From Insult to Injury: Obama Owes Netanyahu An Apology

Promoted from the diaries

Allies are people you work with.  Garden pests and leaky faucets are things you “deal with.”

President Obama doesn’t seem to know the difference.

At the G20 summit last week in France, he let out his true feelings on Israel.  And a live mic was there to catch it all.

Here’s the exchange between President Obama and French President Sarkozy on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:

–Sarkozy: “I cannot bear Netanyahu.”

–Obama: “You’re sick of him, but I have to deal with him every day.”

Deal with?

The State of Israel is America’s closest ally in the Middle East.  It’s a democracy surrounded by radical autocracies and extremists who would like to see it wiped off the map.  Due to our shared strategic interests in the region, our countries depend on each other’s support.  Our alliance and friendship is one to be vigorously defended and actively cultivated—not disinterestedly dealt with.

If the President finds working with Israel so terribly irksome, Republicans will gladly relieve him of that burden.  We’ll send a Republican to the White House who truly values the American-Israeli alliance.

To be sure, President Obama’s attitude toward Israel could hurt him in 2012.  And it’s already damaged his party’s electoral prospects before.  Earlier this year, Democrats lost control of the 9th District of New York, which includes a large Jewish population.

Democrats won decisively in the last three presidential elections there, but in a special congressional election earlier this year, the district flipped Republican—due in large part to voters’ perception of Obama’s lukewarm attitude toward Israel.  Less than a year earlier, they elected a Democrat 61-39.

Similar scenarios may now play our on a larger scale next November.  In swing states like Florida and Pennsylvania, Jewish voters and other pro-Israel groups dissatisfied with the President’s stance, could turn their states red in 2012.

Americans across the country recognize Israel’s important to our own country’s security.  In a region where terrorists threaten American interests, Iran seeks nuclear weapons, and unfriendly regimes control the world’s energy supplies, we need Israel and Israel needs us.

The stakes are too high.  And failing to recognize that could create much more daunting problems for the president to “deal with.”

I urge President Obama to put this issue behind him by publicly apologizing to Prime Minister Netanyahu.