Pru­den: A knife in Is­rael’s back with Obama’s fin­ger­prints.

The Washington Times Daily - - FRONT PAGE - BY WES­LEY PRU­DEN Wes­ley Pru­den is ed­i­tor in chief emer­i­tus of The Times.

Barack Obama couldn’t pass up his last op­por­tu­nity to put a knife in the back of the Is­raelis, whom he has demon­strated for years in word and deed that he doesn’t like very much. He doesn’t like Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu, the Is­raeli prime min­is­ter, at all.

With his 15 min­utes in the spot­light run­ning out, as it must for every celebrity, even a pres­i­dent, the pres­i­dent no longer has to fool Jewish vot­ers that he’s a friend of the Jewish state, which he has done through oft-grit­ted teeth. He can speak with aban­don, and if mischief at the United Na­tions makes life dif­fi­cult for the new pres­i­dent, so much the bet­ter.

But his knife in the back comes at a for­tu­nate time for the coun­try, be­cause the new ad­min­is­tra­tion will be ea­ger to make things right with Amer­ica’s only re­li­able friend in the Mid­dle East. That friend is fight­ing mad. So deep is the anger that the Is­raelis have dis­pensed with diplo­matic lan­guage and are telling it like it is, with the bark on and with can­dor not of­ten seen and heard in pub­lic. The whole world can hear.

The Is­raeli am­bas­sador to Wash­ing­ton said Mon­day that his coun­try would present “ev­i­dence” to Pres­i­den­t­elect Don­ald Trump that the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion did not merely step aside, to ab­stain from vot­ing while the U.N. Se­cu­rity Coun­cil adopted a mean-spir­ited and onesided re­buke of Is­rael for en­abling set­tle­ments on the West Bank, but plot­ted to make sure the res­o­lu­tion was drawn and adopted.

“It’s an old story that the United Na­tions gangs up against Is­rael,” Am­bas­sador Ron Der­mer told CNN News. “What is new is that the United States did not stand up and op­pose that gang-up. And what is out­ra­geous is that the United States was ac­tu­ally be­hind the gang-up.”

He said the proof Is­rael has will be pre­sented to the new ad­min­is­tra­tion “through ap­pro­pri­ate chan­nels and if they want to share it with the Amer­i­can peo­ple, they are wel­come to do it.”

Pres­i­dents are usu­ally ea­ger to de­part the White House premises with dig­nity in­tact and with a rea­son­ably clean slate left for the new man. There was no love lost between Harry Tru­man and Dwight Eisen­hower, and the air in the ride up Penn­syl­va­nia Av­enue to the steps of the Capi­tol for the Eisen­hower inau­gu­ra­tion was said to have been cooler in­side the limou­sine than out­side, but good faith and ci­vil­ity of a sort nev­er­the­less pre­vailed.

Hil­lary took a few sticks of fur­ni­ture with her when the Clin­tons de­parted the White House, but when it was called to her at­ten­tion that she had some­how mixed up fam­ily goods with the na­tion’s own an­tiques, she sent the pur­loined goods back (whether re­luc­tantly or not). Per­haps Bubba thought he was only get­ting back at the yan­kees for their hav­ing taken some of the fam­ily sil­ver a cen­tury and more ago.

But the mischief last week at the United Na­tions was far more se­ri­ous, be­cause it was in­tended to hurt the na­tion’s in­ter­ests be­yond petty thiev­ery. If Pres­i­dent Obama was wor­ried about leav­ing a mem­o­rable and last­ing legacy, he can re­lax. Now he’s got one.

The Is­raeli prime min­is­ter’s spokesman said sep­a­rately that “we have iron­clad in­for­ma­tion that the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion re­ally helped push this res­o­lu­tion and helped craft it, from sources in­ter­na­tion­ally and sources in the Arab world.”

Mr. Obama’s White House de­nied ev­ery­thing, as ex­pected, but the de­nial was care­fully crafted to deny with a cer­tain pre­ci­sion what had not ac­tu­ally been al­leged. “We did not draft this res­o­lu­tion, we did not in­tro­duce this res­o­lu­tion,” Ben Rhodes, the pres­i­dent’s deputy na­tional-se­cu­rity ad­viser said. “We made the de­ci­sion [not to veto the res­o­lu­tion] when it came up for a vote.”

The Is­raelis called the de­nial the work of “a mas­ter of fic­tion,” a barb at Mr. Rhodes, who holds a mas­ter’s de­gree in cre­ative writ­ing, and as­pires to be a nov­el­ist.

The Is­raeli ev­i­dence, such as it may be, ob­vi­ously was gleaned from sources within the Arab world, where Is­raeli agents are quite at home. Mr. Obama’s men may learn that al­liances shift in un­ex­pected ways in the Mid­dle East, where de­ceit is a prac­ticed virtue.

The Is­raelis clearly per­ceive Don­ald Trump as the friend they have wanted in the White House, and ex­pect Pres­i­dent Obama to make fur­ther diplo­matic mischief be­fore all his dreams and schemes turn into pump­kins at the stroke of noon on Jan. 20.

His ag­gres­sive push­back to the U.N. res­o­lu­tion and its mischief is to make it clear and plain that Is­rael thinks it will soon have a friend in Wash­ing­ton.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.