Friday, March 26, 2010
Applied to Israel
OBAHMUD? I'm not assuming you're unaware of the big headlines, but I know people are withdrawing somewhat from the news world in the wake of the healthcare law and the ugly mix of Democrat gloating and racial smears against the law's opponents that are dominating MSM journalism. So I'm just making sure you concentrate for a moment on this important and disturbing story:
Binyamin Netanyahu humiliated after
Barack Obama 'dumped him for dinner'
For a head of government to visit the White House and not pose for photographers is rare. For a key ally to be left to his own devices while the President withdraws to have dinner in private was, until this week, unheard of. Yet that is how Binyamin Netanyahu was treated by President Obama on Tuesday night, according to Israeli reports on a trip viewed in Jerusalem as a humiliation.
After failing to extract a written promise of concessions on settlements, Mr Obama walked out of his meeting with Mr Netanyahu but invited him to stay at the White House, consult with advisers and “let me know if there is anything new”, a US congressman, who spoke to the Prime Minister, said.
“It was awful,” the congressman said. One Israeli newspaper called the meeting “a hazing in stages”, poisoned by such mistrust that the Israeli delegation eventually left rather than risk being eavesdropped on a White House telephone line. Another said that the Prime Minister had received “the treatment reserved for the President of Equatorial Guinea”.
I know there are many different and complex conceivable explanations for such a direct diplomatic snub. Obama is sending a message to Israel that the current regime must be replaced before meaningful negotiations can resume. Alternatively, he is creating U.S. deniability -- and provocation -- for an Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear facilities that is nevertheless "a consummation devoutly to be wished."
Still. It's impossible not to consider this in the context of Hillary Clinton's pollyana descriptions of the benefits of "smart power" in foreign diplomacy.
Is this really how "smart power" treats a nation that has lived under a constant existential threat from both war and terrorism since its founding 60 years ago?
It's also impossible not to think anew about the -- to many Americans nauseating -- 'Apology Tour' of Obama's first year in office, the largely unrequited cordiality of his outreach to the most criminal despots in the world, and the borderline rudeness of his relations with allies like the U.K., France, and Germany.
And it's hard not to allow as a distinct possibility that our president is fundamentally anti-Israel if not anti-Jew. Are we really supposed to forget that Barack Obama sat in the pew of Jeremiah Wright's church during outbursts such as this?
Well, I can't forget. I'd welcome any guidance on how I can and why I should.
We're constantly assured (er, scorned and ridiculed for not quite believing) that Obama is neither a muslim nor a muslim sympathizer. How does that argument go again exactly?