Monday, March 29, 2010

The HopeChange Chronicles: Humiliating Israel Is Now Apparently Our Foreign Policy

See this and this and this. Look, you don't have to like Binyamin Netanyahu or his policies, but he is a foreign head of state come here to visit, and you do NOT treat him like garbage. Maybe Bibi should now compare notes with the also-shabbily-treated Gordon Brown of the UK.

I am utterly appalled at what this White House's approach to American allies. What a weird poisonous cocktail of contempt, arrogance, carelessness, ignorance, and fatuousness. Really, is anything quite as pathetic and dangerous as a person who cannot distinguish friends from foes? In the end, if he should fall into trouble, he finds himself utterly alone. As Nile Gardiner has repeatedly noted, most recently here,
The ritual humiliation of the Israelis is an absolute disgrace, and yet another example of how the Obama administration views its allies with indifference, contempt, and at times outright hostility. It is extraordinary how far the Obama team has gone out of its way to grovel to state sponsors of terrorism, such as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or Muammar Gaddafi, while kicking America’s friends in the teeth.

. . . President Obama’s top priority in the Middle East should be preventing Iran from building a nuclear weapons programme. Instead he seems obsessed with kowtowing to America’s enemies by bashing Israel at almost every opportunity.

This is a foreign policy doctrine that is both destructive and fundamentally against the US national interest. The future security of the United States rests not upon the degree to which it can appease her enemies, but upon the strength of her enduring alliances with the rest of the free world. Israel needs Washington’s support and vice versa, not a slap in the face from a president whose idea of world leadership seems to consist largely of apologising for his country while throwing America’s friends to the wolves.
I'm gratified to see, though, that folks are pushing back. 327 members of the House of Representatives, of both parties, told the president to change his disastrous approach to US-Israeli relations.

UPDATE 1: Well, this is no surprise, because if I were Bibi, this is probably what I would do. "So Obama disses me? Fine, I'll just do whatever I want then, since no matter what I do, I get the shaft from a hostile White House." More here. Oy vey.

UPDATE 2: I hope Powerline is wrong, but I'm afraid that they're right with this observation:
The divide in perceptions about the PA may have driven disagreements between Washington and Jerusalem during the latter part of the Bush administration. But today we see not a disagreement but a feud, including an attempt by Washington to bring down the Israeli government. It's implausible, I think, to attribute such a bitter rift to a mere disagreement about facts on the ground.

In my opinion, President Obama's tilt towards the Palestinians is rooted in ideology, a considerably softer version of the ideology espoused by Jeremiah Wright. The facts that matter to this president do not pertain to the PA's intentions. Rather, I suspect the key facts are these: compared to Israelis, Palestinians are downtrodden and non-Western. They are what leftist academics call "the other." And promoting the interests of "the other" is a big deal for Obama -- indeed, this imperative seems like the closest thing he has to a religion.

If I'm right, then Netanyahu will never be able to placate Obama. And he should not try.

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