Commentary Magazine


Martin Indyk Wants Obama to Charm Israel

Martin Indyk has been spinning fast and furiously for the administration, willing to bash Israel and twist recent history to fit the administration’s preferred narrative. But in a spasm of honesty on Obama’s charm offensive with American Jewry, he tells the New York Times:

The real charm offensive needs to take place in Israel. … I would accept it was a charm offensive if he caught a plane and went over there, which he needs to do. He’s lost the Israeli public. If he were to go over there and explain to the Israeli public, it would be hugely beneficial to his objectives.

Indyk at least lets on that Obama has entirely lost the Israeli public. And indeed, poll after poll shows that despite its best efforts, the Obama team has not been able to shift the Israelis’ ire toward Bibi or convince the Israeli public that Obama has its best interests at heart.

But Indyk raises an interesting proposition — an Obama trip to Israel. Gosh, he’s been all over the world as president but has studiously avoided visiting the Jewish state. You may recall that even before the Obama crowd started hollering at Bibi, the Israelis were a bit miffed that the president had sent Joe Biden rather appear himself, as he did in Egypt. But how would that work nowadays? Would Obama be booed at the Wall? Receive catcalls at the Knesset? I imagine he wouldn’t have the nerve to find out.

Indyk — like so many of the Obama sycophants –  thinks that Obama only need show his face and exude his charm to win over unbelievers. In this case, Indyk imagines that the Israeli public, which he seems to concede must come to trust the American president if Obama’s peace efforts are to succeed, can be won over with a visit and some fluffy speeches. Well, that sort of thing might work with all-too-willing American Jewish “leaders.” (One sometimes has a feeling that they, so desperate to be back in the embrace of the president they ardently support, are channeling Sally Field — “He likes us! He really likes us!”) But the Israel public can’t afford to be so dim-witted. They’ve figured out what Obama is up to and aren’t about to buy a charm offensive. Still, it’d be fun to see him try.