The report that Barack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy trash-talked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at the G20 conference while thinking their mics were disconnected, is only the latest in a series of insults the Obama administration has lobbed at our greatest friend in the Middle East.
The now-infamous story of Obama's dinner dis of Netanyahu, when he visited the White House and wasn't invited to dinner, is part of a pattern of the president offending a steadfast ally. It may seem like the affront is simply to the political leadership of Israel and not to its people but, unlike all the other Middle Eastern countries with whom the administration makes nice, Israelis actually elect their leaders in free elections not often seen in that region of the world. To frequently insult the Israeli leader in this way is to insult Israelis themselves.
More than anything else it seems that Obama's frustration at Netanyahu betrays that he finds the established friendship between the US and Israel inconvenient. Of course it would be easier to abandon Israel. This is a president who came into office seeking to "raise America's standing in the world" and succeeded instead of lowering the world's opinion of us. Even in the countries Obama has courted heavily, like Egypt, positive opinion of America has dropped since he took office.
In discontinuing the US's long-held positions on Israel, Obama would finally get the adulation he craves from Europe and would see his dismal standing in the Arab world increase. To do that, though, is to cut America off from a country which shares our values and also our concerns (ie: a nuclear Iran).
It's easy to forget that while Israel gains a lot from its special relationship with America, Americans get a peace of mind that there exists a first line of defense against crackpot dictators (and their quest for weapons with which to destroy us) in the Middle East. Barack Obama may cost the U.S. the steady commitment of a necessary ally, as well as show our other allies how easily they can be thrown under that same bus, all to participate in a gossip session with a Frenchman. Doesn't seem quite worth it.
Born in the Soviet Union and raised in Brooklyn, Karol Markowicz is a public relations consultant in NYC and a veteran of Republican campaigns in four states. She blogs about politics at Alarming News and about life in the city with her husband and baby at 212 Baby. She can be followed on Twitter.