Official Israel government Twitter account joins partisan attacks on Obama

Surrounded by Israel lobbyists, including past and current chairmen of AIPAC, President Barack Obama signs the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act in the Oval Office, 27 July 2012.

Chuck Kennedy White House Photo

Given the backlash over his apparent meddling in the US presidential election campaign, you might think that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would back off.

Instead, the official Israeli Government Press Office (GPO) account tweeted this morning, “Israeli official: Obama doesn’t give us same sense Clinton did that he’ll be there if things go bad.”

The tweet links to an article on The Times of Israel website, which actually reports on the controversy over Israeli interference in the US election, including this passage:

Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank, meanwhile, wondered aloud if Netanyahu was acting to support Republican candidate Mitt Romney. “And he’s making a mistake if he is,” Frank said. “I think it was unwise for him to do as much. I think they’ve pulled back a little bit.”

Well, the GPO tweet demonstrates that Netanyahu hasn’t pulled back at all. This is a story planted by the Israeli government and then tweeted by it.

Noise

The renewed attack on Obama comes after the president appeared on the CBS program 60 Minutes on Sunday and dismissed intense pressure from the Israel lobby to take an even more aggressive stance toward Iran as “noise,” amid continued Republican attacks that Obama has not been sufficiently pro-Israel.

The Clinton Standard: Is Obama ready to “get in a ditch, and fight and die” for Israel?

The fact is that Obama has been the most substantively pro-Israel, anti-Palestinian president in history, consistently refusing to hold Israel accountable for any of its crimes, including blocking UN action on Israel’s 2008-2009 attack on Gaza, and boasting of “unprecedented levels” of US aid to Israel amid an economic crisis, and while Israel continually steals occupied Palestinian land for settlements.

So it is not surprising that the Israeli “official” quoted in the The Times of Israel can only point to a “feeling” that Obama is not pro-Israel enough:

“President Clinton made us feel like he had our back [at Camp David]. When we made concessions that were greater than anything an Israeli government had ever offered, we felt he’d be there if things went bad. Would he have been there? I don’t know. But it felt that way, and it put us in a different frame of mind. President Obama doesn’t give us the same sense that he’d be there.”

This official does not believe Obama is uniquely unfriendly toward Israel, noting, “He just doesn’t seem to make friends. Not with anyone. He isn’t friendly with David Cameron either.”

So what could make the Israelis “feel” that Obama is as pro-Israel as Clinton. Remember Clinton’s famous comments in 2002:

Because Israel believes, when it comes right down to it America is the only big country that cares whether they live or die. That’s why I can say, give up the West Bank, because the Israelis knew that if the Iraqi or the Iranian army came across the Jordan river, I would personally grab a rifle, get in a ditch, and fight and die, and I would.

That’s a pretty extraordinary statement for a former president of the United States, especially one notorious for his draft-dodging during the Vietnam war. But it sets a standard Obama will be hard-pressed to meet, even though he has been trying to appease AIPAC and the rest of the Israel lobby for years.

GPO’s earlier mischief

A Reminder: This isn’t the first time the GPO account is used for mischief. Last year it disseminated the Marc3Pax hoax, something for which it had to apologize once it was busted, claiming it was “duped.”

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Comments

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If only other countries received a 1000th of the support that Obama gives Israel ....well, actually, as we see, it might not do them any good.
The paranoia, blustering, bullying and self-obsession: "me me me", are really off-putting. Netanyahu obviously just wants someone to say, yes attack Iran, good idea, we're with you.
Israel lobbies the European Community for funding and special trade agreements (plus U-boats from Germany) too. It is not only treated as an American state, it is also an EU country. At the Olympics it is in the category Europe, while Palestine is with Asia. Hmmmm.

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After Israel's immoral, criminal and murderous Operation Cast Lead assault on defenseless Palestinian civilians in Gaza during January 2009, discussions about which candidate is better suited to protect Israel take on obscenely tragi-comic proportions. The Pentagon is well aware that Israel has the (American tax-payer paid for) capability to destroy every nation in the Middle East. What Zionists want (but do not need) is the continued gullibility of Americans to pursue Zionism's goals at the expense of the "useful idiots" Americans have been trained to be by their opportunistic and cynical leaders - regardless of party affiliation.

Ali Abunimah

Ali Abunimah's picture

Co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of The Battle for Justice in Palestine, now out from Haymarket Books.

Also wrote One Country: A Bold-Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse. Opinions are mine alone.