American presidents are often accused of being opaque or inconsistent in foreign affairs, but President Barack Obama may be the first to be downright perverse, antagonizing our strongest allies while trying to appease our most dangerous adversaries. Consider Obama’s recent actions toward Israel and Russia.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met twice this past week with Obama in the White House, for a total of more than two hours to discuss the Mideast “road to peace.” As The Examiner predicted, the meetings were argumentative and confrontational in tone and content, according to knowledgeable diplomatic sources. Angered that Israel is planning to build more apartments for its growing population in a contested neighborhood of Jerusalem, Obama laid down 13 demands that Netanyahu must meet in order to “restore confidence” in the peace process with the Palestinian Authority.
Among Obama’s conditions are rigid demands that Israel cede control over parts of Jerusalem, its national capital, to the Palestinian Authority, which remains officially committed to destroying the Jewish state. Obama also demands that Netanyahu withdraw Israeli military units now patrolling areas formerly used by Palestinian fighters to launch attacks on Jewish citizens, and to release 1,000 Palestinian prisoners. If Netanyahu caves, hundreds of those released prisoners will soon be using the areas no longer secured by the Israeli military to again launch attacks on innocent civilians.
Contrast Obama’s strong-arming of Israel with his sweet talk for Russia. On Friday, the White House announced that Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev have agreed to terms for a new strategic arms reduction treaty to further reduce each nation’s nuclear weapons inventory. The new proposed pact would replace the START treaty first sought by President Reagan and signed by President George H.W. Bush in 1991. To gain Senate ratification, however, Obama must secure support from at least eight Republicans.
To that end, the White House disingenuously claimed that the new treaty has no “constraints on testing, development or deployment of current or planned U.S. missile defense programs or current or planned United States long-range conventional strike capabilities.” That’s disingenuous because last September Obama cancelled U.S. plans to build missile defense facilities in Poland and the Czech Republic, just as Russia had demanded.
So, whether poking friends or coddling foes, Obama is inviting trouble for the U.S. and its allies.