Obama to Israelis: “Put Yourselves in Their Shoes”


President Obama’s remarks urging Israeli empathy with Palestinians is yet another indication that his (and his Administration’s) understanding of the world around him is woefully lacking, and remains, after four years,  not the slightest bit grounded in reality.   A nation whose founders were survivors of mass extermination attempts, a nation that sees mortal ideological and religious enemies in every direction, enemies that have openly vowed that nation’s destruction, is being lectured by America’s President as to where their sympathies should lie.

The President’s remarks reflect an astonishing arrogance.  Worse, they reveal a startling ignorance (and lack of propriety) that reflects the amateurish and muddled character of US foreign policy under this Administration.  President Obama is making no friends among our Israeli allies, which is reflected by his barely civil relationship with Prime Minister Netanyahu and his low regarding among the Israeli public.

When prodded in the early 1970s about Israel’s hyper-vigilant posture, Golda Meir remarked, “If the Arabs lay down their weapons, there would be no more war.  If the Israelis lay down their weapons, there would be no more Israel.”

In the forty years since she made those comments, little has changed for the good for Israel.  Israel’s neighbors are as fanatical as ever about her destruction, with one of those neighbors possibly less than a year away from being a nuclear power.  Her closest ally has a President whose lack of understanding of the Middle East and barely concealed hostility toward Israel is cause for real alarm.   Despite the platitudes of solidarity this week, the US-Israel relationship remains decidedly cool.  Remarks like today’s certainly won’t help.  Israel’s enemies are taking notice, to be sure.

If President Obama really wants to talk about people putting themselves in someone else’s shoes, here is what he can do.  His wife Michelle and his two daughters can take up residence in Beersheba for one year.  No special protection, no armored cars.  The girls can wait on the street corner with the other children for the school bus, and Michelle can shop at the mall and the grocery other places, like the other parents.  Perhaps then, as three thousand rockets and mortar rounds are fired into Israel from Gaza (with the blessing and encouragement of the leadership of the very people Obama believes deserve nationhood),  President Obama can better put himself in the shoes of Israelis who live day to day with the spectre of violent death of loved ones at the hands of Palestinian terrorists.   Doubtless, news reports of dead and wounded from bombings and rocket/mortar attacks emanating from Gaza may tend to get his attention just that much more.

Perhaps then, also, President Obama will be less prone to lecture Israelis about empathy for Palestinians, and a little more willing to understand that of which he speaks.


10 thoughts on “Obama to Israelis: “Put Yourselves in Their Shoes””

  1. Expecting Urkel McEarflaps to change his attitude from anything but what it is and pandering to his Marxist base is sheer folly, in the extreme. He is deserving of nothing but utter contempt.

    History will not judge him well. Best he stop making his plans for new Mount Rushmore….

  2. I don’t know…. if the Israelis do place themselves in the so-called Palestinians shoes, and take a page or three out of their playbook, there may be no more Palestinians. This could work.

    1. My thought exactly. If Israel turns the Gaza strip into the Gaza Memorial Harbor the surviving Palestinians might decide that peaceful coexistence was preferable to a short – but life-long – war. I worked for the Japanese.

  3. “In the forty years since she made those comments, little has changed for the good for Israel.” Nonsense. Israel is in a significantly better situation vis a vis her Arab neighbors than she was in 1973 both tactically and strategically. Perhaps you’ve forgotten the Camp David Accords. Or her recognition by Jordan. Or the multiple billions of dollars we give them every year. Or the effective truce she had with Syria prior to the current civil war there. Israel is not the plucky, embattled, hanging-on-by-a-thread underdog. Israel is THE military power in the Levant, if not the greater Middle East as a whole. We have ensured that.

    Additionally, let’s not equate all Palestinians with Hamas or the even-more-radical jihadist groups in Gaza. That’s the same analogy as equating all Catholics in Northern Ireland with the IRA. They are not one and the same.

  4. Q,
    What you say is true regarding Israel’s receipt of aid from the US. However, since 1973 that is more than offset by a nuclear Pakistan (1974), a nuclear and Islamist Turkey (2008), and a burgeoning nuclear state in Iran.

    I did not equate all Palestinians with Hamas or Hezbollah. But, since you use the analogy, had the political and religious leaders in Northern Ireland publicly encouraged and applauded Sinn Fein and the bombings in Belfast, Armaugh, etc., the legitimacy of the government and church in Northern Ireland would have come into serious and legitimate question.

  5. I KNEW that, dammit. I studied Armagh, back in the early 80s, when terrorists were Irish, or German, or Italian.

  6. I do realize the major news sources are talking heads, but the President and Netanyahu do seem on news footage to be kind of chummy which baffles as their last meeting in D.C. was not. I’m wondering, how did that happen?? @LT Rusty….you went to sniper school didn’t you. You know his thoughts were racing, his fingers dancing on the keyboard all the time thinking “…how is that spelled?” Too funny.

    1. It could be that Netanyahu understands that diplomatic protocols dictate that you need to not be an ass to visiting heads of state. Even if you don’t like them.

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