Column One: With friends like these
The slurs against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu voiced by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and US President Barack Obama after last week’s G20 summit were revealing as well as repugnant.
Thinking no one other than Obama could hear him, Sarkozy attacked Netanyahu, saying, “I can’t stand to see him anymore, he’s a liar.”
Obama responded by whining, “You’re fed up with him, but me, I have to deal with him every day.”
These statements are interesting both for what they say about the two presidents’ characters and for what they say about the way that Israel is perceived by the West more generally.
To understand why this is the case it is necessary to first ask, when has Netanyahu ever lied to Sarkozy and Obama? This week the UN International Atomic Energy Agency’s report about Iran’s nuclear weapons program made clear that Israel – Netanyahu included – has been telling the truth about Iran and its nuclear ambitions all along. In contrast, world leaders have been lying and burying their heads in the sand.
That is so true; Netanyahu has been telling the absolute truth all along and it was many other world leaders who had access to the same information who weren't telling the truth.
Since Iran’s nuclear weapons program was first revealed to the public in 2004, Israel has provided in-depth intelligence information proving Iran’s malign intentions to the likes of Sarkozy, Obama and the UN. And for seven years, the US government – Obama included – has claimed that it lacked definitive proof of Iran’s intentions.
Obama wasted the first two years of his administration attempting to charm the Iranians out of their nuclear weapons program. He stubbornly ignored the piles of evidence presented to him by Israel that Iran was not interested in cutting a deal.
So if Netanyahu never lied about Iran, what might these two major world leaders think he lies about? Why don’t they want to speak with him anymore? Could it be they don’t like the way he is managing their beloved “peace process” with the Palestinians?
Because the truth is that Israel never had a chance of achieving peace with the Palestinians.
And the reason this has always been the case has nothing to do with Netanyahu or Israel.
THERE WAS never any chance for peace because the Palestinians have no interest in making peace with Israel. As the West’s favorite Palestinian “moderate,” Fatah leader and Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas said in an interview with Egypt’s Dream TV on October 23, “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I will never recognize the ‘Jewishness’ of the State [of Israel] or a ‘Jewish state.’” That is, Abbas will never make peace with Israel.
Acknowledging this, on Tuesday Netanyahu reportedly told his colleagues that through their recent actions, the Palestinians have abrogated the foundations of the peace process. As he put it, “By boycotting negotiations and by going instead to the United Nations [to achieve independent statehood], they [the Palestinians] have reneged on a central tenet of Oslo.”
As Netanyahu explained, Israel gave up land within the framework of the Oslo Accords. In exchange the Palestinians committed to resolve their conflict with Israel through direct negotiations that would lead to peace.
Their UN gambit, like Abbas’s statement to Egyptian television, shows that the Palestinians – not Israel – have been lying all along. They pocketed Israel’s territorial concessions and refused to make peace.
Now we start to see the bottom-line:
So why do the likes of Sarkozy and Obama hate Netanyahu? Why is he “a liar?” Why don’t they pour out their venom on Abbas, who really does lie to them on a regular basis?
The answer is because they prefer to blame Israel rather than acknowledge that their positive assessments of the Palestinians are nothing more than fantasy.
And this brings us to the other troubling aspect of Sarkozy and Obama’s nasty exchange about Netanyahu. Their views reflect a wider anti-Israel climate.
Outside the Jewish world, Sarkozy’s and Obama’s hateful, false statements about their ally provoked no outrage.
Indeed, it took the media three days to even report their conversation. This indicates that Obama and Sarkozy aren’t alone in holding Israel to a double standard. They aren’t the only ones blaming Israel for the Palestinians’ bad behavior.
The Western media also holds Israel to a separate standard. Like Obama and Sarkozy, the media blame Israel and its elected leaders for the Palestinians’ duplicity. Like Obama and Sarkozy, the media blame Israel for failing to make their peace fantasies come true.
And that is the real message of the Obama- Sarkozy exchange last week. Through it we learn that blaming the Jews and the Jewish state for their enemies’ behavior is what passes for polite conversation among Western elites today.
But this international view of Israel is very prophetic, as we know that all nations will turn against Israel in the last days, and this is simply more proof of that fact. We are seeing prophetic fulfillment when we see world leaders acting in this manner - so reflexly critical of Israel for absolutely no reason or basis for such hatred.
It's just another sign of the times.