Several Republican lawmakers, and presidential candidate Michele Bachmann are calling on President Obama to apologize for an open-microphone incident in which he and French President Nicolas Sarkozy appear to one-up themselves in their personal antipathy toward Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Whether Obama apologizes or not is his call, but it is unseemly and not the job of various senators and representatives to demand it. If Israel wants an apology, either Netanyahu can ask for one, or Israel’s ambassador in Washington can make the demand.
Give the president his due: At least he laid bare his antipathy. No longer do voters need to await a Los Angeles Times‘ decision to release the videotape which allegedly shows Obama bashing the Jewish state. Let Democrats try to spin Obama’s remarks for the positive: Increasingly, it’s clear their spirit isn’t in it. The Democratic Party has cast true liberals outside its umbrellas. Those who believe Israel has the right to exist behind secure borders simply are no longer welcome in the mainstream Democratic Party. Take one look at the blog of John Podesta’s Center for American Progress and the sheer antipathy Democrats hold for Israel becomes clear. Meanwhile, if Americans do not approve of Obama’s embrace of adversaries and bashing of allies, then they can simply take their views to the ballot box and toss Obama out.Update: Melanie Phillips is disgusted by both Left and Right for blaming Netanyahu and only Netanyahu for the failure of "peace" talks:
Yet this is precisely what many in the west do – principally because, unlike Israeli politicians on the left, Netanyahu (who certainly has his flaws) is less prepared to play fast and loose with truth, justice and history while offering up Israel’s throat to be cut. For this inconvenient obduracy he is branded as ‘right-wing’ and therefore beyond the pale and impossible to deal with.
That is presumably what lay behind the now infamous overheard exchange between Presidents Sarkozy and Obama – Sarkozy: ‘I cannot bear Netanyahu, he is a liar’; Obama: ‘You’re fed up with him, but I have to deal with him every day!’
This exchange tells us many things, none of them good, about the attitude of the Presidents of France and the US towards the Prime Minister of the country that is in the front line of western defence. But in the UK, the Times showed this morning that it too has now drunk the Kool-Aid over the Middle East. For just whom did it blame for this horrible exchange between Sarkozy and Obama about Netanyahu? Why – Netanyahu. Its leading article (£) opined:
‘In fact the man who should be most worried by the Cannes table talk is not either of the participants, but the object of their complaint. For what has been exposed is that the leaders of two of the most important allies that Israel has not only dislike Mr Netanyahu intensely, but distrust him too.
‘... Though trust and good personal relationships are hugely important in diplomacy, they are not everything. Israel has existential worries, and understandably feels sometimes that it can rely only on itself. But this “ourselves alone” mentality has become distorted under Mr Netanyahu into what might be called “Millwall diplomacy”, after the famously belligerent soccer fans whose slogan became “no-one likes us, we don’t care”.
‘Israel needs to win friends, not lose them; to be sustained by its allies, not to alienate them. What the conversation in Cannes shows is that, in Mr Netanyahu, Israel seems to have the wrong leader at the wrong time. This newspaper hopes that either he can change, or if not, that he can be changed.’
So the spite displayed by the Presidents of France and the US towards Netanyahu, whom they have thus kicked in the back despite the fact that he has made concession after concession to Abbas who has never resiled from his own genocidal aims, is actually all the fault of ...Netanyahu, whom the Times wishes to punish further for thus being the victim of such malice by chucking him out of office unless he too starts playing the appeasement game.
One expects to read this kind of disgusting ‘blame the victim’ approach to Israel in newspapers of the left. The Times, however, used to be a staunch friend of Israel and was thus on the right side of history. No longer, it seems. Thus the terrifying confusions of our era deepen still further as the skies darken.Update: Diana West comments:
Equally as shocking as the malevolent but somehow also banal comments of Sarkozy and Obama regarding Netanyahu is the protection accorded them by the ladies and gennemen of the Fourth Estate who were listening in on the old, inavertently open mike. If it weren't for a French website called "Arret sur Images," we wouldn't have the story.