According to the Jerusalem Post, as recently as six weeks ago, just 4 percent of the Jews of Israel regarded President Obama as pro-Israel. Even if exaggerated, it is likely the most negative Israeli view of an American president since Israel's creation.
If you think Israelis are irrational in this matter, perhaps Tibet will help persuade you otherwise.
Whereas every Democratic and Republican president since 1991 has met with exiled Tibetan leader, the Dalai Lama, when he visited the United States, President Obama has decided that he will not do so during the Tibetan leader's visit to the United States. The president does not wish to annoy China's dictators prior to his upcoming visit to Beijing. As US News & World Report reported, "The U.S. decision to postpone the meeting appears to be part of a strategy to improve ties with China that also includes soft-pedaling criticism of China's human rights ..."
This is particularly troubling to Israelis because it means that an American president is placing appeasement of strong dictators above America's traditional defense of embattled small countries. (One assumes that the Taiwanese are equally worried; and the Iranian fighters for liberty have come close to giving up on Obama's America.)
The line between selling out Tibetans and selling out Israelis is a direct one. Even liberal New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd was disturbed by the president's snubbing of the Dalai Lama:
"Dissing the Dalai was part of a broader new Obama policy called 'strategic reassurance' -- softening criticism of China's human rights record and financial policies to calm its fears that America is trying to contain it ... the tyro American president got the Nobel for the mere anticipation that he would provide bold moral leadership for the world at the very moment he was caving to Chinese dictators. Awkward."
The world is quite aware of the importance of Mr. Obama's snubbing the Dalai Lama. Dowd noted that:
"In an interview with Alison Smale in The Times last week, Vaclav Havel … pricked Barack Obama's conscience. Havel (who led) the Czechs and Slovaks from communism to democracy, turned the tables and asked Smale a question about Obama … Was it true that the president had refused to meet the Dalai Lama on his visit to Washington?"
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