Israel’s consul-general in Boston sent a blunt message to his government concerning their incompetent manner of conducting foreign policy with the Obama administration. His three page letter was entitled: “Sad passing thoughts on Israel-US relations.” He was particularly concerned about public comments made by Prime Minister Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman which appeared to be playing to the Israel public rather than to working to have positive relations with the American government. He charged “there are people in the US and Israel who ideologically oppose Obama, and are willing to sacrifice the special relationship between the two countries in order to advance their political agenda.”
Unfortunately, too many Israelis and American Jews look approvingly at right wing ideologues like Rush Limbaugh or Lou Dobbs or Ann Coulter who hate Obama and believe their form of hatred somehow aids the people of Israel. Nadav Tamir warns the Netanyahu government that an “atmosphere of confrontation between the Israeli government and the Obama administration puts the American-Jewish community, which is so important to us, in a difficult position. Many of them are distancing themselves from the state of Israel because of this conflict.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu said that Tamir’s letter was “not worthy of a response.” This comment is the problem. Netanyahu’s rejection of working with American, European, and Arab leaders in an open environment of trust only serves to distance Israel, not only from the American-Jewish community, but from the world. One can build fences higher and higher, but they will never lead to peace.