Michael Totten

A Smoldering Disaffection with the President's Policy

Marty Peretz, editor-in-chief of The New Republic, voted for President Barack Obama as you’d expect from the boss at a left-leaning magazine. But he has “some complaints”:http://blogs.tnr.com/tnr/blogs/the_spine/archive/2009/07/14/obama-s-chutzpah-sorry-only-israelis-have-chutzpah-so-it-s-obama-s-haughty-condescension.aspx about the president’s foreign policy, as do I. (I more or less approve so far of Obama’s handling of Lebanon, Iraq, and Afghanistan.)

Frankly, I am sick and tired of President Obama’s eldering–more accurately, hectoring–Israel’s leaders. It is, after all, they whose country is the target of an armed and ideological cyclone that Obama has done precious little to ease. He brought nothing back from Riyadh and Cairo, absolutely nothing except the conviction of the Arab leaders that they need do nothing but sit and wait until the president squeezes one concession after another out of Jerusalem. Oops, I apologize. Maybe I should still say Tel Aviv. In any case, waiting is exactly what they are doing. Palestinian President Abbas has prided himself in doing just that. He had said so, as I pointed out in this “space”:http://blogs.tnr.com/tnr/blogs/the_spine/archive/2009/06/02/an-inconvenient-truth.aspx a few weeks ago.

Maybe you weren’t offended by Obama’s advice to Israel, via some 15 American Jewish leaders, that it had to “engage in serious self-reflection,” as if it took its perils frivolously. But I know many Democrats who are; they’re just a bit intimidated to say so.

I also know Democrats who voted for Barack Obama who think his Israel policy is obnoxious and are afraid to say so out loud. We’ll see how much longer that lasts.