Monday, January 12, 2009

Severe own goal

I can't believe this happened. Really? Really, Ehud Olmert?

Condi Rice sponsored a U.N. ceasefire resolution. Olmert wasn't happy. Olmert called Bush, Bush called Rice, Rice abstained from the U.N. vote.

How do I know this is the chain of events? Because Olmert said so in public.


So. Condi already just got herself humiliated and backstabbed by Bush (and, it turns out, Olmert) at the U.N. at the end of her tenure as Secretary of State. Now Olmert is going to go out and tell the world that this happened because he "shamed" Bush into it?

Olmert is going to simultaneously humiliate his greatest and staunchest ally and confirm the Arab and global perception that Israel is the tail that is wagging our particular dog?

I don't know what to make of this other than to say that that was incredibly stupid. So stupid was it that I assumed I must have read something wrong at first. Especially given how the Gaza offensive has been going and the timing of this incident, this is going to come back to haunt Israel but good. As Levy wrote (linked above):

This is not a way to publicly treat your friends. What example does this set for Israel with its other friends when the prime minister embarrasses an outgoing president and secretary of state in this way? Message to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton: whatever you do for Israel over the next four to eight years, don’t be surprised if this is the gratitude you get. Not a clever message.


When world leaders take phone calls from their Israeli counterparts and are convinced to take on-board an Israeli position and act on it, should they now always expect to be similarly publicly humiliated?

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