Rahm Emanuel has been the target recently of demands that President Obama replace him in the position of Chief of Staff. The cause was Emanuel’s use of the word “retard” in a derogatory manner.
I was surprised that Mr. Emanuel along with other Obama enthusiastic supporters / advisers have not been called upon to accept some of responsibility for the tragically mistaken advice they provided the president, regarding the presidents ill fated theatrically released, poorly planned Middle-East / Israel/Arab policy.
Of course, the president and his advisers have plenty of other issues to focus on.
However, for our Prime Minister, no less than for our adversaries, the brief period in the presidential failed spot-light, had both immediate and long lasting effects for which we suffer from today.
Most immediate and obvious was the call for an immediate and total building freeze by Israel in Judea & Samaria as well as Jerusalem. Regardless that I personally believe that this policy is critically necessary for the well being of Israel, justified or not, this call from the popular newly elected president of the United States had a tremendous disproportionate impact on both the Israelis and Palestinians.
By rejecting the president’s demand and “getting away with it”, Prime Minister Netanyahu had scored many points from which he will benefit. . This can only add to his popularity and future votes.
With that demand on the table, PA Prime Minister Abbas could not possibly agree to continued negotiations on any lesser basis.
Also, on that side of the green line, Abbas and his Fatah governing faction, hailing Obama’s demand and aligning themselves with an American government, failed totally to make its power felt. When that government proved itself impotent in fulfilling its own vision, it found itself once again on the wrong side of their peoples enthusiasm. Once again the Palestinian people were let down by an American administration which had made so many glorious promises, explicit and implicit.
I know the president can not fire the J Street Executive Director or other enthusiastic irresponsible spokespersons. But that organization, if it had a gram of conscience and any sense of responsibility for the grave misdirection it gave the president we wouldn’t be in this mess. A public display of modesty and the recognition of mistaken policy endorsements would be an appropriate behavior on their part. Enthusiasm does not take the place of considered, correct and proper understanding of a given situation especially one as complex as the Arab / Israeli confrontation. All the more so if you are an organization that claims to have the welfare of the state of Israel as a goal.