I just booked my plane tickets to visit Israel in May.
Maybe I’ll call it an Apology Tour.
I’ll let Israelis know that the current administration, with its childish chickens**t taunting treatment of Israel, does not represent the American people, who overwhelmingly support Israel. (Will this violate the Logan Act?)
Fortunately, I have the speech already written for me:
In recent years we’ve allowed our Alliance to drift. I know that there have been honest disagreements over policy, but we also know that there’s something more that has crept into our relationship.
In America, there’s a failure to appreciate [Israeli’s] leading role in the world. Instead of celebrating your dynamic [nation] and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.
My job to [Israelis] is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy. We sometimes make mistakes. We have not been perfect. But if you look at the track record, as you say, America was not born as a colonial power, and that the same respect and partnership that America had with [Israel] as recently as 20 or 30 years ago, there’s no reason why we can’t restore that.
All of us must now renew the common stake that we have in one another. I know that promises of partnership have gone unfulfilled in the past, and that trust has to be earned over time. While the United States has done much to promote peace and prosperity in the [region], we have at times been disengaged, and at times we sought to dictate our terms.
But I pledge to you that we seek an equal partnership. There is no senior partner and junior partner in our relations; there is simply engagement based on mutual respect and common interests and shared values. So I’m here to launch a new chapter of engagement that will be sustained.
The United States will be willing to acknowledge past errors where those errors have been made.
Unfortunately, faced with an uncertain threat, our government made a series of hasty decisions. I believe that many of these decisions were motivated by a sincere desire to protect the American people. But I also believe that all too often our government made decisions based on fear rather than foresight; that all too often our government trimmed facts and evidence to fit ideological predispositions.
Instead of strategically applying our power and our principles, too often we set those principles aside as luxuries that we could no longer afford.
Human endeavor is by its nature imperfect. History is often tragic, but unresolved, it can be a heavy weight. Each country must work through its past. And reckoning with the past can help us seize a better future.
So don’t be discouraged by what’s happened in the last few weeks. Don’t be discouraged that we have to acknowledge potentially we’ve made some mistakes.
That’s how we learn.
I am now ready for my selfie.
For those of you who enjoy looking at other people’s vacation photos, here is the full series of blog posts from my last trip to Israel in the summer of 2013:
- Metula and the fake Hezbollah village
- On the Golan Heights – The Valley of Tears
- On the Golan Heights – The Battle of Tel Saki
- On the road to Golan
- And then there were none (of the pre-Oslo Arab killers of Israelis left in prison)
- To Samaria and back
- A stone’s throw away from trouble in Jerusalem
- What explains Americans’ strong support for Israel?
- Trying to explain the Tea Party in Israel
- This Night In Jerusalem
- Good morning, Tel Aviv
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