Recently, 200 American historians were asked to sum up the term of their 43rd president and to rank him on the scale of presidents. He was ranked last, at the end of a close race with James Buchanan, leaving behind him a shorn superpower.
Four days from now the 44th president will be sworn in and the entire world has sky-high expectations; but not in Israel. Here they expect him to follow in the footsteps of his predecessor, to go nowhere, to stagnate. President George W. Bush liked to drag his feet, to chew gum, without being preoccupied with superfluous thoughts.
You, Barack Hussein Obama, are our last chance, and if that too fades - and evil is determined against us, all hope is lost.
We are the prisoner who is stuck in a cell; without the help of others, we will never succeed in extricating ourselves from the bonds of our natural fear and the historical accounting. And there are no "others" except for America, for which no substitute has been found, even in its time of weakness.
The Israeli politicians - the singers of all the wars - will try to feed you "direct negotiations" and "without external pressure;" these refrains are groundless. Ask your advisers, Dennis Ross and Dan Kurtzer and Martin Indyk, and they will tell you.
They were sold the same stories for too many years. Have they learned their lesson? I wish I was sure of that. After all, under their noses settlements and outposts cropped up and multiplied like poison mushrooms after a shower of government promises. And if it turns out as time goes on that those advisers haven't learned anything and have forgotten everything, you will be better off doing without their services before they cause you to fail as well, and rush to write their belated memoirs and insights.
And don't get too upset by the Israeli lobby in Washington, whose voice is that of Benjamin Netanyahu and not necessarily the voice of Jacob, nor is it the representative voice of the large Jewish community in America. It is hard to be black, who knows as well as you; it is hard to be a Jew, we know; and it's somewhat easier to be a professional Jew in the Diaspora of Washington, D.C., who is more of an Israeli patriot than many Israelis, and no less of one than Evangelist clerics, who are preparing from afar for Armageddon.
In any case, you have no chance of being considered a friend of Israel for long, unless you become a lifelong slave of the next Israeli prime minister. Look what happened this week to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who faithfully stuck to former prime minister Ariel Sharon and incumbent Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, and when she dared to abstain in a vote after eight years of being under the thumb, suddenly turned into the friend of the Palestinians, just like our Channel 2 news presenter Yonit Levy, whom you don't know yet. Our prime minister hastened like a spoiled brat to embarrass her in public, as though he had never placed a masterful hand on Condi's shoulder, as is his wont when it comes to leaders, and never patted her lightly on the shoulder with arrogant chumminess.
That's what will happen to you when you don't agree to wag like a tail; you will also be interrupted in the middle of a meeting in Philadelphia and reprimanded, when you announce your intention of talking to Iran and Syria, and perhaps to Hezbollah and Hamas as well. On the contrary, follow your own path and talk to them, talk to everyone, talk to anyone who is willing to talk. For eight years they didn't talk, they only tried to educate the entire world using sanctions and the sword, and this is the result.
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