The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


The Obama administration's most senior voice on foreign policy is Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton. When Ms. Clinton speaks, her words are generally those of the President of the United States. When she criticizes a country, the rules of diplomacy generally require her to do so gently or indirectly. Whether the country is friend or foe, diplomacy-speak is almost always measured and often indirect.

During the past week, Hillary Rodham Clinton directly and harshly criticized Israel for announcing plans for the development of a Jerusalem housing project during the visit of VP Joseph Biden. Unlike the Obama administration's relatively gentle treatment of our enemies, her treatment of Israel was both harsh and direct—all because our Vice President felt embarrassed.

No matter that a housing project kills no one, injures no one, and does not displace a single Palestinian from their house. No matter that housing improves the neighborhood and is an infrastructure asset. No matter than Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu apologized for the timing of the announcement by a low-level cabinet minister immediately, the White House pursued their public criticism for days after VP Biden accepted the Israel's apology. According to the White House it’s the symbolism that matters.

Okay, I can accept that. But it does seem odd that the Obama administration remained silent this past week as the "moderate" Palestinian Authority in a highly symbolic action named the central square in Ramallah after Dalal Mughrabi. Tom Gross provides us with background:
Mughrabi was the leader of a Fatah PLO terror squad armed with Kalashnikov rifles, RPG light mortars and high explosives, that sailed from Lebanon and landed on a beach between Haifa and Tel Aviv. They first killed a renowned American photojournalist (who was incidentally the niece of U.S. Democratic party Senator Abraham Ribicoff) who was taking nature photos, then hijacked a bus and commandeered another, embarking on a bloody rampage that left 38 Israeli civilians dead, 13 of them children.

Fatah representatives at the ceremony on Thursday described Mughrabi as “a courageous fighter who held a proud place in Palestinian history.”

Interesting, the PA honors a terrorist who murdered 38 civilians including 13 children as a "courageous fighter" and we get absolute, unadulterated silence from the Obama administration. Not a harsh word, not a soft criticism, not even a suggestion that this sends the wrong signal to the PA’s "peace partner." Nothing.

In a delusional attempt to be evenhanded, it appears that our President and his supporters on the extreme Left are perfectly willing to criticize Israel for relatively minor ”insult,” but are never willing to criticize the Palestinians even when they lionize a terrorist.

It's no wonder then that President Obama is unlikely accomplish anything in the Middle East. And for those of us who believed, long before he was elected, that he was an ideologically driven opponent of our only true ally in the Middle east, his recent actions are not the least bit surprising.

Update: 3/17/2010

The U.S. state department continues its criticism of the Israeli announcement with no let up. The Jerusalem Post reports:
Just four days after a blistering phone conversation with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, followed by television appearances in which she said the announcement of plans to build in Ramat Shlomo while Vice President Joe Biden was in Israel was an insult not only to Biden but to the US, Clinton reiterated US “dismay and disappointment” at that announcement.

Yeah ... building houses is a true "insult" to the United States.

I have to wonder why Ms. Clinton never mentioned any “dismay and disappointment” over the naming of a Palestinian city square after a child-murdering terrorist. Her silence on the matter (no doubt encouraged by President Obama) speaks volumes.