Benjamin Netanyahu is set to appoint Avigdor Lieberman, head of the ultranationalist Yisroel Beitenu party, as Israel’s Foreign Minister. The New York Times refers to to Lieberman as"often indelicate and outspoken," which is a bit like calling Ratko Mladic "discourteous."
The Obama Administration’s double standard in continuing to refuse to meet democratically elected Hamas representatives because of their odious positions will now stand in even higher relief if our officials agree to do business with Lieberman. Recall that Lieberman has called for loyalty oaths to Israel as a Jewish state from all its citizens including Arabs, bombing of Palestinian civilians in response to terror attacks (official Israeli positions are more nuanced and coy, albeit functionally indistinguishable), and the death penalty for Knesset members who have met with Hamas or Hezbollah.
It would be a superb line in the sand if the Obama administration refused to accept diplomatic credentials for Lieberman. I should like to think that many nations would do as much in the case of this blog post’s titular thought experiment.
Not. Holding. My. Breath.