Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Toppling Mossadegh bad, toppling Netanyahu good.

That seems to be the position of Barack Obama. Obama has blamed the lousy relationship between the US and the Iranian mullahs not on, say, the mullahs' support for terrorist groups and stated goals of the destruction of Israel and the US, but on the 1953 coup that toppled Iranian Prime Minister Muhammad Mossadegh. The CIA -- Obama's CIA, it should be noted -- confirmed it was behind the coup, but the latest scholarship from the Council on Foreign Relations indicates the coup was mostly domestic in origin and the US had very little to do with it. But Obama is never one to miss a chance to blame America first.

Yet, if attempting to topple Mossadegh was such an evil thing to do, why is attempting to topple Benjamin Netanyahu OK? Because that is exactly what Barack Obama did:
President Obama's role during the Israeli elections was larger than reported, according to a pollster for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party.
"What was not well reported in the American media is that President Obama and his allies were playing in the election to defeat Prime Minister Netanyahu," John McLaughlin, a Republican strategist, said in an interview on John Catsimatidis's "The Cats Roundtable" radio show broadcast Sunday on AM 970 in New York.
"There was money moving that included taxpayer U.S. dollars, through non-profit organizations. And there were various liberal groups in the United States that were raising millions to fund a campaign called V15 against Prime Minister Netanyahu," McLaughlin said.
He noted an effort to oust Netanyahu was guided by former Obama political operative Jeremy Bird and that V15, or Victory 15, ads hurt Netanyahu in the polls. McLaughlin said the Israeli leader rebounded after delivering a speech to Congress early this month, prompting more critical ads.
V15 was viewed as part of a broader campaign to oust Netanyahu. The group was linked to Washington-based nonprofit OneVoice Movement, which reportedly received $350,000 in State Department grants. Money to OneVoice stopped flowing in November, officials said, before the Israeli elections.
After Netanyahu's win, V15 co-founder Nimrod Dweck said in an interview with Ronan Farrow aired on MSNBC's "Jose Diaz-Balart" that "not a single cent" of State Department or taxpayer money had gone to their campaign.
"These are false allegations and they have nothing to do with reality," Dweck said.
McLaughlin also cited an effort "to organize the [Israeli] Arabs into one party and teach them about voter turnout."
"The State Department people in the end of January, early February, expedited visas for [Israeli] Arab leaders to come to the United States to learn how to vote," McLaughlin said.
"There were people in the United States that were organizing them to vote in one party so they would help the left-of-center candidate, Herzog, that the Obama administration favored," he added.
Ed Morrissey at Hot Air adds:
V15 founder Nimrod Dweck denies that any State Department funds went to his organization after November of last year, but McLaughlin alleges that more than money went into supporting Netanyahu’s opposition. He accused State of “expediting visas” to opposition leaders so that they could receive GOTV training in the US. Rep. Lee Zeldin, a member of the House Foreign Affairs committee, sent a demand to John Kerry about the involvement of V15 in the Israeli elections, and told Fox News yesterday that more than a dozen former Obama campaign advisers went to Israel to run “an ACORN, Obama Organizing for America-type campaign” against Netanyahu[.]
And the Obama administration resorted to underhanded tactics to do so:
The administration did everything it could to undermine Netanyahu and help the center-left opposition, including sending State Department funds to an organization working to defeat Netanyahu.
While trying to strengthen Israel’s left, the administration also apparently tried to undermine Netanyahu with Israel’s right. On March 6, less than two weeks before the election, a major Israeli newspaper published a document showing that Netanyahu’s envoy had agreed on his behalf to an American-proposed framework that offered substantial Israeli concessions that Netanyahu publicly opposed. Let’s put on our thinking caps. Where would this leak have come from? The most logical suspect is the American State Department.
So here’s the dynamic: Netanyahu, while talking tough publicly about terms for an Israeli-Palestinian deal, was much more accommodating privately during actual negotiations. Just before Israeli elections, the U.S. government likely leaks evidence of his flexibility to harm Netanyahu. As a result, Netanyahu starts to lose right-wing voters to smaller parties, and the left-leaning major opposition party takes a lead in the polls, putting Netanyahu’s leadership in question, just as the U.S. wanted.
Netanyahu responds by using increasingly right-wing rhetoric (including denying that he ever agreed to the framework in question), to win back the voters from smaller parties that the leak cost him. He wins, and almost immediately announces that his campaign rhetoric was misunderstood, and that he still supports a two-state solution when conditions allow. The Obama Administration then announces it nevertheless has to reassess relations with Israel, allegedly because Netanayahu is no longer committed to the two-state solution.
So you get it? The Obama Administration, or someone with similar motivations, leaks a document showing that in practice, Netanyahu was surprisingly flexible in negotiations sponsored by the U.S. Netanyahu then tries to compensate by sounding tough in the closing days of his campaign. The administration then pretends that this is much more meaningful than its actual experience with Netanyahu, as indicated by the document it likely leaked, because it was out to punish Israel for electing Netanyahu regardless.
Indeed, recent reports show that the administration was planning to retaliate against Israel diplomatically if it reelected Netanyahu months ago, not only before his controversial election remarks, but before his Iran speech to Congress was even planned. (In fact, it wouldn’t be surprising if Israeli intelligence had gotten wind of this, and thus Netanyahu thought he had little to lose by irritating Obama further with his speech).
In short, the current crisis in U.S.-Israel relations has little if anything to do with what Netanyahu said at the end of his campaign, and a lot to do with the president’s longstanding hostility to the Likud Party in general and Netanyahu in particular, along with the president’s discomfort with the (positive) trajectory of U.S.-Israel relations (i.e., “no daylight”) in the Clinton and Bush years. Netanyahu’s fault lies not in creating that hostility, but in failing to manage or at least mitigate it, in particular by giving the Obama Administration sufficient ammunition that its supporters, at least those who aren’t paying sufficient attention, seem to believe that the animus, and the blame for the deteriorating relations, has primarily run in the opposite direction.
The idea was to undercut Netanyahu with his supporters from the smaller right-wing parties. Like much of what Obama does in the realm of defense and foreign policy, it backfired: Netanyahu moved to the right to counter it and he surged in the polls:
John McLaughlin, a pollster who worked with the Likud party’s election campaign, told “The Cats Roundtable” on AM 970 that despite the fact that “most Israeli media polls had Netanyahu and his Likud party losing to the left right up until the Friday… through the weekend, Netanyahu rose [in internal polls]. Our last poll [on Sunday night], we had Likud at 23% of the vote, and that’s what they got.”
Netanyahu’s critics denounced the manner in which he drummed up support for his apparently flagging party on election day by calling on Likud supporters to vote because “Arab voters are flocking in huge quantities to the polling stations.”
According to McLaughlin, however, there was no indication that Likud was trailing. And he ascribed the Zionist Union’s Monday night decision to drop No. 2 Tzipi Livni from a premiership-sharing agreement with party leader Isaac Herzog to the fact that “they got the same polls we did.”
(Herzog said in an interview Saturday that his party’s own polls had shown him to be five seats ahead of Netanyahu’s Likud as late as noon on election day. Even when the TV exit polls as voting ended showed the two parties tied, he had expected that he would be able to form a coalition, and not Netanyahu, Herzog said.)
Among the critics of Netanyahu’s election day “Arabs voting” remark was US President Barack Obama, who said that “that kind of rhetoric was contrary to what is the best of Israel’s traditions.”
In a subsequent interview, Netanyahu claimed that he was not warning about Arab voters per se, but rather about the alleged efforts of foreign actors to sway the outcome to the election by rallying left-wing voters.
The pollster also echoed Netanyahu’s claim of foreign influence, but fingered Obama himself, claiming that the president “and his allies were playing in the election to defeat” Netanyahu.
The man who likes to think of himself as Dear Leader apparently ain't so dear in Israel:
“The Israelis don’t like the fact that the president’s become really partisan with them,” McLaughlin said. “They’re used to enjoying good relations with the United States, whether Republicans or Democrats.”
“[Obama is] a big negative over there… (On security) they’re very concerned about what the president might do before he leaves office… The president really overplayed his hand,” he said.
And why would Obama do this? Because he hates Netanyahu; according to Politico, a former senior Obama administration official described the feelings of the administration toward Netanyahu this way: “They hate him, they should, and they’re praying that he is out of power."

So, Obama spent more time, effort, and money trying to depose the government of an ally than he has the government of a self-described enemy responsible for the deaths of thousands of Americans -- an enemy that Obama insists on allowing to have nuclear weapons. 

What a disgrace.

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