The President of the United States had some incredibly foolish things to say during his trip to the Middle East. Some of them were said during his press conference with Mahmoud Abbas, the Chairman of the PLO and the President of the Palestinian Authority, now serving out the ninth year of his four-year presidential term. The Wall Street Journal has posted a transcript of the press conference here.
Standing under a banner of Yasser Arafat, Barack Obama actually said this:
…I think it’s important for us to work through this [peace] process, even if there are irritants on both sides. The Israelis have concerns about rockets flying into their cities last night. And it would be easy for them to say, you see, this is why we can’t have peace because we can’t afford to have our kids in beds sleeping and suddenly a rocket comes through the roof. But my argument is even though both sides may have areas of strong disagreement [sic], may be engaging in activities that the other side considers to be a breach of good faith [sic], we have to push through those things to try to get to an agreement — because if we get an agreement then it will be very clear what the nature of that agreement is: There will be a sovereign Palestinian state, a sovereign Jewish State of Israel.
And those two states I think will be able to deal with each other the same way all states do. I mean, the United States and Canada has [sic] arguments once in a while, but they’re not the nature of arguments that can’t be solved diplomatically. And I think we can keep pushing through some of these problems and make sure that we don’t use them as an excuse not to do anything.
In his New York Times column this morning, Tom Friedman purports to instruct Israel on the reality of the neighborhood in which it reside. I would say that this is advice for which the people of Israel have little need, because they all live the reality in one way or another every day and, unlike Friedman, they have to live with the consequences of their judgment. As a result, they have a somewhat better handle on the reality than Friedman does. The President of the United States, however, actually requires a dose of Friedman’s wit and wisdom just to ascend to the level of conventional liberal claptrap.