Friday, November 30, 2012
Imagine that you’re at a wedding reception and you happen to notice that a friend’s fly is down. Stuff like that happens, even to the best of us. What do you do? Well, you tell him privately, maybe while standing between him and the bridesmaid he developed the hots for during the ceremony, before she notices. What you don’t do is borrow the mike from the wedding singer and tell him publically – and then hit on that same bridesmaid. That’s not how good friends treat each other. Real friends treat each other with respect, kindness and the humility that comes from knowing that none of us is perfect.
Today, on NBCNews.com, an article from the network’s news wire services had the following headline, “US slams Israel’s decision to expand settlements.” To quote from the article,
The White House and the State Department said on Friday a new Israeli settlement expansion plan was “counterproductive” and could make it harder to bring Israel and the Palestinians back to the negotiating table.
“We reiterate our longstanding opposition to settlements and East Jerusalem construction and announcements,” White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said.
That’s Mr. Vietor in the featured image.
This piece isn’t about whether or not Israel should be expanding its settlements. Even if it was, I’m only a guy with a blog and an opinion, not the President of the United States or his spokesperson. What this article is about is the blatant lack of respect and kindness our President showed to Israel. If our President doesn’t like something Israel is doing, he should pick up the phone and talk to Mr. Netanyahu about it. What we shouldn’t be doing is chastising Israel publically, disrespecting them in front of foreign countries, terrorist organizations and other political movements who are Israel’s and, in many cases, also our opponents.
If we did it on purpose, went public that is, to apply pressure against Israel, and that is likely the case, that’s even worse.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland reiterated this position, adding: “We’re going to be evenhanded in our concern about any actions that are provocative, any actions that make it harder to get these two parties back to the table.”
Unfortunately, Ms. Nuland’s explanation doesn’t make the Administration’s (President Obama’s) diplomatic behavior any easier to accept
“Evenhanded”? Is the President really saying that our relationship with the Palestine government – the same government we don’t even recognize except as a terrorist organization, with which Secretary Clinton will not even hold direct talks – is on a par with our relationship with Israel – whose “Iron Dome” missile shield, that was deployed to protect Israel from rockets coming from Palestine, was developed, in part, with United States expertise and funding?
Mr. President, the next time your fly is down at a White House reception, don’t be surprised if Prime Minister Netanyahu doesn’t do the right thing. You want him to be your wing man, you’ve got to be his too.