Bloomberg columnist Jeffrey Goldberg minced few words in discussing the interview that US President Barack Obama gave him on the eve of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s latest visit to Washington.
Speaking with journalist Charlie Rose, Goldberg equated Obama’s threat to stop supporting Israel in international forums to the talk of a mafia don. Obama told Goldberg that if Israel doesn’t cut a deal with the Palestinians soon, “our ability to manage the international fallout is going to be limited.” He added, “And that has consequences.”
That statement, Goldberg noted, was a “veiled threat” and “almost up there with, ‘Nice little Jewish state you’ve got there. Hate to see something happen to it.’”
Goldberg saw the interview as Obama’s way of showing that he is beginning to abandon the pretense of supporting Israel, now that he no longer faces reelection. In Goldberg’s words, “It’s not that the gloves are coming off. It’s more that the mask of diplomatic language is coming off a little bit.”
Goldberg added that due to the fact that Obama “doesn’t have to run again for anything,” he doesn’t need to pretend feelings for Israel that he doesn’t have, by among other things, going to the AIPAC annual policy conference.
And indeed, Obama has achieved a comfort level with implementing anti-Israel policies. His threat to step aside and let Israel-haters have their way in places like the United Nations or in certain quarters of Europe is of a piece with several steps the he is already reportedly undertaking to harm Israel in various ways.