- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 8, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is wrong about the Israeli settlements, and she knows it — just like her boss knows it. Despite President Obama’s pained remarks of an “unbreakable bond between the United States and Israel,” his actions tell a different story. Mr. Obama is the classic “all sides to the middle” talker, trying to be all things to all people.

Mr. Obama’s outreach to the Muslim world (ill-defined as it is) requires him to create distance with Israel. His seemingly suave approach to the Palestine question masks the inherent recklessness and utter naivete of his position, which puts Israel’s security at greater risk.

The Bush administration’s position on Palestinian statehood was plain. It required the Palestinians to renounce violence and terrorism and agree to Israel’s right to exist. Indeed, one could argue, as Natan Sharansky and others have done, that this does not go far enough as it does not require development of democratic institutions.

The Palestinians have done none of this. Instead, they have continued to indoctrinate their young and prepare for war. There has been no appreciable movement in the direction of peace.

With a nuclear Iran about to become a reality and a reinforced Hezbollah on Israel’s northern border, now is the time for the leader of the Free World to be firmer than ever. Mr. Obama comes up short and shows his real audacity by turning his back on one of America’s most trusted allies.

This moral equivalence is a trademark of the left. It signals to all that the erosion of Israel has won American favor and indeed is working. It emboldens Israel’s enemies at a time when peace is at its most fragile. It suggests that America lacks the resolve to stand up to an assault on the Jewish homeland.

ROBERT F. AGOSTINELLI

Paris

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