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Quandt and Begin

Reader comment on item: William Quandt's Embarrassing Memo

Submitted by Rafi (United States), May 31, 2010 at 12:14

It is truly amazing that two people, Quandt, an Arab/Palestine specialist, and his boss, a Russia/Eastern Europe expert, display absolutely no understanding of the 1977 Israel election. There were a whole host of issues, none dealing with the Palestinians, which concerned the Israeli electorate.

Among those issues were the continuing fallout from the Yom Kippur War, the President Ford 1975 "re-evaluation" of American military aid to push PM Rabin to withdraw faster from the Sinai, the state of the economy, the Mrs. Rabin bank account scandal and a general weariness with Labor. Yet, none of these factors appear in the analysis and therefore basing a policy with the unspoken aim of overturning the results to get a more America-favorable government in power is truly mind-boggling.

While there are loads of Arab specialists who are fluent in the language and the culture of the region, one suspects that there is a serious dearth of Hebrew-speakers. Truth to tell, it is a professional dead-end to be so mono-lingual in govt service, but, at least any Administration would not be "caught' off-guard by such events as the Jerusalem building and planning committee agenda while VP Biden was in Israel discussing the building of originally 1300 apts in Ramat Shlomo. One would be shocked to hear that there is no American official following the building east of the "green line".

If there are Hebrew speakers, then the Obama Administration was aware of the agenda and simply looked for a good moment to hit Bibi and topple his Govt. Otherwise, like Quandt, this Administration does not truly understand Israel and instead deals with those who speak English at the same level as they do. As a fluent speaker of Hebrew, this is a very sad situation which will only lead to more conflicts.

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