Escalating a crisis in relations has been the traditional way for US administrations to force Israeli governments out of office. Bill Clinton did it to Netanyahu and as Israeli elections appear on the horizon Obama would love to do it all over again.
There’s only one problem.
The United States is popular in Israel, but Obama isn’t. Obama’s spats with Netanyahu ended up making the Israeli leader more popular. The plan was for Obama to gaslight Israelis by maintaining a positive image in Israel while lashing out at the Jewish State so that the blame would fall on Netanyahu.
That was what Obama’s trip to Israel had been about. While his approval ratings in Israel briefly picked up, they clattered down again over his attitude during the recent Hamas war. Polls show that the majority of Israelis don’t trust him to have their back on Islamic terrorism or Iran. And that’s bad news for him and for an Israeli left that needs to sell the image of a good Obama and a bad Netanyahu. More