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O My America: Obama in Israel

March 21, 2013

by Lawrence Bush

There is something perverse and sickening about President Obama spending this 10th anniversary of the American invasion of Iraq in Israel threatening to make war on Iran.

Shouldn't our Nobel Peace Prize-winning president be in Baghdad, instead, speaking about the folly of our last "preventive war" — and promising to pour billions of dollars into the repair of that country and the resetting of its millions of displaced people?

What is he doing in Israel, pledging America's undying fealty and "unbreakable" support without making a single public demand upon Israel's government? Why is he helping to shore up the credibility of Benjamin Netanyahu, who shamefully disrespected Obama when last in our country and who diligently sought to get Mitt Romney elected? Seventy percent of American Jews voted for Obama — who never needs to be reelected for anything — so why is he pandering to the Israeli rightwing establishment this way?

I can only imagine the entire Arab world thinking: It's true what they say about the Jews — they control everything! Here is the president of the United States of America, flying across the sea to embrace that thug of a prime minister, who all but threw his shoe at Obama last year . . .

Some commentators, notably Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic, have expressed the hope — or, as he admitted, the fantasy — that Obama will insist on a quid pro quo from Netanyahu: The U.S. will have Israel's back and declare that any attack on Israel is tantamount to an attack on the U.S. — IF AND ONLY IF Netanyahu will at last do what is necessary to draw the Palestinians into meaningful negotiations: freeze the settlements and/or agree to the 1967 borders as the general outline of a two-state solution. So far, however, there are no American demands being enunciated, only American kow-towing.

What in the world for?