Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Netanyahu's Win

So Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu won big in yesterday's election, defying White House hopes that a more tractable man would be elected to lead Israel, a man who would bend more easily to Mr. Obama's will. Netanyahu's victory not only disappointed the Obama administration, it also confuted many confident prognostications of the media punditry who predicted that his party, the Likud, would fall. The results of the Israeli election are a major setback to those who want Israel to simply capitulate to its enemies, give them what they want, and commit national suicide. Netanyahu, much to the chagrin of the American left, is no Neville Chamberlain.

He was strongly criticized for coming to the U.S. a week or so ago to give a speech before Congress, a perfectly reasonable thing for him to do given that he sees the fate of his country about to be sacrificed to political expediency in the Iranian nuclear negotiations. The Democrats thought Netanyahu's visit was a provocation and insult to the president so they boycotted his speech, and Mr. Obama completely shunned him. Indeed, Mr. Obama has been displaying his contempt for the Israeli Prime Minister almost from his first day in office. Even now his petulance seems to prevent him from offering Mr. Netanyahu his congratulations, something he did even after the Iranian election.

It's rather strange that Mr. Obama never says anything derogatory about the enemies of the United States in Cuba, North Korea, and Venezuela and treats them with more deference and diplomatic courtesy than he treats Mr. Netanyahu. One has to wonder why.

Mr. Obama visited many of the Arab nations in the Middle East on his world tour, bowing to sheiks and petty tyrants, but snubbed Israel. He later complained about having to deal with Mr. Netanyahu on an inadvertently open mic to French President Sarkozy, and subsequently left Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of a major ally, mind you, to sit for an hour in the White House while he went upstairs to eat dinner. Add to this a number of other undiplomatic insults heaped upon Netanyahu by other members of the administration and it's little wonder that Mr. Netanyahu waved off the advice of those who suggested he not displease the president by giving that speech to the U.S. Congress.

In any case, Mr. Netanyahu has been reelected, even though Democrat electoral operatives went to Israel to advise his opponent and even though a number of American liberal groups spent lots of money to unseat him. The American media are blaming racism for the result, apparently because Mr. Netanyahu correctly pointed out, at the last minute when it's doubtful that it changed any votes, that supporters of Mr. Herzog, his opponent, were busing Arab citizens to the polls to vote for Herzog.

The media is upset by the Prime Minister's decisive victory because it's a defeat for President Obama, but Mr. Obama should soon realize that his support in an election often seems to be the kiss of death for whomever he supports. Only when he himself has been on the ticket has he prevailed in any election he has tried to influence, and his personal success has had less to do with his views than with his race and public charisma. In every other election in which he took an interest - The off-year U.S. election of 2010, the Canadian election in 2011, the recent U.S. election in 2014, and now this one in Israel - his support has been either ignored or repudiated by the voters.

Given this unenviable track record maybe Hillary is hoping that the rumors about Obama trying to sabotage her candidacy for 2016 are true.