Reports: Obama pushing Israeli military leaders to buck their government

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U.S. President Barack Obama is encouraging Israeli military leaders to oppose the “politically paralyzed” Benjamin Netanyahu by running for office on their own in order to effectively change the nation’s policies.

According to congressional sources, Obama has “wooed” the top leaders of Israel’s military and defense establishment to support his plan to establish a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Jerusalem, Middle East Newsline reported on May 18.

President Barack Obama called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu one of his "deepest disappointments" in the Middle East. /EPA
President Barack Obama called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu one of his “deepest disappointments” in the Middle East. /EPA

Obama, in an interview with journalist Jeffery Goldberg, referred to Netanyahu as “one of his deepest disappointments” in the Middle East, being “too fearful and politically paralyzed” to advance the peace process.

Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren responded by telling The Algemeiner: “Really? Netanyahu is one of Obama’s ‘deepest disappointments’ as a Middle East leader? More disappointing than Syrian President [Bashar] Assad? Than former Iranian President [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad? Than ISIL chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi?”

The Algemeiner, in an opinion piece, added to Oren’s list by including Israel’s so-called “peace partner” Mahmoud Abbas, “who blesses the blood of those who murder us,” and Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, “whom Obama has befriended despite his repeated calls for the destruction of Israel.”

Obama “continues to ignore the catastrophic global repercussions of his flawed policies toward the Middle East, where hundreds of thousands of Arabs have been butchered in civil wars and millions displaced from their homes,” The Algemeiner said. “The situation would have been different had he acted with a modicum of fortitude and leadership in lieu of groveling to rogue states.”

“The supposedly lame-duck president has signaled a probable intention to launch yet another initiative to pressure Israel to make concessions. This at a time when the Palestinians are engaged in a frenzied campaign of stabbings and other forms of murder of Israeli civilians. And while the Palestinian mullahs and media sanctify the killers as national heroes and Abbas continues to praise the ‘martyrs’ and provide pensions to their families.”

Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reported this week on White House initiatives to impose further punitive measures on Israel before Obama leaves office in January 2017. The measures include a UN Security Council resolution “to force Israel to make concessions or, even worse, defining the future parameters of an agreement with the Palestinians without consulting Israel or ensuring its basic security needs — a step that the U.S. had until now repeatedly vetoed.”

The Journal report added that Obama is considering a “joint statement exerting pressure on Israel from the Middle East Quartet — comprising the US, UN, European Union and Russia.

“Vice President Joe Biden apparently paved the ground for this during his recent visit to the region when he proposed an initiative based on recognizing east Jerusalem as a Palestinian capital, an end to all settlement activity, Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and Palestinians forfeiting the Arab refugee right of return.”

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