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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Degrading America's moral stature

Here's a great comment from Peter Wehner:
Yet in thinking through all this, what is most striking to me is the disfiguring of moral considerations. Barack Obama is treating one of our best allies, and one of the most admirable and impressive nations in the world, worse than he treats the theocratic dictatorship in Iran or the anti-American dictator Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. Obama bows before autocrats and shakes the hands of tyrants and speaks with solicitude and undeserved respect to malevolent leaders. Yet with Israel he is petulant and angry, unable to detach himself from a weeks-long tantrum. Or, perhaps, unwilling to detach himself.

There is in the Obama administration an animus toward Israel that is troubling and may be unmatched in modern times (though Jimmy Carter, as ex-president, probably rivals it). Because of what is unfolding, there will be significant injury to our relationship with Israel. But it is also doing considerable damage to America’s moral standing. At its best, America stands for the right things and stands beside the right friends. In distancing us from Israel, Obama is distancing America from a nation that has sacrificed more for peace, and suffered more for their sacrifices, than any other. It is a deeply discouraging thing to see. And it is dangerous, too. Hatred for Israel is a deep and burning fire throughout the world. We should not be adding kindling wood to that fire.

Barack Obama is an ambitious man. He’s undertaking a project to remake America in deep and important ways. Health care is one arena. This, sadly, is another.
And that fits in with yet another Obama slogan: Human rights be damned.
Having jumped on the Council bandwagon last year without insisting on any reform-minded preconditions, U.S. diplomats now sit there taking it on the chin and lending predictable and immutable Council routines undeserved legitimacy. This past session, the Council adopted five resolutions condemning Israel and fewer resolutions on the rest of the world combined: one each on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, North Korea, Burma/Myanmar, and Guinea.


As happened with all the anti-Israel resolutions, the Obama administration perfunctorily voted against -- to no avail. The administration then pulled its punches when explaining its vote on the Goldstone-implementation resolution. American Ambassador Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe noted that her full speech could be found somewhere on a website, and then proceeded to make a telling omission from that speech when delivering her oral remarks, which were webcast around the world. When she read the entirety of the first few paragraphs, which called on both sides to conduct investigations, she skipped over just one sentence therein: “Hamas is a terrorist group and has neither the legitimacy nor the willingness to investigate credibly its repeated and deliberate violations of international law.” Apparently, an honest statement that points out the obvious flaw in the logic of Goldstone-inspired investigations wouldn’t have fit neatly into Obama’s engagement strategy -- or sit well with his preferred audience.


Many in the corridors of the Council meeting mistakenly believe that the Obama contingent is some combination of naïve, idyllic, weak, and pathetic. I give the president more credit than that. The Council’s record was clear when Obama decided to join it, and any first grader is capable of doing the math that proves the inability of any Western government to change the Council’s course. Contributing to an aura of credibility surrounding this twisted and incorrigible institution is, therefore, a solid piece of evidence of President Obama’s priorities -- good relations with the Muslim world, poor relations with the state of Israel, and human rights be damned.
If you had told me twenty years ago that a black man would be President of the United States one day, I would have believed you. If you had told me that he would totally abandon human rights around the world in favor of cozying up to Islam, I would never have believed you. I wonder how many Jewish liberals who fought for civil rights in the United States are rolling over in their graves now. Unfortunately, my mother, of blessed memory, is probably one of them.

Read the whole thing.


At 10:45 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

People were warned about Obama. They chose not to listen.

And now the chickens are coming home to roost.

At 12:12 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Speaking of America's degraded moral stature, Barry Rubin has a good critical piece this morning about the New York Times March 26th editorial, which he describes as "profoundly dishonest." Its too long to do justice to in a post but the following paragraphs, I think gets at the heart of what's what wrong with the Obama Administration's skewed thinking about Netanyahu's alleged sins:

But again what has happened to make the question Netanyahu’s ability or willingness to make a peace deal. Here are the total charges against him: The announcement of building a set of apartments, for which he apologized, and another regarding 20 additional apartments.

It’s not as if he and his colleagues daily broadcast incitement to murder people on the other side through schools, sermons, and speeches. It’s not as if they refused to negotiate at all month after month. It’s not as if they released or did not incarcerate extremists who murdered civilians on the other side. (Actually they did release prisoners who murdered civilians but they were Palestinian prisoners who murdered Israelis.) It’s not as if they don’t even control half the territory for which they purport to bargain.

Those are all characteristics of the PA, things the Times does not even mention. This editorial is not merely slanted; it is so profoundly dishonest, distorting both the Palestinian and the Obama Administration role, as to be suitable to that published in a state-controlled newspaper in a dictatorship.

Once--and perhaps again in the not-distant future--the U.S.-Israel link was called a "special relationship" because it was so close. Now it is still distinctive in a special way: Israel is the only country in the world--a list that includes none of those countries sponsoring anti-American terror or trying to destroy U.S. interests--that this administration, perhaps only temporarily, wants to intimidate and defeat.

And why is the Obama Administration ganging up on Israel and setting back the very aim it can only achieve in cooperation with Israel? An America that is not seen in Jerusalem as an impartial broker, is not an America Israelis would trust to help guarantee any agreement that might be reached between Israel and the Palestinians. And now thanks to American incompetence and arrogance, that's not going happen this year and perhaps never.

And that's just the highlights. More here:

New York Times Defends Obama, Not US Interests; Blames Israel, Not White House Or Palestinians For All Problems

Read it all.

At 12:46 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

There is another point to America's bossing Israel around that's been overlooked: Israel as a sovereign country, has the right to be entitled to have a different opinion. And this crisis should be seen as as opportunity to convey to the Obama Administration the principled stand that friends can have disagreements. The time has come for the American Administration to respect Israel's right to have its own position.

As Hanoch Daum puts its so well:

Even if Obama and Netanyahu overcome the latest bump in the road, this is no longer an optical illusion: There are disagreements between Israel and America. This is unpleasant in the short term, yet in the long term it’s a situation that also presents an opportunity – the opportunity to face the Americans candidly and tell them: Precisely because you are our real allies, you will have to cope with one of our most basic rights – the right to think differently than you about our future.

A great deal of truth is inherent in the notion that Israel's foreign policy, for a lot of reasons, will not coincide with what the US, the PA, the Arabs and the rest of the world wants. This is not due to some evil desire to thwart peace but to protect Israel's national interests in any political settlement.

And the heart of the matter is really quite simple:

Two new governments on both sides do not see eye to eye on diplomatic realities and have different attitudes to Jerusalem. We could have caved in, or tried to blur the gaps, yet this would be a missed opportunity. It is better to reconcile ourselves to this diplomatic reality and recognize it. This is the situation, dear citizens: Israel thinks differently than America.

Whether or not the Obami respect it is their problem to deal with. Israel has the right to be different.

Read it all.

At 1:20 PM, Blogger Chrysler 300M said...

hope for Nov 2010, after the Republican tsunami has destroyed the Obama mobsters


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