Obama is reeling after being hit with a verbal barrage that left him politically dazed on Tuesday, after Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon revealed that he was disheartened with Obama’s foreign policy, commenting that the US Commander-in-Chief appeared weak to the world and going so far as to say at Tel Aviv University that foreign governments seemed to be disappointed in the president. He also said that the Iranians had gotten the better of Obama during negotiations meant to halt their uranium enrichment program, and that he did not comprehend the threat of terrorism brought on by acquiescence.
The Defense Minister noted the situation in Crimea and the president’s lack of support for the Sunnis in Syria against the Shiite axis being backed by Russia, and in Singapore he reported that political chatter signaled a stronger China and a weaker United States. As a former Israeli Defense Forces Chief of General Staff, Ya’alon stated that before talks in Geneva in November, the Iranians were limited by sanctions and diplomatic isolation, but that Obama’s handling of the interim deal had given them room to breathe. He then told his Jewish audience that they had to look out for themselves.
Ya’alon previously mocked U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s approach to peace between Israel and Palestine for the past eight months as being “messianic,” pointing to the delusional motivation of another diplomat trying to cure the issue once and for all, or at least create the appearance that he is doing more than running in place. Mahmoud Abbas, the PLO Chairman and member of the terrorist organization Fatah, noted that chaos in the Middle East meant that time was limited in what they could achieve, though Kerry is still hoping to accomplish something concrete by the end of April.
Defense Minister Ya’alon repeatedly warned against the current path of U.S. foreign policy, saying that if America kept showing weakness to the international community that national security could be affected. He referred to this as a “war of civilizations,” and that he hoped the United States would retake its place on the world stage and earn respect. Currently, Israel is scheduled to release Palestinian prisoners later this month, but the likelihood of this achieving a lasting result of peace is less of an issue than fostering humane treatment for captured or kidnapped Israelis in the future. Besides the common thread of repetition in this matter, suggesting that history is repeating itself because the lessons have not yet been learned, no viable framework for coexistence has been put forth by either side in the conflict.
President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met two weeks ago at the White House, with more talks about the two-state solution and the security of a sovereign Jewish state next to the state of Palestine. Unfortunately on Monday, when Obama met with PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, his language was modified to avoid the word “Jewish,” evidence that talks of coexistence are unsubstantial until the Palestinians are willing to recognize the right of their neighbors to exist in the first place. As negotiations stagnate despite Obama’s rhetoric on foreign policy, Iran is starting their round of nuclear talks in Vienna amid claims of denial that they are building nuclear weapons at all. Though they have supposedly halted uranium enrichment for the past six months in exchange for sanctions being softened by the U.S., as of Sunday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had already predicted that the talks scheduled for this week would fail to achieve anything final.
By Elijah Stephens