Although the proper direction for U.S. policy in the Middle East can be complicated, you can always count on the right-wing media to twist the issue to suit their thesis that President Obama is always wrong.
Fox's Eric Bolling, for one, has been promoting a conspiracy theory on the Palestinian bid for statehood. Bolling pushed the bogus right-wing mantra yesterday that Obama has not supported Israel.
To reconcile Obama's supposed anti-Israel leanings with reports that Obama will veto a bid for recognition of a Palestinian state by the United Nations, Bolling claimed yesterday on Fox News' The Five that the statehood bid is a “set up” by the Palestinians and Obama to make Obama look as if he is “pro-Israel”:
BOLLING: I'm mad because I think this is all a set up. I think this is the Palestinians say: “Hey, Mr. Obama, we want -- we're thinking about asking for statehood.” And they know very well the Obama administration is going to say “No way, not now, this is not the time.” And then when we go into the election Obama is going to go, “Oh, look what I did all you Israeli vote -- Israel, Jewish voters. Vote for me. I am pro-Israel.” Even though everything he's done is anti-Israel up until this point."
Bolling is no stranger to conspiracy theories: He remains a birther even after Obama released his long-form birth certificate and he's spun wild conspiracy theories on topics as wide ranging as Moody's assessment of the United States' credit-worthiness, Obama's Rural Council, and gun issues.
So perhaps it wasn't a surprise that today Bolling doubled down on the Palestinian conspiracy theory. From Fox News' The Five:
BOLLING: I'm taking a little bit of heat yesterday and I stand by it, that I think this is the Obama administration cutting a deal with the Palestinian Authority to say, “Look, back off,” Obama says to the Palestinians, “Back off, we'll do this another time.” And then he could go into the 2012 elections looking like he is pro-Israel which he hasn't been up until now.
Bolling is right about one thing -- the Obama administration has said it will veto any effort by the Palestinians to seek statehood through the United Nations. However, this veto is not the result of some sort of conspiracy relationship between Obama and the Palestinian leadership to bolster votes from constituents who support Israel.
If it is, it would be quite a convoluted conspiracy.
The Palestinians would have to be willing to lie to their own people, the Israelis, the Arab world, and the rest of their international community about their motives (unless the whole world is in on the conspiracy). Additionally, Obama would have to be willing to risk serious damage in U.S. relations with the Arab world; Obama would have to risk upsetting progressive allies. And Obama knows he won't engender positive feelings from Obama derangement syndrome like Bolling no matter what he does.
In fact, the Obama administration's veto threat is in line with Obama's repeatedly assertions that he supports a two-state solution which is achieved through a negotiation process amongst Palestinians and Israelis. From the President's remarks during the visit of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in May of this year:
I have said before and I will repeat again that it is I believe in the interest not only of the Palestinians, but also the Israelis and the United States and the international community to achieve a two-state solution in which Israelis and Palestinians are living side by side in peace and security.
We have seen progress stalled on this front, and I suggested to the Prime Minister that he has an historic opportunity to get a serious movement on this issue during his tenure. That means that all the parties involved have to take seriously obligations that they've previously agreed to. Those obligations were outlined in the road map; they were discussed extensively in Annapolis. And I think that we can -- there is no reason why we should not seize this opportunity and this moment for all the parties concerned to take seriously those obligations and to move forward in a way that assures Israel's security, that stops the terrorist attacks that have been such a source of pain and hardship, that we can stop rocket attacks on Israel; but that also allow Palestinians to govern themselves as an independent state, that allows economic development to take place, that allows them to make serious progress in meeting the aspirations of their people.
Another problem with Bolling's analysis is that the Obama administration has been working to avert a vote on the resolution at the United Nations:
In Washington, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced that American negotiators would return to the region on Wednesday to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority in a final effort to avert a vote on the matter.
The administration, working with the European Union's foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, and Tony Blair, who serves as a special envoy to the region, continued to seek international support for what Mrs. Clinton described as “a sustainable platform for negotiations” between the Israelis and the Palestinians to create a Palestinian state.
The right-wing media have previously attacked Obama for his positions on the Israel-Palestine issue. Even when Obama promoted a policy on Israeli settlements that was in line with long-standing Israel policy, he was portrayed to have “slap[ped]” Israel. In fact, The Washington Times' Frank Gaffney has even claimed that Obama may use “the Gadhafi precedent” to attack Israel. Sadly, these attacks are just part of many that aim to depict Obama as a U.S. president who does not support Israel. And as we have previously explained, these attacks are meritless.
Although Bolling has tried to make an effort to repeatedly smear Obama's policies towards Israel and Palestine, we hope he got the idea when his own colleague, Chris Stirewalt, told him he was pushing a “conspiracy theor[y]”:
But then again, Bolling has never shied away from conspiracy theories before.