Gordon’s perfect timing

Following up on Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama’s sage Haaretz column “Peace is the only true path to security for Israel and the Palestinians,” White House Middle East Special Assistant Philip Gordon blasted Israel this week in remarks at a conference in Tel Aviv. Israel has been subjected to an ongoing barrage of missile attacks and other offensive operations emanating from Gaza over the past week. In a feat of perfect timing, Gordon spoke moments after attendants at the conference had to run for cover. The Times of Israel’s Raphael Ahren reports:

Israel’s ongoing occupation of the West Bank is wrong and leads to regional instability and dehumanization of Palestinians, a top American government official said Tuesday in Tel Aviv, hinting that the current Israeli government is not committed to peace

In an unusually harsh major foreign policy address, Philip Gordon, a special assistant to US President Barack Obama and the White House coordinator for the Middle East, appealed to Israeli and Palestinian leaders to make the compromises needed to reach a permanent peace agreement. Jerusalem “should not take for granted the opportunity to negotiate” such a treaty with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who has proven to be a reliable partner, Gordon said.

What advice did Gordon have for dealing with Hamas? The Obama administration helped engineer the Fatah-Hamas unity government that contributed to the current situation, but Gordon remained silent on the subject of Hamas or the ongoing war on Israel. Jonathan Tobin elaborates on Obama’s contribution to the current hostilities here.

UPDATE: Times of Israel editor David Horovitz is not amused: “Lecturing us on security, as the rockets fly in.” David links to the text of Gordon’s speech and writes: “[P]arts of his oration read as though Gordon is a recent arrival from Planet Zog who has mistaken the Middle East for Finland.” That should probably read “Planet Prog,” but David otherwise nails it.

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