Originally produced as an internal research product, EMET has examined a shockingly partisan and particularly misleading column by Haim Saban in the New York Times. Our research produced multiple statements and reports which disprove or dispute the depiction of the Obama Administration’s policy towards Israel presented in the piece.
Because these arguments have been repeatedly advanced in the media following the release of the Saban article, EMET has decided to release our report for the edification of our members. Although EMET, as a 501(c)3, does not get involved in political matters, we felt the need to address these erroneous and/or misleading claims. Below you will see each claim made in the Saban article, followed by a refutation, with links and citations.
Assertion: “Even though he could have done a better job highlighting his friendship for Israel, there’s no denying that by every tangible measure, his support for Israel’s security and well-being has been rock solid.”
Assertion: “When the first President Bush had disagreements with Israel over its settlement policy, he threatened to withhold loan guarantees from Israel. Mr. Obama has had his own disagreements with Mr. Netanyahu over the settlers but has never taken such a step.”
Assertion: “Ask any senior Israeli official involved in national security, and he will tell you that the strategic relationship between the United States and Israel has never been stronger than under President Obama. “I can hardly remember a better period of American support and backing, and Israeli cooperation and similar strategic understanding of events around us,” the defense minister, Ehud Barak, said last year, “than what we have right now.””
Assertion: “[American-Israeli] cooperation has included close coordination by intelligence agencies — including the deployment of cyberweapons, as recent news reports have revealed — to thwart Iran’s nuclear ambitions.”
Assertion: “Mr. Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush, diverted American attention from Iran — the greatest threat to Israel’s existence — to Iraq, even helping to put a pro-Iranian leader in power in Baghdad.”
Assertion: “…through painstaking diplomacy, Mr. Obama persuaded Russia and China to support harsh sanctions on Iran, including an arms embargo and the cancellation of a Russian sale of advanced antiaircraft missiles that would have severely complicated any military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities. Mr. Obama secured European support for what even Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, called “the most severe and strictest sanctions ever imposed on a country.”
Assertion: “Mr. Obama not only has declared that all options are on the table, but he has also taken the option of merely “containing” a nuclear-armed Iran offthe table. He has directed the military to prepare options for confronting Iran and has positioned forces in the Persian Gulf to demonstrate his resolve.”
Assertion: “President Obama has blocked Palestinian attempts to bypass negotiations and achieve United Nations recognition as a member state, a move that would have opened the way to efforts by Israel’s foes to sanction and criminalize its policies.”
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