Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Man On A Wire

tightropeToo much input on the Gaza blockade and the flotilla; I have to take an attitude of simply not knowing what the hell to think. My gut wants to utterly deplore the blockade and condemn the Israeli attack on the relief flotilla, but Hamas does have an official policy which includes the destruction of Israel, and it is the popularly elected government of Gaza.

My initial reaction is to want Obama to join the rest of the democratic world in condemning Israel, but upon reflection I think his course of action is the best thing that we could be doing. We could have prevented the UNSC resolution, and we did not; instead modifying it to call for condemnation of the situation generally rather than of Israel specifically. I am comfortable with supporting that decision.

The Obama Administration has committed missteps in foreign policy, some of them pretty awkward, but I don’t think that this is one of them. In fact quite the reverse, I think their footwork has been pretty nimble here. It is important to support Israel without, as the Bush Administration did, uncritically endorsing every action that Israel takes, and it seems to my amateur eye that Obama and Company have charted that course very well.

Israel is not an easy friend to have, but it is a friend, and one does not cast a friend aside for selfish reasons or because they turn out to be less than perfectly loyal. Friendship takes work, and there is obviously work to be done on this one. Obama, Biden and Clinton might be the team that can do it.


  1. This is another wrenching issue where it seems that no matter which side you take, you are doing a grave injustice to some innocent human beings on the other side. My reaction to that is to avoid taking either side, but maybe that's not the most honorable response, and it probably cannot be the basis for our foreign policy. We humans still have a long way to go before we can pretend that we are civilized.

  2. bruce2:36 PM

    One way of looking at Israel et al,s that you can be friends with someone in a troubled marriage, not liking their spouse much, not always agreeing with whatever their decision(s) are, but they are ultimately the ones directly in it, not you.

    There are no real winners in the Gaza situation, and of course as always, the civilians are the ones that lose the most.

    Too bad Hamas was elected.. can't say a lot against a foreign election that is fair and not corrupted.