Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has been criticized for planning, as part of his current world tour, to meet both with Israeli and Palestinian officials in the Middle East.

Supporters of Republican John McCain, who met with the Israelis but refused to meet wit the Palestinians during a recent visit to the region, say Obama is being too even-handed in his approach.

Who is right?

Let’s ask George Washington. In his 1796 farewell address to the nation, the first president declared that, “(Nothing) is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest.”