Jun 5, 2009

Netanyahu and Obama: Opposites

By Mike Evans

The relationship between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama is the perfect storm.

In a much-touted speech delivered from Cairo, Obama outlined what he sees as the first and second greatest sources of tension between the Muslim world and the United States. Al-Qaeda topped his list, but Israel came in as the second greatest source of tension. The president said,
“Israel has been depriving the Palestinians of their homeland for sixty years.”
The president made another point in his speech:
“And any nation – including Iran – should have the right to access peaceful nuclear power if it complies with its responsibilities under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu does not believe that a state which is the center of gravity for world terrorism has the right to have any nuclear power, period.

An assistant U.S. secretary of state has already called for Israel to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. In his speech in Cairo, Obama also said he preferred a world in which NO country possessed nuclear weapons.

How the two leaders interact may well be defined by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and the influence former President Bill Clinton may have on his wife. Clinton possessed a secular, humanistic world view. It was, after all, Bill Clinton who refused to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu during two pivotal visits to the United States – one in 1997 and the other in 1999. The refusal was interpreted as a blatant attempt to influence elections in Israel. Unfortunately for the prime minister, it worked; he was defeated by Ehud Barak with the help of Bill Clinton’s political architect, James Carville.

Obama indicated he might be prepared to link Israel’s behavior during the peace process with the considerable aid the U.S. gives to Israel. He said,
“…what the U.S. can do regarding the Palestinian/Israeli peacemaking effort is to create the conditions and atmosphere and provide the help and assistance that facilitates an agreement.”
President Obama envisions a Palestinian state complete with airspace, an army and one that can make treaties with other anti-Semitic Arab states such as Syria, Iran, and Libya.

In essence, Obama’s worldview is similar to that of Jimmy Carter. It was Carter who forced the Shah of Iran into submission; the Shah feared that Carter would not supply much-needed parts for his air force if he failed to comply with the president’s human rights demands. Israel could find itself in a similar dilemma with Obama.

Netanyahu embraces Ronald Reagan’s worldview. On his first trip to the White House as prime minister I covered the event. I noticed that when he spoke at the National Press Club and mentioned Ronald Reagan, the secular press hissed like snakes. Ronald Reagan believed that three liberal entities – what he called the Iron Triangle – were at work to hinder the progress of freedom: special interest groups, the liberal media, and the liberal Democrats.

Barack Obama is liberal in his theology. This is due in part to the fact that he is the first U.S. president born in a Muslim home and raised by an atheist whose objective was for her children to understand worldviews. His mother wanted her children to learn of all religions – Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and of course, that of native Hawaiians. A young Obama practiced some form of Islam at the behest of his stepfather, a Muslim from Kenya who attended the mosque on Fridays.

As a young adult, Obama finally found his niche at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago under the tutelage of Rev. Jeremiah Wright whose anti-Semitism has become legendary. Obama was instructed in Black Liberation theology which added a new dimension to his worldview. After his years of searching, he finally embraced a liberal, innovative theology. Taking into account all of his years under the ministry of Rev.Wright, the president revealed in his book The Audacity of Hope that he had no words to comfort his daughter regarding life after death.

The president has also written regarding the scriptures:
"When I read the Bible, I do so with the belief that it is not a static text but the Living Word and that I must be continually open to new revelations whether they come from a lesbian friend or a doctor opposed to abortion."
He has also stated that...
“I am rooted in the Christian tradition, [but]I believe there are many paths to the same place and that is a belief that there is a higher power, a belief that we are connected as a people.”
The fundamental dissimilarities between Benjamin Netanyahu and Barack Obama are greater than those between Bill Clinton and Benjamin Netanyahu. It could very well be that America’s 52 Million bible believing Christians may have the final word.

Michael D. Evans, a #1 New York Times bestselling author, is the author of Jimmy Carter: The Liberal Left and World Chaos. A television special based on the book is currently airing (http://carterbooktv.com/).