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Despite Obama's talk about the "unbreakable bond" between Israel and the United States, it appears to Israelis that he and his administration are going out of their way to snub Israel and to isolate Israel as an "obstacle to peace." Obama did not stop in Israel on his recent trip to the Middle East. Obama administration policies seem to exert pressure unilaterally on Israel. The administration offers no solution to the problem of Hamas domination in Gaza other than encouraging Palestinian unity and pressuring Israel to reward Hamas by opening Gaza to importation of cement and other materials that will allow them to rebuild their underground bunkers. Obama did not ask Palestinians to give up their demands for right of return, nor did he confront their refusal to recognize the right of the Jewish people to self determination. Obama did not even try to bring off the symbolic gesture of getting Red Cross visitation rights for kidnapped soldier Gilead Schalit, let alone getting him freed.
All the pressure is on Israel, and it is exerted in often ugly and in-your-face ways by administration officials, especially the supposedly pro-Israel Hillary Clinton. If Barack Obama is trying to project an image of "even handedness" in order to win over Muslim and Arab opinion, he certainly succeeded in Israel. Whether or not he succeeded in the Arab and Muslim worlds remains to be seen. Is it likely Muslims will forgive American bombing of civilians in Afghanistan if Israel implements a settlement freeze, or that al-Qaeda will approve of democracy, gay marriage, teaching of evolution and Bikinis if Israel gives up Jerusalem?
The Israeli government has done its best to minimize the rift, because it understands the full and ominous implications of a break with the United States. The rift is exaggerated by media that are not too sympathetic to Israel and always eager to report a fight. It is exploited by anti-Zionists. But those who are contributing most to the problem, needlessly, are certain self-appointed Israel advocates. Israelis and their Zionist supporters abroad are angry. But being angry does not justify losing your cool, being rude, or stooping to racist ad hominem attacks. That sort of performance should be left to people like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hassan Nasrallah.
Palestinians and their supporters have always been anxious to drive a wedge between Israel and the United States, and they are exploiting the current rift in an effort to break the "unbreakable" bond. It is working. About 49% of American voters call themselves pro-Israel, down from 69% last September, according to a poll. A lot of this lost of popularity is regrettably due to supporters of Israel who have lost their cool, and to advocacy or 'Hasbara,' that hurts.
The best pro-Palestinian propaganda has been supplied by over-zealous and injudicious Israel advocates. Articles and blogs that are disrespectful and racist, insist that Barack Obama's policy is "silly" or worse, that he is a Muslim practicing Taqiyya and as bad as Ahmadinejad, posters of Obama with a Kaffiyeh, calls to assassinate Mahmoud Abbas. All these serve the enemies of Israel well and are amplified and rebroadcast many times by all the usual culprits. What possible purpose could be served by all this vile, vicious, hysterical, baseless racist ranting? Will that convince America or the world that Israelis and Zionists are reasonable and peaceful people, friends of America? The piece de resistance was created by anti-Zionist Jews who filmed drunken, ignorant, American Jewish students in a Jerusalem bar, cussing out Obama and Arabs, insisting that Obama is ineligible to be president. The "expert" who offered this opinion did not know who Benjamin Netanyahu is.
Original content is Copyright by the author 2009. Posted at ZioNation-Zionism and Israel Web Log, http://www.zionism-