The Spine

Sage Advice From Editorial Boards

By

The more (self-) evident it becomes that Israel has exactly zero
to do with the horrors of Mumbai and the more evident it is that the
terror unleashed there is a function of Islamic fanaticism generally
and on the sub-continent particularly, the more the smug foreign policy
establishment reverts to its old and discredited theme.  Its favored
theme: The Jewish state has to soften up.  

It
comes in the guise of counsel to Hillary Clinton whose politics and
policies they do not trust.  After all, these are matters that have
been informed by the vox populi     and these high-minded folk distrust the vox populi intrinsically.  I don't.

Now,
as you may recall, I did not favor Hillary Clinton for the Democratic
presidential nomination.  And I did not much like her designation as
secretary of state.  But my views of her were personal.  I thought that
the country had had enough of the Clintons, and I expressed myself
strongly.  And maybe even more than a bit unfairly.  But Hillary will
now be the secretary of state, a much more able and subtle chief
diplomat of the Obama administration, surely, than Bill Richardson or
Chuck Hagel would have been.  I hereby call off my now completely
irrelevant struggle against Hillary.

And that's because I trust her to respect the allies whom the American people trust and to which it wants to be allied.

On
August 30, 2007, Roger Cohen wrote a column on the New York Times
op-ed page called "Mother of Conflicts."  Who is that mother?  It is
the old Jewish mother.   The Bush administration was responsible for
the hopelessness of the Palestinians because of "its uncritical
war-on-terror embrace of Israel."  I suppose that Cohen prefers India's
way of waging war on terror, which is almost nothing.

In
any case, with a few columns on Israel in between, Cohen returned to
his topi
c on December 1.  "Try Tough Love, Hillary," he calls it.
 You know his advice. It's almost everybody's advice, including to some
small degree mine.  And, since Cohen is no fool, he also tells the
Palestinians to "renounce terrorism" against Israel and Jews.  For his
mouth to God's ears.   What about renouncing terrorism with each other?
 Or making peace between and among the Palestinian factions?  

Cohen
is not the only one to give such sage advice to Hillary.  She is
getting inundated.  On Tuesday, both the New York Times and the
Financial Times devolved the identical counsel on her.

The
FT's leader was called "Obama gambles on Hillary Clinton."
 Among other errors in her ways, "she took a strongly pro-Israel
stance," especially on Jerusalem.  But not just.  She actually
understands, as does Obama, that Palestinian rejectionism impedes peace
more than any particular settlement in the West Bank or certain
Jerusalem streets.    Despite this, her convictions on these matters,
"will presumably soften."  By the way, did the FT worry during the
twenty years of Jordanian occupation whether Jews had access to the
Western Wall or the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem?  I doubt it.

The
Times advises that the Obama-Clinton team become, unlike their
predecessors, "closers" on Israeli-Palestinian peace.  It has more
faith in the future makers of foreign policy makers than in the ones
who still govern.  And how exactly will anyone guarantee that whatever
territory Israel leaves will not be home to  

missiles and rockets and terrorists, generally?  Is Gaza a precedent?  And why not?

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