UPDATE (6:00 pm Wednesday): Tonight Israelis are celebrating the holiday of Purim. Children can be seen in every neighborhood wearing costumes that recall the events surrounding Esther and Mordechai in Shushan, Iran thousands of years ago. This afternoon has southern Israel under missile attack again from Hamas terrorists in Gaza. It is appallingly ironic that the children of southern Israel will have to spend part of their Purim celebration tonight in bomb shelters because of rockets fired by Iran’s proxy in Gaza–Hamas.
One of the most maddening things about President Obama has been his self-serving willingness to portray himself as being fervently pro-Israel in speeches to organizations like AIPAC, only to quickly step back at his first opportunity and tell us that we all misread or misinterpreted what he really said.
You may remember that back on June 4, 2008–during the last election season–Obama made a speech to AIPAC during which he brought the crowd to its feet with this line: “Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.” By the very next day, Obama had already backpedaled, with his campaign issuing this “clarification”: “Jerusalem is a final status issue, which means it has to be negotiated between the two parties” as part of “an agreement that they both can live with.” The Obama campaign went on to absurdly dissemble that by “undivided”, candidate Obama meant “undivided by barbed wire.”
Fast forward to Monday night.
Once again we had candidate Obama standing in front of AIPAC. This time he was making a speech focusing on Iran during which he stridently declared to the cheering crowd: “So there should not be a shred of doubt by now — when the chips are down, I have Israel’s back.” Your humble servant even went so far as to suggest in Tuesday’s blog that President Obama had virtually given Israel the green light to go after Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Less than 24 hours later, we now have the unseemly spectacle of President Obama once again backpedaling as fast as he can. At his press conference yesterday, he was asked: “You might not be beating the drums of war, but you did very publicly say, we’ve got Israel’s back. What does that mean?”
To which President Obama suddenly removed this remark from the context of the showdown with Iran to say this:
“What it means is that historically we have always cooperated with Israel with respect to the defense of Israel, just like we do with a whole range of other allies, just like we do with Great Britain, just like we do with Japan . . . It was not a military doctrine that we were laying out for any particular military action.”
Let’s imagine what the Iranian reaction to these statements must have been. From drawing the obvious inference on Monday night that Israel can count on the United States’ support in an effort to militarily bring the Iranian nuclear program to a halt, the Ayatollahs have now specifically been informed by President Obama that this inference is not correct at all.
“Any particular military action?” Obviously, President Obama means that the United States does not necessarily ‘have Israel’s back’ when it comes to military action against Iran.
So. . . your humble servant probably feels the same today as many of his fellow AIPAC members–not to mention Benjamin Netanyahu–he feels like he has been sucker punched by President Obama.
I’m sure you know the old saying: fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. Your humble servant will not jump to ‘Obama conclusions’ again.