The editor of the Times of Israel, a leading English-language news site, has posted a scathing column titled the “12 ways the U.S. administration has failed its ally Israel” in which the author argues that the Obama administration’s Middle East policy has been “a dismal series of missteps, failures and betrayals.”
Israeli editor and author David Horovitz wrote that the State Department’s “rush to recognize” the new Palestinian unity government backed by Hamas this week is just the latest of those “betrayals.”
Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, issued a rare public rebuke on Monday of the Obama administration, saying that his government was “deeply disappointed” with the State Department’s announcement on recognizing the Palestinian government backed by a group the State Department itself officially designates as a terrorist organization.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that the U.S. would work with the new government, because it “does not include ministers affiliated with Hamas.”
“What was saddest about Washington’s insistence on accepting Abbas’s paper-thin veneer over his government’s new nature — his ‘technocrat’ ministers were all approved by Hamas — is that it represents only the Obama administration’s latest abrogation of leadership, logic and leverage at Israel’s expense,” Horovitz wrote. “Unfortunately, however, such lapses and failures are not the exception when it comes to the US-Israel alliance of late.”
“So, yes, where Hamas is concerned, you’d think that an ally would not legitimize, as part of the Palestinian government, an organization bent on the destruction of Israel, an organization declaredly refusing to change that goal, an organization with a proven, mass-murdering track-record,” Horovitz wrote.
Number two – Secretary of State John Kerry’s failed peace push.
“Going back to the start of the latest failed peace effort, you’d think an ally would listen to the advice of well-meaning experts warning that attempting to do the same thing that failed in the past in the belief that it will turn out differently — in this case, strong-arming two hostile, untrusting parties into an acutely sensitive and complex agreement in a very short period — is the definition of insanity,” Horovitz wrote.
In the number three position, Horovitz appeared to suggest Obama officials are motivated more by their “hostility to Israel” than sympathy for Palestinian suffering.
“While we’re talking about producing a more conducive climate, you’d think an ally would use its regional clout and leverage to work with partners in the region to rehouse Palestinian refugees, first of all in Gaza, where there is no Israeli military or civilian presence and no reason for the festering wound to be artificially maintained,” Horovitz wrote. “It would be opposed only by those whose ostensible sympathy for the Palestinian plight is outweighed by their hostility to Israel.”
Horovitz lambasted President Barack Obama’s March interview to Bloomberg View in which he warned that if Israel did not agree to a U.S.-proposed peace framework it would face a bleak future, isolated internationally and with less security.
“For one thing, such withering public comments are hardly likely to bolster the prime minister’s [Benjamin Netanyahu’s] faith in the president’s judgment and solidarity — and thus are likely to undermine efforts to build his trust. For another, it’s downright rude,” Horovitz wrote.
“You’d think an ally would man up about its own dismal role in the frictions and misunderstandings that doomed the talks at the end of March,” Horovitz wrote.
“[P]ublicly invoking the spectacularly loaded term ‘apartheid’ in critiquing Israel is the lowest of blows — a gift to enemies who can be counted on to seize upon such comments to distort Israel’s reality and delegtimize its very existence.” Horovitz added.
On wider regional issues, the Times of Israel editor slammed Obama officials for leaking repeatedly that Israel had struck weapons shipments traveling from Syria to Hezbollah “when Israel was deliberately avoiding acknowledging responsibility for such actions because of concern that President Bashar Assad would be provoked into counterattacks at Israel.”
He further accused the Obama administration of “rushing to support Islamic extremists” in Egypt.
“The fact that the Israel-Egypt peace treaty survived the Muslim Brotherhood’s brief period of misrule in Cairo is a critical and inadequately appreciated success, achieved despite Washington’s foolish embrace of the short-lived Morsi government,” he wrote.
Horovitz credited the administration with ensuring Israel’s military edge, its commitment to missile defense, and broadly demonstrating its friendship.
However, he questioned the U.S. government’s dedication to a negotiated deal over Iran’s controversial nuclear program.
“[Y]ou’d think a powerful ally would insist that a state that calls for, and works toward, the destruction of Israel be denied the capacity to achieve that goal. There is simply no justification for allowing Tehran a uranium enrichment capability. It lied to the international community about its nuclear program. It built secret facilities to advance towards the bomb,” Horovitz wrote.
Summarizing all of the missteps he believes the Obama administration has taken, Horovitz concluded, “Israel may not be a perfect ally, but we deserve better than this.”
Read Horovitz’s full column at this link to the Times of Israel.