What's Wrong With Obama?
3:21 PM, Jan 11, 2014 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
Ariel Sharon—a man whose deeds as soldier, general, cabinet minister, and prime minister were decisive in the history of modern Israel, a soldier-statesman of true historical significance, a larger-than-life figure whose like we're unlikely to see again—dies, and Barack Obama issues a statement that would be appropriate if one were recognizing the death of a pedestrian functionary who had routinely served as the insignificant leader of a random country.
Here is Obama's complete statement:
"On behalf of the American people, Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to the family of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and to the people of Israel on the loss of a leader who dedicated his life to the State of Israel. We reaffirm our unshakable commitment to Israel’s security and our appreciation for the enduring friendship between our two countries and our two peoples. We continue to strive for lasting peace and security for the people of Israel, including through our commitment to the goal of two states living side-by-side in peace and security. As Israel says goodbye to Prime Minister Sharon, we join with the Israeli people in honoring his commitment to his country."
Four sentences. Two have nothing to do with Sharon. As for the other two, the most Obama can find to say about Sharon is that he was "a leader who dedicated his life to the State of Israel" and that Obama honors Sharon's "commitment to his country." Of course Obama's statement is more about Obama than about Sharon. One expects that from Obama. But Obama's obtrusive non-recognition of Sharon's significance to the history of Israel and the Middle East, of his leadership in war as well as peace, of the meaning of his life to the Jewish people—Obama's manifest unwillingness to show respect for this fighter for Zion—is striking.
To see how striking, compare Obama's statement with that of his own secretary of state:
Secretary Kerry at least tries to recognize the grandeur of Sharon's life and to acknowledge the scope of his legacy. It is a fitting and proper statement for an American secretary of state. President Obama's statement is, on the other hand, is ungracious and inappropriate that one has to wonder, why? I suppose the answer is pretty obvious: Barack Obama has no warmth for Israel, no appreciation for Zionism, and no respect for those who have fought for the Jewish people.
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