Monday, May 24, 2010

support from an unexpected source

I confess that when I saw this article at Huffpo, I was expecting something very different than what I read. It is, in a way, a good source for a response to what Campolo said at Sojouners, which I referred to last week.

Obama's Jewish Charm Offensive

An invitation to the White House is a big deal and can play all kinds of tricks on people's convictions, which might explain why so many of those who visited emerged with newfound praise for the president even though the administration has changed none of its positions on Israel. The president is still demanding that Jews build no new homes in Ramat Shlomo, a neighborhood that is entirely Jewish. He has yet to repudiate his administration's position that the Arab-Israeli conflict, and by implication Israeli intransigence, fuels the Taliban and other Arab extremists. And he has yet to apologize to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the humiliating treatment he dished out in March. Most of all, the president has not reversed his biased policy of apportioning the blame for the lack of movement in the peace process squarely on Israeli settlements rather than decades-old Arab refusal to accept Israel as a permanent and legitimate fact. We have yet to hear the president forcefully condemn the Hamas charter calling for the destruction of the State of Israel or the Palestinian Authority recently naming a public square after Dalal Mughrabi, who led 1978 Coastal Road terrorist massacre which killed 37 Israelis.

He makes one of the most interesting, and possibly succinct, insights into this US President.

And herein lies the problem with the President Obama. Simply stated, the man does not seem to hate evil. He continues to believe he can charm wicked regimes into doing good, that personal charisma can persuade tyrants to lay down their arms and beat their swords into plowshares. This was the policy that the president first pursued with Iran and Ahmadinejad. It of course yielded no results, other than to embolden a vile regime who promptly stole an election and began to slaughter their own people it the streets. The president turned up the charm with Hugo Chavez with the result that the Venezuelan dictator has now become one of the president's most strident critics.

And not just concerning the President, but also many of those who support them (I mean you, Sojo). They believe that if they 'play nice', make apologetic noises, take the blame, cring and crawl and kowtow to all who claim to be victims, then they will be liked.

Will the president and his advisers learn that charm offensives can never take the place of moral policy? All the smiles, hugs, and bows in the world are never going to soften tyrants who seek not the favor of the president of the United States but unchecked power over their oppressed citizenry.

I truly couldn't agree more. I am very surprised that such a article should be found at Huffpo, and think it a good balance to Campolo's attempt to blame Israel and her allies for all that is wrong in the Middle East.

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