"This decision by a relatively low-level Israeli body (more like the Chicago zoning commission than the Department of State) may, as Prime Minister Netanyahu and other Israeli officials insist, have taken them by surprise.  But the timing could not have been more destructive and insulting if it had been deliberately planned.  New York Times columnist Tom Friedman thinks that Vice President Biden should just gotten in his plane and flown home; that was my reaction as well.  The Obama administration had no choice but to respond strongly; otherwise the administration would have looked weak and irresolute and the repercussions throughout the world could well have been grave.

The President of the United States cannot afford to look like a patsy; for Israel’s sake as well as for the many others who depend on American support for their security around the world, any American president needs to be seen as a figure who commands respect.  Israel’s actions left the Obama administration looking foolish and weak; like it or not, Israel must now do more than say it is sorry.  It must help fix the damage it caused, " - Walter Russell Mead.

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