After reading Brad Burston’s veiled swipe at my supposed “cynical” view of Pres. Obama’s trip to Israel, I asked Aluf Benn, the managing editor, if he might allow me to let Haaretz’s readers know what I really feel about the subject. He graciously suggested I submit a piece. This is the result. It’s only my second piece in Haaretz and the first one since 2007. So I’m very proud of that; and of expanding the discourse regarding the failure of Obama’s visit to do anything other than reinforce self-aggrandizing notions among Israelis about their own innate goodness and liberalism.
The acclaim that greeted the trip and Obama’s golden, but empty rhetoric cried out for a contrarian approach. But calling it cynicism is a cheap shot. As I wrote, I have nothing against hope, optimism and liberalism as long as they are grounded in realism. But when those emotions are grounded on nothing that is substantive then they’re just cheating audiences and selling them snake-oil.
Though Obama may have the best of intentions, he cannot and will not follow through on them. Which makes his beautiful ideas little more than empty words and a cruel hoax.