Meh mail

From today, two emails to the Daily Dish:

As an Israeli citizen, I want to thank you for this post. You should know that many Israelis actually do understand that we should go back to 67′ borders, but the environment here is so toxic –

Except that Andrew has been arguing that Obama is absolutely NOT talking about going back to 1967 borders and anyone who is suggesting that is a right-wing lunatic, liar or Likudnik, including Ethan Bronner. So here someone with the view that 1967 is a moral imperative that Israelis are resisting against Obama’s prompt gets a free pass — because he’s supposedly an Israeli reader upset with his country and grateful to Andrew Sullivan.

Not unlike what the far right has done in America – that you just can’t say anything out loud or you’ll be denounce as almost Antisemitic. What’s going on here is awful, Bibi is taking us straight to hell. It’s amazing to think that if Ulmert was still in charge, he would have cut a deal with Obama a year ago.

Would any Israeli spell it in English “Ulmert”? Regardless, someone should inform this reader that Netanyahu is supposed to cut a deal with the Palestinians — which is what Olmert was doing a year ago — not Obama.

Doesn’t the reader know that the Dish has been trying to convince us that the small-c conservative does not support such overestimation of America’s ability to solve international problems? Of course, Sullivan’s Israel positions are patently hypocritical in view of his preaching of small-c conservativism … Even his ideological inspirations Ron and Rand Paul are trying to adjust their Israel policies to a philosophical conservative approach, in saying that an American President cannot have a positive influence on this foreign matter.

What a waste to finally have an American president who is so sincere, serious and decent, at a time when there’s no leader, no vision and no hope in Israel.

Is this guy for real? I like Obama but this adulation is ridiculous, to the point of sounding far-fetched, like people in the commercial praising a life-changing brand of toothpaste.

Reader email #2:

Though this is not surprising in the least, imagine for a moment that the leader of a country that is openly contemptuous of a sitting Republican president pays a visit to America, is given a warm reception by the Democratically-controlled Congress (indeed, even given the opportunity to address a Joint Session of both houses), and invited to address the leading liberal/Democratic think tanks and lobbying groups.

Can you picture the interminable cries of treason from the right?

Well, that depends on what one means by “openly contemptuous” in the hypothetical. Openly contemptuous like Chavez was to both Bush and the United States? Or openly contemptuous for doing what Netanyahu has done to earn this characterization by certain pundits?

Remember, all Netanyahu has done is (1) ask for the President to clarify that “land swaps” means that the United States will make good on its past promise to back the main settlement blocs staying with Israel in a land swap; (2) ask for the President to clarify what possible solutions to the refugee problem the United States will back when the issue comes up “later,” as Obama wants it to; and (3) back a security plan (perhaps not involving Israel) in the Jordan Valley.

That’s all that Netanyahu has done other than using the ill-chosen word “expect,” which is not so ill-chosen as to be a gob of spit in Obama’s eye.

Andrew offers in the same post with the two meh reader emails:

Surprise! The Washington Post actually sides with a foreign government against the president.

“Against the president”? Tout court?

All the blame must be laid not at the feet of Netanyahu (who is rendered blameless for his belligerence and contempt

“Belligerence and contempt.” AKA, using the word “expect” and getting permission to deliver a short non-bombshell speech in front of Obama that politely shared the Israeli government’s red lines with both the administration and the American people in a remarkably open fashion. It’s definitely clear that Andrew is showing “belligerence and contempt.”

Later:

He violated the Washington consensus that the American president must let Israel direct and guide his entire relations with every other power in the Middle East. […]

So until a foreign leader signs on in advance to US policy, the American president is unwise to state a position. Even after years now of trying to get the slightest serious concession from Israel. There is a mindset here that treats Israel not simply as an ally but as unique among all allies in being able to dictate to the US what its foreign policy will be. That is unhealthy for all parties. But so much of the Washngton machinery is devoted to it.

Exactly the same demented characterization as in Pat Buchanan’s phrase “Amen corner in Congress,” which Sullivan criticized long ago, without entirely distancing himself from Pat.

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