How do you deal with Barack Obama? Benjamin Netanyahu seems to have found one reasonably successful way: stand tall and don’t back down, and your people will rally around you.
Obama, believing Netanyahu would win reelection despite trying to damage him with remarks leaked to Jeffrey Goldberg, sent a handwritten note to Netanyahu reading: “Looking forward to continuing working with you in the new year.”
That, of course, is certainly a different approach than the constant attempts by Obama to bully Netanyahu at the White House or through the press. How was Netanyahu able to elicit this nicety from Obama that the GOP never gets?
He didn’t back down. Israelis may differ on many issues, but when they perceive an outside threat, they unify quickly. Many Israelis perceive Obama as a threat, possibly even a mortal one, to their continued existence. His coddling of Islamic regimes, his refusal to aid the rebels in Iran, his leaking of Israel’s plans for a possible strike against Iran, and his desire to legitimize terrorist groups, all of these are signs that Israelis can read easily.
Words with Obama mean nothing; his promises are generally meaningless. Yet the fact that he felt it necessary to offer a token of good-will to a man whom he openly lambastes because of his independence is a lesson for the GOP: stand tall, stand firm, and don’t back down against this man. Cave and you get nothing.