal, on March 18, 2015, 20 members of Congress wrote a letter urging the State Department and Obama affiliates to answer questions regarding the possible use of US tax-payer dollars in the anti-Netanyahu campaign. This isn’t the first time something like this has happened, either. Two of Bill Clinton’s former campaign strategists, including his pollster Stanley B. Greenberg and strategist James Carville, went to Israel in May of 1999 to help Ehud Barak defeat Mr. Netanyahu.
For the sake of convenience, here is a brief chronological sample of One Voice International / V15 articles:
12-17-14 2015 Israeli Elections: Critical Decisions Ahead
01-01-15 Likud Accuses Anti-Netanyahu Electoral Campaign Of Illegal Donations
01-26-15 Foreign Funding Bankrolls Anti-Netanyahu Campaign – Flies in 5-Man Obama Team
01-26-15 Obama Backs Campaign To Defeat Netanyahu In Israeli Elections
01-26-15 The Obama Campaign Strategist Who Could Break The Israeli Elections Wide Open
01-27-15 State Department-Funded Group Bankrolling Anti-Bibi Campaign
01-28-15 V15 – Look Who Is Behind The New U.S. Democratic-Style Campaign In Israel
01-29-15 Obama Funding The Anti-Bibi Campaign
01-28-15 State Department Funded ‘Obama Army’ On Ground In Israel To Defeat Prime Minister Netanyahu
01-29-15 Watchdog Slams Use Of American Taxpayer Funds To Finance Anti-Netanyahu Campaign
01-30-15 V15 US Political Operative marinated In Hate-Israel Activism
01-30-15 Likud Asks Elections Panel To Bar Campaigning By Organization Affiliated With Obama Strategist
02-01-15 US Taxpayers Funding Anti-Netanyahu Campaign?
02-02-15 Anti-Netanyahu Campaign Under Fire In Israel, United States
02-05-15 Memo Reveals Plan Of US-Funded Groups to Influence the Israeli Elections
02-09-15 US Embassy Met With Group Trying to Influence Israeli Elections
02-09-15 V15 Group Won’t Be Investigated Before Elections
J-Street, James Baker and Dennis McDonough
Finally, we come to J-Street, another part of the leftist kaleidoscope, which was founded ‘to promote meaningful American leadership to end the Arab-Israeli and Palestinian-Israel conflicts peacefully and diplomatically.’ On March 23, 2015, James Baker gave the keynote address at a J-Street Conference in DC, where he expressed support for the Administration’s ongoing talks with Iran, but was very critical of Mr. Netanyahu. Mr. Baker stated, “Frankly, I have been disappointed with the lack of progress regarding a lasting peace – and I have been for some time,” adding that “in the aftermath of Netanyahu’s recent election victory, the chance of a two-state solution seems even slimmer, given his reversal on the issue. I still remain cautiously optimistic – and I stress cautiously – because it seems to me that Israel’s future, absent a two-state solution, could be very difficult at best.”
On the same day, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough gave the keynote address, where he made the following comments: “An occupation that has lasted for almost 50 years must end, and the Palestinian people must have the right to live in and govern themselves in their own sovereign state. Israel cannot maintain military control of another people indefinitely, that’s the truth.” Mr. McDonough went on to say that the “United States will never stop working for a two-state solution and a lasting peace that Israelis and Palestinians so richly deserve,” adding that Mr. Netanyahu’s rejection of a Palestine state and approval of illegal settlements in the occupied territories for the strategic purpose of changing the borders was “so very troubling.” Mr. McDonough concluded his comments by stating “In the end, we know what a peace agreement should look like. The borders of Israel and an independent Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps.”
Oddly, nothing was said about Fatah’s March 11, 2015 warning for Israelis to “Collect your body parts and leave!”
Mr. Obama appears determined to keep pushing the reset button in the Middle East, despite the obvious failure of such an approach. While using his global allies on the Left for political cover, it also appears that Mr. Obama will continue pressuring Mr. Netanyahu to make concessions for the sake of peace, while allowing the Palestinians to continue their campaign of incitement.
At the moment (March 31, 2015), the diplomatic crisis between Israel and Obama & Co., Inc., has been characterized as ‘the most vicious and public yet among only a handful of crises that have marred the close, long-running relationship.’ According to Israeli historian Jonathan Rynhold, the bad blood between Mr. Obama and Mr. Netanyahu is ‘unprecedented.’ Mr. Rynhold also observed that “the public nature of the mutual hostility is a new low. I don’t think we’ve ever had as bad a relationship between a President and a Prime Minister, and of course that has policy consequences.”
On March 25, 2015, the Administration released a 386-page report entitled Critical Technological Assessment in Israel and NATO Nations, which includes a detailed description of Israel’s advanced military technology and infrastructure research during the 1970’s and 1980’s. Politically, the timing of the revelation coincided with Mr. Netanyahu’s March 03, 2015 address in Congress, where he warned against any US-backed agreement that leaves Iran with nuclear breakout capabilities.
On March 29, 2015, House Speaker John Boehner appeared on CNN’s State of the Union program, where he said “I think the animosity exhibited by our administration toward the Prime Minister of Israel is reprehensible. And I think that the pressure that they’ve put on him over the last four or five years has, frankly, pushed him to the point where he had to speak up. I don’t blame him at all for speaking up.” Mr. Boehner concluded the interview by stating “There are serious issues and activities going on in the Middle East, and I think it’s critically important for members of Congress to hear from foreign leaders…to get a real handle on the challenges we face there.”
In closing, on March 30, 2015, a dozen Jewish House Democrats met with Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes Obama and his aides, where they made it clear that the Obama Administration ‘had to stop acting as if the…Prime Minister’s comments are the only thing holding up a peace process, that’s been abandoned for a year, while not expressing a word of disappointment about Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.’ All this, [while] ‘openly toying with allowing the Palestinians their provocative recognition bid at the United Nations.’
According to the report, one (unnamed) aide told the group that Mr. Obama and his aides now believe it’s up to Mr. Netanyahu to repair a rift that they stress is only about the peace process, not the larger commitment to Israel. “We’ve made our point. The message has clearly been received,” a White House official said. “The next move is theirs, presumably after the new government has been formed.”
As Americans, what can we expect in the weeks, months and years ahead? Without a doubt, the challenges we face will go beyond anything ever seen before. Some, perhaps even many of us, may be asked to stand up for those constitutional ‘truths that we hold to be self-evident.’ Despite the fact that our Founding Fathers had the foresight to design be remarkably flexible system, even a rubber band can only stretch so far before it breaks. Will we find a way to ‘disenthrall ourselves, ’ or will the time eventually come ‘when necessity constrains us to alter our former Systems of Government’?
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