I watched coverage of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently on CNN as he openly trashed President Barack Obama and implied that he is not a friend to Israel. Prime Minister Netanyahu said that he told Secretary of State John Kerry that friends don’t take friends to the UN. He said that Israel would work with its friends (he placed emphasis on the word friends) in the United States to right this wrong that the UN has committed against Israel. Senator Lindsey Graham later followed up on Prime Minister Netanyahu’s comments by saying that he would lead the charge in blocking funds to the United Nations until the recently unfavorable resolution that was past against Israel is reversed. The sad part of this whole situation to me is that there have not been any American politicians coming to the defense of President Obama but there have been a number of them who have criticized him for his actions.
Well, I want to weigh in on President Obama’s side of this argument. I have disagreed with him on many things but this is not one of them. First, I believe that Senator Graham, like the Republicans’ new standard bearer and President-elect Donald J. Trump has done since he announced his run for the presidency, is playing politics and will quickly reverse his course as soon as he detects a shift in the political winds. Second, what Prime Minister Netanyahu did not say during his anti-Obama rant was that friends don’t come to the United States of America, bypass the president, and knowingly go against his position on foreign policy and go directly to congress -which he knows is controlled by the opposing (Republican) Party, and make a speech that is in direct opposition to the current president’s policy in an effort to undermine him.
He also failed to mention that friends do not bypass friends, like the current President of the United States, while regularly publicly trashing friends, then go to the President-elect of the United States and trash friends to him who have protected them for eight years without allowing a single resolution against them to pass (until this one) even though for those eight years those friends, like Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have reciprocated by being openly and publicly hostile toward them. And although Prime Minister Netanyahu talked about how shameful it is that this president (President Obama)allowed this resolution to pass, he failed to mention that, among all of the American presidents that allowed UN resolutions unfavorable to Israel to pass that President Obama allowed the fewest (only one) to pass. The maximum ever allowed to pass was 21; and that was under the auspices of a Republican President. I wonder what Senator Lindsey Graham has to say about that?
It seems that every politician thus far has put their finger to the tip of their tongue, hoisted them up and tested the political winds, and those winds have said that no one, no matter how true it might be, should say anything negative about Israel. Republicans have not supported President Obama for eight years so no one should be surprised at the lack of support from them now. However, I hope that the American people will see that President Obama has been an outstanding president who is dedicated to all of the American people and that they will support him in his decision regarding the UN resolution against Israel. I hope that they will remember that the President of the United States should be the one who sets American policy and leads America forward and not the Prime Minister of Israel.
Right now, Prime Minister Netanyahu is placing all of his trust in President-elect Donald Trump and so he has gone ‘all in’ with him and pushed all of his chips to the center of the table. Unlike those of us in the United States, he has not witnessed how President-elect Trump operates. It appears that he has chosen to abandon a true friend in President Obama and instead, chase after those shinny objects that is the substance of the rhetoric that President-elect Trump has offered up to him.
To all of those who have heaped the entire load on President Obama for the reason that a chasm has developed between the United States and Israel I say; take a deep breath, dig deep and find some courage, sincerely and accurately evaluate the situation, and then remove some of that burden that you have so freely piled onto his back. Take a real close look at him as he spends his last days in office and seriously consider his persistent and honest efforts during his tenure to be president to all of the people.
Seriously consider what he has tried to do whether or not you agreed with him. Consider the opportunities that were available to congress to try to learn from him and his unique biracial experience in order to move America forward. Then, decide if these politicians made a real effort in the best interest of and on behalf of America or if they simply squandered a golden opportunity. As for me, it is discouraging to see that they rejected such an opportunity and instead opted to embrace Senator Mitch McConnell’s policy of obstruction and morph into the ‘party of no’. This party of no period certainly provided additional fodder for the successful rise of Mr. Trump to President-elect. Although he was not the choice of establishment Republicans they have now embraced him along with Republicans throughout America who seem anxious to see President Obama leave office.
However, once President-elect Donald Trump is in office and begins to conduct the countries business in his unique Donald Trump style and implement his policies, there will likely be those who will long for the good ole days of President Barack Obama. Instead, what they will get will be the thrill (or fear) of a roller coaster ride in reverse all the way back to the so called good ole days of the America of 50-plus years ago; the good ole days that President-elect Trump harped on during his entire campaign. Buckle your seat belts and brace for impact!
Eulus Dennis – author, Operation Rubik’s Cube and Living Between The Line