As some of my close Jewish friends will attest, I have always wondered how any Jew that supports Israel (which of course is almost all of them) could possibly vote for a Democrat party President. I get all kinds of twisted rationale, none of which shakes my belief that many Democrats and most liberals are in their best moments neutral on Israel, and in their worst they are anti-Semitic. While I don’t want to say President Obama is in the anti-Semitic extreme, there is no question his policies are exactly that, demonstrated no more boldly than in his speech Thursday to the Arab world. In it he put a stake in the ground that any settlement must involve a return to the 1967 borders (borders, I might add, which were established during the 6 day war when Egypt, Syria, and Jordan simultaneously attacked Israel, and Israel fended them off). The statement by the President severley hampers Israel’s negotiating capability, and will become a rallying cry for anti-Semites in the UN Security Council and Israel’s ill-willed enemies.
In our President’s view, he naively assumes near equivalence between a group that would randomly blow up Israeli pizza parlors and weddings to a country that only responds when attacked. He assumes that, by drawing a line on a map, no one will cross those lines, and that even if they do he won’t have to be the one to suffer the horrifying consequences. He assumes that a group like the Palestinians (if there really is such a thing), who have on multiple occasions walked away from the bargaining table after getting every concession they could ever hope for, are a partner for peace.
You see, ours is a President who has never had to really “do” anything, or lead anything, or negotiate anything. I suppose, then, I should not be surprised when I see him putting a stake in the ground (“agreement must be based on 1967 border) on an outcome in a negotiation prior to negotiations being started– and giving the largest concession to the party that refuses to come to the table (the Arabs) and that is effectively committed to destroying the country of Israel and exterminating the Jewish people. The same party, I might add, that recently merged two groups, Fatah (moderate led by Mahmoud Abbas) and Hamas (radical organization dedicated to the destruction of Israel). How can our President possibly intercede the way he has given the threats to Israel and the obstinance of the Arabs? Why would he establish a foundation for negotiation, in advance of the negotiation, that handicaps the only party operating in good faith? Perhaps the Israeli’s would accept the pre-1967 borders, but not until after an intricate negotiation which multiple security guarantees, including an unmilitarized buffer. The President just made the borders a starting point!
The best answer I have is that he is an academic, someone prone to theorizing and pontificating and idealism that is the stuff of college campuses but not the stuff of the real world. And so, in such a world, the Israeli’s become the bad guys. And yes, all over college campuses today their is rampant anti-Israeli prejudice built on good intent but completely faulty logic. “They stole the land, they abuse the Arabs, they use too much force to protect themselves”, and Hamas is made equivalent to a democratic and peaceful Israel. But we are not in Hanover, Cambridge, or Berkeley. This is the real world. President Obama even drew such an illustration: He speaks of 2 fathers, one “Palestinian” and the other Israeli, who lost children in the unrest. The Palestinian lost daughters in the Gaza conflict of 2008, and the Israeli lost his son to random rocket fire by Hamas. Somehow these two become the same in the President’s mind, the Israeli’s killed the girls and Hamas killed the boy. He’s half right. In the case of the Israeli dying, he’s right that the people to blame are Hamas. In the case of the daughter’s death, he is wrong, because the people to blame are also Hamas! Hamas started the war, Hamas is relentless in their attacks on Israeli civilians, and only after provocation after provocation do the Israeli’s respond. All in defense. Hamas is almost always on offense, Israel is almost always on defense. But to the President, these parties become the same. The symbolism in his speech in regards to this is so utterly dangerous from a U.S. President.
Add to this the naive, liberal fantasy that somehow the Arab-Israeli conflict is the, or a, key reason for unrest in the Middle East. This is preposterous. You could solve this problem tomorrow and almost nothing would change in the region outside of Israel. The real threats are an imperial and radical Iran (which the President hardly addressed and has managed abysmally), oppressive and brutal dictators, and Muslim extremists in the Middle East. Sadly, the President’s speech was mostly about the Arab world in general, but because of the outrageous position he took on the 1967 borders that’s all anyone is writing and talking about.
It will be interesting to observe as we go forward all the momentum the President has just handed Hamas and the terrorists. Their unwillingness to agree to any deal, their commitment to the destruction of Israel, is now emboldened. Watch as the U.N. puts the wind at these terrorists back and blows them forward, and lambastes Israel. For decades the only thing preventing such consequences has been a strong Israeli military and a stalwart ally in the U.S. Sadly our President has just given that up.