Every so often, the sayings of Casey Stengel come to mind. The longtime manager of the New York Yankees, accustomed to a Prussian professionalism, moved over to the astonishingly hapless New York Mets in 1962 and, surveying his new team, uttered an exasperated question: “Can’t anybody here play this game?” What applied to those Mets applies now to the Obama administration. In the Middle East, it’s no hits and plenty of errors.
The arena of the administration’s incompetence is the issue of West Bank settlements. This is something of a misnomer since while some of the settlements are recklessly deep into the West Bank – Ariel (above), for instance – others are indistinguishable parts of Jerusalem. They are all, under international law, illegal. But some, regardless of legality, are going to stay. Even in the Middle East, common sense can play a role. The Jerusalem-area settlements are not going to be abandoned by Israel.
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