Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Israel and Honduras

Here's a new thought: there are two countries, Israel and Honduras, where Obama has not hesitated to 'meddle' - to tell the governments and people what to do and exactly how to do it. What's interesting is that, in both cases, he has failed to rally any significant support for his positions within those countries.

According to Aluf Benn, editor at large of the Israeli daily Haaretz, there is absolutely no support, even among Prime Minister Netanyahu's opponents, for Obama's position on freezing Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Nor does Obama appear to enjoy the sympathy of the Israeli public, who think he's a softie who can be easily deceived or bullied by Iran and North Korea, and resent him implying that the establishment of Israel was simply a pay-back for the Holocaust.

As for Honduras, the government and the public appear willing to withstand external pressure, including the suspension of $18 million in U.S. military and development assistance, to keep President Roberto Micheletti in place until elections in November. Former President Manual Zelaya, camped out just over the border in Nicaragua, is reportedly losing steam in his attempt to reinstate himself, despite support from just about everyone, including the United States.

Now, mind you, I'm not saying this is all bad: Israelis are known for their disputatious politics, and we seem to be moving them toward more consensus. Honduras, like many Latin American countries, has struggled over the years to establish a firm constitutional order, and we're definitely getting them united on that topic.

Maybe the State Department should survey the globe, determine where greater internal unity would be in our favor, and start putting pressure on those governments. Certainly it's worth a try!

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