by David Frum
Barry Rubin debunks the President's insulting explanation of Israeli mistrust of him.
Israelis, after all, have dealt with two famous Husseins: King Hussein of Jordan and Saddam Hussein of Iraq. The former was a good friend, the most popular Arab leader in Israeli history. (Note 1)
So one can be a good Hussein or a bad Hussein. Of course the issue with this third Hussein is his policies. And that's why I find his saying this thing far more upsetting.
I'd respect Obama more, and perhaps trust him a little more, if he had said something like this:
We've had our differences and we don't see everything the same way. But we are so fundamentally on the same side that our friendship and alliance will overcome these smaller issues. And, of course, we know that our mutual enemies are out to destroy us and favor totalitarian dictatorship rather than democracy.
By denying there were ever some problems and underplaying the reality of what I'll call for brevity's sake the "bad guys", Obama shows an ability to rewrite history in his own mind and forget what has happened. This may signal that in six months he will forget all of Israel's cooperation and concessions, which is precisely what happened last time, between October 2009 and March 2010.