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The Voice of Reason?

If you are getting queasy about the the President’s New Age overture to Iran and George Mitchell’s fantasy that all conflicts have a solution, you may be cheered to know that a bastion of reason remains — at the State Department. No really. This report explains:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday that Israel had a right to defend itself and that Palestinian rocket attacks from Gaza on the Jewish state could not go unanswered.

Clinton spoke as a fragile ceasefire ruptured between Israel and Hamas-ruled Gaza on the same day as President Barack Obama’s special envoy George Mitchell arrived in the region to try and shore up the truce.

“We support Israel’s right to self-defense. The (Palestinian) rocket barrages which are getting closer and closer to populated areas (in Israel) cannot go unanswered,” Clinton said in her first news conference at the State Department.

The top U.S. diplomat, whose comments may be seen by some as giving Israel a green light to once again pound Gaza, accused Hamas of “offensive” action against the Israeli Defense Forces on the border.

“It is regrettable that the Hamas leadership apparently believes that it is in their interest to provoke the right of self-defense instead of building a better future for the people of Gaza,” said Clinton.

. . .

Asked about the humanitarian plight of Palestinians in Gaza, Clinton said the United States was looking to increase assistance there but did not indicate how much more funding was available or when the aid would be delivered. “The United States is currently the single largest contributor to Palestinian aid and we will be adding even more because we believe that it’s important to help those who have been damaged and are suffering,” she said.

Hmm. No moral equivalence. Straight declarative sentences. A firm line on terrorism. An unapologetic tone about the United States’ ongoing humanitarian efforts for the Palestinian people. And an unequivocal stance in support of Israel’s right of self-defense. That sounds, well, downright reasonable.

Whether she is the lone voice in the wilderness or one of many conflicting voices emanating from the new administration (which seems to have a plethora of power centers) remains to be seen. But if she is going to maintain her influence as the President’s primary voice on foreign policy she better make sure everyone else is in sync with her. And right now that might not be a bad place to be.



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