Obama bows to Saudi King but won’t shake hands with Israeli Prime Minister
Despite yesterday’s celebratory mood at the White House, where Vice President Biden told President Obama “This is a big fucking deal,” upon signing a year’s delayed health care bill that narrowly passed the House 219-212 with 34 house Democrats voting against it, the White House has entered into a very public diplomatic disagreement with Israel over the rebuilding of Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem.
The Syndicate, as Charles Krauthammer has observed, finds it odd that President Obama bowed so prominently in the company of other world leaders before the Saudi King Abdullah in April of last year, but has so publically shunned our only democratic ally in the Middle East.
According to the Post from last week, “Allies everywhere feeling snubbed by President Obama“,
The contretemps between President Obama and Israel needs to be seen in a broader global context. The president who ran against “unilateralism” in the 2008 campaign has worse relations overall with American allies than George W. Bush did in his second term.
Israelis shouldn’t feel that they have been singled out. In Britain, people are talking about the end of the “special relationship” with America and worrying that Obama has no great regard for the British, despite their ongoing sacrifices in Afghanistan. In France, President Nicolas Sarkozy has openly criticized Obama for months (and is finally being rewarded with a private dinner, presumably to mend fences). In Eastern and Central Europe, there has been fear since the administration canceled long-planned missile defense installations in Poland and the Czech Republic that the United States may no longer be a reliable guarantor of security.
Our domestic jubilation should be humbled by the precariousness of our foreign policy under this regime.