Politics & Policy

Obama’s Selective Anger

The president is mum about the Palestinian culture that celebrates savagery.

President Obama is known for his cool. Some of his associates call him “No Drama Obama.” And certainly in the realm of foreign policy, his response to events has been phlegmatic. The Iranian government sent its thugs into the streets to beat and murder democratic demonstrators, and President Obama stayed aloof. The Iranians arrested three American hikers, held them for months in prison, and now accuse two of spying — and President Obama remains calm. A Muslim American opened fire on U.S. soldiers at Fort Hood, and the president initially warned the nation not to jump to conclusions.

But there was one outrage that provoked the president’s ire — when Israel announced a permit for the construction of 1,600 new apartments on Jewish-owned land in a Jerusalem neighborhood. Although Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu immediately apologized to the then-visiting vice president, Joe Biden, about the timing of the announcement (by which Netanyahu was apparently blindsided), the reportedly “livid” Obama was unsatisfied.

On presidential instructions, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton phoned Israel’s prime minister and delivered a 45-minute harangue about Israel’s decision to build apartments for Jews in the Jewish capital. Details of the irate phone call were immediately released to the press, with then–State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley offering that Clinton had told Netanyahu that “the United States considered the announcement a deeply negative signal about Israel’s approach to the bilateral relationship.”

In the choreographed world of diplomacy, that amounted to a fierce rebuke. But President Obama wasn’t finished. A few days later, presidential adviser David Axelrod appeared on a Sunday talk show and repeated the administration line that the Israeli announcement was an “affront” and an “insult.” Later, when Netanyahu visited the White House, President Obama delivered the final slaps — declining to pose for pictures or take press questions with the prime minister; delivering a list of steps Israel would have to take to restore trust; and then pointedly walking out on the prime minister with the parting words, “Let me know if there is anything new.”

On March 11, Palestinian terrorists entered the home of Udi and Ruth Fogel in the town of Itamar on the West Bank. It was the Sabbath, and most of the family was sleeping. The terrorists first slit the throats of Udi and his three-month-old daughter, Hadas. Ruth was in the bathroom but was attacked and killed as she emerged. Two more sons, Yoav, eleven, and Elad, four, were also killed by knives to the heart. Their throats were slit as well. There were three more Fogel children. Two other boys, ages eight and two, asleep on the sofa, were apparently missed by the murderers. Twelve-year-old Tamar, who had been spending Shabbat with friends, returned home to discover two-year-old Yishai standing over the bodies of his parents and begging them to wake up.

In Rafah, Palestinians celebrated the news of the massacre by dancing, singing, and handing around sweets.

The Obama administration issued a pro-forma condemnation. “There is no possible justification for the killing of parents and children in their home,” it read. Secretary Clinton called the murders “inhuman” and reportedly coaxed a more robust denunciation of the atrocity from Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas than he had at first offered.

But there has been little else — no ongoing campaign to shame or humiliate the Palestinians, no list of actions they must undertake to show their good faith — not even a particularly strong expression of revulsion. Above all, the Obama administration has utterly disregarded the abundant evidence that the Palestinian Authority has, over the past 20 years, nurtured and cultivated genocidal hatred of Jews and the worship of violence. The men who slit the throats of the Fogel family may soon have a town square named for them. The PA recently named a square in the town of El-Bireh after Dalal Mughrabi, who killed 37 Israeli civilians and wounded 71 in 1978. Mughrabi was also featured among the “Women as Exemplars” on Palestinian television.

The PA named a soccer tournament after Wafa Idris, a suicide bomber. A TV documentary about Palestinian doctors contained a fictitious scene of an Israeli shooting a Palestinian in the head. The governor of the town of Jenin presented a $2,000 “Presidential Grant” to the family of Khaldoun Samoudi, who was killed while attempting to detonate two bombs near Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint.

The Fogels were not killed by two men. They were the victims of the death cult that Palestinian society has bred.

The world’s attention has been distracted by Japan’s catastrophe and Libya’s torment. But Barack Obama once boasted of being able to walk and chew gum at the same time. In contrast to his vehement condemnation of Israel’s apartment building, he has offered only official disapproval of the murders of children — and has had nothing to say about the culture that encourages and, in fact, celebrates such savagery.

— Mona Charen is a nationally syndicated columnist. © 2011 Creators Syndicate.

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