A faith­less lover run to ground

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics - Opinion by Wes­ley Pru­den

This was sup­posed to be a big deal at the United Na­tions, where the 66th Gen­eral Assem­bly con­vened to watch a mot­ley col­lec­tion of men (and the oc­ca­sional wo­man) try to look im­por­tant in a big town mak­ing with the big talk.

The Mus­lims have been hav­ing a high old time of it all week, liv­ing it up in their role as the splin­ter in the world’s big toe. The del­e­gates to the U.N. have been mak­ing life mis­er­able for ev­ery­one on the east side of Man­hat­tan, with cops block­ing streets with­out no­tice, try­ing to clear the way for rented lim­ou­sines through grid­locked streets. Sirens shriek like ban­shees deep into the not-so-good night. Few of the no­ta­bles ac­tu­ally look very no­table, and some of the dig­ni­taries look more dig­ni­fied than oth­ers, but praise be to Al­lah, if the folks back home in the Is­lamic Repub­lic of Ka­bootchie or the Royal King­dom of Sca­room­pie could see them now.

Mah­moud Ab­bas, the pres­i­dent of the Pales­tinian Au­thor­ity, has been hav­ing the high­est old time of all at the cen­ter of the rag­ing con­tro­versy, as con­tro­ver­sies rage in a fo­rum as ul­ti­mately in­con­se­quen­tial as the United Na­tions. The ques­tion be­fore the house was whether a Pales­tinian state should take its place among Gabon, Lower Slob­bovia, Up­per Volta and the other world pow­ers. The noise sig­ni­fy­ing not very much has been deaf­en­ing (if you’ve for­got­ten to turn down the vol­ume in your ear­phones).

Mr. Ab­bas is 76 years old, and he won’t get many more thrilling cli­maxes, and he nat­u­rally rel­ishes ev­ery one of the ca­jo­leries, pres­sures, threats and bribes of­fered this week to ei­ther (a) tone down or (b) turn up the pres­sure for a vote for the Pales­tini­ans in the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil. Mr. Ab­bas, in the view of the Is­raeli news­pa­per Ha’aretz, “has sud­denly been cast out-ofchar­ac­ter as a Cae­sar who gazes at the teem­ing arena be­low him be­fore dis­pas­sion­ately turn­ing his thumbs down, as the Arabs and Pales­tini­ans ec­stat­i­cally cheer him on.”

Mah­moud Ah­madine­jad, the clown prince of com­edy from Iran — who says the dour dis­ci­ples of Muham­mad have no sense of hu­mor? — reprised his vaude­ville act at mid­week with a noisy riff on the wicked­ness of the Great Satan. He had no new ma­te­rial, merely re­peat­ing the in­dict­ment of the Amer­i­cans as slave-masters, war-mak­ers, whore­mon­gers and worst of all, en- ablers of the Lit­tle Satan. The Amer­i­cans in the au­di­ence and some of their friends hit the ex­its early, hop­ing to beat the traf­fic back to their ho­tel suites.

This was serendip­ity for Barack Obama, who got caught with his pants at his knees by the sud­den squall over Pales­tinian state­hood. The pres­i­dent, who works hard to keep his in­dif­fer­ence to Is­raeli sur­vival un­der wraps, spent the week try­ing to keep the ques­tion of Pales­tinian state­hood from com­ing to a vote in the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil, where it would prob­a­bly suc­ceed, and he would have to or­der an Amer­i­can veto.

The veto might re­as­sure Amer­i­can Jewish vot­ers who fi­nally rec­og­nize their Obama love as un­re­quited, but a veto would en­rage the Mus­lims in the Mid­dle East, whom the pres­i­dent has courted with pas­sion and apolo­gies over the first three years of his pres­i­dency. In the event, he didn’t have to or­der the veto, and he got to make a speech. He spread the usual jelly of moral equiv­a­lency, hec­tor­ing in equal mea­sure both Jew and Mus­lim to re­strain them­selves and get back to the ta­ble to process peace. Alas, pro­cessed peace, like pro­cessed cheese, is nei­ther peace nor cheese.

The Pales­tinian state­hood frenzy, as any­one can see, is not re­ally about Pales­tine, but about the pres­i­den­tial pol­i­tics of 2012. The White House has been in a panic since the Repub­li­cans cap­tured that House seat in a heav­ily Jewish district in Brook­lyn and Queens, which had been held by a Demo­crat since the Coolidge era. That re­sult turned on the ques­tion of whether Barack Obama or the Repub­li­cans were the truest and bluest friends of Is­rael. Sud­denly, the Jewish vote was in play. Los­ing only a frac­tion of it would spell Demo­cratic dis­as­ter in Florida, Ohio and Penn­syl­va­nia, where the pres­i­dent is al­ready hipdeep in al­li­ga­tors.

The pres­i­dent has been mak­ing goo-goo eyes at the Pales­tini­ans, cast­ing him­self in the role of a faith­less lover. He knows all the hon­eyed words, he has the di­a­mond bracelet in hand, and he’s con­fi­dent he can spread enough kosher goo to keep hope alive. But the abused Jewish voter has the mo­tel re­ceipt found in his coat pocket. A guilty lover’s lot is not al­ways a happy one.

Wes­ley Pru­den is editor emer­i­tus of The Washington Times.

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