WILLIAM KRISTOL | Weekly Standard
President Obama tried to reassure more than 900 rabbis today on a half-hour conference call that he’s a stalwart friend of Israel. In the midst of all the happy talk, though, he inadvertently revealed how he really thinks about the Middle East:
The most important thing we can do to stabilize the strategic situation for Israel is if we can actually resolve the Palestinian-Israeli crisis because that’s what feeds so much of the tumult in Egypt. That’s what I think has created the deep tension between Turkey and Israel and Turkey has historically been a friend and ally of Israel’s.
Really? The Palestinian-Israeli “crisis” has “created the deep tension between Turkey and Israel?” Were the rabbis too polite to point out that Turkey and Israel were friendly for decades, that their friendship survived moments of far greater Israeli-Palestinian tension than today, and that it survived real “crises” not phony U.N.-staged ones? Did any rabbi point out that what’s changed is that Turkey now has, unfortunately, a prime minister—Recep Tayyip Erdogan—who has a different agenda from his predecessors? Erdogan has sought, with some success, to increase tension between Turkey and Israel and between Israel and others in the region (including Egypt). But Obama doesn’t want to blame Erdogan, or for that matter Mahmoud Abbas, who’s refused to negotiate with Israel. He blames “the Palestinian-Israeli crisis”—and then lets Bill Clinton blame Netanyahu for failing to resolve that crisis.
And you wonder why so many congregants of those rabbis suspect that Obama and his party are no friends of Israel?