Thursday, March 11, 2010

Joe Goes to Jerusalem: What would Rudy Giuliani do? (W.W.G.D.)

by Bernie Quigley

- for The Hill on 3/11/10

Joe Biden went to Jerusalem to scold. He “condemned” the Israelis, saying the East Jerusalem housing plans "undermined the trust required for productive negotiations.” "Sometimes, only a friend can deliver the hardest truth,” he said.

Is Joe a friend of Israel? His boss seems not to like Israel at all and presumably Israelis. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized to Uncle Joe, saying that he did not know the announcement of the settlements would be made when he was visiting and he didn’t want to spoil his visit. That explanation might have held up in George W. Bush’s cabinet when they announced the new preemptive policy a day before German elections, or in the random diplomacy of Joe and Hillary. But in Israel, it is much as Dr. Freud said: “There is no such thing as an accident.”

Biden’s visit to Israel is part of the Obama Theater of diplomacy. Netanyahu is probably more concerned right now with the upcoming Likud Central Committee elections to take place on April 28th. The Israelis are just waiting politely for Biden and co. to go away. Probably they have been waiting for almost 40 years now when the conspicuous benevolence of peacetime diplomacy started with Jimmy Carter as part of a showcase of global American love fest. But Jews have old souls, like the Chinese, and in the center-most place, they understand that this too shall pass.

Biden may be a dork, as Karl Rove said, but his real problem is that he works for a pre- 9/11 President. I think we needed a rest, as we did after Vietnam with Jimmy Carter and as England did after World War II with Clement Atlee. But rest time is over. The time for smoozing is over. The war in Iraq is over. We won. We won with ominous threats from Toby Keith and Rudy Giuliani backed up by American boots on the ground. We won with unconstitutional acts and some egregious practices by the George W. Bush administration. It happens, as anyone who served in the Vietnam War or any other war will tell you. The time for recriminations is over. It is water under the bridge. Those who dwell on the dark side of it become poisoned by it.

And because of these things Israel has a brand new place in the world and so does the United States. But post-9/11, post Iraq war relations cannot be established by a President who reached back to the 1980s and 1990s for his agents and advisors. It is the politics of denial.

Only Sarah Palin has brought focus on Israel under the new circumstances, met of course with fear and trembling and that chicken soup of the liberal northeast, light irony. Rick Perry will in time as the Christian Zionists in Texas have been better friends to Israel and more dependable ones these past few years than Biden, Clinton and Obama. There is an opening for Rudy Giuliani here as well and he should speak up now to the issues of national security, especially on Iran and our friendship with Israel.

Because in Israel and in the United States, the 20th century is over. The past is past we are approaching very quickly now the beginning of things.