Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Why is Obama stooping to Bibi's level?

I'm hesitant to write this, because it'll invite my right-wing friends to pour their scorn of Obama on this thread. But I've been surprised by his behavior the last few days and feel the need to write this out.
I've never had cause to complain about Obama's treatment of Israel. His administration always had Israel's back, diplomatically, and with military aid.

And I appreciated the fact that the childish behavior and tantrums of Netanyahu have always been met by the patience of the adult in the room, Obama.

However, while I can certainly understand Obama's frustration with Netanyahu's antics, (which I share), for the first time, it feels like Obama's abandoned that role as the adult.

Yes, Netanyahu's said some stupid things. But he's also backtracked since the election. Why this peculiar insistence by the White House that "Nuh, uh! You said it! Can't take it back now!".

Politics has always consisted of posturing and half-truths. Policy can be whatever it's presented to be. Diplomacy is accepting that another party is saying the right things at the moment, whether or not you think they're sincere. Sincerity is irrelevant in politics. The relationship between Israel and the US isn't a romantic one, and one party saying something hurtful isn't the basis for a breakup.

I would expect Obama to do what he has, until now, excelled at doing. Which is to ignore Netanyahu's nonsense as best as possible, rebuke him for what deservedly needs to be rebuked, privately AND publicly, but then move on. While I have no sympathy for Netanyahu, he's saying some of the right things now. Why pretend that what he said during the final days of a tight campaign, as reprehensible as they were, seal any door against diplomatic repair?

Don't get me wrong. The chill in the relationship between the White House and the Prime Minister's office can be blamed overwhelmingly on Netanyahu. But the icicles in the last few days are, in my opinion, a result of an uncharacteristic immaturity in the White House's response.

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