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Who put charming the Israeli public at the top of Prez’s To-do list?

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Remember when Obama went off to have dinner with his kids and left Netanyahu to chill in the Roosevelt Room til he came up with an alternative to “Jerusalem is not a settlement” during the AIPAC fiasco? The Israeli press reported that when Netanyahu got home he called for an emergency meeting w/ Elie Wiesel to “find ways into Barack Obama’s heart” (Israel style, w/a hammer, and no we were not privy to this gossip in the American press and wouldn’t have heard about it if not for Didi Remez @ Coteret doing the translation):

Yediot, April 4 2010 Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu knows that he is in deep trouble at the White House. This weekend he made an interesting effort to find ways into Barack Obama’s heart. The author Elie Wiesel, in Israel for the holiday, received a call from the Prime Minister’s Office asking that he meet urgently with Netanyahu.

Isn’t that special! Then Wiesel informs Netanyahu he’s got a luncheon coming up w/ Obama and he’ll try to squeeze in the claim that Jerusalem belongs to the Jews… All systems go for the Lobby Charm Offensive as “Wiesel” dumps full page ads (I’m so sure he penned it himself!) in several of our favorite fishwraps costing 1/2 mil or upwards (no holding back on funds). Another display of “love”.

Then he meets w/ Obama for their pre-arranged luncheon. And here’s The NYT.  I’ve had it with the New York Times, I call it the NYFT. (F is for figure it out). Here’s another piece with no lies and enough holes to screw us a new one. The headline, “Obama Tries to Mend Fences with American Jews,” informs us Obama is making amends to American Jews, no doubt for the administration’s crime of criticizing Israel for stealing more and more Palestinian land. The Times describes the meeting as “Mr. Obama’s wooing of Mr. Wiesel.”

So who’s got the upper hand in this relationship? One of the Times’s favorite lobbyists (Question: does Martin Indyk actually do their framing for them or is it merely coincidence his framing always dominates a piece?) informs us Obama’s charm offensive is not working. Try harder for the Jews, Mr. President, the Israelis are still pissed…

“The real charm offensive needs to take place in Israel,” said Martin S. Indyk, a former United States ambassador to Israel and vice president and director of foreign policy at the Brookings Institution. “I would accept it was a charm offensive if he caught a plane and went over there, which he needs to do. He’s lost the Israeli public. If he were to go over there and explain to the Israeli public, it would be hugely beneficial to his objectives.”

Who just put the “Israeli Public” on top of our Presidents to-do list? Why does the prez need to go over there to explain anything to them? Is this Netanyahu’s idea of finding ways into Obama’s heart? It is a full frontal assault by proxy.

“But it remains unclear whether Mr. Obama’s latest outreach will reassure American Jews and the general public in Israel, where Mr. Obama’s approval ratings have plummeted. “

Let’s get one thing straight. This is not Obama’s “outreach”. Obama’s outreach was informing Israel via Clinton (or was it Michell) we’d stop using our veto at the UN if they didn’t put out. Obama doesn’t have to make an outreach to the Israeli public, and by the way, his lunch with Wiesel was planned before the Jerusalem ad shitfest. Whenever the NYT reports “administration officials said,” color me suspicious but why not just say it’s Dennis Ross calling the NYT. Or whichever flunky we’ve got in the WH carrying water for Israel instead of the Prez.

Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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