Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Obama Spring Break in Israel

Today President Obama arrived in Israel for a whirlwind three day visit to the Middle East.  This is Mr. Obama's first visit to the Holy Land as President.  Obama 2008 decided to make campaign stops in Jerusalem but the next year, the newly elected President eschewed visiting Israel during his "apology tour".

As Mr. Obama arrived on the tarmac, he had another revealing "hot mike" moment. Mr. Obama's first words to Israeli Prime Minister Binjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu upon arriving in Israel  were "It's good to get away from Congress".  Hmm, wasn't the Obama White House engaged in a Charm Offensive blitz on Capitol Hill last week?

Obama's  Congressional quip might be dismissed as a light-hearted towel snap.  But President Obama has a track record for being candid with leaders on a tarmac, especially on Scorpions for Breakfast.  And Obama's hot mike blunder with Russian Prime Minister Medvedev about having more flexibility after the election was revealing of both plans and character.

While President Obama mouths the right words about our staunch strategic ally Israel, it will soon become clear if his administration passes over Israel's interests.  Will Obama continue to insist on onerous preconditions for that ever elusive peace deal with the Palestinians? Will the President do anything concrete when our ally Israel's safety is threatened by Egypt's Muslim Brother led government,? How about spillover from the Syrian conflict?  Or Hamas led violence from Lebanon?  Or threats of a holocaust from Amadinajad's Iran?  In addition, there are the quotidien  violent incidents stemming from the Gaza.

But Spring Break is a chance to chill, especially after mid-terms.  The problem is that Mr. Obama is not in college and was just re-elected as President  so he is still being tested and the mid terms are in November 2014.

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