The Trump administration saw it coming. As the president and president-elect sat beside each other and pledged to work together for a smooth transition, members of Team Trump both privately and publicly warned Barack Obama against unilateral actions, especially with regards to Israel and the Palestinian Authority. A one national security advisor told Politico, “Obama and his aides shouldn’t go seeking new adventures or pushing through policies that clearly don’t match Trump’s positions.”
The Israelis, of course, also saw it coming—because the anti-Israel bile that accompanied Obama to the White House only grew more pronounced as his presidency approached its end.
In early September, the Obama administration reacted angrily to a video in which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pointed out that the Palestinian Authority intended to be Judenrein, ethnically cleansed of Jews. The State Department willfully distorted Netanyahu’s remarks, asserting he was promoting Israeli settlements, and reiterating its false claim that those settlements are illegal. In other words, the Obama administration twisted a statement about Arab bigotry against Jews into a perceived injustice against Arabs.
Later that same month, Obama delivered his final address to the United Nations General Assembly. “And surely, Israelis and Palestinians will be better off if Palestinians reject incitement and recognize the legitimacy of Israel,” he said, “but Israel recognizes that it cannot permanently occupy and settle Palestinian land.” While his words may sound to the untrained ear as if Obama were striving for balance, these two phrases could not be further apart.