Israel’s Visiting Chief of Staff Finds Obama’s Doors Closed


gabi-ashkenaziLast year, Israeli Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi had no problem setting up meetings with top officials in the U.S. government. On his current trip to Washington, Ashkenazi sought to meet the administration of President Barack Obama, but most officials were unavailable. Diplomatic sources said Ashkenazi failed to obtain access to any Cabinet member, including Defense Secretary Robert Gates. The Israeli military chief, who sought to discuss the Iranian nuclear threat, won’t even meet his counterpart, Adm. Michael Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.”The administration is sending a very clear message to Israel, and this is we want to talk about Palestine and not Iran,” a diplomat who has been following U.S.-Israel relations said.

On March 12, Ashkenazi left for a five-day visit to the United States meant to lobby the Obama administration to abandon the planned U.S. dialogue with Iran. Ashkenazi, scheduled to meet with the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, was expected to have brought new Israeli intelligence on Iran’s nuclear weapons and missile programs.

But the diplomatic sources said the administration made it clear that nobody in a policy-making position was available to sit with Ashkenazi. This included the president, Vice President Joseph Biden, Gates, National Intelligence director Dennis Blair or Mullen.

Ashkenazi has obtained a meeting with National Security Advisor James Jones. But the sources said the meeting would focus on U.S. demands for Israel to ease military restrictions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

“The Obama administration believes that Israel is as much or more of a problem as it is an ally, at least until Israel’s disagreements with its neighbors are resolved,” former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, said.

Bolton envisioned that the White House would pressure Israel to legitimize Hamas and Hizbullah. At the same time, he said, Obama would continue to woo Iran.

Already, economic and diplomatic advisers to Obama have urged the president to launch a U.S. dialogue with Hamas. The US/Middle East Project, which includes such Obama supporters as former Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Sen. Chuck Hagel, was said to have elicited a promise from Obama to listen to any proposals made by Hamas.

“The main gist is that you need to push hard on the Palestinian peace process,” former National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft said. “Don’t move it to the end of your agenda and say you have too much to do. And the U.S. needs to have a position, not just hold their coats while they sit down.”

The Israeli chief of staff has also scheduled a session with Dennis Ross, the special adviser on Iran to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. But the sources said Ross was not regarded as being in a policy-making role.

The diplomatic sources said the White House and the senior echelon of the Obama administration have refused a dialogue with Israel on the Iranian threat. They said Ms. Clinton, during her visit to Israel, was largely silent during briefings by Israeli intelligence on Iran’s nuclear and missile programs.

During her visit, Clinton received written recommendations on U.S. policy toward Iran from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni. The U.S. secretary said the recommendations would be relayed to the White House.

“The Israeli government and military have been alarmed by the rapid and dramatic reversal in the U.S. policy toward Iran,” the source said. “This reversal took place without any consultation with Israel, Gulf Arab countries or even Congress.”

The sources said Israel has sought a U.S. commitment to limit its dialogue with Iran. Israel has also urged Obama to make it clear that the military option against Iran’s nuclear program exists.

But Obama and his top aides appear uninterested in hearing Israel’s position. The sources said a key aim of Ashkenazi was to urge the administration to release weapons and systems long sought by Israel in the area of aerial refueling, air-to-ground weapons, sensors as well as the F-22 fighter-jet.

In 2008, under the Bush administration, Gates and then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice blocked U.S. requests for these military systems. The sources said Gates and Ms. Rice concluded that Israel could use this equipment for an air strike on Iran’s nuclear weapons facilities.

“Ashkenazi sees this U.S. refusal as what has been undermining Israeli deterrence toward Iran and boosting the confidence of the Teheran regime,” the source said. “The mullahs in regime have concluded that America has dropped the military option and won’t allow such an option to Israel.”

{World Tribune/ Newscenter}


  1. this is spin made to smear obama admin and make them look bad. where was the pre planning? where was the contact and scheduleing? you can just show up and expect everyone to be available! where was aipac?

    please. the only trend this shows is poor planning on the part of ashkenazi.

  2. ‘reader’ what makes you think that it was ‘poor planning’. They Israeli’s weren’t born yesterday, and they know how to ‘plan’ a white house meeting. It’s amazing how some people are so blinded and biased towards Obama, that he can do no wrong.


  4. Maybe Ashkenazi took things for granted and assumed he would meet with the officials. This isn’t the Bush administration. However, it’s quite obvious Obama has his own agenda when it comes to Eretz Yisrael, despite all his glib protestations to the contrary. He was educated in a medrasa. Once a Muslim, always a Muslim. You can’t just erase all the brainwashing they do there.
    I can’t believe America was that stupid when it elected this guy. Obviously, his meteoric rise to power was min hashamayim-just like Haman’s. We need to do what they did in Shushan. We need to daven, daven, daven and do teshuva. V’shuvu el Hashem!

  5. Clearly the US Government has decide that there is no viable military option to deal with Iran and no real way to stop their Nuclear programs. That is not to say they will not – have not – warned the Iranians of the retribution they would receive if they carried out a strike on Israel. The main fear is they would use others – eg Hizbolla – but this would be very obvious.

    Since a very radicalized Pakistan is already a big threat, Iran may seem less threatening!


    YES THEY MOST CERTAINLY DO, when the US President has convinced himself and his worshipers of the foul lie that Israel is the 51st state of the Union and that it has to do as HE dictates! HOW DARE HE PLAN ON COMING TO ISRAEL with such HIGHMINDEDNESS, DEMANDING mind you, that Israel give up her Land, the little bit of land that she has remaining, and that he will not leave without Israel succumbing! It’s the epitome of chutzpah! Let Washington DC give up its own land to Iran or China…that may not be so far fetched, G-d forbid. Your Israel’s Sovereignty is at stake! They are all demanding our coast, the north, Yesha-the belly of Israel, and Jerusalem, and the US President that you don’t think you have a right to criticize is the bulldozer behind them all! Put your feet on the ground and stop being so darn politically correct,and scream and holler at the top of your lungs while you can, or you too may lose your own house.
    I am not religious. But there is a saying that goes like this: “G-d said it, I believe it, and that settles it.” There is one that is even better: “G-d said it, and whether I believe it or not, that settles it!” The bottom line is that the G-d of Yisrael gave the Jews our own Land in great love and mercy, so that we wouldn’t be kicked out of other lands any more…it hurt Him too much to see His kids abused, tortured, killed and wandering. There is now no need for this! How ungrateful, thankless, and unappreciative can some Jews be? We should be kissing the ground and constantly throwing kisses to G-d! But you, yoselle, just stick up for the US President- the Moshiach, and be an accomplice to his kindness to the ruthless, bloodthirsty arabs who hate your guts, and allow him to generously give them more of your Land.