Sarkozy and Obama fail a moral test

The US and French presidents need to be reminded that Israel is on the front lines of the world’s war on terror and that Israel is America’s only true friend and ally in the Middle East.

Earl Cox 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Earl Cox 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
At the recent G-20 summit in Cannes, France, a microphone which was supposed to have been turned off (but wasn’t) picked up and recorded a comment made by French President Nicholas Sarkozy to US President Barack Obama in which Sarkozy was heard calling Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a liar.
Obama’s response to Sarkozy was also picked up by the mike and was equally disrespectful. These cowardly and despicable comments were completely unbecoming these two leaders of free-world countries. There is a saying that the true measure of a person’s character is not what they do or say when they know people are watching or listening but, rather, what they do or say when they believe they are unobserved. This speaks volumes about the less-than-mature and honorable character of President Sarkozy as well as that of President Obama ― who rubber stamped Sarkozy’s assessment of Netanyahu.
With high office come high expectations. Those worthy to hold such offices should be men and women of noble character. They must be the sort of people who command respect ― individuals we can hold in high esteem, pointing to them as examples for our children and grandchildren to follow. World leaders should never be found wallowing in the gutter uttering sentiments which belittle and degrade themselves and those they represent.
For two world leaders to have engaged in such slanderous dialogue against Prime Minister Netanyahu is inexcusable. Sarkozy as well as Obama should be held accountable for their less-than-diplomatic speech and behavior. Had any of their underlings serving in a diplomatic position been caught with their pants down, so to speak, they likely would have been relieved of their post. Speaking as an American who still holds fast to the Judeo-Christian values upon which our great nation was founded, Obama’s comments render him unfit to serve as the President of the United States of America, the leader of the free world.  With this office comes the duty and obligation to conduct oneself in a respectful and dignified manner.
The United States and France are supposed to be key players in helping to broker or facilitate peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. While I’d say they are “players” all right, their leaders are not men of valor. One has to wonder, based on their words, whether Sarkozy and Obama harbor anti-Semitic feelings and attitudes.
Moreover, the playing field is not level. The cards are always stacked against Israel. Before Israel even takes a seat at the negotiating table, it has already been dealt a losing hand. Barack Obama showed his true colors when, according to the Associated Press report, he said in reply to Sarkozy, “You’re fed up with him? I have to deal with him every day!” The implication was, of course, that Obama fully shared Sarkozy’s negative sentiments about Israel’s leader.
Seems Obama and Sarkozy need to be reminded that Israel is on the front lines of the world’s war on terror and that Israel is America’s only true friend and ally in the Middle East. But, then again, maybe Obama himself has other friends in the Middle East. After all, Obama did open the White House doors wide for Ramadan prayers (and even participated himself), but the same doors were slammed shut on the Christian National Day of Prayer ― which was an annual event prior to Obama’s accession to the White House. These same doors were also opened not once, but twice, to Abu Mazen, a.k.a Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, yet Netanyahu was ushered in the back door and given a quick exit. Netanyahu did not make an issue of the less than stately treatment he received from President Obama, and I am sure he felt hurt and humiliated, yet it never showed.
Netanyahu is a man who is doing his best to maintain balance while walking a tightrope. Truly, he is caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place. On the one hand, he has the duty and obligation to make certain Israel has defensible borders in order to keep his land and his people safe from hostile neighbors. On the other hand, the world is continually putting undue pressure on Israel to give away more of its real estate to create a Palestinian state.
Israel is in favor of the Palestinians having their own state, but the Palestinians are hostile neighbors. They want their own state, but they do not want to live in peace next door to Israel. Meanwhile, the world is making very unreasonable demands on Israel. The Sharon government made the decision to unilaterally give Gaza to the Palestinians, yet this action did not buy Israel even one minute of peace. In fact, the opposite occurred. With Gaza in the hands of the Palestinians, this brought the terrorists closer to Israeli population centers. Bombs rain down almost daily from Gaza into southern Israel.
With the hostile Palestinians in the south and the Hezbollah terrorists in the north supported by radical Iran, the noose is tightening around Israel’s neck. It cannot afford to give away even one more square foot of land to her enemies. In fact, Israel is so small it could fit into the state of California 19 times!
Every American should be outraged and embarrassed over the speech and conduct of the man serving in our Oval Office. This sort of negative speech and less than dignified behavior may have been acceptable when Obama was an activist on the streets of Chicago, but they are not attributes befitting the President of the United States. The people of the United States should not be satisfied with a President who demonstrates such lapses in judgment and decorum as to join with the likes of Sarkozy in slinging mud at another democratic world leader. Such misconduct shows a lack of respect not only for Netanyahu as a person but also for the office he holds and the country and people he represents.
Both Obama and Sarkozy failed a moral test. Sarkozy’s past personal indiscretions have made him somewhat of a laughing stock as a world leader. As the leader of the free world, Obama should have taken the high road in his conversation with Sarkozy. He should have had character and backbone enough to stop Sarkozy in his tracks ― reminding him that Netanyahu represents Israel which is America’s friend and ally. What a sound bite that would have been for his campaign!
It is the duty of every American president to under-gird fellow democracies. Remember the speech Obama made back in June of 2008 to an American Israel Public Affairs Council (AIPAC) conference?  In that speech, Obama pledged to always stand in support of Israel. Of course, this was before he was elected President. Sounds like he used the old “bait and switch” tactic: Tell them what they want to hear, and then just do what you want.
There was a time when personal honor was so important that a person’s word was his or her bond. We communicate our values by how we live. It’s easy to go with the flow of what’s politically correct when you can turn off the voice of your conscience. It takes courage, however, to stand for and do what is right ― especially if it goes against the current tide. We all know Sarkozy cares little about a tarnished reputation, and it is now apparent that the same is true of Obama. We the people cannot allow this serious breech of conduct and protocol on the part of Sarkozy and Obama to just be swept under the carpet.
The right thing to do would be for Sarkozy and Obama to give Benjamin Netanyahu an apology in a public forum. Furthermore, Sarkozy needs to explain to Netanyahu and the world why he called him a liar, and Obama needs to explain his remarks about being displeased at having to interact with him regularly. My guess is that neither has the moral fortitude to look Netanyahu in the eye, explain his remarks, and ask for his forgiveness. Yet Obama and Sarkozy owe Netanyahu this courtesy.
The Bible says, “As we sow, so shall we reap.” America needs a President who knows, understand and believes that God will bless those who bless Israel.