The President Is Getting Uppity Again

Right now most of the rightie blogosphere is trembling in outrage because the President of the United States is not being properly deferential to Benjamin Netanyahu, and will be speaking with him only by phone and not in person. Apparently the First Holy Priority of American foreign policy is kissing Netanyahu’s ass.

The Weekly Standard is also upset that Reuters and AP took “shocking” photos of Bibi’s UN speech. It took me a few seconds to figure out what the “shock” was. Well, OK, he looks a little like he’s giving a Nazi salute.

But this is the photo everybody’s laughing at today. As far as I can tell, the only people publishing the “Nazi salute” photos are rightie bloggers expressing outrage about them. I haven’t seen them anywhere else but on right-wing blogs and rightie websites like the Weekly Standard and the Daily Caller.

And you know that if Reuters and AP sent out photos of President Obama doing a Nazi salute or whatever the equivalent would be in our culture, the Weekly Standard (plus every wingnut with a blog) would have it splashed all over its print and web editions. We’re all supposed to be more respectful of the Premier of Israel than of our own President.

Y’know, this really is getting tiresome. And the same allegedly American people pushing Israel Uber Alles (sorry, but that’s the truth) are perpetually harping on the rest of us because we are insufficiently patriotic. But what would please them? Should our flags and lapel pins display the stars and stripes or the Star of David? Y’all do sit down and work on that, and let us know, OK?

Nobody in U.S. politics that I’ve seen is anti-Israel, and I would join with the enormous majority of Americans wishing Israel peace and prosperity. But this business of putting the Premier of Israel, or the head of any other country, on a higher pedestal than the POTUS is, frankly, offensive.

In 2004 the Bush campaign took a statement by John Kerry and twisted it into a claim that Kerry would be taking foreign policy directions from other countries and would need permission from the international community to defend America. That was nonsense, of course. But now some of this same crew wants our Middle East policy to be dictated from Tel Aviv.

Clue: There’s a difference between being pro Israel, which I believe most Americans are, and being shills for Likud.

This obsequious pandering to Bibi may all be about getting the “Jewish vote,” but the last I heard, Jewish Americans overwhelmingly are supporting President Obama. So, dudes, if that’s your game, it ain’t workin’.

I can’t read President Obama’s mind, but if it’s true he’s being cool to Bibi it might be he’s signalling to Bibi to back off. No meddling in U.S. politics. No assuming we’ll dance to your tune. If so, this is entirely appropriate.

See also:

Netanyahu overplays his hand with Obama

Breaking Yom Kippur fast, American Jews talk Obama, Netanyahu

At UN, Netanyahu needs to repair his own power of deterrence

27 thoughts on “The President Is Getting Uppity Again

  1. For over 30 years, Bibi Coyote and people of his ill ilk have been telling everyone that that nasty Iranian Road Runner is going to get nuclear weapons.
    And every time they’ve threatened that the Iranians are 2-3 years away from getting the bomb – or, ZOMG!, only 6-9 months away!! BE AFRAID!!!

    And now, Bibi Coyote comes to the UN and predictably warns that at the most, Iran will get the bomb next summer.
    Next summer?
    Why, that’s what – 9 months away!
    9 months away…
    Now, where have I heard THAT before?

    Bibi – that “Meep! Meep!” you hear, isn’t the tick-tock of the nuclear clock, it’s the Iranian Ayatollah’s snickering at you behind your back. The reason they’re staying in power is because of you and your parties idiotic saber-rattling.

    You and Likud want Iran to be bombed?
    Well, despite it being the most imbecilic and dangerous thing Israel can do, go ahead! It’s YOUR asses.
    That’s why we’ve been supporting you militarily for over 50 years.
    Just don’t expect us to sign a mutual suicide pact with you.

  2. I looked at the pictures. He has his LEFT arm raised.

    The Nazi salute was given — always — with the RIGHT arm.

    I’ve seen enough still photos and films of the Nazi era to tell the difference. These jagoffs have no historical knowledge or perspective. head/desk

  3. I don’t fully understand the situation with Israel so I’ll defer to Michelle Bachmann to know what’s best for American interests. After all, she’s on the House Intelligence Committee, so she must know better than I.

  4. PurpleGirl,
    I saw that too, and wondered what kind of an idiot would think that was a Nazi salute? Then I realized my question was almost as stupid as the people thinking it.

    If anyone had given that “Heil Hitler,” the next thing he’d be ‘heiling’ would have been a firing squad, or the “Arbeit Macht Frei” sign, on his way into the camp.

    I’ve decided to save my furniture – now I just slap my forehead. My hand is softer than faux wood.

  5. Obviously these great patriots know nothing of Washington’s farewell address.

    So likewise, a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification. It leads also to concessions to the favorite nation of privileges denied to others which is apt doubly to injure the nation making the concessions; by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained, and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate, in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld. And it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens (who devote themselves to the favorite nation), facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country, without odium, sometimes even with popularity; gilding, with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation.

  6. I saw the “bomb diagram” photo yesterday and had a good, snarky laugh. The “salute” photo, as others have already pointed out, is a nonstarter for anyone with a brain.

    Flatly stated, I loathe Bibi. He is a demagogue and a dirtbag. He is not a leader that Israel deserves, and Obama is being more respectful than Netanyahu deserves.

    btw, I heard on the radio this morning that Sen. Lieberman knows who was behind some recent website-hacking: Iran dunnit! Of course. I’m soooo glad Droopy Dog’s on the case!

  7. You know that if a white Republican President had done exactly the same thing as Obama, all these complainers would be reminding us of the “snubs” he had previously gotten from Netanyahu, who has been pretty rude to the United States in the form of its President, like during his visit in May, 2011, and they’d be congratulating that hypothetical GOP Pres on his application of “tough love” to teach Bibi his place.

  8. …and Obama is being more respectful than Netanyahu deserves.

    Exactly. We give Israel $3 billion a year! And we’re supposed to take their orders? What are we, their vassal state? Is that $3 billion tribute?

  9. These are the same people who are obsessed with American STRENGTH by the way. The ones who think it’s patriotic to let a tiny country with a fraction of our population and that is living off of our largesse dictate oir foreign policy.

  10. Despite the fact that they blithely ignore 95% of their New Testament, the Religious Right focuses on reading certain passages like tea leaves, wherein they find encoded the conditions necessary for the Second Coming of Christ. (Of course, they ignore the passages where Christ specifically tells them not to speculate.) One necessary condition is the establishment and eventual destruction of Israel. They just want Bibi to get on with the latter so that Jesus can come and whup all us non-believer’s asses.

  11. This whole thing with Israel and Iran reminds me of taking a road trip with two misbehaving young boys in the back seat who insist on poking and prodding each other until the Dad driving loses his patience. It makes you want to stop the car, yank both out of their seats and giving them both a good swat.
    We simply can’t tolerate these idiots, and we certainly can’t tolerate them starting something that can’t be stopped ( something I told my wife many years ago will most likely happen).
    God, I wish someone would take Bibi aside and say ” cut the shit, go home, and don’t come back until you change your attitiue; by the way ALL aid is suspended until you learn to be polite and do the right thing.” Fat chance. I wish I had my country’s unconditional love…………..
    I don’t wish the people of Israel any ill will, but eventually they must do the right thing in regards to the “settlement” issue and quit using military force on a captive population.
    They should also quit screwing with our lawmakers; it has reached the point where a person running for any office above the local dog catcher MUST go to Israel and pledge UNCONDITIONAL love.
    I know how important it is for righties to support Israel; many are evangelical Christians with a staunch Biblical worldview, one that states “he who blesses the Jews will be blessed by the Lord”
    I don’t believe that line, nor do I believe in demons or angels or faeries and elves.
    Great post, Maha; and a tip o’the hat to Stephen Stralka.

  12. Please note that Netanyahu is far better supported amongst American Christianists than among American Jews. The whole point is that they expect Likud-style intransigence to bring on the end of days.

    Speaking as a secular American Jew, I say; with friends like that, who needs enemies?

    And as for Middle-Eastern religious land politics… it inspired me to write the following fable, with moral and commentary:

    The Pious Bacteria

    Once upon a time, two bacteria argued over which one owned the corner of a grain of sand.
    One bacterium said, “God gave me this corner of this grain of sand.”
    The other said, “No. God gave _me_ this corner of this grain of sand.”
    The first bacterium said, “May God regret your existence.”
    The second bacterium said, “No. May God regret _your_ existence.”
    An angel flying by overheard this dispute.
    The angel said to God, “Who owns that corner of that grain of sand?”
    And God said, “Bacteria.”
    The angel said, “But they’re both bacteria.”
    And God said, “Good!”
    The angel said, “You praise them, but they do not praise each other.”
    And God said, “I am not them.”

    Moral: Speak for yourself!
    Commentary: I, the ironic author of this fable, practice the same god-puppetry that I deride.

  13. Someone I work with has a poster in her office of a flag that is half Old Glory and half Israel’s flag. Even I, an admitted dual loyalist, find this a little creepy.

  14. I’m reminded of the story about a young journalist who landed an overseas assignment to Jerusalem during the intifada.On his way to his hotel he struck up a conversation with the cab driver and expressed his excitement at having such a prized assignment.

    He told the cab driver that he wanted to distinguish himself as a journalist and approach the uprising in Israel from a different perspective so to set him apart from the standard fare of current reporting. The cab driver responded that he knew just the right angle to serve the journalist’s need. He said he knew a Rabbi who prays daily— and has been for years— at the Wailing Wall, praying for the peace of Jerusalem. He would take him there for a meeting.

    The journalist spoke with he Rabbi at lenght about the situation in Israel,the bloodshed, the suffering, the occupation, and the uprising. Toward the end of their meeting the journalist asked the Rabbi about his unrelenting faith to believe that prayer could bring about peace in Jerusalem.He said. Don’t you ever get discouraged of praying for a situation where the violence is never ending? The rabbi replied..We’ll, to be honest, sometimes I feel like I’m talking to a wall.

  15. “sometimes I feel like I’m talking to a wall”. That’s the story of my life.
    But seriously, Israel sure has a GREAT healthcare system, they got the gun laws right, and the keep the cost of higher education in line so their people are well educated and healthy. They truly seem to care about their people. We can learn alot from them from that respect.

  16. I always figured if Obama was nothing else, he was shrewd. By not meeting with any heads of foreign countries this time around, he of course couldn’t meet with Bibi which was something like a coup d’tat – it certainly immediately took the wind-out-of-Bibi’s-sails.

    Other than that, I’ll go along with what Naomi Kline said a while back that Israel has become an apartheid state under Bibi and his like-minded predecessors.

  17. Wingnuts really do blend Israel and America in their minds, they can’t separate the two. It’s one of those things you can’t have a rational discussion about with them.

  18. c u n d gulag,
    Bush has a 46% approval rating because people approve of him being a drunk in Dallas, and far away from the White House.

  19. Kyle,

    I hope someone televises W’s appearance at the “He-man Hate The 99%ers Club” conference of billionaires in the Cayman Islands 5 days before the Election.

    If not, maybe we should find out who the waiters and waitresses will be, and send them cell phones with camera’s.

Comments are closed.