On Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry met with Saudi King Abdullah to try and warm relations between the two countries. “A true relationship between friends is based on sincerity, candor and frankness,” said Prince Saudi al-Faisal, the Saudi foreign minister, after the meeting.

But Kerry certainly wasn’t frank about Saudi Arabia’s brutal treatment of women; according to The New York Times, “Wary of inflaming Saudi sensitivities, Mr. Kerry sidestepped a reporter’s question about whether Saudi women should be allowed to drive, casting the debate as one ‘best left to Saudi Arabia.’”

The Obama administration has shown no such shyness with regard to Israel. In 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton launched into a diatribe against segregated buses in religious communities for women and men, despite the fact that those buses exist only in ultra-religious communities. She also ripped into religious male soldiers leaving concerts at which women sang (there are some interpretations of Jewish law requiring that men not hear women sing). Clinton compared Israel to Iran and the pre-civil rights movement South.

Continue reading →