Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Let's Hope the President gets it right this time

From Commentary Magazine Blogs:
by Jennifer Rubin
The White House must be very nervous. There was no way it could excuse Obama’s serial rudeness to Bibi, so it’s trying a do-over:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will hold another White House meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama next Tuesday, Israeli officials said yesterday. … Israeli officials said that Obama wanted to meet with Netanyahu soon, before Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas arrives in Washington for his White House meeting in another few weeks, due to the crisis in relations between Israel and the U.S. and the substantial criticism Obama has taken over it, both from congressmen and from American Jewish leaders.
We’ll see if it is followed by a nice photo-op and press conference.
As a colleague wryly remarks: “Wow—the fundraising must really be in catastrophic condition.” Yes, one suspects that has a role in the “charm offensive.” Here’s the thing, though: for Obama to really repair the damage he has done, he’d have to make dramatic changes in policy (e.g., give a speech saying military force remains an option, give Israel the same pledge of full support he extended to South Korea, cease the demands for unilateral concessions from Israel, loudly condemn continuing instances of Palestinian incitement, block Iran’s participation in UN committees and commissions, walk out of the UN Human Rights Council). Or maybe he figures he can avoid any substantive change in policy and get back in the good graces of American Jewry. It may be a savvy calculation.
We can only hope he is crass enough to act like he cares.

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