By Ron Ross, 27th March, 2010
The recent visit to Washington was turned into an orchestrated public insult inflicted on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The public-speaking rhetoric from President Obama and US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton repeats phrases of loyalty and allegiance to the traditional relationship between the two democracies.
Actions speak louder than words and the ‘invisible’meeting between Obama and Netanyahu at the White House has been described in the Israel media as Pharoah obstructing Moses.
Obama ensured no media statements were made after the two-hour exchange.No hand-shaking, smiling photo-opportunity was offered to the media. Netanyahu did little more than he could have done by phone from his home in Jerusalem.
Political antagonists have described his Washington tour as a diplomatic wipe-out. He returned to Israel with little to show for his effort, they assessed.
The possible fragility of the Netanyahu coalition is said-to-be the Obama target. Obama would be delighted to see Netanyahu lose some of his right-wing supporters. Obama wants Tzipi Livni and Kadima Party join the Israel government, so the Netanyahu right-wing policies can be watered down.
Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman (Israel Beitanu)and Interior Minister Eli Yishai (Shas) are right-wing enthusiasts who hold up the arms of the Prime Minister despite the new gloves off, in-your-face, White House tactic.
Israel political sources denied the Obama pressure on Netanyahu to replace Shas and Israel Beitanu from the coalition. Nevertheless, attitudes in Israel are defiant.
“I thank the Creator of the world for giving me the honor of being the minister who builds thousands of homes in holy Jerusalem,” Yishai the Shas chairmansaid. “There is a lot of hypocrisy in the American attack on me. The US government has been giving Abu Mazen excuses to not come to the negotiating table.”
Habayit Hayehudi Member of Parliament Zevulun Orlev described the pressure from the USA as endangering Israel. He encouraged Netanyahu to focus on building in Jerusalem and preventing the Iranian nuclear programme.
“I hope all the parties show responsibility and realize that this is no longer a game,” Orlev said. “When it comes to maintaining Israel’s existence, everyone must be willing to make sacrifices.”
But it was the direct reference of Pharoah and Obama that raised the eyebrows. Likud MK Danny Danon compared Obama to the Egyptian ruler who was the adversary of the Jews in the Pessah (Passover) story.
A recent Israel survey reveals 9 per cent believe President Obama can be trusted. It is stunning Obama will go the extra mile to speak with terrorists and enemies but he snubs the only friend and ally the USA can rely on in the Middle East.
“As Jews around the world prepare to celebrate Pessah – the festival of freedom – President Obama’s condescending and insulting behavior reminds us of how we were treated by Pharaoh in Egypt,” Danon said. “President Obama must understand that we are a sovereign nation in our own land and won’t bow to foreign rulers.”