A former Israeli official slammed U.S. President Barack Obama’s recent take on the most pertinent issues facing Israeli security, saying his policy would ultimately lead to calamity with the Palestinians and Iran:
“Obama is a remarkable proponent for the optimist approach — he fundamentally believes in human decency, and therefore in dialogue and engagement as the best way to overcome conflict,” wrote Yossi Kuperwasser, the former director general of Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry.
Obama “believes that humility and concessions can salve the wound, and Islamists can be convinced to accept a global civil society.”
But for realists such as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, or “those who face an existential threat, Obama’s argument sounds appalling.”
Kuperwasser — whose comments were a response to journalist Jeffrey Goldberg’s latest interview with Obama, as well as the president’s address at a Washington DC synagogue — said the fundamental divide between optimists and realists in Western, Judeo-Christian political thought underlined the personal conflict between the American and Israeli leaders.
He accused Obama of “mirror-imaging” his values system on Palestinian youth, which Kuperwasser said has “plagued most of his foreign policy.”
Unlike Netanyahu, Obama does not understand that Islamists such as Hamas in Gaza and the Iranian regime are “willing to wait to overthrow the existing world order,” believing instead that “Islamists can be convinced to accept a global civil society.”
“Netanyahu, on the other hand, whose nation would feel the most immediate consequences from Western concessions [to Iran], does not have the luxury of optimism,” said Kuperwasser.
The former official also decried Obama’s double standard when it comes to criticizing Palestinian Authority President Abbas, though Abbas “rejected Obama’s formula for continued negotiations because it required recognition of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people” and formed a unity government with Hamas, which openly calls for Israel’s destruction.
Concluding his argument, which Goldberg reprinted in The Atlantic, Kuperwasser wrote that “while Obama and the optimists offer their critiques, Netanyahu and the realists will be on the ground, living with the consequences the optimists have wrought.”