President Barack Obama will be embarking on his most ominous diplomatic challenge when he is scheduled to leave for a visit to Israel for the first time since being president of the United States.
The relationship between Israel and America can be described as strained since the Obama Administration began. Tension between newly installed President Benjamin Netanyahu and Obama has been far less than palatable ever since during a Netanyahu visit to the White House consisted of the Israeli premier lecturing Obama on the finer points of Israel history during a press conference.
Since this is the first visit to Israel, you can bet the Israelis are taking notice. Obama’s popularity in Israel is chilly with nearly 70% of people in Israel taking an unfavorable or even hostile view of the American president. In America around 64% of those polled have a sympathetic view of the tiny Jewish nation. So what has been the problem the last four years?
Obama’s world wind tour after winning his election in 2008 of the Arab/Muslim nations did not set well with many in Israel. Many Obama appointees have a less than sympathetic view of Israel which is just the opposite of what the general American public feels. Snubs as leaving Israel out of Middle Eastern military exercises and leaks of sensitive data that benefited Israel’s enemies have not endeared Obama’s Administration to the Israeli people.
Not reported in the media is the fact that Obama’s advance team preparing for the president’s visit has been in Israel encouraging Netanyahu’s opposition to not give in to the efforts to build a coalition government. It may be one reason Obama cancelled his speech at the Knesset because of the meddling perceived by Israeli government officials. You can bet Netanyahu will have something to say concerning Obama being a thorn in his side.
Except for Obama’s scheduled speech at the International Convention Center in Jerusalem to college students, the President’s visit seems to be one more for a high profile tourist than the leader of the Western World. Many experts are questioning whether the trip is more about image than substance.http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/insideisrael/2013/March/Substance-or-Flash-Obama-Leaves-for-Israel/
One major sticking point is the Jerusalem question and the building of Israeli settlements. There has never been a nation being tossed about by world opinion about nearly everything that has directly to do with Israel. The world body won’t even allow Israel to declare its own capital or build structures on its own sovereign territory without heated debate.
Although the American public is quite sympathetic towards Israel, that has not been the posture for much of the media and the president’s administration. The majority of the compromise and capitulating is being laid at the doorstep of the Israeli people. Media attitudes conveyed by publications as the New York Times have verbally assailed Israeli figures for being the main problem to the alleged peace process.
While Israel’s borders continue to shrink, the animosity factor has increased dramatically with the Muslim Brotherhood assuming control in Egypt, Hamas dominating the Palestinian Authority, Hezbollah being in control of Lebanon, and of course Israel’s perennial headache of Iran. Israel will demand more than just lip service about its security.
What will Obama or the United Nations do to entice Jerusalem to give up even more territory for the fabled land for peace deal? Both America and UN will need to be something concrete to even have Israel come to the table. Empty promises have already been given to Israel in land for peace incentives and the result has been a horrendous failure to Israel.
Only one thing could bring Israel to the table and it is a spiritual solution. Israel has been longing to rebuild its temple destroyed by Titus in 70 AD. The only conceivable thing that could persuade Israel to give up anything more would be to allow Israel to rebuild its temple. As preposterous as that sounds because it would be a diplomatic miracle, it is something definitive that would mean something instead of empty promises of peace.
Naturally there are ramifications for the building of the Jewish Temple, however that issue is a spiritual one knowledgeable Christians are already quite aware. The Bible predicts that the temple would have to be rebuilt based on its end time prophesy timeline.
Stay tuned….Obama’s trip to Israel could prove very interesting.