US House Speaker Boehner and Israeli PM Netanyahu May 24, 2011 before Speech to Joint Session of Congress
This morning I opened up a Ynet.com Op ed, "Israel's Republican Governor", by Tel Aviv University Professor Aviad Kleinberg, a member of the History Faculty and according to the information on him, a medievalist by specialization with interests in religion and philosophy. Kleinberg conclusion was:
Despite his declarations, Netanyahu is thinking less about Iran and more about politics – both Israeli and American. While the Republicans are deriving pleasure from the slap in Obama's face, the price will be paid by us.
Kleinberg starts off trying to hoist PM Netanyahu with these comments :
"While there are those who are focusing on protocol or politics, a bad deal with Iran is being formed," Benjamin Netanyahu has declared. The remedy for this bad agreement, it turns out, is a speech which the prime minister will deliver in Washington, DC.
Netanyahu is suggesting the following equation: It's true that this speech faces a strong opposition in the United States. It's true that it is infuriating the administration and will create high tensions between Israel and US President Barack Obama. It's true that there is a good chance that the administration will punish Netanyahu (i.e., the State of Israel) because delivering the speech is perceived as breaking the acceptable rules of the game between countries (a head of state does not make an official visit when the head of the state he is visiting makes it explicitly clear that he is not interested in the visit). It's also true that to an innocent bystander, it seems like cynical attempt to grab the spotlight in order to advance the guest's interests in the election campaign. But all that pales into insignificance in the face of the fundamental achievement – stopping the bad agreement with Iran.
You can read the rest here.
Professor Kleinberg's trust in President Obama's effort via the P5+1 negotiations to prevent Iran from achieving a nuclear breakout and producing weapons is not reflected in the latest Times of Israel (TOI) poll of Israeli views on the upcoming Knesset election issues and party list candidates released yesterday. The TOI headline was, 3 in 4 Israelis don't trust Obama to keep Iran from nukes.
The TOI poll findings were:
Asked whether they trust the US president to ensure Iran not get the bomb, an overwhelming 72% do not, compared to 64% in our January 2014 survey.
Israeli voters give Obama a 33% favorable and 59% unfavorable rating, The Times of Israel’s survey also shows. Still, the president’s favorable and unfavorable ratings (33%/59%) aren’t much worse than those of several of Israel’s politicians such as Moshe Kahlon (45%/32%), Netanyahu (41%/54%), Isaac Herzog (38%/43%), or Naftali Bennett (38%/52%). Obama is on par with Yair Lapid’s current rating of 34% favorable and 59% unfavorable, and has a better perception than Tzipi Livni (29%/64%) and Avigdor Liberman (31%/61%).
Here is what I posted as a comment on the Ynet.com in response to Professor Kleinberg's Ynet.com opinion:
Professor Aviad Kleinberg of Tel Aviv U's history department betrays his expertise as a medievalist when it comes to opining on American politics. He of all people should recognize this less than Machiavellian ploy by the Obama West Wing seeking to diss Bibi for accepting Speaker Boehner's invitation to speak before a Joint Session of Congress about Iran's nuclear hegemony agenda and Radical Islamists on your borders. . One only need look at polls in the US on the matter of the PM speaking before a Joint Session of Congress to realize that he has the backing of 50 % of Americans respondents.. Methinks the Professor protests too much in light of the agitprop by the Presidents' media minders in the West Wing seeking to provide support for the so-called Zionist Union in the March 17 snap Knesset elections. Which has been revealed in both the liberal NYTimes and Washington Post. If Bibi ran as a Republican Governor here in the Sunshine State he'd win hands down. Can't say that for 'Democrats' Tzipi and Bluji who can hardly match the PM's Churchillian cadence nor his gravitas on mutual national security interests of concern to Israel and the West.