Lee Smith, writing in Tablet Magazine, describes the situation that Biden finds himself in since Russia invaded Ukraine. Given his weakness, Israel is now at the front and center of Russian-Ukraine war negotiations. Biden is putting Israel in the line of fire, as Smith points out.
At the end of last month, former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called upon the Israeli government to “be quiet on Russia” and focus on Iran, the archenemy of Israel. While Israel has indeed been focusing on its interests, since it shares with Russia the common goal of wanting to oust Iran from Syria, Israel now finds itself with an albatross of a responsibility in the middle of a war.
Biden is the most disrespected president globally in the history of the United States. He is mentally deficient and highly dishonest. He oversaw a fiasco in Afghanistan, as well as with his immigration policy, and is now on the brink of another with the new Iran nuke deal, for which he gave all negotiating power over to Russia. He is completely lost regarding the war, after making a fool of himself by talking big about standing up to the “bully” Putin and threatening that Putin’s “days of tyranny” would be over once he became president.
Now Biden is on the defensive and will throw anyone under the bus. The State of Israel is a prime target. I wrote on March 16:
Israel is faced with a bigger risk than any other country would be taking on, by undertaking the role of mediating the two sides: the constant historic threat of antisemitism, which frequently manifests itself in the Jewish state being unreasonably blamed for every problem that goes wrong.
The historic scourge of antisemitism has escalated globally in recent years. We see it blatantly every time the Palestinians launch rocket attacks on Israel. The world expects Israel to do nothing, to allow itself to be annihilated in accordance with the Palestinian National Charter, the Hamas Charter, and the ambition of every jihadist in the world.
Israel is busy enough as is without taking on the role of mediator between Russia and Ukraine. It is resettling many Jewish refugees, and going far beyond that as well: fully 90% of the refugees arriving in Israel are ineligible to immigrate according to Israel’s Law of Return. And Israel has already made it abundantly clear that it is not about to abandon its own interests, given the ever-present existential threat to its Jewish nation. As reported previously on the Left Column: Israel’s “strategic interests in the Russia-Ukraine crisis cannot be ignored. Four months ago, Israel and Russia were collaborating on the common goal of ousting Iran from Syria, and established a ‘deconfliction hotline to keep the sides from getting tangled up and accidentally clashing over Syria.’”
The saving grace for Israel is if Bennett manages to strike a peace deal between Russia and Ukraine. But the longer the war drags on with Israel remaining central to negotiations, the more the Jewish State risks being scapegoated by Joe Biden (and others). Israel’s enemies will be all too happy to join in Jew-bashing.
by Lee Smith, Tablet Magazine, March 15, 2022:
Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine was precipitated by assurances from China, Germany, and the United States that each of Russia’s major trading partners either backed his position or had zero interest in getting in his way. President Joe Biden’s invitations to Putin to bite off more chunks of Ukraine made it clear that America was not interested in a fight with the Russian dictator in his own backyard. Surely, the mighty Putin would make quick work of the Ukrainians. After all, he helped put down the Syrian rebellion to preserve Iran’s stake in Syria, and thereby sealed Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with the clerical regime in Tehran. So why make a big fuss, especially since at the same time Putin is intent on breaking Ukraine, he is also brokering the new Iran deal with U.S. negotiators in Vienna?
The problem for Biden is that Putin is not winning his war in anything like the quick and easy fashion that the White House and other world powers apparently expected. Moreover, the prospect of a dictator murdering thousands of Ukrainians in Europe in a prolonged war may be a tougher pill to swallow for so-called Western elites than the same dictator helping to murder half a million Syrians.
Biden’s position has thus become difficult, even with a captive media eager to read from a script in which the president of the United States bravely rallies NATO to do something, while in fact doing as close to nothing as politically possible. Luckily, the White House has a playbook for situations in which the contradictions between appearance and reality threaten to overwhelm the ever-changing storylines about who is responsible for, say, $6 per gallon gas. The playbook, like the Iran deal, is a legacy of the Obama administration, and a variation on an age-old incantation: “Blame the Jews.”
In the case of Ukraine, blaming the Jews might seem like a stretch—the Jewish state is a regional power in a region far from Ukraine. But senior Capitol Hill sources told Tablet that the Biden administration is trying to put Israel in the line of fire by pushing Jerusalem to mediate between Kyiv and Moscow. The point is to position Israel to catch the blame if Putin doesn’t relent, or the stubborn Ukrainians prove unwilling to surrender enough territory to end the war on terms that the Russian president finds acceptable.
Sources explain that the Israelis have reluctantly relayed messages between the two states but don’t want to get further involved, for two reasons: First, with Russian forces on their Syrian border, the Israelis don’t want trouble with Putin; second, they see that the White House is setting them up for failure by forcing them into taking a stand against Putin.
Team Biden’s PR offensive blaming Israel for the failure of two-faced U.S. policy has included Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland’s warnings to Jerusalem not to help hide “dirty money” belonging to Putin-allied oligarchs. Nuland also said that Israel should join the international sanctions regime targeting Russian assets—a regime that notably does not include world powers like China and India, which Nuland failed to mention.
The administration’s misdirection campaign also relied on Biden validators from the foreign policy establishment. Richard Haass and Aaron David Miller tweeted to the effect that if Israel wants to be an American ally, it should stand with America’s values, embodied by its moral stance toward Russia, which includes impoverishing ordinary Russians by crashing the ruble.
The coordinated operation to embroil Israel culminated in a story last week pushed out by the White House’s communications infrastructure inside Israel, whose lead publicist, Axios reporter Barak Ravid, proved his value during the Obama years. The story, which quickly went global, claimed that Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett urged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to accept Putin’s terms of surrender. A “senior Ukrainian official claimed Bennett initiated the call,” according to an account sourced to an anonymous Ukrainian official and given to Ravid. The source claimed that Bennett “recommended Zelensky take the offer.”
Was the story true? The Ukrainian government said it was false, and moved to correct the record the next day. Zelensky adviser Mikhail Podolyak wrote on Twitter that Israel did not push the Ukrainians to accept the concessions Putin demanded to end the invasion. Zelensky’s adviser tweeted that Bennett, “just as other conditional intermediary countries, does NOT offer Ukraine to agree to any demands of the Russian Federation.” Instead, he wrote, “Israel urges Russia to assess the events more adequately.” He also pointed out that the source could not have been on the call, which was private, and was probably not in Ukraine.
But whether the surrender story is true or not, shouldn’t the Israelis be openly and proudly pro-Zelensky? Ukraine’s president has won the affection of decent—and smart—people the world over, who have festooned their Facebook pages and Twitter feeds with the blue and yellow Ukrainian flag. And he’s Jewish! Why doesn’t Israel join in?
The reality is that Israel has frequently stood up for Ukraine against Russia, and with little to show for it. But the issue in this case is simple: The Russian military is on Israel’s border, kind of like it was on Ukraine’s border before it invaded. The difference is that the Russian-Ukrainian border is a geographical fact. Russia is only on Israel’s border due to a geostrategic power play that Moscow implemented with the acquiescence of the U.S. political faction now trying to drive Israel toward conflict with Putin.
The purpose of the Biden team’s anti-Israel smear campaign is not just to make the Israelis look like they sympathize with a tyrant while offering to hide the blood money of their Russian co-religionists……..
EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.