By Schmoel Yitzhak
* OF WHAT IS OBAMA AFRAID?
After his lamented Cairo speech -- not so artfully designed to make-nice with a bazzilion Muslims -- Barack (What Am I Anyway?) Obama has become a "Second-Thinker."
That is, he says (or does) one thing and, after realizing that he committed yet another political boo-boo, he reconsiders and switches to another aimless track.
We saw that when it came to his off-again-on-again figurative face-slapping of Benjamin Netanyahu followed by a surprise White House courtship so dripping with sweetness that it seemed to have been choreographed by the Saccharine Chamber of Commerce.
For further proof that Uncle Sam's Chief Executive verbalizes out of both sides of his mouth, we have this weekend's version of Barack's Now-You-See-Him-Now-You-Don't Trick.
On Friday, the prez gave a ringing endorsement for the ill-conceived plan to build a mosque in the shadow of Ground Zero.
One wonder why it took The Thin Man so long to address an issue that has millions of non-New Yorkers furiously wringing their hands -- while their heads throb in anger -- over an affront to their patriotic senses.
Obama's oh-it's-okay-this-is-a-democracy mosque endorsement had a shelf life of less than twenty-four hours.
You have to figure that at least two of his non-Muslim advisors handed him a calendar, pointed to November and reminded The Empty Suit that elections are held in America's autumn.
What's more, a lot of Democrats are doing the Wobbly over a possibility that they will get rejected by their disgusted electorate.
"Think about THAT, Mister President," I could just hear those advisors advising.
So, Obama came to Panama City, Florida, he thought and, wonder of wonders, The New York (Everything Obama Does Is Right) Times then ran this telltale headline:
OBAMA SAYS MOSQUE REMARKS WERE NOT ENDORSEMENT.
Well, you know what they say: Turnabout is fair play.
Except, in this case it isn't; not by a long shot.
A president cannot say one thing on Friday and then say another on Saturday and expect to get away with it.
If he believes that it is an insensitive, improper, ill-advised idea to build the mosque just yards from where thousands were killed because of an anti-American plot engineered by Muslim extremists, then he should come out and say so in plain English.
Representative Peter T. King, Republican of New York, is not afraid to articulate what millions of Americans believe.
"The right and moral thing for President Obama to have done," says King, "was to urge Muslim leaders to respect the families of those who died and move their mosque away from ground zero."
Obama's failure to do so will cost his Democratic pals dearly in November.
Believe me, he knows that very well but lacks the courage to do -- and say -- the right thing.
* * *
AMNESIA, AMERICAN-EUROPEAN UNION-STYLE:
From Arab-land, word is out that "direct" talks about a two-state "solution" to the Arab-Israeli conflict will soon begin.
As the old, classic tune goes, "It Seems To Me I Heard That Song Before."
But, wait, maybe Abbas and Netanyahu will chat in Cairo as advertised. Then, what?
Begin with the fact that Hamas has vociferously condemned the idea of such chatting and since Hamas controls Gaza, what good is such a pact?
It certainly would NOT produce a two-state solution since Hamas controls half that state and there's no realistic way that the terrorist domain will change its destroy-Israel stance.
Now even if we take the most optimistic view that a two-state solution -- minus Hamas -- is forged and then rockets begin flowing into Israel as in the past, do you think Abbas & Co. will side with Israel?
Only when a hippopotamus learns to fly.
Abbas would quickly ally himself with Hamas and execute a pincer movement to achieve the Arabs' long-hoped for extinction of Israel.
No less troubling is the European Union's backing for the direct talks. Who needs the EU? Certainly not Netanyahu.
Over and over again, the EU's policies have been anti-Israel and there's no way the Middle East's only democratic state will get a break this time around.
Then, you have the underlining element that should negate these proposed talks; Abbas has bucked them for months, if not years.
What's the point of having discussions if the Palestinians really do not want to have any part of them.
Netanyahu has gone public, endorsing a two-state solution just as Ehud Barak did at Camp David.
And you know what Barak got for his kindness? The Jerusalem Post's Sarah Honig sure does.
"Bill Clinton dragged a kicking and screaming Arafat to Camp David," writes Honig. "Barak made egregious offers to reward Arafat for his 'cooperation.'"
Still, the Palestinian nixed every Israeli offer and what Barak got for his concessions was the Second Intifada.
Who are the Americans and the European Union kidding? Do they think we really are suffering from amnesia?
For the sake of Netanyahu and Israel, I certainly hope not!