That’s a headline in Israel’s leading daily Ynet: “Israeli doctor ready to operate on Obama.”
It’s not that Obama needs to be operated on, but just in case a surgeon is needed during the president’s visit, Professor Avi Rivkind, head of the department of surgery at the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem, is on standby.
And just in case any of the close to one in five Israelis polled who say they hate Obama want to cause him harm, the same report helpfully includes his full schedule with locations and times when he will be present.
No doubt wherever a U.S. president travels, host governments make all kinds of contingency plans in anticipation of possible emergencies. Even so, I doubt that the press in any other country have seen fit to report on the availability of their surgeons to operate on the president.
With only 10% of Israelis viewing Obama favorably that makes him only slightly more popular there than he is in Pakistan. But whereas Pakistanis have a legitimate grievance — that hundreds of civilians have died in U.S. drone attacks — Israelis’ complaint is what? That 50% of U.S. foreign aid isn’t enough? Or is it just that he’s a black man with the middle name Hussein?