World politics affects Economics in many ways.
We’ve covered Brexit quite a bit over the last few weeks. We’ve talked about China’s moves to get their currency, the Renminbi, ready for prime time International Reserve Asset status through their massive buildup of Gold over the last decade. And we’ve talked about monetary QE in Japan and many other countries besides the US.
The Middle East, sitting at the crossroads of European and Asian Economic and military interests, including their control of a still significant supply of oil,is another area of concern for us. US-Israeli relations have deteriorated during the Obama administration, and the prospects for a Clinton Presidency are likely to continue this downtrend.
I came across this timeline of items about Obama’s actions toward Israel which you might find interesting.
It was written by Ben Shapiro (no relation) on 20 Mar 2015.
On Thursday, the press announced that the Obama administration would fully consider abandoning Israel in international bodies like the United Nations.
According to reports, President Obama finally called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to congratulate him – but the “congratulations” was actually a lecture directed at forcing Netanyahu to surrender to the terrorist Palestinian regime.
For some odd reason, many in the media and Congress reacted with surprise to Obama’s supposedly sudden turn on Israel. The media, in an attempt to defend Obama’s radicalism, pretend that Netanyahu’s comments in the late stages of his campaign prompted Obama’s anti-Israel action.
But, in truth, this is the culmination of a longtime Obama policy of destroying the US-Israel relationship; Obama has spent his entire life surrounded by haters of Israel, from former Palestine Liberation Organization spokesman Rashid Khalidi to former Jimmy Carter National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, pro-Hamas negotiator Robert Malley to UN Ambassador Samantha Power (who once suggested using American troops to guard Palestinians from Israelis), Jeremiah Wright (who said “Them Jews ain’t going to let him talk to me”) to Professor Derrick Bell (“Jewish neoconservative racists…are undermining blacks in every way they can”). Here is a concise timeline, with credit to Dan Senor and the editors of Commentary:
February 2008: Obama says while campaigning, ‘There is a strain within the pro-Israel community that says unless you adopt an unwavering pro-Likud approach to Israel that you’re anti-Israel.” At the time, as Dan Senor pointed out in The Wall Street Journal, Israel was run by the Kadima government run by Ehud Olmert, Tzipi Livni, and Shimon Peres, and was attempting desperately to bring the Palestinians to the table. Instead, the Palestinians launch war, as always.
June 2008: Obama tells the American Israel Public Affairs Conference that Jerusalem ought to remain undivided, attempting to woo Jewish votes. He then walks that back the next day, saying only that the capital shouldn’t be divided by barbed wire.
March 2009: The Obama administration reverses the Bush era policy of not joining the United Nations Human Rights Council. Secretary of State Clinton said, “Human rights are an essential element of American global foreign policy,” completely neglecting the UNHRC’s abysmally anti-Semitic record. The Washington Post reported that the administration joined the Human Rights Council even though they conceded that it “has devoted excessive attention to alleged abuses by Israel and too little to abuses in places such as Darfur, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.”
May 2009: Obama tells Netanyahu that “settlements have to be stopped in order for us to move forward.” Netanyahu announces a settlement freeze to comply. The Palestinians refuse to negotiate. Obama then slams Israel: “they still found it very hard to move with any bold gestures.”
June 2009: Obama tells the world in his infamous Cairo speech that Israel was only created based on Jewish suffering in the Holocaust. He then says that Palestinians have been similarly victimized by the Jews: “They endure the daily humiliations – large and small – that come with occupation. So let there be no doubt: the situation for the Palestinian people is intolerable. America will not turn our backs on the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity, and a state of their own.”
July 2009: Obama threatens to put “daylight” between the United States and Israel. He tells Jewish leaders, “Look at the past eight years. During those eight years, there was no space between us and Israel, and what did we get from that?” Except for Israel forcibly removing thousands of Jews from the Gaza Strip, the election of Hamas, and the launch of war by the Palestinians and Hezbollah, nothing happened. Obama then lectures the Jews about the need for Israeli “self-reflection.” The same month, Obama tells CNN that the United States would “absolutely not” give Israel permission to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities.
September 2009: Obama tells the United Nations that “America does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements.” Obama’s definition of Israeli settlements, as the world soon learned, included building bathrooms in a home already owned by Jews in East Jerusalem. Obama offers no serious criticism of the Palestinians.
March 2010: Obama follows up on his threatening language about settlements by deploying Vice President Joe Biden to Israel, where Biden rips into the Israelis for building bathrooms in Jerusalem, the eternal Jewish capital. Hillary Clinton then yells at Netanyahu for nearly an hour on the phone, telling him he had “harmed the bilateral relationship.” David Axelrod calls the building plans an “insult” to the United States. When Netanyahu visits the White House a week and a half later, Obama makes him leave via a side door.
April 2010: Obama refuses to prevent the Washington summit on nuclear proliferation from becoming an Arab referendum on the evils of Israel’s nukes.
June 2010: An anonymous “US defense source” leaks to the Times of London that Israel had cut a deal with the Saudis to use their airspace to strike Iran. The deal is scuttled.
May 2011: The State Department labeled Jerusalem not a part of Israel. The same month, Obama demanded that Israel make concessions to the Palestinians based on the pre-1967 borders, which Israelis call the “Auschwitz borders” thanks to their indefensibility.
November 2011: Obama and French president Nicolas Sarkozy are caught on open mic ripping Netanyahu, with Sarkozy stating, “I can’t stand him, he’s a liar,” and Obama replying, “You’re tired of him? What about me? I have to deal with him every day.”
December 2011: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton rips into the State of Israel, stating that it is moving in the “opposite direction” of democracy. She said that Israel reminded her of Rosa Parks, and that religious people not listening to women sing – a millennia-long policy among some segments of the Orthodox – reminds her of extremist regimes, adding that it seemed “more suited to Iran than Israel.“
February 2012: Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta tells David Ignatius at the Washington Post that the possibility he worried about most was that Israel would strike Iran. The Post then adds, “Panetta believes there is a strong likelihood that Israel will strike Iran in April, May or June – before Iran enters what Israelis described as a ‘zone of immunity’ to commence building a nuclear bomb.” The goal: to delay any potential Israeli strike.
March 2012: NBC News somehow gains information from “senior Obama administration officials” that Israel had financed and trained the Iranian opposition group Mujahideen-e-Khalq, and adds that the Obama administration had nothing to do with hits on Iranian nuclear scientists. More daylight. More leaks. The same month, Foreign Policy receives information from “four senior diplomats and military intelligence officers” that the “United States has recently been granted access to Iran’s northern border.” Foreign Policy also reports that a “senior administration official” has told them, “The Israelis have bought an airfield, and the airfield is Azerbaijan.” Again, a potential Israeli strike is scuttled. The same day as the Foreign Policy report, Bloomberg reports a Congressional Research Service report stating that Israel can’t stop Iran’s nuclear program in any case. Columnist Ron Ben-Yishai of Yidioth Ahronoth writes that the Obama administration wants to “erode the IDF’s capacity to launch such strike with minimal casualties.”
June 2012: In an attempt to shore up the Jewish vote, top members of the Obama administration, including Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and then-CIA director Leon Panetta were quoted by David Sanger of The New York Times talking about the President’s supposedly deep involvement in the Stuxnet plan to take out Iran’s nuclear reactors via computer virus. Until that point, it had been suspected but not confirmed that Stuxnet was an Israeli project. The Obama administration denied leaking the information. A year later, the State Department released emails showing that Sanger had corresponded regularly with all the top Obama officials, including correspondence on Stuxnet.
December 2012: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at the Saban Forum on US-Israel Relations, where she says that Israelis have a “lack of empathy” for Palestinians, and that the Israelis need to “demonstrate that they do understand the pain of an oppressed people in their minds.”
March 2013: Obama forces Netanyahu to call Islamist Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan to apologize for Israel’s actions to stop a terrorist-arming flotilla from entering the Gaza Strip to aid Hamas. Erdogan had recently labeled Zionism racism.
May 2013: Members of the Obama Pentagon leak information that Israel attacked the Damascus airport to stop a shipment of weapons to terrorist groups. Obama officials actually had to apologize for this leak, since it endangered American lives. They blamed “low-level” employees.
June 2013: The Obama administration leaks specific information regarding Israeli Arrow 3 anti-ballistic missile sites. Weeks later, US sources tell CNN that Israel attacked a Syrian installation full of Russian-provided missiles. The same month, “American intelligence analysts” tell the New York Times that Israeli strikes had not been effective. All that information was classified.
June 2014: Three Jewish teenagers are kidnapped, including an American, and murdered by Hamas. The Obama administration immediately calls on Israel for restraint, and says it will continue to work with a Palestinian unity government including Hamas. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki says that the Obama administration wants “the Israelis and the Palestinians continue to work with one another on that, and we certainly would continue to urge that… in spite of, obviously, the tragedy and the enormous pain on the ground.” Throughout the ensuing Gaza War, in which Hamas fired rockets at Israeli civilians and tunnels were uncovered demonstrating Hamas’ intent to kidnap Israeli children, the Obama administration criticized Israel’s prosecution of the war.
August 2014: In the middle of a shooting war, Obama stopped weapons shipment to Israel. According to the Wall Street Journal, Obama found out that Israel asked the Defense Department for shipments of Hellfire missiles. Obama personally stepped in and blocked the shipments.
October 2014: Jeffrey Goldberg, court Jew for the Obama administration, releases an article in The Atlantic quoting Obama officials calling Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a “chickenshit.” Goldberg, naturally, blames Netanyahu (of course, he also wrote in 2008 that any Jew who feared Obama on Israel was an “obvious racist”).
January 2015: Obama deploys his campaign team to defeat Netanyahu in Israel. A group titled “One Voice,” funded by American donors, pays for the Obama campaign team, led by Obama 2012 field director Jeremy Bird. The announcement comes days after Speaker of the House John Boehner’s invite to Netanyahu to speak before a joint session of Congress. Obama quickly announced he would not meet with Netanyahu, making the excuse that the meeting would come too close to the election.
March 2015: Netanyahu wins. Obama refuses to call him to congratulate him for two days. When he does, he threatens to remove American support in the international community, even as he moves to loosen sanctions and weapons embargoes on Iran.
Nothing has changed. Obama is who he always was. The mask has simply been removed.