Lenin spoke of people who work against their own people’s best interests as “helpful idiots” – clearly a perfect description of President Shimon Peres plans to present President Obama an award during his upcoming visit to Israel. While world headlines wrongly indicate that during Obama’s upcoming visit, Israel will give him an award, the reality is that Peres who holds a non-elected, ceremonial position will give Obama The Presidential Medal of Distinction, an award which Peres’ office created and awarded for the first time last year.
Few in Israel consider President Obama to be a friend of the Jewish State and this appears to be a simple quid pro quo, as Peres received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Obama at a presidential dinner in Washington in June 2012.
From a public relations standpoint one wonders what is the upside of presenting Obama with an award at this time? Would it not make more sense to at least make some sort of a request? Whether it’s Jonathan Pollard or some other vital issue?
The best sound bite on this issue yet comes courtesy of former United States Congressman Allen West who questioned the wisdom of giving Obama this award and bravely said: “I don’t know if this is a case of Stockholm Syndrome where the victim tries to appease the captor and get them to love them. Expect more arrogance from the President….Hopefully this is not a case of Jewish guilt.”
Perhaps a clearer path was detailed by Ze’ev Jabotinsky many years ago: “‘Everybody is wrong and you alone are right?’ No doubt this question springs by itself to the reader’s lips and mind. It is customary to answer this with apologetic phrases to the effect that I fully respect public opinion, that I bow to it, that I was glad to make concessions….All this is unnecessary, and all this is untrue. You cannot believe in anything in the world, if you admit even once that perhaps your opponents are right, and not you. This is not the way to do things. There is but one truth in the world, and it is all yours. If you are not sure of it, stay at home; but if you are sure, don’t look back, and it will be your way.”