Bibi Netanyahu is accustomed to getting his way with Americans. I recall an instance where he was unsuccessful: General Vernon Walters, U.S. Ambassador at the UN at the time, wouldn’t let him use the secure telephone in the US Mission’s at the U.N. (the staffer politely explained that it could be used only by American citizens). Bibi erupted and stormed out of the office.
So now Bibi announces that failed presidential candidate John McCain supports the release of Jonathan Pollard, a fellow from my hometown who is in prison for spying for the Israeli government.
An innocuous phrase in the AP story notes that “Netanyahu said in a statement that McCain pledged his support in a phone conversation Thursday.” May we assume that McCain called Bibi to make this extraordinary pledge about which Americans care little, but Bibi cares beaucoup? Or should we assume that Bibi is calling every GOP presidential candidate demanding that they make such a pledge, or risk losing the support of Bibi’s friends in the U.S.? After all, a gaggle of Republican presidentials, most of whom know zip about foreign affairs, have been trying to outdo each other in proclaiming their support for Israel. Isn’t it likely that Bibi would ask (or demand) that they prove it?
Perhaps the question should be put to every one of them on the campaign trail: Did Bibi ask them for “The Pledge”? Did they give it?
Meanwhile, the GOP Big Money Machine might underwrite sending a copy of George Washington’s Farewell Address for each of the presidentials, with this passage underlined: “Nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest.”11:12 am on March 11, 2011 Email Christopher Manion