“Obama is a fool, and Kerry is an idiot.” “The Americans’ behavior has angered not only Israel, but all moderate forces in the region.” “There is no other way to describe [American dealings] than as a perversion of morality and diplomacy.”
Those were some of the nicer things one could hear Israelis muttering about the American leadership this week.
At first, Israelis were frustrated by inequitable American ceasefire demands and proposals that they at first believed were designed to protect Washington’s interests in the region and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
But then senior Democratic officials began commenting to the media, and the depths of the administration’s incompetence as regards Hamas and the threat Israel is facing became clear.
First, Secretary of State John Kerry presented a ceasefire proposal that even the most dovish members of Israel’s coalition could not endorse. From wall-to-wall, Kerry’s plan was rejected for having the audacity to treat Hamas as an equal negotiating partner.
Then a transcript of President Barack Obama’s follow-up call with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is leaked to the press. Israelis were stunned by Obama’s tone as he demanded Israel implement an immediate, unconditional ceasefire. The president said he was certain Hamas would respond in kind.
Washington later denied that the transcript was authentic, but Israeli journalists with connections in the US capital insisted it was. The Israeli government later issued its own denial, which precisely mirrored that of the Americans, and in so doing appeared to confirm the opposite. It was as though the Israeli government was saying, “Look, we are saying what we were told to say. Can’t you feel the sincerity?”
And then the Americans started really getting stupid.
Former Secretary of State (and possible future presidential hopeful) seemingly defended Hamas’ vile tactics by suggesting the Islamists only placed their weapons next to, inside and underneath civilian facilities because Gaza is so small and there was nowhere else to store and from which to launch their weapons of war.
Never mind that Clinton’s own husband, former President Bill Clinton, oversaw the signing of the so-called “Oslo Accords,” which 20 years ago demanded the demilitarization of Gaza. It doesn’t matter that Hamas can’t find room for its missiles, because those missiles aren’t even supposed to be there.
Former Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi also chimed in, leaving not a few Israelis to wonder if this senior American government official has any clue whatsoever about what is happening in the Middle East.
Pelosi tried to play dumb when confronted by the reality of Hamas aggression and brutality by insisting that Qatar had “told me over and over again that Hamas is a humanitarian organization.”
Obama and Kerry made a similar blunder when they sought out Qatar and Turkey, instead of Israel and Egypt, to help them draft a Gaza ceasefire.
Meanwhile, Hamas itself is making the Obama Administration look the fool.
“Our doctrine in fighting you (the Jews) is that we will totally exterminate you. We will not leave a single one of you alive,” said a Gaza-based imam in a sermon broadcast on Hamas’ Al Aqsa TV this week.
Such remarks by Hamas officials and affiliated clerics are commonplace and publicly available to anyone who takes a mere 30 seconds to look into the group’s ideology, raison d’être and regular pronouncements.
Hamas is not even trying to hide its true face.
And Israelis are growing increasingly irritated with an American administration that tries to make Hamas and other enemies out to be something even they admit they aren’t.