The Wall Street Journal has an article this morning, reprinted here which touches on a question I have: Why are people so incensed with Israel when in fact almost all of the troubles in our world are coming from various branches of Islam? Why can’t Israel defend herself against Hamas and other terrorist groups? Why is Israeli uppityness so much more offensive to powerful people than say ISIS beheadings, Putin’s aggressions, 170,000 plus dead Syrians, etc? How powerful is Jew hatred, really?
Barack Obama “has become ‘enraged’ at the Israeli government, both for its actions and for its treatment of his chief diplomat, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. ” So reports the Jerusalem Post, based on the testimony of Martin Indyk, until recently a special Middle East envoy for the president. The war in Gaza, Mr. Indyk adds, has had “a very negative impact” on Jerusalem’s relations with Washington.
Think about this. Enraged. Not “alarmed” or “concerned” or “irritated” or even “angered.” Anger is a feeling. Rage is a frenzy. Anger passes. Rage feeds on itself. Anger is specific. Rage is obsessional, neurotic.
Well, exactly. What has Israel ever done to harm him? It is just ridiculous.
And Mr. Obama—No Drama Obama, the president who prides himself on his cool, a man whose emotional detachment is said to explain his intellectual strength—is enraged. With Israel. Which has just been hit by several thousand unguided rockets and 30-odd terror tunnels, a 50-day war, the forced closure of its one major airport, accusations of “genocide” by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, anti-Semitic protests throughout Europe, general condemnation across the world. This is the country that is the object of the president’s rage.
The president in Bethesda, Md., July 29. Ron Sachs/Cnp/Zuma Press
Think about this some more. In the summer in which Mr. Obama became “enraged” with Israel, Islamic State terrorists seized Mosul and massacred Shiite soldiers in open pits, Russian separatists shot down a civilian jetliner, Hamas executed 18 “collaborators” in broad daylight, Bashar Assad’s forces in Syria came close to encircling Aleppo with the aim of starving the city into submission, a brave American journalist had his throat slit on YouTube by a British jihadist, Russian troops openly invaded Ukraine, and Chinese jets harassed U.S. surveillance planes over international waters.
Mr. Obama or his administration responded to these events with varying degrees of concern, censure and indignation. But rage?
Here, for instance, is the president in early August, talking to the New York Times’s Tom Friedman about Russia and Ukraine:
“Finding an off-ramp for [ Vladimir Putin ] becomes more challenging. Having said that I think it is still possible for us, because of the effective organization that we have done with the Europeans around Ukraine, and the genuine bite that the sanctions have had on the Russian economy, for us to arrive at a fair accommodation in which Ukrainian sovereignty and independence is still recognized but there is also recognition that Ukraine does have historic ties to Russia, the majority of their trade goes to Russia, huge portions of the population are Russian speaking, and so they are not going to be severed from Russia. And if we do that a deal should be possible.”
This isn’t even condemnation. It’s an apology. For Mr. Putin. Benjamin Netanyahu should be so lucky.
Now think about what, specifically, has enraged the president about Israel’s behavior. “Its actions and its treatment of his chief diplomat.”
Actions? Hamas began firing rockets at Israel in June, thereby breaking the cease-fire it had agreed to at the end of the last war, in November 2012. The latest war began in earnest on July 7 when Hamas fired some 80 rockets at Israel. “No country can accept rocket fire aimed at civilians,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the next day, “and we support Israel’s right to defend itself against these vicious attacks.”
On July 15 Israel accepted the terms of a cease-fire crafted by Egypt. Hamas violated it by firing 50 rockets at Israel. On July 17 Israel accepted a five-hour humanitarian cease-fire. Hamas violated it again. On July 20 Israel allowed a two-hour medical window in the neighborhood of Shujaiyeh. Hamas violated it. On July 26 Hamas announced a daylong cease-fire. It then broke its own cease-fire. On July 28 Israel agreed to a cease-fire for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr. The rocket attacks continued. On Aug. 1 Israel accepted a 72-hour cease-fire proposed by the U.S. Hamasviolated it within 90 minutes. On Aug. 5 Israel agreed to Egypt’s terms for another three-day cease-fire. Hamas violated it several hours before it was set to expire, after Israel announced it would agree to an extension.
If Hamas had honored any of these cease-fires it could have saved Palestinian lives. It didn’t. Mr. Obama is enraged—but not with Hamas.
Read the rest if you can stomach it. I can’t. I’ve just returned from a lovely trip abroad, punctuated with horrific English speaking crowds chanting: Kill the Jews! I think that the western world has a lot to offer – medicine, clean environment, good enough economies to avoid hunger, kind and entertaining people in the countryside – but at the same time they are thinly veiled barbarians. Under the expensive British soaps is a god-awful stink.
Oh, and fear is not improving the stink much, is it? Because they are now well and truly terrified of their own citizens.