Perhaps it’s not fair to blame Barack Obama for the mess he’s making. The Middle East is where chaos was invented, after all, and perhaps not even the collection of incompetents and boobs the president has installed in the White House could make things this bad. Maybe it’s someone else’s fault. He blames the Jews.
When Mr. Obama promised the United Nations General Assembly earlier this month “a different type of leadership,” he prescribed “a leadership strong enough to recognize that nations share common interests and people share a common humanity.” That’s all very nice, and Mr. Obama should buy the world a Coke (or at least a Perrier in a glass bottle). He may have a profitable post-White House career waiting for him writing treacle for greeting cards.
Well-meaning he may be (or not), but he doesn’t have a clue about how such leadership would deal with people who do not share the common humanity. Some people have no humanity, but are the bastard progeny of an alien species of an evil planet in a cosmos, far, far away from our own.
Israel, which has seen pain and death in every guise, was stunned this week by a round of stabbings and shootings, including the murder of an American and his Israeli wife, seated in their car on the road near Nablus, by Palestinian gunmen who required their four children — aged 9, 7, 4 and 4 months — watch while their mother and father bled out their lives. The brutes fled, leaving the terrified children to deal with the terror and the gruesome aftermath of unspeakable cruelty.
The Palestinians celebrated the slaying with what Palestinian newspapers described as “joy” over the “heroics” of the gunmen. They put up photographs of their grim work on Twitter and Facebook. In Washington, the government of the “leader from behind” said it was “monitoring” the violence with a “growing sense of alarm.” The leader from behind hoped the perpetrators would be “swiftly brought to justice.”
Senior officials at the White House viewed with alarm, and pointed with pride at the moral equivalence served at the State Department. “We are deeply concerned about recent violence and escalating tensions in the West Bank and Jerusalem, and we condemn in the strongest terms violence against Israeli and Palestinian civilians.”
And then, with its reserves of decency spent, comes the “but” that everyone knew was on the way. “We call upon all parties to take affirmative steps to restore calm, and refrain from actions and rhetoric that would further escalate tensions.” Memo to Israel: “This means you.” Those parents with their four children should have known their presence on the road was a provocation. Why else assess the not-so-subtle blame for both killer and prey? The super-sleuths in Foggy Bottom are still trying to figure out whether the slaying of the couple on the road, with their four children watching, was an “act of terror.” Why not ask the 9-year-old?
President Obama and his friends dismiss as canard the logical conclusion of a reasonable man that this president just doesn’t like Jews very much, and scorns Israelis in particular.
Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu demonstrated with devastating effect his dilemma in getting a fair hearing for Israel at the U.N. When he observed that only 70 years after the Holocaust, Iran, guaranteed by Mr. Obama’s deal to get a nuclear bomb, threatens anew to annihilate the Jewish state. There was no response from the General Assembly audience — not a cheer, not even a rumble of applause, nothing but the silence of frightened churls. Mr. Netanyahu did not disturb the silence while 44 seconds ticked off the clock. The only movement in the hall was the squirming in the ranks of the West by the occasional delegate with still a remnant of shame.
The same audience had wildly cheered President Obama the day before as he took a victory lap for his deal with the mullahs, and for making sure a docile Congress took nothing away. The delegates now sat again in stony silence when Mr. Netanyahu observed that Iran continues to spread fear and terror, opposing every interest of America and the democracies, and works without rest toward establishing dominion over the region. Worst of all, there was no silence more profound and more frightening than in the ranks of the American delegates.
Mr. Obama, humiliated by Vladimir Putin’s seizure of the initiative in the Middle East, seems not to understand what has happened to him. No one fears him or respects him. He has become a harmless cipher in an empty suit in the affairs of serious men. The nation pays the price.
• Wesley Pruden is editor in chief emeritus of The Washington Times.