Unfair Expectations

Unfair Expectations

In the editorial on President Barack Obama’s relations with Israel (“How Obama Can Assure Israelis,” July 8), you go out of your way to paint what ought to be considered good qualities of our president as flaws, and make demands of him out of all proportion with the reality of his position, and those of Israel and the United States.

Surely, Jews should prefer a president who is “pragmatic and even-handed in handling the Israeli-Arab equation.” As an intelligent, pragmatic people valuing justice and reason over zealotry, would we really like to have another president like George W. Bush, whose love of Israel derived from his status as a “fervent Christian”? Have we reached the point where only an American leader who makes decisions based on emotions and faith while ignoring facts can be trusted to safeguard Israel?

Apparently, the only way Obama can reassure Israelis is to openly recognize that making them feel comfortable and secure is “his job as president.” Funny, and I thought the job of the president of the United States was to safeguard the interests of the American people and the free world. You know — the kind of task that requires pragmatism, tough choices and a respect for the legitimate rights and concerns of all peoples, including Arabs.

I’d like to think that Israelis are smart enough to recognize that the Israel-coddling presidents of the past two decades have bought them some time, but not peace. I’d like to think they would ask their own prime minister why his government has failed to offer any constructive solution for how to finally solve the conflict and avert disaster at the United Nations, before they lay the guilt at the feet of the U.S. president. But perhaps The Jewish Week has come to the conclusion that both Israelis and our presidents ought to be governed more by hysteria than common sense.


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