Mideast crisis: Mr. Obama, whose side are you on?

President Obama found numerous ways to make the United States less relevant in the last six years, but he came up with a new one in his misbegotten foray into the Gaza war: He’s so wrong that even Israel feels it’s safe to ignore him.

The decision by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to reject Obama’s pressure for a unilateral ceasefire and instead widen the campaign against Hamas reflects a new low in the Obama presidency.

More important, it is impossible to argue with Netanyahu’s decision.

The terror threat is so grave that Israeli military leaders, bolstered by strong public support, believe they can’t return to business-as-usual. They aim to deliver a knockout punch to the rocket arsenal and the tunnel network to make sure Hamas doesn’t emerge intact and ready for another war.


Yet Obama’s push for negotiations would have won for Hamas in peace what it failed to win in war. Secretary of State John Kerry was advocating terms that would have granted many of the terrorists’ demands, and guaranteed more conflict. One journalist accused Kerry of acting like Hamas’ lawyer, and a top Israeli politician told Kerry to “leave us alone.”

Either that, or get on board. With most Arabs, led by Egypt and including many Palestinians, agreeing with Israel that a weakened Hamas means a more peaceful region, this is a rare moment of consensus and a chance for real progress.

But the White House’s blunder gave the Palestinians hope they will be rewarded for their provocation — and a reason to keep fighting.

Mr. President, whose side are you on?

To continue reading Michael Goodwin's column in the New York Post, click here.