You probably thought that Kremlinology was a difficult undertaking.
Check this out:
Between Israel and the United States a gap has opened this week, a narrow gap, almost invisible – but it may widen into an abyss.
The first signs are small. In his inaugural speech, Obama proclaimed that “We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus – and nonbelievers.” Since when? Since when do the Muslims precede the Jews? What has happened to the “Judeo-Christian Heritage”? (A completely false term to start with, since Judaism is much closer to Islam than to Christianity. For example: neither Judaism nor Islam supports the separation of religion and state.)
The very next morning, Obama phoned a number of Middle East leaders. He decided to make a quite unique gesture: placing the first call to Mahmoud Abbas, and only the next to Olmert. The Israeli media could not stomach that. Ha’aretz, for example, consciously falsified the record by writing – not once but twice in the same issue – that Obama had called “Olmert, Abbas, Mubarak, and King Abdallah” (in that order).
Still, Daniel Levy, a former Israeli peace negotiator, was struck by language that he felt conveyed “genuine empathy for the Palestinian predicament and for Palestinian dignity,” because Obama addressed “the suffering of Palestinian civilians as an issue in its own right rather than as a derivative of Hamas behavior.” Levy cited, as a contrast, a long list of statements by then-President George W. Bush and his secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, that repeatedly blamed Hamas for Palestinian suffering.
Well…Maybe. After all, it was clear to me that Obama would choose Hillary as Secretary of State after making this gesture.