Friday, March 22, 2013

Obama and Juliet

A number of years ago, in a movie called "Romanov and Juliet" with the wonderful Peter Ustinov, the U.N. was overwhelmed by a difficult and contentious domestic fight in a small member county. The British decided it best to partition the country and their U.N. representative rose and delivered a somber speech centering around "a house divided against itself can not stand" in favor of partition. A few days later the British realized they had made a mistake and wanted to reunite the recently partitioned country. The British ambassador rose and somberly gave the identical "house divided" speech, word for word.

Comedies abound in politics. Perhaps it is the only thing about these people that keeps us sane. This time in Ramallah two Nobel prize winners were united on the stage, symbolically of course with the President speaking on the podium and Arafat on one of those huge posters so characteristic of despotic countries behind, but as greater symbols--one an accomplished bomber of school buses and planes, one a semi-accomplished community organizer--both reminding us that no one pays any attention to anything these people do or say.

On this occasion Obama announced that the Palestinian Authority was having financial difficulties not helped by what Hamas could extort or steal or that homicidal Saudis could gift so the U.S. would give them money. This when we do not have the money for White House tours. He then compared the American civil rights movement to the Palestinian struggle. Finally he compared the Israel-Palestinian conflict with the Canadians and the U.S.--he wasn't saying which was which: "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 arguments once in a while, but they’re not the nature of arguments that can’t be solved diplomatically." 

Now who could take any of this seriously?

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