With a prophet’s eye and a folksy way of putting things, former President George W. Bush predicted a month ago, soon after the October 7 massacres, the diplomatic predicament Israel would soon find itself in.
“We need to support Israel, no ifs and buts. This is an unprovoked attack by terrorist people willing to kill innocent people to achieve an objective,” he said. “Don’t be surprised if Israel takes whatever action is necessary to defend herself, and it’s going to be ugly for a while.”
Then he added: “There is going to be weariness. You watch, the world is going to be [saying], ‘Ok, let’s negotiate. Israel’s got to negotiate. They are not going to negotiate. These people [Hamas] have played their cards. They want to kill as many Israelis as they can, and negotiations with killers is not an option for the elected government of Israel. So we are going to have to remain steadfast, but it is not going to take long for people to say, ‘it’s going on for too long; sure there is a way to settle this, through negotiations; both sides are guilty.’ My view is one side is guilty, and it is not Israel.”
That is moral clarity. French President Emmanuel Macron had it for a short while in the immediate aftermath of October 7, when the pure evil of Hamas was on gory display for everyone to see. He even came to Israel, one of a slew of leaders to come and show solidarity.
That was then
On Friday, in a BBC interview, Macron’s view seemed to change dramatically, from understanding that “one side is guilty, and it’s not Israel,” to shifting the blame to Israel.
Macron, who in the interview said he recognizes Israel’s right to protect itself, asserted, however, that the only solution now is a ceasefire “because it is impossible to explain, ‘We want to fight terrorism, by killing innocent civilians.’”
There are a couple of problems with that statement. First, there is an inherent contradiction between supporting Israel’s right to protect…