The Leader of the Free World has been criticized as weak, cautious and overly multilateral, however the decision to take out bin Laden has raised questions as to the validity of the narrative of Obama as weak and without true guts. For much of the public, Obama is still perceived as “Leading from behind” despite a concerted effort by the media to change that perception. But, Obama’s numbers are better getting better. According to multiple polls, his job approval ratings since ordering the raid on bin Laden’s hideout have surged from somewhere in the 40s to somewhere in the 50s. This development will likely pay political dividends to Obama over the next few months and maybe even as far in the future as the 2012 presidential election. But will it pay policy dividends for Obama in the Middle East as well.
Mark Dubowitz of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies said Sunday’s operations had lessons for the US effort to deal with Iran’s nuclear program. “The Iranian regime now should have a better understanding that when core American national security interests are at stake, all options are indeed on the table”. Martin Indyk, also of the Brookings Institution and a former American Ambassador to Israel, suggested such boldness could extend to the Arab- Israeli conflict. “The killing of Osama bin Laden suddenly gives Obama a lot more credibility than he had before in the Middle East, both in the Arab world and with the Israelis,” Indyk told the Council on Foreign Relations. “Some influential people in the administration say that the opportunity of the president giving a ‘winds of change’ speech, in which he frames America’s approach to the ongoing Arab awakening and lays out his approach to solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, may well be strengthened by the killing of bin Laden.”
So if you had any doubt about Obama becoming the new “cool hand Luke” using his new learned experience in dealing with Islamic/World Jihad terror and confronting sister terror organizations such as Hamas or Hezbollah, you can take a deep breath. After giving the order to Navy Seals Team 6 to execute bin laden, it seems that nothing has changed as far as Israel is concerned, Obama will continue appeasing the most extreme Islamic organizations that threaten Israel. Fortunately, for Israel the PLO-Hamas national unity deal has created legal problems that might thwart Obama’s natural inclination to support organizations that reject Israel’s right to a Jewish Homeland within secure borders. Legally, the Obama administration could be constrained from working with or supporting a Palestinian Arab government that includes a group branded a terrorist organization by the US government, which is exactly what Hamas is, a terrorist organization.
Prime Minister Netanyahu should remain steadfast in his decision to treat the PLO-Hamas national unity agreement as a de-facto fundamental abrogation of the Oslo agreement. By bringing in Hamas into his government, Abu-Mazen has in the name of the Palestinian Arabs, again lived up to the edict that the Palestinian Arabs never miss the opportunity to make the wrong decision. The PLO-Hamas Unity agreement will prevent the Obama administration in its apparent bid to ignore the legal and policy significance of including Hamas in any kind of agreement, while giving Congress the needed impetus to legislate the necessary laws to expose Abu-Mazen, Fatah, The PLO, and Hamas for what they in actually are, one big terror organization no different and no less lethal than bin laden.
The decision by the Netanyahu government to freeze tax transfers to the Palestinian Arab Authority in response PLO-Hamas agreement with has sent a strong signal that Israel has no choice but to refrain from negotiating with the Palestinian Authority who have been perceived as a credible peace partner since the Oslo Agreement. From now on, Abu Mazen and the Palestinian Arab authority should be viewed and treated as a terrorist organization. This change in the status of the Palestinian Arabs will enable swift congressional action to stop funding of the Palestinian Arab authority in accordance to American law, while at the same time limit Obama’s inclination to pressure Israel to make further concessions.
In terms of bi-lateral relations between the United States and Israel, Netanyahu’s scheduled speech before the joint houses of Congress can expose the false Palestinian Arab narrative for what it is, an incremental process of delitigimizing the State of Israel while the Palestinian Arab are never held accountable for their actions; till now. By highlighting the PLO-Hamas Unity agreement, Prime Minister Netanyahu can once and for all expose the false narrative of Palestinian Arabs and show the truth about their devotion to Islamic terror and war forcing them to be accountable for their actions. By speaking the truth Netanyahu can easily explain to Congress why and how the concept of land for peace is based on Palestinian Arab lies and deception, leaving Congress no choice but to uphold the law concerning the transfer of funding to organizations that are considered terror organizations, which is what the PLO-Fatah-Hamas agreement is.
Obama, the undisputed leader of the free world, having proven that he can meet the Islamic threat head on by executing bin laden can begun the process of leading the West to victory. In accepting Netanyahu and Israel as true and dependable allies, Obama can stand up and send a message and change the global discourse empowering those nations willing to stand up for Democratic values and Human rights while rejecting terrorist organizations and states.