From the Soles of His Shoes: Obama's Hostility Toward Israel

Monday, December 26, 2016 |  Tsvi Sadan

Benjamin Netanyahu's outrage over President Obama's final attempt to harm Israel is justified. 

Shortly before lighting the first candle of Hanukkah commemorating the rededication of the Temple over 2,000 years ago, Netanyahu attacked the American, saying that "the Obama administration carried out a shameful anti-Israel ploy at the UN."

So it was that on the eve of Hanukkah, the UN Security Council approved yet another anti-Israel resolution, which says among other things that the international community "reaffirms that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-state solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace."

Such a resolution is nothing new, as Israel is repeatedly condemned by this institution. What's new is not only Obama's blatant refusal to honor his written commitment to stand by Israel at the UN. It is also safe to assume from Netanyahu's response that Obama was the instigator of said resolution. "We knew that this [shameful ploy] is possible and we expected that it will come," the Israeli said.

Netanyahu's opponents at home insist this was Obama's payback for his hostility toward the American president. But this explanation contradicts all those who kept emphasizing that the Obama administration is not motivated by feelings, but by American interests, including maintaining a strong alliance with Israel. 

If this is the case, and I think it is, Obama's part in concocting this anti-Israel resolution, which goes so far as to call the Western Wall an occupied place, represents American interests, which are now evidently opposed to the interests of the State Israel as represented by Israel's Prime Minister.

Obama's hostility toward Israel was played out before. Well remembered is the angry 2009 phone conversation between the two leaders, after which the White House released a picture with the soles of Obama's shoes on full display. For the uninformed, it simply shows the president in a relaxed posture. But those more familiar with the Arab world know it was a carefully-calculated effort to humiliate Netanyahu. For Israel's Arab foes, showing the sole of one's shoe is an insult of the highest degree. 

Obama's resentment toward Israel has come out on numerous other occasions, including the suspension of weapons shipments during the 2014 military campaign against Gaza.

The proximity between Hanukkah and Obama's final attempt to harm Israel is peculiar, to say the least. Jews across the world are now lighting the Menorah for eight days, during which they sing the ancient poem of Maoz Tzur Yeshuati (my refuge and rock of salvation). This poem reminds us that:

Furiously they assailed us,
But Thine arm availed us,
And Thy word broke their sword,
When our own strength failed us.

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