The State Department, which has yet to post the promised answer to the question of whether the Obama administration considers itself bound by the letter given to Israel in exchange for the Gaza disengagement, faced another puzzler today. Here is the colloquy with spokesman Ian Kelly:
QUESTION: The Jerusalem Post has a poll that showed that only 6 percent of Israelis actually support and think that the — President Obama is pro-Israel. Does that concern you at all?
MR. KELLY: Well, I think that our support for Israel and the President’s support for Israel is unwavering. I haven’t seen the results of that poll, but I think that the people of Israel know who stands with them.
QUESTION: Do you think that Secretary Clinton may think that a more balanced Mideast policy would be more appropriate?
MR. KELLY: You’re asking a very tough last question, I have to say. I’ll defer comment and – thank you very much.
Note that Kelly really did not answer the first question either, since the question was not whether Obama’s support is “unwavering” (he has already given his let-me-be-clear answer to that) but whether Obama is concerned that the percentage of Israelis who believe him is so far down that it approaches the margin of error.
At least Kelly only “deferred” his answer to the “very tough last question,” indicating that perhaps he’ll supply an answer after he checks — just as with the unanswered question about the shelf life of presidential letters.