An exceptionally bad policy

Caroline Glick of the Jerusalem Post recounts the U.S. government’s sorry history of backing appeasement candidates in Israeli elections, and sees more of the same this time. In 1992, Glick reminds us, the first President Bush not only backed Yitzhak Rabin, but deliberately undermined his opponent, prime minister Yitzhak Shamir, by declining to provide Israel with $10 billion in loan guarantees to enable the country to absorb one million Jews from the former Soviet Union. Bush-I wanted an appeasement government, and he got it — Rabin pushed Israel into the disastrous Oslo process.
In 1996, President Clinton came to Israel to campaign for the feckless dreamer Shimon Peres. When that didn’t work, he went even further in 1999, sending over a swat team of his political operatives (Bob Shrum, James Carville and Stanley Greenberg, no less) to work for the election of Ehud Barak and against the hard-line incumbent Binyamin Netanyahu. Clinton throught that Barak might strike a deal with Arafat that would bring Clinton a Nobel Peace Prize. Instead, Barak’s policies brought Israel another intifada.
To his great credit, George W. Bush remainded on the sidelines in the 2001 and 2003 elections, both won by Ariel Sharon. But now, says Glick, Bush and Secretary of State Rice are prepared to back soft-liner Ehud Olmert. Olmert, who lacks Sharon’s track record of fighting terrorism, is committed to transferring more occupied land to the Palestinians, which means that terrorists will have additional territory in which to set up shop unopposed. As Glick notes, this policy stands in complete contradiction to Bush’s policy for waging the US-led war on international terrorism, which — except in Israel — works to deny bases to terrorists and to undermine regimes that sponsor and support terrorism.
America’s prior endorsement of soft-line Israeli candidates occurred at a time when our president could at least believe that electing such candidates would not injure U.S. interests. But that time has passed, unless the Bush administration believes that appeasing terrorists increases our security.

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