Who said this about a world leader: He's a "political coward -- an essentially unchallenged leader who nevertheless is unwilling to lead or spend political capital to advance the cause of compromise"? Was it perhaps John Boehner describing Barack Obama? No, though the shoe would certainly fit. It was Barack Obama describing Binyamin Netanyahu.
This insight into Obama's views comes from an interview with the Atlantic Magazine's Jeffrey Goldberg. Let's pause for second to consider the gall. Mr. Obama knows full well that the United States confronts an unavoidable debt crisis if our government does not reform entitlements. Rather than lead, Obama has peddled denial ("We don't have a spending problem"), distortion (suggesting that Republicans who want spending cuts in exchange for raising the debt ceiling are "not paying America's bills") and demonization of the rich.
What wouldn't Netanyahu give for such manageable problems?
The prime minister of Israel is confronted by deadly threats in all directions. Iran, whose leaders routinely threaten to destroy the Jewish state (the "moderate" Hashemi Rafsanjani noted that "one bomb" would destroy all of Israel so "it is not irrational to contemplate such an eventuality"), is marching, seemingly inexorably with Obama's reelection, toward a nuclear weapon.
Syria is in flames, with the outcome uncertain. Lebanon is controlled by Hezbollah. Iraq's future stability is in doubt with the total withdrawal of U.S. forces.
Egypt, whose three-decade peace treaty with Israel offered a certain tenuous security to the Jewish state, is now in the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood. And while Obama's Director of National Intelligence James Clapper described the Brotherhood in 2011 as "largely secular," the true nature of the regime is dawning on even the most obtuse. There was Mohammed Morsi's power grab in late November, when he attempted to grant himself sweeping authority. There is the persecution of Christians at the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood (sometimes including crucifixion). And there is the 2010 video that surfaced recently of Morsi himself describing Israelis as bloodsuckers, warmongers and "the descendants of apes and pigs."
According to Goldberg, Obama has said repeatedly, "Israel doesn't know what its best interests are." With each new settlement announcement, Obama believes, "Netanyahu is moving his country down a path toward near-total isolation."
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