February 20, 2013

In the zillionth example of how shoddy and trivial the mainstream media has become, today they obsessed over Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu tapping water bottles but failed to pick up on a major policy declaration from Rubio. In a British Sky TV interview (notice the series of anti-Israel framed questions) Rubio says we should be doing more for the Syrian rebels:

He says that “if we are not engaged . . . then I think we increase the chances there will be negative.” He talks about the real danger of a security vacuum or control of the Syrian government by radicals, and points to positive steps we can take in sharing intelligence, pulling together a political structure and providing ammunition.

On Iran he vouches for more stringent sanctions, but he refuses to take the bait on settlements as the barrier to a successful “peace process.” And on Israel and Palestine, Rubio calmly replies that Netanyahu has been talking out in favor of peace and points to the Fatah/Hamas divide. When he says that settlement activity shouldn’t stand in the way of talks (in fact, under the Bush administration it was a non-factor) and that Israel’s concern about its own security in a time of Egyptian instability and in the wake of Gaza attacks, he shows a more sophisticated grasp of the Middle East than most of the Obama administration. And finally, he points to Chuck Hagel as exacerbating Israel’s sense of insecurity (as well as his past comments and “temperament”).

You have to wonder why groups like the National Democratic Jewish Committee spend time vilifying him while waving the Hagel nomination through. Is there any doubt that Rubio is a more informed and stalwart exponent of U.S. policy than Hagel? Well, that’s a low bar to jump over, I suppose.

Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective.