Monday, July 19, 2010


By Schmoel Yitzhak

The cover of my computer is adorned with one of my favorite bromides. It goes like this:

"Faith Sees The Invisible; Believes The Incredible And Receives The Impossible."

When it comes to the sudden Benjamin Netanyahu-Barack Obama infatuation, I would like to -- at the very least -- believe the incredible.

Superficially, at least, it would appear that Israel's prime minister and Uncle Sam's president have made "nice" and Israeli-American relations, at last, have taken a turn for the better.

Certainly, the ooze of good feeling that emanated from the White House was conducive to seeing the invisible.

But my mind would not allow me to envision such a romantic thought.

After all, none of us who care about Israel can forget the first horrendous Bibi-Barack meeting.

Israel's leader was treated a bit worse than a fugitive from a 19th Century leper colony.

If the leader of a staunch ally ever was humiliated any worse than Bibi in that infamous tete-a-tete, you would be hard-pressed to find a better example.

But, as my dear mother liked to say, "Time is a healer" and, sure enough, it appeared that time actually was the salve to sooth this egregious scar on Israel's political face.

Or, was it?

Time may have helped, to be sure, but let's get away from the cliches and revert to reality.

Obama's original impudent behavior toward Netanyahu caused tremors both in Israel and America.

I'm talking about the negative kind that politicians experience faster than the average Joe or Yussel.

In a year when the president's already-shaken Democratic party faces an across-the-board facial slap at the Autumn polling places, Barack The Bully has come to realize that a sizeable bloc of American Jews have taken a dim view of his harsh handling of Bibi.

As the president's popularity plummeted across the 50 states -- not to mention throughout Israel -- Obama had to pull out all stops to reverse the traumatic trend.

What better ploy than a second -- this time de luxe, or as Dr. Seuss would have put it Super-Duper-A-La-Peter T. Hooper -- invite to the White House for Israel's leader?

For a sweet change, Bibi would not be segregated to the back of the White House bus; he actually could enter via the front door.

And just to add icing to the wedding cake, Obama's handlers turned the event into a People magazine-type p.r. front-pager to (hopefully) ensure that the fast-growing anti-Obama Jewish clique re-thinks its doubts about the president.

According to polls both in Israel and the States, the second rose-strewn Bibi visit has done precious little to convince dubious Jews that Obama REALLY is adopting a genuinely pro-Israel policy.

Skeptics like Your's Truly vividly recall the president's cheery pro-Israel homilies before the election and, more importantly, know how they were as phony as the barker's blather in front of a Coney Island freak show.

Obama likes to boast about "transparency" in government. Well, we can see right through this latest bit of phony hospitality.

The super-cordial treatment of Bibi will have a short shelf life a political romances go.

With luck it will last until Election Day and then the president -- you can put this on your fridge for future reference -- will turn his back on Israel as emphatically as he had before this brief love affair was inspired by Democratic Party expediency.

Evaluating Obama's overt overtures to Netanyahu, the Jerusalem Post's Sarah Honig accurately likened it to the hit tune of yesteryear, "Paper Moon."

How well I remember the intro: "Oh, it's only a Paper Moon, just as phony as it can be."

Nice try, Mister Prez, but you're about as transparent as that Paper Moon.

In this case, I don't expect to "receive the impossible."

A genuine thaw in Israeli-American relations is not in the cards during the Obama administration.

And if I'm wrong, I'll be the happiest guy between Washington and Jerusalem!

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