Right-Wing Media's Relentless False Attack: Obama Does Not Support Israel

››› ››› HARDEEP DHILLON

Right-wing media have claimed that President Obama attacked Israel in his recent restatement of U.S. policy that a peace agreement between Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 borders with agreed upon swaps. These criticisms follow a long series of falsehoods, distortions, and smears advanced by the right-wing media to claim that Obama and his administration are anti-Israel or even anti-Semitic.

Right-Wing Media Attack Obama For Restating Long-Standing U.S. Policy On Israel

Right Wing Media Advance Conspiracy Theory That Obama May Use Libya Precedent To Attack Israel

Right-Wing Media Attack Obama For Restating U.S. Policy On Israeli Settlements

Right-Wing Media Have Relied On Falsehoods To Suggest Hamas And Obama Are On The Same Page

Right-Wing Media Call Obama And Members Of His Administration "Anti-Semitic"

Right-Wing Media Attack Obama For Restating Long-Standing U.S. Policy On Israel

Obama Refers To 1967 Borders With "Mutually Agreed Swaps" In Calling For A "Viable Palestine" And "Secure Israel"

Obama: "We Believe The Borders Of Israel And Palestine Should Be Based On The 1967 Lines With Mutually Agreed Swaps." From Obama's May 19 speech on the Middle East and North Africa:

Now, ultimately, it is up to the Israelis and Palestinians to take action. No peace can be imposed upon them -- not by the United States; not by anybody else. But endless delay won't make the problem go away. What America and the international community can do is to state frankly what everyone knows -- a lasting peace will involve two states for two peoples: Israel as a Jewish state and the homeland for the Jewish people, and the state of Palestine as the homeland for the Palestinian people, each state enjoying self-determination, mutual recognition, and peace.

So while the core issues of the conflict must be negotiated, the basis of those negotiations is clear: a viable Palestine, a secure Israel. The United States believes that negotiations should result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine. We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states. The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their full potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state.

As for security, every state has the right to self-defense, and Israel must be able to defend itself -- by itself -- against any threat. Provisions must also be robust enough to prevent a resurgence of terrorism, to stop the infiltration of weapons, and to provide effective border security. The full and phased withdrawal of Israeli military forces should be coordinated with the assumption of Palestinian security responsibility in a sovereign, non-militarized state. And the duration of this transition period must be agreed, and the effectiveness of security arrangements must be demonstrated [WhiteHouse.gov, 5/19/11]

Right-Wing Media Respond To Obama Speech: He "Sided With Terrorists," Condoned "Potential Genocide"

CNN's Dana Loesch: Obama "Sided With Terrorists." During her KFTK radio show, CNN contributor Dana Loesch claimed that in his speech on the Middle East, Obama "sided with terrorists" and "people who believe that Israel doesn't have the right to exist." [KFTK, The Dana Show, 5/19/11, via Media Matters]

Limbaugh: Obama Urged Israel To "Destroy Itself" And "Submit Its People To Potential Genocide." Rush Limbaugh said of Obama's speech: "What kind of President urges a country to destroy itself and submit its people to potential genocide?" [Premiere Radio Networks, Rush Limbaugh Program, 5/19/11, via Media Matters]

Gateway Pundit: Obama "Proposed Giving Half Of Jerusalem ... To Hamas-Fatah Terrorist Alliance." From Jim Hoft's May 19 blog post:

Let's be clear.

Obama today proposed giving half of Jerusalem, the Wailing Wall, The Temple Mount, Old Jerusalem, The holiest Christian Church in the world, The Church of the Holy Sepulchreto Hamas-Fatah terrorist alliance. [Gateway Pundit, 5/19/11]

Ace of Spades: Obama Is "'Endorsing The Terrorists' Key Demand." From a May 19 post on the Ace of Spades blog:

Obama pretty much announced that he wants Israel to return to its 1967 borders -- thus endorsing the terrorists' key demand without requiring any substantive concessions on their part. [Ace of Spades, 5/19/11]

Sean Hannity: Obama Supports Radicals. Following the speech, Fox News' Sean Hannity wrote on his Twitter feed, "Radicals now think they have the support of an American President. That's the worst scenario for Israel, our greatest ally in the Mideast":

Beck: Obama's Policy On Israel Ends With "The Destruction Of Israel" And "The Western Way Of Life." Discussing Obama's speech, Fox News' Glenn Beck said:

BECK: Let me tell you how this ends. It ends with the destruction of Israel. It ends with the end of the Western way of life. It is the keystone of the West. You do this, it inflames the Middle East, and I got news for you -- Bill Kristol make fun of me all you want -- a caliphate is established. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 5/19/11, via Media Matters]

Beck: Obama Wants To "Destabilize Israel Even More." On his radio show, Beck "contend[ed]" that Obama's border proposal will "destabilize Israel even more." [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 5/23/11, via Media Matters]

Geller: Obama's Middle East Policy Is "Obama's Final Solution." In a May 19 post to her Atlas Shrugs blog, Pamela Geller wrote that Obama was dooming Israel to "Auschwitz borders" and referred to his proposal as "Obama's final solution." From her post:

The "Made in the USA" President proved today, yet again, how carefully he listened and committed to the Islamic Jew-hatred taught to him in his quranic classes while growing up Muslim in Indonesia, the largest Muslim country in the world. His call to return to the '67 borders, a return to Auschwitz borders, is a call to jihad. It will incite and inflame the Muslim street.

Obama's foreign policy mimics that of the suicide bomber.

The idea that Israel must take the gas pipe, be reduced to tiny size by this tiny man, while the Muslims have given nothing, negotiated nothing, but instead, waged war and consolidated power between Fatah and Hamas (whose charter calls for the annihilation of Israel), is Obama's final solution.

I pray Netanyahu tells him to kish meir en tuchas. [Atlas Shrugs, 5/19/11]

Krauthammer: Obama Is "Tearing Up Bush-Era Agreements." During the May 19 edition of Fox News' Special Report, Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer accused Obama of "mak[ing] the biggest concession of the entire Arab-Israeli negotiations in 50 years" and falsely claimed he is "tearing up Bush-era agreements." [Fox News, Special Report with Bret Baier, 5/19/11, via Media Matters]

Hannity: Obama Has Thrown Israel Under "A Bus Full Of Suicide Bombers." During the May 19 edition of his Fox News show, Sean Hannity stated that Obama has thrown Israel under "a bus full of suicide bombers," adding: "I wonder if the members of the Nobel Committee over in Oslo are scratching their heads tonight wondering why one of their Peace Prize recipients is abandoning a key democratic ally." [Fox News, Sean Hannity, 5/19/11, via Media Matters]

Morris: If Israel's Security "Is An Important Factor In Your Life, You Have No Business Supporting Barack Obama." From the May 19 edition of Fox News' On the Record:

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN (host): Now let me ask a collateral issue that is of less importance than the security of any nation or of our allies or anything but the collateral issue, and that's the political impact here in the United States. And, you know, we have an enormous population here in this country, especially in Florida where you are -- who are -- who spend an awful lot of time thinking about Israel. What does this do to him politically?

DICK MORRIS (Fox News contributor): Well, it's a question of the values of each pro-Israeli voter, whether they're Jewish or not. If the maintenance of the security of the state of Israel is an important factor in your life, you have no business supporting Barack Obama. It's that simple. Until now, Obama has pressured Israel on settlements, pressured them into negotiations, and those have all been within the range -- kind of the pro-Palestinian range -- but within the range of acceptable past U.S. policy. But, now, he has literally embraced the language of the Palestinians. [Fox News, On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, 5/19/11, via Media Matters]

  • Dick Morris: Obama Is Asking Israel "To Commit Suicide." Later on the same program, Morris claimed that Obama is "literally" asking Israel "to commit suicide." [Fox News, On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, 5/19/11, via Media Matters]

O'Reilly Guest Claimed Obama "Has Completely Reversed" U.S. Policy Toward Israel. During the May 20 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, guest Brooke Goldstein, a human rights attorney, claimed that "in one foul swoop, [Obama] has completely reversed American foreign policy. He has in one speech told the Jewish community that he is going to renege on his promises that he made to Israel. And that just basically leads to a state of confusion." [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 5/20/11, via Media Matters]

In fact, Obama's Statement Is In Line With Past U.S. Remarks On Israel

Former Israeli PM Olmert: Israelis Must "Return To The Core Of The Territory That Is The State of Israel Prior To 1967." On the 13th anniversary of the death of former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin -- who was assassinated in 1995 by an Orthodox Jew reportedly opposed to the Mideast peace process Rabin was intent on brokering -- then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert stated in 2008: "We must give up Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem and return to the core of the territory that is the State of Israel prior to 1967, with minor corrections dictated by the reality created since then." From Haaretz:

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert took advantage of yesterday's special Knesset marking the 13th anniversary of the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin to call for territorial withdrawals in all disputed areas and to denounce violence on the part of Jewish settlers.

"We must give up Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem and return to the core of the territory that is the State of Israel prior to 1967, with minor corrections dictated by the reality created since then," he said.

[...]

Olmert also said that, "Every government will need to tell the truth, which unfortunately will require us to tear out many parts of the homeland in Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem and the Golan Heights." Addressing the settlers, he said: "You, too, will have do carry out a moral reckoning and reach a decision." [Haaretz, 11/11/08]

George W. Bush: "Any Peace Agreement ... Will Require Mutually Agreed Adjustments To The Armistice Lines Of 1949 To Reflect Current Realities." From a 2008 statement by Bush while visiting Jerusalem.

Achieving an agreement will require painful political concessions by both sides. While territory is an issue for both parties to decide, I believe that any peace agreement between them will require mutually agreed adjustments to the armistice lines of 1949 to reflect current realities and to ensure that the Palestinian state is viable and contiguous. I believe we need to look to the establishment of a Palestinian state and new international mechanisms, including compensation, to resolve the refugee issue. [Statement by President Bush, 1/10/08]

  • "1949 Armistice Line" Is Another Way Of Referring To Pre-1967 Borders. The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs refers to the pre-1967 borders between Israel and Palestine as the "1949-1967 Armistice Lines." [Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, accessed 5/19/11]

George W. Bush: "Any Final Status Agreement Must Be Reached Between The Two Parties, And Changes To The 1949 Armistice Lines Must Be Mutually Agreed To." From Bush's statement during a May 26, 2005, press conference with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas:

BUSH: Any final status agreement must be reached between the two parties, and changes to the 1949 Armistice Lines must be mutually agreed to. A viable two-state solution must ensure contiguity on the West Bank, and a state of scattered territories will not work. There must also be meaningful linkages between the West Bank and Gaza. This is the position of the United States today; it will be the position of the United States at the time of final status negotiations.

The imminent Israeli disengagement from Gaza, parts of the West Bank, presents an opportunity to lay the groundwork for a return to the roadmap. All parties have a responsibility to make this hopeful moment in the region a new and peaceful beginning. That is why I assigned General Kip Ward, who is with us today, to support your efforts, Mr. President, to reform the Palestinian security services and to coordinate the efforts of the international community to make that crucial task a success. The United States also strongly supports the mission of the Quartet's special envoy, Jim Wolfensohn, to make sure that the Gaza disengagement brings Palestinians a better life. [Press Conference with Presidents Bush and Abbas, 5/26/05]

In 2004, U.S. House Approved A Return To Borders That Reflect "Mutually Agreed Changes" To "The Armistice Lines Of 1949." House Concurrent Resolution 460, sponsored by then-Majority Leader Tom Delay (R-TX) and approved by the U.S. House in 2004, stated:

Whereas the United States is hopeful that a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be achieved;

Whereas the United States is strongly committed to the security of Israel and its well-being as a Jewish state;

Whereas Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has proposed an initiative intended to enhance the security of Israel and further the cause of peace in the Middle East;

Whereas President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Sharon have subsequently engaged in a dialogue with respect to this initiative;

Whereas President Bush, as part of that dialogue, expressed the support of the United States for Prime Minister Sharon's initiative in a letter dated April 14, 2004;

Whereas in the April 14, 2004, letter the President stated that in light of new realities on the ground in Israel, including already existing major Israeli population centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949, but realistic to expect that any final status agreement will only be achieved on the basis of mutually agreed changes that reflect these realities. [H. Con. Res. 460, 6/23/04]

NBC's Gregory Notes That Previous Presidents Have Framed Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process Around 1967 Borders. During the May 20 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe, NBC's David Gregory stated: "I think we have to put some things in context here. It is not unusual for an American president in the past decade or more to frame a peace process around the '67 borders." [MSNBC, Morning Joe, 5/20/11, via Media Matters]

Wallace: 1967 Borders Have "Kind Of Always Been The Unofficial Idea For the Basis For An Agreement." During the May 20 edition of Fox & Friends, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace acknowledged that the 1967 borders have "always been the unofficial idea of the basis for an agreement" between Israel and Palestine. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 5/20/11, via Media Matters]

Prominent Israelis And American Jewish Organizations Applauded or Endorsed Similar Proposals

Jerusalem Post: Opposition Leader Livni "Said Obama's Plan Was Clearly In Israel's Interests." A May 19 article in The Jerusalem Post stated:

MKs on the Right expressed outrage on Thursday night at US President Barack Obama's call for the creation of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, in an exchange of territory for security.

[...]

"Barack Hussein Obama adopted Yasser Arafat's staged plan for Israel's destruction, and he is trying to force it on our prime minister," Likud MK Danny Danon said. "All that was new in the speech was that he called for Israel to return to 1967 borders without solving the crisis. Netanyahu has only one option: Tell Obama to forget about it."

Environment Minister Gilad Erdan, also from the Likud, who as a minister close to Netanyahu must be more diplomatic, said on Channel 2 that according to Obama's approach, the Palestinians would receive what they were demanding on borders before negotiations begin.

"Once they have everything from the start, they have no reason to make any concessions," Erdan said.

But opposition leader Tzipi Livni said Obama's plan was clearly in Israel's interests, while the diplomatic stalemate that she believes was brought on by Netanyahu is not.

"On his visit, Netanyahu must display the leadership necessary now to create the conditions necessary to restart negotiations with those who are ready to end the conflict," Livni said. "Only a real Israeli initiative with content that can receive American and international support can be an answer to the current dangers and opportunities." [The Jerusalem Post, 5/19/11]

Israeli Generals, Former Ambassadors Run Ad: "Recognizing A Palestinian State Based On The 1967 Borders Is Vital For Israel's Existence." According to the organization J Street, 18 retired Israeli generals, "[o]ver 5 former ambassadors, consul generals, and directors of the foreign ministry," and 27 Israeli prize laureates signed a letter that was reportedly published widely in Israeli papers, titled in English, "Recognizing a Palestinian State Based On the 1967 Borders is Vital for Israel's Existence." J Street paid for the statement to be run in English in The New York Times. From the statement:

We, the citizens of Israel, call on the public to support the recognition of a democratic Palestinian state as a condition for ending the conflict, and reaching agreed borders on the basis of the 1967 borders. Recognition of such a Palestinian state is vital for Israel's existence. It is the only way to guarantee the resolution of the conflict by negotiations, to prevent the eruption of another round of massive violence and end the risky isolation of Israel in the world. [J Street, 5/18/11]

American Jewish Committee "Praised President Obama's Call Today." The American Jewish Committee issued a statement praising Obama's comments, specifically citing the president's comments on a "two-state solution":

"President Obama has sternly warned the Palestinians, and the international community, to stop this senseless drive to try to achieve a state without any negotiated agreement with Israel," said AJC Executive Director David Harris.

"The parameters of a two-state solution are just as clear today as they were when Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas walked away from the peace talks last September," said Harris. "The Palestinians must return now to close the deal." [American Jewish Committee, 5/19/11]

ADL: "We Support The President's Vision Of A Negotiated Israeli-Palestinian Settlement." The Anti-Defamation League also praised Obama's speech, stating:

We welcome President Obama's compelling speech on the priorities for American policy in the Middle East. We applaud his strong outlining of the principles which motivate that policy, including supporting the universal rights of free speech, equality and religious freedom, opposing the use of force and political repression, and promoting political and economic reforms. These are a reflection of American values and promote American interests.

[...]

We support the President's vision of a negotiated Israeli-Palestinian settlement with strong security provisions for Israel, and a non-militarized Palestinian state. We appreciate his direct rejection of a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state and his understanding that the Hamas-Fatah agreement poses major problems for Israel. [Anti-Defamation League,5/19/11]

Jewish Council For Public Affairs: We "[Join] In The President's Vision Of Two States For Two Peoples." From a May 19 statement released by the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, an American Jewish advocacy group:

"The JCPA joins in the President's vision of two states for two peoples. We hope that the Palestinian leadership, one committed to peace with Israel and nonviolence, will soon agree to join with Israel in direct negotiations. The President's strong expressions of support for Israeli security; repudiation of efforts to delegitimize Israel; recognition that Hamas currently is not an acceptable peace partner; and his rejection of unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood, are welcomed," said JCPA Chair Dr. Conrad Giles. [Jewish Council for Public Affairs, 5/19/11]

Right Wing Media Advance Conspiracy Theory That Obama May Use Libya Precedent To Attack Israel

Obama Authorizes Military Action In Libya To Head Off Humanitarian Crisis

Obama Orders U.S. War Planes, Sends Other Support To Head Off "Looming Humanitarian Crisis" In Libya. From Obama's March 28 address to the nation on Libya:

In the face of the world's condemnation, [Moammar] Qaddafi chose to escalate his attacks, launching a military campaign against the Libyan people. Innocent people were targeted for killing. Hospitals and ambulances were attacked. Journalists were arrested, sexually assaulted, and killed. Supplies of food and fuel were choked off. Water for hundreds of thousands of people in Misurata was shut off. Cities and towns were shelled, mosques were destroyed, and apartment buildings reduced to rubble. Military jets and helicopter gunships were unleashed upon people who had no means to defend themselves against assaults from the air.

Confronted by this brutal repression and a looming humanitarian crisis, I ordered warships into the Mediterranean. European allies declared their willingness to commit resources to stop the killing. The Libyan opposition and the Arab League appealed to the world to save lives in Libya. And so at my direction, America led an effort with our allies at the United Nations Security Council to pass a historic resolution that authorized a no-fly zone to stop the regime's attacks from the air, and further authorized all necessary measures to protect the Libyan people.

Ten days ago, having tried to end the violence without using force, the international community offered Qaddafi a final chance to stop his campaign of killing, or face the consequences. Rather than stand down, his forces continued their advance, bearing down on the city of Benghazi, home to nearly 700,000 men, women and children who sought their freedom from fear.

At this point, the United States and the world faced a choice. Qaddafi declared he would show "no mercy" to his own people. He compared them to rats, and threatened to go door to door to inflict punishment. In the past, we have seen him hang civilians in the streets, and kill over a thousand people in a single day. Now we saw regime forces on the outskirts of the city. We knew that if we wanted -- if we waited one more day, Benghazi, a city nearly the size of Charlotte, could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world.

It was not in our national interest to let that happen. I refused to let that happen. And so nine days ago, after consulting the bipartisan leadership of Congress, I authorized military action to stop the killing and enforce U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973. [WhiteHouse.gov, 3/28/11]

Right-Wing Media's Response: Obama Will "Threaten Use Of U.S. Military Forces" Against Israel

Frank Gaffney: "The Gadhafi Precedent: Could Attack On Libya Set The Stage For Action Against Israel?" In a Washington Times piece titled, "The Gadhafi Precedent," Frank Gaffney discussed Obama's decision to join the multilateral effort under UN Resolution 1973 to establish a no-fly zone over Libya. Gaffney wrote that the "Gadhafi Precedent" could be "used in the not-too-distant future to justify and threaten the use of U.S. military forces against an American ally: Israel." Gaffney theorized that the need to "protect" the Libyan civilians could be used to justify "the use of force to protect the 'Palestinian people' and end the occupation of the West Bank by the Israelis." From The Washington Times:

There are many reasons to be worried about the bridge-leap the Obama administration has just undertaken in its war with Col. Moammar Gadhafi. How it will all end is just one of them.

Particularly concerning is the prospect that what we might call the Gadhafi precedent will be used in the not-too-distant future to justify and threaten the use of U.S. military forces against an American ally: Israel.

Here's how such a seemingly impossible scenario might eventuate:

It begins with the Palestinian Authority seeking a United Nations Security Council resolution that would recognize its unilateral declaration of statehood. Three top female officials in the Obama administration reprise roles they played in the council's recent action on Libya: U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice, a vehement critic of Israel, urges that the United States support (or at least not veto) the Palestinians' gambit. She is supported by the senior director for multilateral affairs at the National Security Council, Samantha Power, who in the past argued for landing a "mammoth force" of American troops to protect the Palestinians from Israel. Ditto Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, whose unalloyed sympathy for the Palestinian cause dates back at least to her days as first lady.

[...]

The unified Palestinian proto-government then seeks international help to "liberate" its land. As with the Gadhafi precedent, the first to act is the Arab League. Its members unanimously endorse the use of force to protect the "Palestinian people" and end the occupation of the West Bank by the Israelis.

[...]

Accordingly, hard as it may be to believe given the United States' long-standing role as Israel's principal ally and protector, Mr. Obama acts in accordance with the Gadhafi precedent. He warns Israel that it must take steps immediately to dismantle its unwanted presence inside the internationally recognized state of Palestine lest it face the sort of U.S.- enabled "coalition" military measures now under way in Libya. In this case, they would be aimed at neutralizing IDF forces on the West Bank - and beyond, if necessary - in order to fulfill the "will of the international community." [The Washington Times, 3/21/11]

Fox Nation: "Op-Ed: Could Attack On Libya Set State For Action Against Israel?" Fox Nation highlighted and linked to Gaffney's column under the headline: "Op-Ed: Could Attack on Libya Set Stage for Action Against Israel?." From Fox Nation:

[Fox Nation, 3/22/11]

WorldNetDaily: "American Military Targeting Israel?" In a piece highlighting Gaffney's article, WorldNetDaily senior staff writer Aaron Klein wrote: "Could President Obama's decision to sidestep Congress and strike Libya as part of an international coalition put the U.S. on a military collision course with Israel?" He further stated: "While the prospect of American or Western forces confronting Israeli troops may seem remote, one Middle East policy expert is warning the precedent set by Obama in agreeing to target Libya opens the door to other possible United Nations-backed confrontations, including perhaps one day with Israel." [WorldNetDaily, 3/22/11]

Beck: Administration's "Responsibility To Protect" Provision Could Be Used Against Israel. On the March 29 edition of his Fox News show, Beck referred to uprisings in the Arab world, claiming that "our administration is siding with the wrong side." Beck further said that, in contrast with the administration, he "stand[s] with Israel." He also suggested that the Obama administration is "pushing the Responsibility to Protect Act," which could lead to the destruction of Israel. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 3/29/11, via Media Matters]

In Fact, Obama Administration Has Promised "Unwavering ... Support" For Israel

Obama: "The United States Is Going To Be Unwavering In Its Support Of Israel's Security." Following an attack in the West Bank in 2010, Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following comments:

OBAMA: I want everybody to be very clear: The United States is going to be unwavering in its support of Israel's security and we are going to push back against these kinds of terrorist activities.

And so the message should go out to Hamas and everybody else who is taking credit for these heinous crimes that this is not going to stop us from not only ensuring a secure Israel but also securing a longer-lasting peace in which people throughout the region can take a different course.

I also want to express the deepest condolences of the American people to the families of those who were gunned down. And I want to thank Prime Minister Netanyahu, during a very difficult time for his country, still being so committed to the cause of peace that he is here with us today.

Prime Minister.

NETANYAHU: Well, thank you, Mr. President, for expressing what I think is the sentiment of decent people everywhere, in the face of this savagery and brutality.

Four innocent people were gunned down and seven new orphans were added, by people who have no respect for human life and trample human rights into the dust and butcher everything that they oppose.

I think that the President's statement is an expression of our desire to fight against this terror. And the talks that we had, which were, indeed, open, productive, serious in the quest for peace, also centered around the need to have security arrangements that are able to roll back this kind of terror and other threats to Israel's security. That is a fundamental element, an important foundation, of the peace that we seek and work for.

And I appreciate, Mr. President, your efforts to advance this peace for us and for our neighbors, for our region, and I think we can say, for the world. [WhiteHouse.gov, 9/1/10]

U.S. Acted On Shared Israeli Concerns Over Iranian Weapons. In 2010, Reuters reported that the Obama administration committed to upgrading Israel's Arrow missile shield to deal with the threat of long-range ballistic missiles from Iran and elsewhere:

The Arrow III will allow Israel "to deal with the threat of ballistic missiles with long range" and will give it "the ability to shoot down weapons of mass destruction outside the atmosphere," the ministry said in a statement. Israel, which describes its Arrow system as a defense against Iran, says the upgraded version will cap off its multi-tier air defenses.

The Arrow is jointly produced by state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries and the American firm Boeing Co. and has absorbed close to $1 billion in direct U.S. funds since its 1988 inception.

The Israeli air force said last year that the Arrow III would take more than four years to complete and that would depend on what resources were made available for the project. [Reuters, 7/25/10]

The U.S. Vetoed A Security Council Resolution Condemning Israeli Settlements. From The Washington Post:

The Obama administration Friday cast its first-ever veto in the U.N. Security Council, blocking a Palestinian-backed draft resolution that denounced Israel's settlement policy as an illegal obstacle to peace efforts in the Middle East.

[...]

But Friday, the administration stood far apart from even its closest allies. Britain, France and Germany issued a joint statement arguing that the resolution would have advanced the peace process.

It was the first time the U.S. government has used its veto in the Security Council since 2006, when the George W. Bush administration vetoed a resolution calling for a halt to Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip. [The Washington Post, 2/18/11]

  • After Veto, Israeli Prime Minister Thanked Obama Administration For Support. Following the Obama Administration's veto of the UN Security Council resolution, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated: "Israel deeply appreciates this decision and we remain committed to advancing peace both with our neighbors in the region and with the Palestinians. I believe that the US decision makes it clear that the only way to peace is direct negotiations and not through the actions of international bodies, which are designed to bypass direct negotiations." [Prime Minister's Office, Israel, 2/20/11]

Right-Wing Media Attack Obama For Restating U.S. Policy On Israeli Settlements

Obama Administration States Its Opposition To New Israeli Settlement Construction In West Bank

Obama Administration Repeatedly Calls On Israel To Halt New Settlement Construction. The Obama administration has repeatedly called on Israel to halt construction of new settlements in the West Bank. The Obama administration has argued that the continued construction is antithetical to peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestine. [ABC News, 3/10/10, Associated Press, 3/15/11]

Right-Wing Media: Obama Is Supporting "Intifada" Against Israel By Restating U.S. Policy Regarding Settlements

Fox Nation: Obama "Slaps Israel Again." Fox Nation reprinted the beginning of an Associated Press article and used the headline, "Obama Slaps Israel Again," referring to the Obama administration's continued rebuke of Israeli settlements.

From the Fox Nation:

[Fox Nation, 3/14/11]

CNS News Column: "This Is The Obama Intifada." In a syndicated column for CNS News, Ben Shapiro wrote, "When President Obama is unhappy about his inability to convince Americans to nationalize health care, he incentivizes Palestinian Arabs to violent uprising," adding that the Obama administration's response to Israel's announcement "was far too well-rehearsed for it to have been triggered by something equivalent to a Housing and Urban Development dispute in the United States." Shapiro continued:

This is the Obama Intifada. It is he who has suggested that the Palestinian Arabs have legitimate grievances, that Israel is the victimizer, and that the United States will stand aside and allow violent atrocities by Arabs to go forward without comment. He wants this Intifada, and he's got it.

The Obama Intifada will serve a dual purpose: it will knock health care off the front pages, and it will provide a "crisis" for Obama to solve. If a few Jews get killed, Obama doesn't truly care. What's a few eggs if you're frying up a socialized health care omelet? What's a few Jews if you can win another Nobel Peace Prize?

Nothing, to President Obama. All that matters is his personal victory, even if America and her allies lose. [CNS News, 3/17/10]

Geller On Obama Administration's Opposition To Settlement Construction: "Call to End Obama's Intifada." In a post to her Atlas Shrugs titled, "Action Alert: Call to End Obama's Intifada," Geller urged her readers to "Join Christians United for Israel in their surge against the President's intifada against Israel." She then quoted from the group's statement, which read:

The Obama Administration has reacted to this announcement by creating the worst crisis in relations with Israel in decades. First Vice President Biden condemned the announcement in unusually harsh terms. Then, over the weekend, Secretary of State Clinton and advisor David Axelrod escalated the rhetoric still further. Today, Middle East envoy George Mitchell indefinitely postponed his trip to the region. Where will it end? [Atlas Shrugs, 3/16/10]

Jawa Report Headline On Obama Administration Opposition To Settlement Building: "The Obama Intifada." A Jawa Report post titled, "The Obama Intifada," included numerous links to stories and blog posts about the Obama administration's position on settlements, adding, "This too shall pass, by which I mean the current US administration." The Jawa Report post was a replica of an entry on the Internet Haganah blog carrying a similar "Obama Intifada" headline. [Jawa Report, 3/16/10]

In Fact, The U.S. Has A Long-Standing Policy Of Opposing New Israeli Settlements

In 2005, Condoleezza Rice Reportedly Stated That Israeli Settlement Plan Was "At Odds With American Policy." In a March 2005 interview with the Los Angeles Times, then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice stated that Israel's plan to expand its settlements in the West Bank at the time was "at odds with American policy." From the Times:

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice criticized Israel in unusually sharp terms Thursday, warning that its plans to expand an Israeli West Bank settlement was "at odds with American policy" and could threaten progress toward peace with the Palestinians at a critical moment.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Rice said Israeli explanations of plans to add 3,500 housing units to the Maale Adumim settlement east of Jerusalem were "not really a satisfactory response." [Los Angeles Times, 3/25/05]

President Bush: Israel Must "Get Rid Of Unauthorized Settlements." Before a three-day visit to Israel in January 2008, then-President Bush stated that he expected Israel to "get rid of unauthorized settlements":

Q Unauthorized settlement, it is something which -- an issue which is between the United States and Israel for a long time.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, we expect them to honor their commitments. The Israeli government has said that they're going to get rid of unauthorized settlements, and that's what we expect. That's what we've been told.

Q Not before you come, you know.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, that will be on the -- that will, of course, be an agenda item. But Prime Minister -- both Prime Ministers with whom I have worked understand our position. Both have agreed, by the way, of unauthorized settlements. [Bush White House archives,1/2/08]

Bush's Ambassador To Israel: All U.S. Administrations Have "Argued Strongly Against Israeli Settlement Activity." In an essay published in Middle East Policy, Princeton Middle Eastern Policy Studies professor Daniel Kurtzer, the former U.S. ambassador to Israel under President Bush, wrote: "Every U.S. administration since 1967 has argued strongly against Israeli settlement activity." [Middle East Policy, accessed on 3/14/11]

Right-Wing Media Have Relied On Falsehoods To Suggest Hamas And Obama Are On The Same Page

Limbaugh Suggested Hamas Supported Obama. In June 2008, Limbaugh stated: "I will guaran-damn-tee you there will not be a terrorist attack before the election. And you know why there won't be one? Because they want Obama elected." He later asserted, "Hamas has endorsed Obama. Hamas has endorsed Obama. You think they're going to do anything to upset the apple cart of Obama's election? Why do you think they've endorsed Obama? Because they want a very strong ally for Israel in the White House?" In fact, after Obama declared his support for Israel, a Hamas spokesman reportedly said: "Hamas does not differentiate between the two presidential candidates, Obama and McCain, because their policies regarding the Arab-Israel conflict are the same and are hostile to us, therefore we do have no preference and are not wishing for either of them to win." [Media Matters, 6/24/08]

Hannity And Steyn Falsely Suggest Obama Supports A Role For Hamas In Peace Negotiations Under Hamas' Current Charter. In June 2009, Sean Hannity asked syndicated columnist Mark Steyn, "Did you notice, in the speech that [President Obama] gave in Cairo -- now for those that don't know, Hamas, a terrorist organization that has in their charter, you know, a pledge for the destruction of Israel -- that he says Hamas can play a role in the future of the Palestinian people. Did you catch that?" Steyn replied in part: "Yes, it's very interesting. That whole speech essentially subscribed largely to the Arab view of the Israeli state." In fact, during his address earlier that month at Cairo University, Obama stated that to "play a role in fulfilling Palestinian aspirations," Hamas must "put an end to violence" and "recognize Israel's right to exist." [Media Matters, 6/8/09]

With Absolutely No Basis, Geller Claimed Obama Was "Taking ... Cues From Hamas." On Fox Business' America's Nightly Scoreboard, David Asman encouraged guest Geller's baseless claim that the Obama administration is "taking their cues from Hamas and passing it on to the British government" by instructing British Prime Minister David Cameron to "blame Israel" for the flotilla incident in the Gaza Strip. She cited a "highly placed confidential source ... in the U.K" for her assertions. [Media Matters, 8/19/10]

Beck Falsely Claimed Obama Was "In Lockstep" With Hamas' Leadership On Building Of Lower Manhattan Islamic Cultural Center. Beck falsely claimed that Obama's comment that Muslims have "the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan" was "in lockstep" with a statement by a member of Hamas' senior leadership arguing that the mosque should be built on the spot where it was proposed. [Media Matters, 8/17/10]

Crowley Wondered If Obama Might Have Sympathies Toward Hamas And Hezbollah. From the September 30, 2010, edition of Fox Business' Money Rocks:

CROWLEY: Yeah, and look during the campaign we had this conversation almost every day about the kinds of people Barack Obama was associating with, whether it was Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dohrn, Rashid Khalidi. Remember, Barack Obama spoke at an event honoring Rashid Khalidi who is a very far left radical, um, Islamist. He spoke at an event, the Los Angeles Times had tape of that event, they would not release it. Why? What was on that tape? What was he saying? In terms of Israel, in terms of Islamists, in terms of Hamas and Hezbollah. We have no idea? And look, we want to give him the benefit of the doubt, you don't want to think that the President has these kinds of sympathies, well then release tape and show us that there's nothing incriminating there. [Fox Business, Money Rocks, 9/30/10, via Media Matters]

Right-Wing Media Call Obama And Members Of His Administration "Anti-Semitic"

WND's Klayman: Religious Freedom Is "Under Attack By Our 'Muslim' President And His Fellow Anti-Semites." In his May 21 WorldNetDaily column, Larry Klayman wrote that Obama "has joined with Palestinians to now knock off Israel." Klayman also wrote that "[w]e need to protect our religious freedoms, which are under attack by our 'Muslim' president and his fellow anti-Semites and anti-Christian haters." From Klayman's column:

Emboldened by increased popularity brought about by the killing of Osama bin Laden, Barack Hussein Obama, our first "Muslim" president, has joined with Palestinians to now knock off Israel. In a speech delivered not only to intimidate but also again embarrass Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu just prior to his state visit to Washington, D.C., the "mullah in chief" demanded that Israel give back all the land it acquired in the 1967 war to the Palestinians, thus compromising the Jewish state's national security. This would mean ceding all of the West Bank, including but not limited to East Jerusalem, to the Palestinians, allowing Israel to be split in two in the event of a quick successful assault by Arabs to cut bifurcate the nation. It would also mean that Christian and Jewish holy sites, from the places where Jesus was crucified and resurrected to the sacred wailing wall, would fall into the control of Muslims hostile to our Judeo-Christian roots and culture.

This rank "chutzpah" by Obama is not isolated. Since the beginning of his presidency two and a half years ago, he has steadfastly unmasked his disdain for Jews and Christians, first by giving a pandering "Cairo" speech apologizing to the Arab world for American "atrocities," then bowing down to the king of Saudi Arabia, canceling the White House National Day of Prayer celebration and instead feasting the Arab holiday of Ramadan, endorsing the Ground Zero mosque, and last but hardly least using the death of Osama bin Laden to effectively argue that al-Qaida's terror threat is over and that now we can have "healing" with the Muslim world -- despite its having done nothing to bring the master terrorist to justice. It would appear that Obama identifies more with his father's Muslim faith than his own feigned and politically convenient alleged Christianity.

[...]

We need to mobilize Hollywood to tell the story of Israel and its importance for the nation. We need to preserve our our way of life. We need to protect our religious freedoms, which are under attack by our "Muslim" president and his fellow anti-Semites and anti-Christian haters.

Hollywood is the key to get the masses to understand that we must all help Israel before it is too late and it ceases to exist. And, Obama must understand that he will lose support from his past Jewish voters and will not be re-elected if he harms Israel and compromises its security. For if Israel is compromised and goes under, so too will our nation and its Judeo-Christian heritage. [WorldNetDaily, 5/21/11]

Beck Claimed That Obama Administration Is "Openly Deliver[ing]" "Out-of-Line Anti-Semitic Comments." On his Fox News show, Beck asserted that "members of [President Obama's] administration ... openly deliver blatantly insensitive and highly out-of-line anti-Semitic comments." Beck was referring to deputy national security adviser John Brennan who had used the word "Al Quds" to refer to Jerusalem. In fact, "Al Quds" is the Arabic term for Jerusalem and has been used by President Ronald Reagan's liaison to the Jewish community as well as former Israeli Prime Minister (and current Israeli Defense Minister) Ehud Barak. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 4/1/11, via Media Matters]

Geller: " 'Kick A Jew' Days ... Are Part Of This Growing Evil Evil Unleashed With An Anti-Semite In The White House." In a December 14, 2009, post, Pamela Geller wrote:

It's as if the floodgates of hell have been thrown open. The moratorium on the holocaust is officially over and all the savages are free to incite, hate and destroy. Clearly those "Kick a Jew" days discussed here and here in schools are part of this growing evil Evil unleashed with an anti-semite in the White House. [Atlas Shrugs, 12/14/09]

  • Geller: "I Do" Think Obama Is Anti-Semitic. During the July 27, 2010, edition of Fox News' Hannity, Sean Hannity asked Geller if she thought Obama is anti-Semitic. Geller responded by saying "I do." Although Hannity, asked Geller why she pressed such a "hard charge" he refused to challenge Geller. Instead Hannity fearmongered about "anti-Semitic rhetoric" that was creating a "frightening level" of "talk about wiping Israel off the map." [Fox News, Hannity, 7/27/10 via Media Matters]
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