Good and bad public policy have ripple effects that are difficult to observe or tally in the present, but over the weekend I offered Lee Smith’s “The price of Annapolis” on American policy related to Lebabon right now. The degrading effects of Annapolis could be observed at events related to the Annapolis conference itself. Caroline Glick reported in the Jerusalem Post (in a column whose heading I’ve borrowed):
This week the Bush Administration legitimized Arab anti-Semitism. In an effort to please the Saudis and their Arab brothers, the Bush administration agreed to physically separate the Jews from the Arabs at the Annapolis conference in a manner that aligns with the apartheid policies of the Arab world which prohibit Israelis from setting foot on Arab soil.
Evident everywhere, the discrimination against Israel received its starkest expression at the main assembly of the Annapolis conference on Tuesday. There, in accordance with Saudi demands, the Americans prohibited Israeli representatives from entering the hall through the same door as the Arabs.
In yesterday’s Wall Street Journal Dan Senor (subscribers only) reported:
Israeli reporters were kicked out of a press event for the arrival of Arab League foreign ministers (they had to cover it from out in the rain, while the rest of the press corps was given access).
Senor adds: “This is a shame.” But if events transpired as described by Glick and Senor, it is something worse than a shame. It is a disgrace. At the conference Secretary Rice professed great sympathy for the Palestinians whom she portrayed victims of Israeli depredations akin to those suffered by America’s blacks in the segregated South. How is it that she would come to play George Wallace or Lester Maddox catering to the bigotry of those who would be offended by mingling with the Israeli Jews at her party?
UPDATE: I have inquiries in to Caroline Glick and Dan Senor regarding their descriptions of events. I have as yet been unable to confirm that events transpired as they report.
CAROLINE GLICK writes:
I based my column on an article by David Horovitz published in the Post on Tuesday — “Normalization left out in the rain” — from Annapolis.
DAN SENOR writes:
Check out David Horovitz’s terrific column in last week’s Jersualem Post. He describes it well. (He was one of the reporters booted).
Both Glick and Senor are referring to a Saudi embassy press conference on Monday in anticipation of the Annapolis conference the following day. As for the Annapolis conference itself, Horovitz reports:
The United States on Monday indicated that it was willing to accede to the Saudis’ desire not to shake hands or otherwise be seen making overtures to the Israelis.
“That’s going to be up to all of the representatives, how they decide to interact. We will of course be respectful of the various relationships, of the various states of relationships among the participants,” State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said. “They’re going to be focused on the tasks at hand. As the Saudi foreign minister put it, nobody’s interested in these uncomfortable situations where there are theatrics for the sake of photographs. We’ll of course be respectful and mindful of that as we’ll put together the various events.”
Other diplomatic sources have said that the Saudis don’t want any contact whatsoever with the Israeli delegation at Annapolis, and therefore the respective delegations will even use different doors to enter the meeting room.
Secretary Rice was apparently willing to respect the bigotry of her Arab guests for the sake of the “theatrics” in Annapolis.