Obama’s and the Times’ dance on Israel
I was pretty surprised when Obama declared the other day that Israel “has the right to defend itself” from Hamas rocket fire and urged the Palestinians, not Israel, to stop aggressive actions.
I was even more surprised when I read the lead editorial of yesterday’s New York Times:
Hamas, which took control of Gaza in 2007 and is backed by Iran, is so consumed with hatred for Israel that it has repeatedly resorted to violence, no matter the cost to its own people.Whoa! Have you ever seen the New York Times, or any liberal outlet, declare the plain truth that Muslims are “consumed with hatred for Israel”? If any ever did, I don’t remember it.
However, it seems that Obama has already backed away from his unwonted backing of Israel. In an article entitled, “With Hillary Clinton’s dash to Middle East, Obama signals a shift in his approach,” the Washington Post reports (via Powerline):
Clinton’s peacemaking trip is Obama’s clearest signal yet to Israel that it should begin to pull back its campaign against militants in the Gaza Strip. The administration knows that with Clinton on the ground trying to resolve the crisis, it will be harder for Netanyahu to make good on his threat to invade Gaza.Paul Mirengoff comments:
Obama’s real position, then, is that he will attempt to dictate the tactics and operations through which Israel exercises the right to defend itself. And Obama’s efforts to dictate constitute a constraint on Israel’s right to defend itself.Now that Obama has shifted away from his initial support for Israel, we must expect that the New York Times, which followed him in that statement of support, will immediately follow his switch. I’ll check their editorials tomorrow.
UPDATE: There’s been a cease-fire agreement. The NYT says:
The one-page memorandum of understanding left the issues that have most inflamed the tensions between the Israelis and the Gazans up for further negotiation. Israel demands long-term border security, including an end to Palestinian missile launching over the border. Hamas wants an end to the Israeli embargo.How ridiculous. The Israelis “demand” an end to missiles being launched into their country, instead of killing and defeating the people firing the missiles. But Israel lives under the power of liberalism, both its own liberalism and that of the United States, and liberalism prohibits victory, because victory is unfair and unequal.
Meanwhile, since the cease-fire was announced, five more missiles have been fired into Israel.