GOP apostate David Frum writes:
There have been no shortage of anti-Israel UN General Assembly votes over the years, most famously the 1974 “Zionism is racism” vote. But those votes did not cause the US or the Europeans or other important players to change their policy to Israel. Why would one such vote more? The point about September was always: it would be one more harassing non-event in a long history of harassing non-events – unless the US decided to treat it as something more. So September was always a mind-game against the US. The vote would matter only if the US agreed that it mattered. In his Thursday speech on the Middle East, President Obama decided to agree.
This is a pretty transparent way to throw mud at the president without engaging in discussion of the issues at hand. Does anyone really think David Fum would have been indifferent to that UN resolution? That he wouldn’t have said anything had Obama’s UN delegation failed to veto this “non-event”? Of course not.
Netanyahu, like Frum’s old boss George W. Bush, is incapable of strategic thinking. He knows only how to pander for right-wing votes.
Netanyahu knew, in the US, facing an irrational and rabid Republican Party, that he could get away with making up a fake controversy about the President of the United States, and get applause nonetheless.
The issue that Frum can’t address is that Netanyahu is deliberately picking a fight with the US for no strategic purpose whatsoever.
Israeli PM Ehud Olmert thought the pre-1967 borders should be the starting point for negotiations. So did Israeli PM Ehud Barak and US Pres. Bush Jr. Netanyahu & Clinton signed a joint statement recognizing that this was US policy a few years ago. Sharon adviser Dov Weisglass explained, “anyone here deluding himself . . . that the drawing of the new map will be based on any reference point other than the 1967 boundaries is simply disconnected from reality.”
If Frum cared about the long-term interests of the US or Israel, he would address issues. Were Barak, Olmert, Sharon, and Bush Jr. all wrong about the starting point for negotiations? Should there be negotiations? Is Netanyahu’s policy of “occupation today, occupation tomorrow, occupation forever” a strategically or morally sound vision?
But Frum, like Bush and Netanyahu, can’t engage in long-term thinking.
Instead, he devotes his efforts to finding new rhetorical ways to sneer at the president.
George Bush made American decline– an unthinkable prospect in 2000– a possibility. This week, Netanyahu is making a rupture in US support for Israel– unthinkable until this week– a possibility. David Frum is there to cheerlead for both.