Richard Silverstein
August 15, 2012

Israel in recent days has become a Hall of Mirrors in which wherever members of the war camp look in the media, they see an infinite regress of leaks and self-serving articles which promote the war narrative. There are about eight main talking points for war and Haaretz features two or three articles every day focussing on one point or another. Some of the articles are directly attributed to Ehud Barak, some contain arguments so clearly close to his own that you know he was the anonymous source.

*  *

Pull the string and I’ll wink at you
I’m your puppet
I’ll do funny things if you want me to
I’m your puppet
Oh, I’m yours to have and…you’ve got full control
Of your puppet

…I’ll have it snap your fingers and I’ll turn you some flips
I’m your puppet,
Oh darlin’
Listen, your every wish is my command
All you gotta do is wiggle your little hand
I’m your puppet…

Now comes even more an even deluded than normal set of declarations (Hebrew) concerning relations with the U.S. regarding Iran. The new thinking is that if the U.S. will publicly commit to a military attack against Iran in a speech to the next UN General Assembly meeting in the fall (which just so happens to fall on the eve of Yom Kippur), then Israel won’t attack Iran before the November election:

Bibi Netanyahu and Ehud Barak expect Barak Obama to declare that the U.S. would take military actions to stop Iran’s nuclear program at the UN General Assembly fall session or any other public forum before that date. This presidential commitment would prevent an Israeli attack before the November elections. Though neither the foreign ministry or prime minister’s offices would confirm this, other sources say preliminary efforts have begun with U.S. ambassador to the UN Susan Rice, who is extremely close to Obama, to coordinate such developments.

…According to a senior official in Jerusalem, if Obama does say the words Israel expects to hear, this would be a decisive contribution toward restoring Israel’s level of trust in the U.S.

It appears that Israel has had a major accident and a severe case of amnesia. Instead of being a small country in the Middle East, Israel (or its leaders) appear to believe they are Obama’s Brain . All they have to do is propose action in Israel’s interest and it’s Obama’s obligation to assent. Or in another metaphor, Obama is a mere robot and Bibi is Dr. Frankenstein his creator and programmer. That appears to be something close to the relationship Sheldon Adelson has with Mitt Romney, so I suppose it isn’t too far-fetched that Bibi believes he could enjoy the same control of Obama.

Israel is demanding something incredible: that the President of the United States should go before the UN General Assembly to essentially declare war on a member state from a UN podium. That in itself is a violation of the UN charter. Not that Israel has ever paid much attention to such niceties.

I suppose too, Israel has never heard of the term blackmail, because that’s what it’s proposing in case Obama refuses to issue such a declaration of intent to attack. It would never cross the mind of such narcissists as the prime minister and defense minister–that threatening the president of the most powerful nation on earth, if he doesn’t do what Israel wants then Israel will do something the U.S. doesn’t want–is not a nice thing.

But never fear, Israel will be sympathetic and flexible about such a declaration, which it would prefer to hear now. It understands that Obama may wish to wait till just before the elections to make it and not be prepared to do so today. That would be quite satisfactory for Israel’s sake.

There is one reason and one reason alone that Israel has taken leave of its senses in such a fashion: Obama has treated Israel like it’s a piece of fragile porcelain that could be broken with any more than the most delicate touch. Instead of bellowing his objection to war against Iran, he whispers in Bibi’s ear. This has led no less a figure than Haaretz’s managing editor, Aluf Benn, to infer that Obama really has no problem with an Iran attack. If he did, Benn reasons, Obama would speak in tones previous presidents have managed to muster when they disagreed with Israel including Carter, the first President Bush and Clinton among them. Obama has determined that only kid gloves will do for the Israelis, who in turn interpret kid gloves as carte blanche for doing and saying whatever they like in the region.

Barack Obama is personally and directly responsible for the mess that has become the Middle East. He is equally responsible for the next war, whether it’s in Iran, Syria, Lebanon or Gaza. In the Middle East, inaction can be as devastating as bad action.

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