George Bush’s Finest Moment
Nivul peh, vulgar language, is always something to avoid. But on balance I can’t help being impressed by George Bush’s private remark to Tony Blair, which was caught on an open microphone. Expressing his frustration, he said in somewhat crass language that the entire Lebanon conflict was a crisis of Hizbullah’s making, and Hizbullah could end it immediately. He also said he felt like telling “Kofi” (UN Secretary General Kofi Annan) to give (Syrian President Hafez el-) “Assad” a call to put an end to all of it.
No one claims that Bush is a brilliant man, but he reflects greater wisdom than any other 20 national rulers put together. It is an incredible Chesed, Kindness from G-d, that someone who knows who is to blame is the leader of the free world.
So you like Bush. And how exactly Yaakov do you explain the awful years that we have endured during his administration? First with the intifada and now with rockets falling on Israel?
No one claims that Bush is a brilliant man
You know, I’ve heard this comment so many times and it just isn’t a fair comment about the Presidient. He may be brilliant, or he may not be. But he is far from stupid. You do not get to be President of the US by being stupid.
People mistake his poor language skills for a lack of intelligence. He is not a good speaker. The fact is that he actually sometimes sounds pretty dumb. In fact he recently spoofed himself that way at a dinner for members of the media by hiring a look alike comedian who specilaizes in poking fun at Bush malaprops by spoofing him. They showed an exceprt from that on the news and it was hilarious. But he is one of the clearest thinkng Presidents in my lifetime. I think one would have to go back to Harry Truman to find as clear a thinker as President Bush.
And thank God he is President during the current Israeli war. That clear thinking is on display and it is to the benefit of Israel’s war effort.
Tzvee, the intifada started, and Israel left Lebanon to the Hizbullah, in 2000 — before Bush was even elected, much less the President. Ariel Sharon did what he could, and did so with Bush\’s backing, but it took longer than 10 minutes to clean up the mess left by Yitzchak Rabin (a\”h), Yossi Beilin, Shimon Peres, Ehud Barak, Bill Clinton, and their great friend and peacemaker, Yassir Arafat.
Were we not granted a US President as solidly behind Israel — in private as well as in public — as GWB, the Matzav would undoubtedly be far, far worse. There are many of his policies worthy of criticism, but his attitudes towards terrorists and towards Israel are not among them.
I think he is g’valdig. A completely staight person.
You give Bush way too much credit. The bottom line is, Bush is a simple man who through the enduring kindness of Hashem has been put in his position to help Klal Yisroel. He is a poor executive and an overrated leader, but just like Nixon before him (who openly scorned Jews), he cna be counted on to help Israel.
you are darn right
When Dubya orders Condi to clean house at State and expel the Saudi-pensioned diplomats (aka future lobbyists) and when James Baker III\’s law firm no longer takes Saudi Prince Aziz as a client to defend him in a trillion-dollar lawsuit waged by 9/11 victims, I\’ll be happier.
Condi has all the assets to make \”our eternal friends the Saudis\” be put properly in their place and not held up as some kind of ally… but we aren\’t or won\’t play that card yet.
Rummy is up there with Haig as, perhaps, the highest-ranked pro-Israel official in a US cabinet.
Still, Dubya is better than ANYONE the other party has to offer. When Ed Koch, whose liberal bona fides can\’t be impeached, can say that the Democrats can\’t be trusted on foreign policy, we need to take that assessment seriously.
Clinton\’s disastrous appeasement of Arafat, et al, and decimation of humint (human intelligence) in favor of technological surveillance, is part of the reason W has had it tougher than he should have, too. Recall that the 1994 WTC attack was NEVER visited by Clinton and it was directly linked to the folk connected to the Kahane assassination. I\’ll take a tongue-tied poker-loving MBA who can get over 40 of the 55 \”Iraqi Playing Cards\” over a glib Rhodes Scholar who spoke empathetically while our enemies gestated in comfort.
George W. Bush is now President largely because the many “legends in their own minds” kept writing him off as simple or worse, and he plain outfoxed them. He has basic respect for religious Jews.
In the present situation, his family ties to Saudi Arabia (and the Saudis’ helper James Baker) do not cause him to act against Israel’s interests because the Saudis and Americans are both very threatened by Iran/Syria/Hezbollah.
Surprisingly, the first leader to cut ties with Hamas was Canada’s new conservative leader, Stephen Harper . He also, despite the factthat eight canadians were killed in lebanon by the bombs, refusing to critize israel in anyway. All this despite the fact that canada now has 800 000 muslims and only 300 000 Jews. What it comes down to is simple – leadership is not an IQ test – it is a question of having principles and values and the ability to distinguish between right and wrong. Bush and Harper have them (Blair on rare occasions), the rest …
He has basic respect for religious Jews.
If so, why did he, as governor of Texas, support legistlation for Jesus Day in Texas? Do you really think calling on Texans to “follow Christ’s example by performing good works in their communities and neighborhoods” demonstrates respect for us?
Also, I must object to the continued charecterization of Bill Clinton as anti-Israel. I concede fully that he opposed the ambitions of the Likud and the idea of greater Israel. But because the Israeli electorate, through it’s choices at the polls, demonstrated a similar disdain calling Bill Clinton anti-Israel is identical to calling the majority of Israelis anti-Israel. It’s fair to say you did not agree with Clinton’s policy prescriptions, but to call him an enemy of Israel is to display ingratitude.
Joseph, who said Clinton was anti-Israel? It is merely that he, like Beilin, Peres and Rabin — and unlike Bush — had no clue who Arafat really was and what the man really wanted.
I believe it was Beilin who confessed that he pushed through his \”peace\” plan because he could not conceive of the idea that peace with the Palestinians was impossible. Thousands have perished as a result of their pipe dream.
Oh, and just a gentle reminder: the majority of Jewish residents of Israel voted against Labor and against the ill-considered peace plan. The liberals drove the process forward, oblivious to the fact that they were only able to do so thanks to the support of Arab Knesset representatives — many of whom have, in the intervening years, openly taken the side of our enemies.
The Jews in Texas had cordial relations with George Bush as Governor. I voted for him when we lived there.
I wrote “But because the Israeli electorate, through it’s choices at the polls, demonstrated a similar disdain calling Bill Clinton anti-Israel is identical to calling the majority of Israelis anti-Israel.”
You replied “majority of Jewish residents of Israel voted against Labor”
I am sorry, but are you saying that the non-Jewish citizines of Israel are something other than Israeli?
Anyway, it is simply not true that the majority of Jewish residents voted against Labor or against Oslo.
In 1999 Ehud Barak won a direct election of the prime minister with 56 percent of the vote, suggesting very strongly that a majority of Israelis agreed even with those policies of his that may have been influenced by Bill Clinton. Anyway, Barak didn’t run as a candidate from Labor, but as a member of the One Israel Party (an alliance of the Labor, Gesher and Meimad Parties)
The vote on the Oslo Accords was held in the Knesset on Septmeber 23, 1994 in the form of a motion of no-confidence that the opposition brought against the accords and their Labor formulators. (Israeli voters were never given the chance to vote on Oslo) The vote passed 61-50 with 8 abstentions (all 8 were Shas, that’s right, Shas(!) abstained) There were only two Arab in the Knesset at that time (Abdulwahab Darawshe and Talab El-Sana) so it’s very hard for me to understand why you think that a Labor coalition with Arabs pushed Oslo through.
As for other votes on the peace processs…
The Hebron Agreement was approved by the Knesset on January 16, 1997, by a majority of 87 in favor, 17 against and one abstention. The Knesset also approved the Wye River Memorandum (signed in October 1998 in Washington) within the framework of a vote of confidence in the Prime Minister on November 17, 1998, by a majority of 75 in favor, 19 against, and nine abstentions. Both of these votes took place during the Netanyahu years.
Based on these facts, I fail to understand why you think that Arab support was essential to the acceptance by the Keneeset of the Oslo accords or to the elevtion of Ehud Barak in 1999. I also think you are discounting the two essential agreements (Hebron and Wye)accepted by the Kenesset by very wide margins during the Netanyahu administration.
It seems clear from this that during the 1990s Israelis – Jews, and non Jews alike – supported the peace procees.
Also, Wasal Taha was not in the Knesset when Oslo was debate.
\”Joseph\” is none other than someone who got himself banned (not by me, either!) for delivering false information with a haughty attitude.
In this case, he has done nothing less than rewrite history. \”Israeli voters were never given the chance to vote on Oslo\” was exactly my point — it was foisted upon Israel by a liberal elite, democracy be damned. It passed the Knesset thanks to the active support of Arab Knesset members with nothing to lose, and, from their public statements, much to gain.
Besides Hadash, which included Hashem Mahameed, Saleh Saleem and Tawfik Zayyad, the Labor faction had Haneh Hadad, Nawaf Mazalha, and Saleh Tarif, and the Meretz Party had Walid Sadik. So we have 9 Arab Knesset members, all of whom voted for Oslo. Actually I think only 8 were in the Knesset at one time, but this nonetheless is enough to prove my point.
As Nazir Majali wrote in Haaretz on April 4:
Read it again, Mr. Bear, because those are the facts. I know that you often find reality \”very hard to understand,\” but the truth is exactly that which you dismissed: \”a Labor coalition with Arabs pushed Oslo through.\”
The majority of the Jewish residents of Israel never supported the Peace Plan, and neither did the majority of the Jewish Knesset representatives.
Most of us were far too wise.
Regarding his footnote, he is correct that Taha was not in the 13th Knesset — Taha merely provided an easy-to-find web link which is indicative of a long trend. Darawshe denounced Israel\’s \”occupation\” of Jerusalem. Mahameed sent condolences to Arafat denouncing the \”terrorist act\” of the Israeli government when it assassinated arch-terrorist Abu Ali Mustapha. Sadik expressed his disappointment that the PA had lost the \”achievements\” of the Intifada. And so on…