The Jerusalem Post qutoes Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni at Annapolis:
“Why doesn’t anyone want to shake my hand?” she asked in a dramatic address to the assembled representatives. “Why doesn’t anyone want to be seen speaking to me?”
Embarrassing. Even more embarrassing, however, was Secretary Rice:
She told delegates that when a local church was bombed by white separatists, four girls were killed, including one of her classmates.
“Like the Israelis, I know what it is like to go to sleep at night, not knowing if you will be bombed, of being afraid to be in your own neighborhood, of being afraid to go to your church,” she said.
She added, however, that as a black child in the South, forbidden to use certain water fountains and shunned from certain restaurants, she was also in a good position to understand the feelings of the Palestinians.
“I know what it is like to hear to that you cannot go on a road or through a checkpoint because you are Palestinian,” she said. “I understand the feeling of humiliation and powerlessness.”
I commented on Rice’s earlier pursuit of this theme in “She thought she knew she was right.” In “Birmingham’s new legacy,” I wrote about Rice’s childhood friendship with Denise McNair, one of the children killed by the Klan in the 1963 Birmingham church bombing. If Rice thought through her comparison of the Palestinians with the blacks of the American south, she would find herself sympathizing with the friends of Denise McNair’s murderers. Yet she has apparently not thought her comparison through or doesn’t take it seriously.
UPDATE: On a related note, Rick Richman follows up on my comments yesterday concerning empty presidential rhetoric.