Sputtering, Renewed

by Jay Nordlinger

For five years now, readers have heard me sputter about something Obama said to Israelis, or about Israelis: that they must “engage in serious self-reflection.” The Israelis practically invented serious self-reflection. They are seriously self-reflecting to a fault. It is their national pastime: serious self-reflection. At times, I’ve wanted to say to them, “Quit wringing your hands and examining your navels and get on with it, you neurotic ninnies.”

You know who could use some serious self-reflection? The Arabs. And Barack Obama too, I think. (You could throw in Valerie and Michelle.)

Well, the latest is this: “Obama encourages Israel to minimize civilian deaths.” (Article here.) The audacity. The chutzpah (to use a word known in Israel). Obama doesn’t tell them about minimizing civilian deaths; they tell him about minimizing civilian deaths. They were doing it when the fundamental transformation of America was but a gleam in Obama’s eye. Probably before.

Indeed, the Israelis have lost their own people — gotten their people killed — in efforts to minimize civilian casualties. The Palestinians make it hard, too: by making sure their fighters and matériel are in and among schools, hospitals, and mosques.

If Obama can’t be a real ally of Israel, he could at least refrain from insulting them.