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Obama and Israel: US President's Portrayal in Jewish Media

Image: Obama and Israel: US President's Portrayal in Jewish Media
An Israeli man reads the Hebrew newspaper Yediot Ahronot featuring a photo of US President Barack Obama and his family on the cover and reads in Hebrew "Obama Four More Years" at a cafe in Jerusalem, Israel, November 8, 2012. (Debbie Hill/UPI/Landov)  

By    |   Sunday, 21 Sep 2014 01:10 PM

Americans aren't the only ones unhappy about President Barack Obama's handling of the unrest in Israel: Negative perceptions of Obama and his administration's impact in Israel and the Middle East can be found in Israeli media as well.

The latest fighting between Israelis and Palestinians and Obama’s curtailing of Hellfire missiles to Israel caused David Horovitz, founding editor of the Times of Israel, to question the true relationship between Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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“While we seek to ascertain just how grave the crisis now is between Israel and its most important ally — is the case of the non-delivered Hellfires a procedural delay or the beginning of an embargo? Is the relationship between the Obama and Netanyahu administrations ruptured or just very heavily strained? — Nobody is going to believe the prime minister the next time he claims, as he did two weeks ago, that U.S. support throughout this campaign has been 'terrific,'" Horovitz wrote in August.

“It becomes ever harder to understand what the U.S. administration thinks it is doing in the Middle East. Its influence is waning across the region,” Horovitz continued. “It appears insufficiently robust — to put it mildly — when dealing with the region’s most dangerous regimes, notably Iran.”

Writing for The Jewish Press in May 2013, columnist Daniel Greenfield was critical of the way Obama has treated the media in general, saying the administration has done everything to protect the president’s “narrative.”

“The media loved Obama, but it discovered early on that he did not love it back,” Greenfield wrote. “Instead of basking in the adoration of the Candy Crowleys and the Anderson Coopers and the massive corporate machines behind them, the love child of every liberal fantasy shut them out, rigidly controlled their access and ruthlessly punished unauthorized conversations with the press.

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“The media had made Obama into a tin god, but were constantly suspected of heresy,” Greenfield continued. “Instead of being rewarded for their loyalty, they were kept at arm’s length.”

In his effort to use the Israeli media to show his support for Israel, Haaretz published an exclusive op-ed letter in July 2014 from Obama, asserting his and the United States’ support of peace for the Israel with other Middle Eastern countries.

"Budgets in Washington are tight, but our commitment to Israel’s security remains ironclad," Obama wrote. "The United States is committed to providing more than $3 billion each year to help finance Israel’s security through 2018. Across the board, our unprecedented security cooperation is making Israel safer, and American investments in Israel’s cutting-edge defense systems like the Arrow interceptor system and Iron Dome are saving lives."

In addition, Obama said joint peace efforts have to continue between Israelis and the Palestinians.

“We have always been clear-eyed that resolving the decades-old conflict between Israelis and Palestinians would take enormous effort and require difficult decisions by the parties,” he wrote. “So while we were disappointed that the tough decisions weren’t made by both parties to keep moving the peace process forward, the United States will never give up on the hope of a lasting peace, which is the only path to true security for Israel.”

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Americans aren't the only ones unhappy about President Barack Obama's handling of the unrest in Israel: Negative perceptions of Obama and his administration's impact in Israel and the Middle East can be found in Israeli media as well.
obama, israel, president, portrayal, jewish, media
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2014-10-21
Sunday, 21 Sep 2014 01:10 PM
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