Wednesday, April 01, 2015

By The Sweat Of Our Brows We Live

The vagaries of political history and semantics.

Back in 2000, you could read this

Middle East peace was given the slimmest of second chances yesterday after President Bill Clinton browbeat Israel and the Palestinians to agree to end the violence.

In 2013, you could read this:

Obama, a Democrat, never enamored himself to the Israeli people, nor to their prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.  The U.S. leader was accused of trying to browbeat Israel into making concessions to the Palestinians, particularly in his efforts to halt settlement-building in the occupied West Bank, and of refusing to impose red lines on Iran's atomic project.

Back in 1992, Bill Clinton told the New York Community Relations Council that he would not

browbeat Israel


He had accused President Bush Sr. of doing that:

in 1992 candidate Clinton ostentatiously denounced George Bush for coddling dictators and for having "chosen to browbeat Israel, the region's sole democracy, while nurturing ties to Syria's despotic regime." 

Even Tom Friedman of the NYTimes recorded it. The term was pronounced in Clinton's second major foreign policy address of the election campaign a Manhattan hotel five days before the New York primary before the Foreign Policy Association in early April.

Last month, it was Hillary Clinton's turn at browbeating admission:

Clinton has called Netanyahu a “complicated figure” and admitted that, as secretary of state, “I was often the designated yeller,” browbeating Netanyahu as she represented the Obama administration’s insistence that Netanyahu make concessions to Israel’s enemies.

Oh, and the term has been used again to describe President Obama's actions, like here:

...after the Obama administration browbeat Israel into accepting a separate inquiry by a panel appointed by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the HRC investigation continued. That’s what “fair and balanced” means at the U.N.: two panels, one biased, one supposedly not.

And in a phone call to Netanyahu.  A Republican congressman used the term:

Allen West, a Republican running against Democratic Rep. Ron Klein in Florida's 22nd District, said Obama was "browbeating" Israel.

I guess we Israelis are still livining by the sweat of our brows


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