Jeffrey Goldberg, who has become something of a stenographer to President Barack Obama on foreign policy, has broken the dog-bites-man news that the Obama administration dislikes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He adds that an Obama official referred to Netanyahu as “chickenshit,” though Goldberg uses that as an excuse to vent his own bile at Bibi, whom he says bears most blame for the crisis in U.S.-Israel relations.
Goldberg blames Netanyahu’s “settlements,” ignoring the fact that Netanyahu enacted a settlement freeze. He admits that “Jews have a moral right to live anywhere they want in Jerusalem,” and understands that the areas of Jerusalem that have irked Obama are hardly “settlements,” yet he still says Bibi is to blame for building there. The problem, he says, is that Israel has not created the conditions that make a Palestinian state possible.
Nowhere in Goldberg’s article is there any acknowledgment that Gaza rockets, Hamas tunnels, and Fatah/PA incitement are what have made a Palestinian state in the West Bank unthinkable, for the moment, to the vast majority of Israelis. Nor is there any admission that Obama–and Vice President Joe Biden, and Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry–have inflamed relations by publicly berating Israel on various occasions.
Goldberg also omits Obama’s Cairo speech in 2009, which cast Israel in the Arab mould, as a post-Holocaust sop; his disastrous display of contempt for Bibi at the White House in 2010; or his attempt to sandbag Bibi in 2011 with a proposal for peace on the 1967 lines (which Goldberg says today would be a new idea). Obama did some work last year to undo the damage–then re-did it by cozying up to Qatar and Turkey in the recent war.
The list goes on: Obama’s repeated leaks to forestall any Israeli preemptive strike on Iran (which Goldberg omits, preferring the White House narrative that Bibi was afraid to act), Obama’s decision to join the Durban II conference (Update: before withdrawing) and the UN Human Rights Council long after both had been established to be anti-Israel farces; and on and on. There are no equivalents on the Israeli side, and few precedents in any prior U.S. administration.
“Netanyahu,” Goldberg informs us, “does not seem sufficiently sober-minded” for the task of peace. Yet it is Goldberg himself who remains drunk on the dregs of Obama Kool-Aid. He cannot even bring himself to write about the more glaring missteps in Obama’s record–never mind the smaller ones. The real “chickenshit” is Goldberg himself, who refuses to admit that his beloved Obama could be, in large or even equal part, to blame.
Senior Editor-at-Large Joel B. Pollak edits Breitbart California and is the author of the new ebook, Wacko Birds: The Fall (and Rise) of the Tea Party, available for Amazon Kindle.
Follow Joel on Twitter: @joelpollak