Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Obama positives vis-a-vis israel

News reports from just one week this January are enough to dispel any lingering doubts:

The New York Times reported on January 15 about a joint American and Israeli effort to undermine Iran's efforts to make an atomic bomb by using the Stuxnet computer worm, which has wiped out a fifth of Iran's nuclear centrifuges and significantly delayed Iran's nuclear efforts.

The Wall Street Journal reported on January 8 that Israel's outgoing intelligence chief said that Iran won't be able to build a nuclear weapon until 2015. The Times also reported that many credit international sanctions which have restricted Iran's ability to procure key raw materials for setting back Iran's nuclear program.

Haaretz reported on January 13 that in a combative exchange with an Al-Jazeera reporter in Doha, Obama's Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, said that "Israel is a sovereign country and it makes its own decisions...You often make decisions based on your own experiences and history. And when the Israelis pulled out of Lebanon they got Hezbollah and 40,000 rockets and when they pulled out of Gaza they got Hamas and 20,000 rockets." That's Hillary talking to Al-Jazeera, not AIPAC.

The Jerusalem Post reported on January 9 that the Palestinian Authority is complaining that the United States has threatened to veto a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlement activity. (The Obama administration has been very clear that the UN "is is not the place to resolve the long-standing conflict and outstanding issues between the Israelis and the Palestinians. We do not think that that is a productive path for the Palestinians or anyone to pursue.")

The Washington Times reported on January 12 that the Obama administration is ramping up the war on terror, doubling special operations, doubling the use of unmanned drones, and expanding counter-terrorism operations.

And that was just one week. Let's look at the past two years:

Obama fulfilled his campaign promise to boycott Durban II.

Obama renewed sanctions against Syria several times.

Obama fully funded the Arrow 3 ballistic missile system and the Iron Dome system.

Obama provided more security assistance to Israel than any president in history.

Obama maintained the U.S. policy of ambiguity on Israel's nuclear weapons.

Obama told the Arab world in Cairo that America's bond with Israel was "unbreakable."

Obama re-approved loan guarantees to Israel.

Obama has repeatedly condemned Palestinian incitement against Israel and attempts to delegitimize Israel. In late November 2010, the State Department responded to the Palestinian Authority's denial that the Western Wall was Jewish by saying that "We strongly condemn these comments and fully reject them as factually incorrect, insensitive and highly provocative. We have repeatedly raised with the Palestinian Authority leadership the need to consistently combat all forms of de-legitimization of Israel including denying historic Jewish connections to the land."

Obama pulled out of joint exercises with Turkey after Turkey excluded Israel.

Obama repealed import tariffs on Israeli dairy products.

Obama restored Israel's qualitative military edge and took U.S. military cooperation to unprecedented levels after erosion during the Bush administration. More here.

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