The Rapid Decline of a Presidency
It has been very interesting to watch the downward spiral of the Obama Presidency after his very public and celebrated Cairo speech to the Moslem world in June of this year.
As I have previously noted in this blog, in that speech Obama (and I will summarize) subtly but clearly shifted the blame for the Middle East crisis from the Palestinian and Arab nations to Israel. President Obama became one of the leading “accusers” of Israel despite his verbal affirmation of the US longstanding and positive position as the protector of Israel.
In addition, after a gentle “wrist slap” for persistent Arab Moslem terrorist violence against the Jewish state, he then makes Israeli settlement expansion in Judea and Samaria his number one agenda item for resolving the Middle East crisis. His State department has consequently taken an increasingly public and hostile stance towards Israel, making Israel out in the public eye to be the “enemy” of peace in the middle East.
Even the liberal Washington Post observed:
One of the more striking results of the Obama administration’s first 6 months is that only one country has worse relations with the United States than it did in January: Israel. The new administration has pushed the reset button with Russia and sent new ambassadors to Syria and Venezuela; it has offered olive branches to Cuba and Burma. But for nearly three months it has been locked in a public confrontation with Israel…if he is to be effective in brokering a peace deal, Mr. Obama must be tough on more than one country, or one party to the conflict.
So, over this past summer, what have been the consequences for Obama’s Cairo speech and negative shift in US relations with Israel?
Palestinian leadership has become much more intransigent and less willing to negotiate with Israel. They simply echo Obama’s position and hide behind his measured negativity towards Israel. As Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat boldly asserts concerning PM Netanyahu’s compromise plan for limiting housing expansion in West Bank settlements, the only thing suspended by this announcement will be the peace process. This is absolutely unacceptable. The real Israeli official answer is being conducted on the ground by continuing the building of housing units and settlements.
Erekat describes Netanyahu’s compromise as “total defiance” to US calls for a settlement freeze.
A recent Smith Research Institute poll in Israel discovered the following:
- Only 4% of Israelis believe President Obama is pro-Israel or sympathetic to Israel…down from 31% in January.
- This is in stark contrast to the 88% of Israelis that believed George W. Bush was sympathetic towards Israel.
- 51% of Israelis believe that Obama is pro-Palestinian.
- Quoting a Tom Gross Media assessment, …even many left wing Israelis rallied behind the government of Benjamin Netanyahu in his confrontation with Obama after the State Department summoned the Israeli ambassador to Washington in July and told him two families of Jews could not live in a private home, long owned by Jews, in the heart of Jerusalem, and that the Jerusalem municipal authorities should not have evicted two Palestinian families who had been squatting in the property and had not paid the Jewish owner any rent since 1985.
Since turning against Israel what has happened to his Presidency?
President Obama has gone from one who had the magic touch in politics and had unprecedented favor not only in the US but around the world to one that is in steep decline. Here is some of the evidence:
- His job approval rating has plummeted from 60% positive in April to 45% in August. A record for a new President.
- Just 37% of the all important independent voters still approve his job performance. 59% disapprove.
- 55% of voters now see the country as seriously off-track.
- His healthcare plan is in serious trouble.
- Many experts believe that if this downward trend continues it will signal a large turnaround at the ballot box in 2010 for the Democratic Party he represents.
- This could signal a powerful erosion of his authority and ability to govern as he is now.
I will conclude with this – Isaiah 49: 25-26
In this prophetic chapter concerning the End of Days and restoration of Israel, God sounds this warning to the enemies of Israel,
Can the prey be taken from the mighty, or the captives of a tyrant be rescued? For thus says the Lord: even the captives of the mighty will be taken and the prey of the tyrant be rescued. For I will contend with those who contend with you (Israel) and I will save your children…Then all flesh shall know that I am the Lord your Saviour and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob. (Is.49:25-26)