I am glad Joe Klein tried to take me to task for criticizing the president about his not giving Israel the respect it deserved for its efforts in Haiti. And, boy, did it deserve that respect! But, in fact, Obama passed over Israel entirely in his enumeration of especially worthy aid providers. Here’s what Bill Clinton said about Israel’s contribution: “I don’t know what we would have done without the Israeli hospital in Haiti.” Israel’s operational unit was, Clinton noted, the only facility capable of performing surgeries and advanced examinations. Meanwhile, that unit is staying on with a change of personnel and is relocating its field hospital to an orphanage. CBS, in a moment of exaggeration, called the Israeli facility the “Rolls-Royce” of the entire aid effort.
Despite his carping, Joe concedes that I was correct. That, in fact, the president should have mentioned Israel and should do much more with the Jewish state to balance his courting of the Arab world (which hasn’t done his presidency or his policies any good).
So what is Klein’s bitch with me? He writes in his “Swampland” blog--yes, that’s what it’s actually called, and I must concede that it’s aptly titled--that Obama’s omission had no meaning and was not the result of any decision at all. So what was it? It was “an oversight.” Oh, I see. This administration which crosses every ‘t’ and dots every ‘i’ just forgot to mention Israel. You know what I say to that? Bullshit!
And then, in a postscript, he tells us that Saudi Arabia has made the third largest monetary contribution to the cash campaign for Haiti. To tell you the truth, I don’t believe it. But, even if the Saudis have promised anything like the amount alleged, I deeply suspect it will be like the money Riyadh pledges to the Palestinians.