Former Israeli ambassador to the US Michael Oren revealed the depths of US President Barack Obama's antagonism to Israel and abandonment of the policies underlying the alliance between the two countries in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal on Monday.
Israel may have made "mistakes" according to Oren with questionably timed building announcements for Jewish housing in eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samraria, but Obama made mistakes against Israel "deliberately."
"From the moment he entered office, Mr. Obama promoted an agenda of championing the Palestinian cause and achieving a nuclear accord with Iran," wrote Oren. "Mr. Obama posed an even more fundamental challenge by abandoning the two core principles of Israel’s alliance with America."
Outlining these two principles, he noted the first was the concept of "no daylight," by which the US and Israel avoided public disagreements so as not to encourage their common enemies to exploit the disharmony.
Back in 2009, Oren recalls how Obama told American Jewish leaders, "when there is no daylight Israel just sits on the sidelines and that erodes our credibility with the Arabs," a comment that ignored the 2005 Disengagement plan from Gaza and Israel's previous two offers to the Palestinian Authority (PA) to grant them a state.
Obama also nixed former President George W. Bush's promise to include major "settlement blocs" in Judea and Samaria within Israel's borders according to any peace agreement, instead forcing Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to impose total building freezes in those areas.
Oren noted that as a result, PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas torpedoed the peace talks by sealing a unity deal with Hamas, "but he never paid a price. By contrast, the White House routinely condemned Mr. Netanyahu for building in areas that even Palestinian negotiators had agreed would remain part of Israel."
"The other core principle was 'no surprises,'" details Oren. "President Obama discarded it in his first meeting with Mr. Netanyahu, in May 2009, by abruptly demanding a settlement freeze and Israeli acceptance of the two-state solution. The following month the president traveled to the Middle East, pointedly skipping Israel and addressing the Muslim world from Cairo."
The former ambassador noted that Israeli leaders in the past were given forewarning about major US policy statements regarding the Middle East, and were able to give their opinions on them.
"But Mr. Obama delivered his Cairo speech, with its unprecedented support for the Palestinians and its recognition of Iran’s right to nuclear power, without consulting Israel."
"Similarly, in May 2011, the president altered 40 years of U.S. policy by endorsing the 1967 lines with land swaps – formerly the Palestinian position – as the basis for peace-making," continued Oren. "If Mr. Netanyahu appeared to lecture the president the following day, it was because he had been assured by the White House, through me, that no such change would happen."
Yet another "surprise" was when Obama offered to back a UN Security Council investigation of Israel's communities in Judea and Samaria, and likewise offered "to back Egyptian and Turkish efforts to force Israel to reveal its alleged nuclear capabilities."
"The abandonment of the 'no daylight' and 'no surprises' principles climaxed over the Iranian nuclear program," wrote Oren. "In 2014, Israel discovered that its primary ally had for months been secretly negotiating with its deadliest enemy."
"The past six years have seen successive crises in U.S.-Israeli relations, and there is a need to set the record straight. But the greater need is to ensure a future of minimal mistakes and prevent further erosion of our vital alliance," he concluded.