The world breaks everyone, and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure that it will kill you too, but there will be no special hurry.
For a politician, there is no more dangerous combination of traits than hubris and ineptitude. In a friendly environment, the detrimental effects of these flaws can be staved off, for a time, by talented spin doctors, a sympathetic press, or the enthusiasm of one's followers. In the maelstrom of
It is worth pointing out that
These misgivings, however, were mainly those of pro-Israel American Jews. For the most part, the Israelis themselves adopted a wait-and-see attitude toward Obama, both during the campaign and after his election. On the day the returns came in, television and radio stations all over
While it is true that Israelis did not greet Obama's election with rapturous celebration, as many others did, it is easy to read too much into this. Israelis tend to be ambivalent about incoming US officials in general, especially when they are - as Obama was - relatively unknown quantities. It is also important to remember that, for much of the world, the president of the
This indicates that Obama's call for a settlement freeze might not have had such disastrous consequences had it been handled differently. Israelis are divided on the issue of settlements, and had Obama proved flexible on
Obama's reputation in
Israelis come in many political colors, but very few of them believe that if the Jews had not suffered a Holocaust, they would not deserve a state. Zionism predates the Holocaust, and it holds that the Jewish people have an inalienable right to self-determination in their homeland, regardless of their historical sufferings. In claiming otherwise, Obama revealed not only a glaring ignorance of Israeli history and sensibilities, but also the depressing tendency of many American liberals to reduce everything to do with Judaism,
Perhaps the most disturbing thing about the speech, however, was that Obama clearly believed he was saying things about
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