ANALYSIS: Obama – Not Antiochus, But an Unwise Leader

The walls of Yerushalayim’s Old City are illuminated with projections showing menoros, on Motzoei Shabbos, the first night of Chanukah. Is this also ‘occupied territory’? (Sebi Berens/Flash90)

Just a short time before he exits the world stage, Barack Obama decided to take revenge on the Israelis, and allowed an anti-Israel, racist resolution to pass in the United Nations. The decision implies that the Kosel, Har HaBayis and the Old City of Yerushalayim are “occupied territory.” What happened in Washington? And where is this going? And most of all, has Obama said his final anti-Israel word?

The malevolent decision passed by the U.N. Security Council on Friday, just days before Chanukah, in full cooperation with the outgoing American administration, has led numerous people to make biting declarations, many to the tune of “a new name has joined the list of those who harass Israel – Barack Obama.” Some even went further to say that “from here on in he will be remembered for iniquity, alongside Antiochus, Nevuchadnezzar, Pharaoh and Haman,” and “Am Yisrael will never forget what Barack Obama did to our nation on Erev Chanukah.”

The Obama administration’s decision to abstain and allow the U.N.’s most powerful body to approve a resolution calling Israeli settlements “a flagrant violation under international law” was a sharp rebuke to a longstanding ally and a striking rupture with past U.S. vetoes.

But, no. Obama is not among those. It would have been an honor for him to join some of those leaders on the abovementioned list. They were prominent people in global history who the Jewish Nation has long accounts with regarding the way they treated us and actions that they took against us. Those on the list are defined by the Jewish nation as evil people. President Obama does not fall into that category. He is going to take leave of us, and from the world stage, which will remember him as an unwise leader. He sacrificed his nation before the whole world, and drove America’s status in the world to new lows. A young, unwise man, who in a political constellation of pressure, disappointed a majority of the American nation that elected him with the hope that he would change the reality of life in America. They were so disappointed, that they voted the extreme opposite this time, and elected Donald Trump as their next president. It’s not because they thought that Trump will be a better president, or because they like him better, but because they wanted to convey the message to the world that the American nation wants something radically different to what they had for the last eight years, which they consider a colossal failure.

Is Barack Obama anti-Semitic? No. But he certainly cannot be listed among the “lovers of Zion.” He also will not be remembered as someone who particularly likes Jews. It’s something in his personality, his character,  that drew him closer to the camps of those who hate Jews. Not openly; covertly.

This was apparent from the day he was sworn in. He chose to make his first trip as president to the Middle East. What would have been more fitting on such a route than to visit America’s closest ally in the region, Israel? But he chose to ignore Yerushalayim. He didn’t even come to Tel Aviv. He went to Turkey and Egypt, and delivered blatantly pro-Islamic speeches.

From his first moment in the White House, he radiated coolness and lack of sympathy for the Jewish state. In speeches he gave then, on his first visit to the region where Israel is located, he made it clear to the world that the Muslims will take a place of honor on the list of Washington’s friends from then on.

Who was pushed off that list? Israel. Even American Jews felt the new atmosphere that began to emanate from the White House. But many of them, especially those with various jobs in the leadership of American government, preferred to remain silent. They didn’t make any comments or criticize. But the government in Yerushalayim has had little but angst from the minute Obama was sworn in until now, a short time before he leaves, and will be glad to see him go. He has become an enemy. And let no one come to say that he was helpful to Israel on the security front. Everything he did was only in order to benefit the defense position of the United States, which reaps the fruits of the Israeli developments in the military industries, and from the presence of the Jewish State in this part of the Middle East.

Obama changed the order of priorities of the United States in the entire Middle East. He cut off all his allies in this part of the world, first and foremost, Israel. But he also earned the dislike of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states, as a partial list.

Had Obama wanted, he could have advanced a fair peace agreement in the Middle East. He did nothing towards this end. He led a visionless and lame policy in the Middle East that did not advance negotiations or dialogue between Israel and the Palestinians. Perhaps this way, he thought he could blacken the image of Israelis more and more. At every opportunity, he spoke critically of the Israeli leadership and Yerushalayim’s policies. Firstly, on his visit to Germany. Then in France. In England, and even to leaders of smaller, and more insignificant nations. It was easy for him to slam Israel’s leaders and the Jewish state. Again, is this anti-Semitism? No. It is a hatred of Israel that flows in his veins. Call it however you like.

Following in the path he set were the secretaries that he appointed, headed by his first Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, then by John Kerry. The former paid the price of her treatment of Israel from the cool attitude displayed towards her by the Jews of America during the elections. (Still, too many of them voted for her.) Kerry will be erased and forgotten very quickly. If he is remembered in any type of context, it will be that he was one of the most unsuccessful people in a key position in American government of the new age. He expressed his gratitude to the president that appointed him by defining the State of Israel as an apartheid state. Obama and many of his cronies in the administration praised Kerry’s words. It was a perfect fit for the agenda that Obama had set down. When criticism was aired by the pro-Israel Jewish lobby, AIPAC, Obama encouraged the establishment of an alternate lobby. During his term, J Street, was established. This anti-Israel group was formed in the spirit of its chief supporter, in the White House. J Street was very instrumental in the birth of the BDS movement and the delegitimization of the Jewish state. All this was just the beginning, a prelude to the American president’s nefarious handling of the Iran nuclear deal. This made it clear to all that the president does not like Israel; on the contrary. When Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu did everything he could to oppose the Iran deal, the administration did everything possible to undermine the sitting Israeli prime minister. Ultimately, against the opinions of many in the American defense establishment, Obama accepted the Iranian plan for an agreement, annulled the sanctions, and brought Iran to the point that it is a nuclear threshold state. That same day, it was also returned to the international community with the status of a preferred player in Syria and Iraq, and as an American proxy to resolve burning local issues.

The conflict between Netanyahu and Obama regarding the Prime Minister’s speech before two houses of Congress only fanned the flames that Obama had kindled. Israel had a hard time revealing the president’s true colors. Netanyahu treated him with silk gloves, because after all is said and done, he needed him. But it was clear to all that the day would come and Obama, based on his behavior during the passed years, would try to harm Israel the moment he could. He was waiting for the opportunity, and Israel was apprehensive that this moment would come; the lame duck period after elections, when the president doesn’t have to answer to anyone. They feared he would use that time to pass draconian anti-Israel resolutions. And that’s exactly what happened this past weekend.

This long introduction is only in order to describe who Israel is dealing with, and why what happened came to pass. It also explained why Israel lost its temper following the Security Council resolution this past weekend. Not only was it not halted by an American veto, as has been done until today, for decades, it was then excused with ridiculous rationalizations by the administration.

Thus, a new Security Council resolution is on record since Friday. The ignominious, false resolution has no connection whatsoever to reality and truth. Only those who hate Israel have the ability to come and say that the Jews have no connection to Har HaBayis, the Kosel, Yerushalayim and the Jewish Quarter. Only one who is an avowed hater of the State of Israel is ready to force a solution onto the Jewish state, without negotiations, dialogue or demanding anything of the Palestinians.

The Security Council resolution is a spoke in the wheel for any future agreement, because what the resolution is saying is that the State of Israel has no legitimacy to have a presence in Eastern Yerushalayim or Yehudah and Shormon. If so, then it’s clear that it has no right to raise issues relating to these places in any diplomatic dialogue. Or in other words: all the justice and rightfulness is on the Arab side. And only a hateful president like Barack Obama could bring things to this point.

All this is very unpleasant, but it’s not terrible. The Security Council did not impose sanctions on Israel, because in order to impose sanctions and punitive measures, the decision would have to pass under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter. The resolution that did pass did so under Chapter 6, which is actually the early warning mechanism for a country before sanctions.

Therefore, there will be no financial ramifications or sanctions by countries in the world against Israel in the near term. In the future, everything is possible, if the resolution is not halted. President-elect Donald Trump, and a number of his senior operatives, have already insinuated that after January 20, the White House’s attitude towards Israel and various issues in the Middle East will be different.

But it is clear that with its actions in general, and this final resolution in particular, the Obama administration has altered the atmosphere and given fodder for Israel haters. The decision will affect Israeli financial investments and means efforts will be made to boycott or harm Israeli products that come from Yehudah and Shomron. There will be those that will seek ways to stop cooperation with Israeli companies that operate in Yehudah and Shomron. And which companies are not represented there? All the banks, all Israel trade companies, health funds, educational institutions, high tech companies and what not have a presence there.

The ones who can take advantage of the resolution will be entities such as the International Court of Justice in the Hague, where there is a group that spends its time seeking out excuses to file lawsuits against Israel and Israelis. Such an entity may already take advantage of the resolution to file suits against officers and Israeli army officials, and to dog their steps when they travel abroad. They can also open an investigation against Israel regarding construction in the settlements.

Israel’s “friends” in the European Union will surely rush to take advantage of the resolution and interpret it as a way to begin harming Israeli exports that come to Europe, especially those from factories in Yehudah or Shomron, or companies that have representation in these areas.

The new America under Donald Trump will, theoretically, be able, if it wants, to change the resolution. But it will not be simple, and it is also doubtful if it is possible. In order to counteract this resolution that declares that the settlements in Yehudah and Shomron are illegal, Trump will need to pass in the same forum an opposite resolution that Israeli settlements are legal. If such a resolution will be submitted, it is expected that Russia, France and other countries will veto it. Therefore, chances of passing a change to this resolution are virtually nil.

So what can Trump’s America do? It can work against the UN that passed this resolution, and against some of the countries that were instrumental in its passing. But measures like that still don’t change the actual resolution.

Meanwhile, Israel has begun to “deal with” the states and personalities that took part in this resolution. Prime Minister Netanyahu decided to cancel an official visit by Ukraine’s Prime Minister Vladimir Groisman to Israel, in protest of the fact that Ukraine voted in favor of the resolution. The Ukrainian prime minister was supposed to arrive in less than a week, and Israel decided that he is no longer wanted, after he did not respond to calls from senior Israeli officials, who had pinned hopes that Ukraine would oppose the resolution. Groisman is a Jew who was recently elected to his position in the Ukraine, and until now, he has displayed a favorable attitude towards Israel. But apparently American Vice President Joe Biden is the one who persuaded Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko, in a phone call a few hours before the vote, to join the supporters of the decision. In response came the Israeli announcement telling the Ukrainian prime minister to stay home.
Netanyahu also announced that he was recalling his ambassadors to New Zealand and Senegal, two other countries that not only voted in favor of the resolution, they also initiated the vote. Israel is primarily furious at Senegal, which enjoys millions of dollars in aid from Israel each year. New Zealand’s vote also angered Israel, because it has no special interests in the Arab world and Yerushalayim cannot figure out what motivated it to vote as it did.

Yerushalayim also cannot understand the vote of Britain, whose prime minister, at least in public statements, has displayed a very pro-Israel approach. Israel hoped to see Russia vote differently this time, after Netanyahu called President Putin twice in the two days prior to the vote and asked him to abstain in the vote. But it was futile.

Now Israel also plans to take steps against the United Nations. Israel participates in funding the U.N., and pays NIS 186 million in dues each year. In the coming days, this payment will be cut by tens of millions of shekels, and a meeting will be held to discuss the special recognition that Israel gives to diplomats representing the U.N. within Israel. It is possible that several U.N. officials in Israel, considered to be inciters against Israel, will be deported from the country, chief among them UNWRA officials.

Finally, the internal Israeli view of the whole story:

The Security Council resolution bears plenty of fingerprints from the Israeli Left and organizations that have been working for many long months to topple Netanyahu’s government. As their efforts seemed doomed to failure, they sought other ways to do it, by digging up accusations against the prime minister and his family, and senior members of his government.

From time to time, groups that fail to bring about change in Israeli governments through elections, get an opportunity to bring about change through prosecuting Israeli government officials or by presenting their behavior as being dangerous for Israel’s security and existence. It makes no difference to these people if it’s the existence of explosive tunnels on the southern border or by promoting the purchase of submarines or ships that are supposed to be built in Germany.

At one point there was hope among some that a new American administration under Mrs. Clinton would bring about the solution. But the results of the elections were a blow to them. Since it became known who was going to take over the White House, these Israelis worked actively to pressure the outgoing administration to give help them in the form of an anti-Israeli resolution that would cause the current Israeli government to be enveloped in a bad odor. And they succeeded, not in taking down the government, but in putting a stain on its image and its ability to function. They did this even at the cost of harming Israeli citizens in general and the lives of hundreds of thousands of citizens.

But they failed to do one thing. Their desire to topple the government has failed thus far. Even this decision hat President Obama worked to achieve will not cause that to happen. In another month, Obama and his men will be forgotten, or remembered in a very negative way. But the Israeli government is remaining where it is. Now it remains to be seen how much the Obama administration will change its attitude to Israel and those who lead the country.

In conclusion from the general picture: America again betrayed Israeli in a shameful way, just like it abandoned most of its allies before this. From here it is clear that it is no longer possible to rely on the Americans. An ally that awakens one morning and defines the Kosel and Old City as occupied territory and says that more than half a million Israeli citizens are violating international law, is no longer classified as a friendly nation. It’s a nation that with the resolution gives a prize to the Palestinians who are NOT ready to sit and conduct negotiations with Israel. It is a state that acts with racism towards Israelis.

Eyes and hopes are now on the new president, Donald Trump, and his administration. They can stop the wave of evil that the United States has gotten swept up in. They can also stop Barack Obama from taking a few more steps that he might have planned against Israel in the month he has left until he exits the world stage.

What we really need above all is………. “Rachmei Shomayim”.

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