WASHINGTON, March 21, 2013 — The recent lovefest between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had all the sincerity of a United Nations briefing by the State Department. A pair of men who loathe each other decided to make nice for the cameras. The good feelings should evaporate by the end of the vernal equinox (the VE is officially March 21, for those who went to public school, though it actually happened just before sunrise yesterday).
Sentiment of the Obama Israel trip is mixed, and it crosses party lines. Right-wing radio host Michael Savage is worried that Obama’s rhetoric on Syria sounds eerily familiar to George W. Bush about Iraq in 2002. These fears are unfounded, because whatever one thought of the Iraq War (I supported it and still do), there will be no policies of any kind coming out of this meeting. Obama preened for the cameras, waved and smiled, said hello like the Queen of England, and left to do that somewhere else. He will tell the Palestinians what they want to hear once the Israelis are out of earshot.
Dr. Charles Krauthammer has pointed out that the entire purpose of diplomacy is for people to lie to each other. Summits like Annapolis and Israel 2013 are utterly useless. Nothing is accomplished. By diplomatic standards, this equals complete success.
Yet during the entire press conference that had less substance than a Senate filibuster, one substantive question was actually asked. Shockingly, it was an MSNBC reporter who asked it. This shocked the world, since MSNBC is almost entirely opinion. Yet Chuck Todd asked an actual news question that deserves analysis, letting MSNBC fulfill their quota for the year.
Chuck Todd: “I guess my question to you was going to be why do you believe the Israeli people have not embraced President Obama the same way they embraced our last two US Presidents?”
Obama has a 10 percent approval rating in Israel, with 4 percent being his low point. President Obama looked inward, and took personal responsibility for 90 percent of the population disagreeing with him. No, not really. Everything is somebody else’s fault. He is misunderstood. He stammered, stumbled, fumbled, bumbled, and rambled for about four minutes without offering anything resembling a coherent answer. Tucked deep inside the mularkey sandwich was a tiny amount of theory.
“I will admit that frankly sometimes it’d be easier not to make the argument, and avoid the question. Precisely because it’s hard. That’s not the approach I’ve tried to take.”
Translation: He made the hard choices.
“There’ve probably been times where I’ve made statements about what I think needs to happen, the way it gets filtered through our press, it may be interpreted in ways that get Israelis nervous just like folks back home who sometimes get nervous about areas where they are not sure exactly where I stand on things.”
Translation: He gets taken out of context. He is misunderstood.
This is where the King of Mount Olympus needs to be brought down to planet Earth. He hates reality checks, but somebody has to put things in simple plainspoken English.
Israeli dislike of Obama is not because he makes “hard” choices. It is not because Israelis “hear incorrectly.” Israelis dislike him because his words do not match his deeds. He does the wrong things, and Israelis see and hear this perfectly. Israelis are not stupid. Thomas Friedman and Paul Krugman don’t get to tell them what to think. Israelis are battle hardened. They don’t swoon over insincere platitudes like American liberals do.
They do not trust Obama for a very simple reason: He is untrustworthy. Israelis are workhorses. Obama is a showhorse. They know that he speaks out of both sides of his mouth. They look at his actual record. They look at his advisers. They observe his behavior. They don’t like what they see.
Even an MSNBC reporter can grasp this.
So what can Obama do to be more liked by Israelis?
He needs to change everything about himself and just become another person. This should not be too difficult, given that this man reinvents himself more frequently than Hillary Clinton and Madonna combined. Neither of them rank high among Israelis either.
The question to Obama from Israelis after listening to him these last few years is “Are you for real? Are you serious?”
No. He is not. This is why he can fool 90 percent of American liberals but only 10 percent of Israelis.
Israelis should be happy he was only there one day. To paraphrase his own words, Americans have to deal with him every day.
Brooklyn born, Long Island raised, and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a politically conservative columnist, author, public speaker, satirist and comedian. Eric is the author of the book trilogy “Ideological Bigotry, “Ideological Violence,” and “Ideological Idiocy.”
Eric is 100% alcohol, tobacco, drug, and liberalism free. Follow Eric on Twitter @TYGRRRREXPRESS.
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