National Security & Defense

Why Obama So Dislikes Netanyahu

Those who do not confront evil resent those who do.

There is no question about whether President Obama — along with Secretary of State John Kerry and the editorial pages of many newspapers — has a particular dislike of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

But there is another question: Why? And the answer is due to an important rule of life that too few people are aware of:

Those who do not confront evil resent those who do.

Take the case at hand. The prime minister of Israel is at the forefront of the greatest battle against evil in our time — the battle against violent Muslims. No country other than Israel is threatened with extinction, and it is Iran and the many Islamic terror organizations that pose that threat.

It only makes sense, then, that no other country feels the need to warn the world about Iran and Islamic terror as much as does Israel. That’s why when Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to the United Nations about the threat Iran poses to his country’s survival and about the metastasizing cancer of Islamist violence, he, unfortunately, stands alone.

Virtually everyone listening knows he is telling the truth. And most dislike him for it. Appeasers hate those who confront evil.

Given that this president is the least likely of any president in American history to confront evil — or even identify it — while Benjamin Netanyahu is particularly vocal and eloquent about both identifying and confronting evil, it is inevitable that the former will resent the latter.

The negotiations with Iran over its nuclear weapons program are today’s quintessential example. Those who will not confront a tyranny engaged in terror from Argentina to the Middle East, and which is committed to annihilating another country, will deeply resent Israel and its leader.

For those who doubt the truth of this Rule of Life, there are plenty of other examples.

Take the Cold War. Those who lived through it will recall that those who refused to confront Communism vilified those who did. Indeed, they vilified anyone who merely labeled Communism evil. When President Ronald Reagan declared the Soviet Union an “evil empire,” he was excoriated by those who refused to do so. Yet, if the words “evil” and “empire” have any meaning, they perfectly applied to the Soviet Union. But to those who opposed Reagan, these words could not be applied to the Soviet Union.

New York Times columnists lambasted the president for using such language. The newspaper’s most prestigious columnist at the time, James Reston, condemned Reagan for his “violent criticism of Russians as an evil society.”

Anthony Lewis accused Reagan of using “simplistic theology.” Reagan was using “a black and white standard to something that is much more complex.”

Tom Wicker wrote that “the greater danger” than the spread of Communism “lies in Mr. Reagan’s vision of the superpower relationship as Good versus Evil.”

Columnist Russell Baker added his contempt for Reagan’s characterization of the Soviet Union. And, in a long Times article under the headline, “Reagan’s Gaffe,” an unnamed “strategist” for former vice president Walter Mondale told the newspaper that “Mr. Reagan had undercut diplomatic efforts of recent months” — exactly as the Times and the Obama administration now describe Benjamin Netanyahu doing to the negotiations with Iran.

(For a detailed description of the reactions to Ronald Reagan’s anti-Communism, see Ann Coulter’s book Treason.)

Some 20 years later, when President George W. Bush characterized the regimes of North Korea, Iraq, and Iran as an “Axis of Evil,” he was likewise lampooned — as if those mass-murderous tyrannies were not evil.

In short, those who refused to characterize the Soviet Union as evil loathed Ronald Reagan and other anti-Communists for doing so; and those who objected to the “Axis of Evil” label placed on North Korea, Iran, and Iraq loathed George W. Bush and his supporters. The loathing of Benjamin Netanyahu is simply the latest example of the rule that those who will not confront evil will instead confront those who do. (It’s much safer, after all.)

Since the end of World War II, there has been a name for the people who refuse to confront evil and who resent those who do: Leftists.

— Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His most recent book is Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph. He is the founder of Prager University and may be contacted at dennisprager.com. 

Most Popular

Law & the Courts

The March for Life Is a March for Truth

Pro-lifers are marching today, as they do every year, to commemorate a great evil that was done in January 1973 and to express solidarity with its innocent victims. The Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade eliminated legal protections for unborn children in all 50 states, and did so without any ... Read More
Law & the Courts

The March for Life Is a March for Truth

Pro-lifers are marching today, as they do every year, to commemorate a great evil that was done in January 1973 and to express solidarity with its innocent victims. The Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade eliminated legal protections for unborn children in all 50 states, and did so without any ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Clarence Thomas Speaks

Those who know Justice Clarence Thomas say that any perception of him as dour or phlegmatic couldn't be more off-base. He's a charming, gracious, jovial man, full of bonhomie and easy with a laugh, or so I'm told by people who know him well. On summer breaks he likes to roam around the country in an RV and stay ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Clarence Thomas Speaks

Those who know Justice Clarence Thomas say that any perception of him as dour or phlegmatic couldn't be more off-base. He's a charming, gracious, jovial man, full of bonhomie and easy with a laugh, or so I'm told by people who know him well. On summer breaks he likes to roam around the country in an RV and stay ... Read More

A Nation of Barbers

It seems almost inevitable that long hair is unwelcome at Barbers Hill High School. There’s a touch of aptronymic poetry in Texas public-school dress-code disputes. When I was in school in the 1980s, at the height of the Satanism panic, the local school-district superintendent circulated a list of ... Read More

A Nation of Barbers

It seems almost inevitable that long hair is unwelcome at Barbers Hill High School. There’s a touch of aptronymic poetry in Texas public-school dress-code disputes. When I was in school in the 1980s, at the height of the Satanism panic, the local school-district superintendent circulated a list of ... Read More
U.S.

Nadler’s Folly

Jerry Nadler must have missed the day in law school where they teach you about persuasion. The House Democrat made a critical error early in the trial of President Trump. He didn’t just say that Republican senators, who voted to begin the proceedings without calling witnesses, were part of a cover-up. He said ... Read More
U.S.

Nadler’s Folly

Jerry Nadler must have missed the day in law school where they teach you about persuasion. The House Democrat made a critical error early in the trial of President Trump. He didn’t just say that Republican senators, who voted to begin the proceedings without calling witnesses, were part of a cover-up. He said ... Read More
White House

On the Bidens, Schiff Opened the Door

You opened the door. Trial lawyers live in fear of that phrase. When a trial starts, both sides know what the allegations are. Both have had enough discovery to know what the adversary will try to prove. Just as significantly, both know what their own vulnerabilities are. A litigator spends his pretrial ... Read More
White House

On the Bidens, Schiff Opened the Door

You opened the door. Trial lawyers live in fear of that phrase. When a trial starts, both sides know what the allegations are. Both have had enough discovery to know what the adversary will try to prove. Just as significantly, both know what their own vulnerabilities are. A litigator spends his pretrial ... Read More