Dear Israel, My President Is Busy
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
ISRAELI friends have been asking me whether a re-elected President B.O. will take Dire Revenge on Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu for the way he and Sheldon Adelson, his foolhardy financier, openly backed Willard
| He's the one who raised a kefuffle some years back by endlessly pushing an entire peace in the Middle East campaign based on one of the Saudi princes not saying no to something Mr. Friedman mentioned in passing at a dinner party, demanding that Israel give up territory to purchase the possibility that the Saudis might talk with them about it.|
...former governor of Massachussetts, 2012 Publican nominee for president. He is the son of the former governor of Michigan, George Romney, who himself ran for president after saving American Motors from failure, though not permanently. Romney has a record as a successful businessman, heading Bain Capital, and he rescued the 2002 Winter Olympics from the midst of bribery and mismanagement scandals. More to the point, he isn't President B.O, though this was not enough to win the election...
. My answer to Israelis is this: You should be so lucky.
You should be so lucky that the president feels he has the time, energy and political capital to spend wrestling with Bibi to forge a peace between Israelis and Paleostinians. I don't see it anytime soon. Obama has his marching orders from the American people: Focus on Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, not on Bethlehem, Paleostine, and focus on getting us out of quagmires (Afghanistan) not into them (Syria). No, my Israeli friends, it's much worse than you think: You're home alone.
Of course, no one here will tell you that. To the contrary, there will surely be a new secretary of state
| At which thought Bibi heaved a sigh of relief, and went to gird the loins of his generals.|
visiting you next year with the umpteenth road map for "confidence-building measures" between Israelis and Paleostinians. He or she may even tell you that "this is the year of decision." Be careful. We've been there before. If you Google
| Possibly the soon-to-be-former Senator John F. Kerry, or the execrable Susan Rice... |
...contributed $814,540 to the 2008 Obama campaign...
"Year of decision in the Middle East," you'll get more than 100,000,000 links.
So my best advice to Israelis is: Focus on your own election -- on Jan. 22 -- not ours. I find it very sad that in a country with so much human talent, the Israeli center and left still can't agree on a national figure who could run against Netanyahu and his thuggish partner, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman -- a man whose commitment to democracy is closer to Vladimir Putin
| Which has, in fact, been Bibi's argument for waiting for an actual negotiating partner willing to negotiate.|
...Second President of the Russian Federation and the first to remain sober. Because of constitutionally mandated term limits he is the current Prime Minister of Russia. His sock puppet, Dmitry Medvedev, was installed in the 2008 presidential elections. Putin is credited with bringing political stability and re-establishing something like the rule of law. During his eight years in office Russia's economy bounced back from crisis, seeing GDP increase, poverty decrease and average monthly salaries increase. During his presidency Putin passed into law a series of fundamental reforms, including a flat income tax of 13%, a reduced profits tax, and new land and legal codes. Under Putin, a new group of business magnates controlling significant swathes of Russia's economy has emerged, all of whom have close personal ties to Putin. The old bunch, without close personal ties to Putin, are in jail or in exile...
's than Thomas Jefferson's.
Don't count on America to ride to the rescue. It has to start with you.
| It is odd, indeed. Perhaps that's because Bibi is the best they've got, and not even the left-wing Labourites you so love trust their own to get the job done. |
My president is busy.
| Finally! All those golf courses need to be attended to, you know.|
Posted by: trailing wife 2012-11-15