According to the Israeli publication Haaretz and many other news outlets, President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry won't meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu because it's "inappropriate."
Specifically, "The White House cited the proximity of the Israeli election to Netanyahu's visit, and the desire to refrain from interfering in the election." Certain blatant falsehoods are too much to take, and at Investor's Business Daily, this was one of them. An IBD editorial also tied the actions of those who are clearly acting as Team Obama agents trying to oust Netanyahu in those upcoming Israeli elections to a more comprehensive indictment of the administration's foreign policy (HT to a frequent tipster; bolds are mine throughout this post):
Speaking Of Trying To Overthrow Democratically Elected Governments
For years, the left (including President Obama in his many apologies) has browbeaten the U.S. for its role in ousting unfriendly yet democratic governments. Now we see Obama doing it to our ally Israel.
... there seems to be something new going on with the Obama administration: the electoral overthrow of America's allies whose politics don't match his own.
This past week, the Washington Free Beacon reported that members of Obama's own campaign team sent an army of operatives, including 2012 Field Director Jeremy Bird, to Israel to help oust Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the leader Obama has clashed with and who a White House operative ominously warned would "pay a price" for speaking to Congress without Obama's permission.
Obama went well beyond sending his political operatives to influence elections in an anti-American direction, as he did in Canada and Australia. This time he used an organization that receives taxpayer cash from the U.S. Department of State to use democracy itself to oust an ally whose politics do not match his own.
That goes so beyond the pale of longstanding U.S. policy it presses the limits of legality.
Harvard lawyer and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz quickly spotted the questionability of the act and called for an investigation, posing a series of questions about its legality, given that U.S. taxpayer dollars are being used.
"Has President Obama launched a political campaign against Prime Minister Netanyahu and his allies?
The answer to the question in the excerpt is an obvious "yes." Oh, and the New York Times, as I showed on Sunday, is clearly in on it.
The press blackout on anything resembling negative news about this administration is so complete that most readers, including yours truly, probably had little or idea that Obama emissaries tried to influence elections in Canada and Australia. But, from all appearances, they did, and they did. In both cases, they failed. Mildly conservative Steven Harper remains Prime Minister of Canada, and Tony Abbott ousted global-warming zealot Kevin Rudd in the Land Down Under in 2013.
This morning, center-right op-ed columnist Marc Thiessen at the Washington Post indicated that the current anti-Netanyahu effort is having the opposite of its intended effect:
Obama’s offensive against Netanyahu backfires
... While White House officials were threatening Israel, the news broke that Obama’s 2012 national field director, Jeremy Bird, was headed to Tel Aviv to manage a grass-roots campaign to oust Netanyahu. Bird would not be working to defeat Netanyahu if he thought Obama opposed it. Can you imagine Karl Rove going to London while George W. Bush was in office to help conservatives oust Prime Minister Tony Blair? It further emerged that the group behind Bird’s anti-Netanyahu effort has received State Department funding and lists the State Department as a “partner” on its Web site. Netanyahu’s Likud Party held a news conference to accuse its opponents of accepting foreign funds in violation of Israeli election laws, and Israeli newspapers published headlines on the “Obama-Labor link .”
In the context of the anonymous White House threats, having a top Obama campaign official in Israel actively working to defeat Netanyahu is naturally perceived as interference.
This campaign of intimidation and interference has begun to backfire. Obama’s popularity in Israel was already extremely low. A January 2014 poll showed that only 33 percent of Israelis approve of Obama and that only 22 percent — about one in five — trust Obama on Iran, while 64 percent do not. Asking Israelis to choose between trusting Netanyahu and trusting Obama with their security is pretty dumb.
And indeed the polls in Israel have moved in Netanyahu’s direction since the Obama attacks began.
... Obama is clearly hoping that Netanyahu will lose the March elections and that a new, less hawkish Israeli government will be in place to back him on delaying sanctions before the March 24 deadline comes to pass. The irony is, his administration’s meddling in Israeli politics is making that increasingly less likely.
The Obama administration's actions appear to go beyond the Clinton administration's unfortunately successful effort to defeat Netanyahu in 1999 elections. Clintonista James Carville headed up that effort. It wasn't difficult to find a Philly Inquirer write-up in May of that year which gave Carville's involvement a firm, admiring thumbs-up. I guess interference with allies' elections is fine, as long it involves pushing their governments further to the left.
Now Dear Leader apparently believes he can go further, co-opting taxpayer dollars to directly and outrageously interfere with the democratic process in a nation which is supposed to be our ally. Most of the press is ignoring this effort, or, as is the case with the Times, actively assisting it.
Based on past history, it looks like they'll brazenly celebrate it if works.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.