The Conversation

Re: Obama's 'Polite if Generic Salute' to Ariel Sharon

In response to When Obama and Biden Betrayed Sharon:

Joel Pollak's description of Obama's statement on the death of Sharon - "polite (if generic)" is downright charitable compared to what a few others on the right have said about it.

Bill Kristol, The Weekly Standard:

Four sentences. Two have nothing to do with Sharon. As for the other two, the most Obama can find to say about Sharon is that he was "a leader who dedicated his life to the State of Israel" and that Obama honors Sharon's "commitment to his country." Of course Obama's statement is more about Obama than about Sharon. One expects that from Obama. But Obama's obtrusive non-recognition of Sharon's significance to the history of Israel and the Middle East, of his leadership in war as well as peace, of the meaning of his life to the Jewish people—Obama's manifest unwillingness to show respect for this fighter for Zion—is striking.

Jay Nordlinger, The Corner:

I was surprised that Obama did as well, frankly. “Life is an expectations game,” people say. I guess I don’t hold Obama in very high regard at this point. (I am trying to write with restraint.) And, again, I was surprised he did as well as he did.

And just think: Even Obama’s puny, minimal statement is probably considered in his Said-Khalidi circles a Zionist atrocity.

Keith Koffler, White House Dossier:

What faint praise. Actually, there’s not any praise at all. This is a classic case of avoiding telling a mother that her baby is terminally ugly.


Often, “Michelle and I” express their own sadness at someone’s passing in these statements. Not so for Sharon. Just condolences to those who have a different opinion of the guy than the Obamas.

And what about this? The loss of a leader who dedicated his life to the State of Israel and we join with the Israeli people in honoring his commitment to his country. Those rank a zero on the one-to-ten scale of compliments. I mean, Hitler dedicated his life to the state of Germany – and showed plenty of commitment – right?

Koffler goes on to note (quite cynically), that both Biden and Kerry made excellent statements memorializing Sharon,  but then both of them have something to gain from it - Kerry, a peace deal with Israel - Biden, Jewish votes if he runs for president. (Shudder.)

Obama, on the other hand, has nothing to lose - thus he produced the very minimum of what was expected.



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