(Photo: Kevin Wick)
Does anyone take the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) seriously anymore? AEI’s Vice President for Foreign and Defense Policy studies Danielle Pletka has gone off the rails in her latest blog post Does Obama hate Israel? Initially it didn’t even occur to me she was serious. Aren’t they supposed to at least give the impression (unlike say, the Kristol’s Emergency Committee of Israel) of being somewhat reasonable? But, she’s not kidding!
Some months ago I was in a small confab with two senior foreign policy people and a rising senator. We got to talking about Israel, and one of those present began the tale of a recent meeting with Barack Obama. Now before I get to the punch line, I underscore that the person I’m citing is in every way a member of the establishment — not a bomb-thrower, not a blogger, not a tweeter. What struck him, he told us, was that the president “hates Israel.” I pushed back, because I didn’t really believe it. “He hates Netanyahu?” I asked. “No,” this greybeard replied. “He hates Israel.”
I’m sure each of us could find some unattributed quote to characterize pretty much anyone in DC, but here are the reasons I’m becoming more and more inclined to believe. Let’s review the bidding.
- His Israel/Jew-hating pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright
- His good pal, Israel hating Rashid Khalidi
- His unprecedented, stronger than the Palestinians’ own, settlement policy
- His “overheard” remarks on Netanyahu
- His references to Israel as “one of our closest allies”… because…Egypt? Iraq? Saudi? Huh?
- His reference to Israel’s concerns about Iran as “noise”
I don’t think Obama is a Muslim, I doubt he has plotted the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood, and reject all the nuttiness around the current White House. But a wise man once encouraged us not to shy away from a diagnosis when something looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck. Let’s face it: Perhaps hate is too strong. But dislike strongly? I’ll buy that quack.