Obama excuses 'Palestinian' violenceJeffrey Goldberg cites the following statement by President Obama and asks whether the President 'inadvertently' excused 'Palestinian' violence (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
This is what the President had to say after the Israeli announcement that 900 apartment units would be built in the South Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo:Goldberg then goes on to assert that the Obama administration doesn't understand that Gilo is different from the 'settlements' becauseI think that additional settlement building does not contribute to Israel's security. I think it makes it harder for them to make peace with their neighbors. I think it embitters the Palestinians in a way that could end up being very dangerous.
Palestinian negotiators have fairly consistently recognized that Gilo, a Jerusalem suburb built over the 1967 Green Line, but south, not east, of the city, would remain inside Israel in a final-status peace deal, as part of a dunam-for-dunam land-swap with the Palestinian Authority. So it doesn't matter if Israel adds 900 apartments, or 90 shopping malls, to Gilo.I haven't heard 'Palestinian' negotiators recognize anything of the sort, nor, for that matter, have I heard Israeli negotiators issue an exchange offer for land retained in Jerusalem - that offer only pertained to land retained in the 'settlement blocs.' It doesn't matter what Israel adds to Gilo because under Israeli law Jerusalem, including Gilo, is Israeli territory and isn't being negotiated.
Then Goldberg gets to a more troublesome issue.
The second issue is the more consequential one: Having made Gilo an issue when it did not previously exist as an issue (as a matter of fact, Gilo, during the second Uprising, stood for Israeli resilience in the face of Palestinian violence) Obama then warned that Gilo is making Palestinians embittered "in a way that could end up being very dangerous." This is euphemistic, of course, but not too euphemistic, given the history of Palestinian violence. Obama's statement reads almost as a kind of preemptive rationalization for violent Palestinian protest. It's never a good idea, of course, for an American president to forecast Palestinian violence, but it's especially unfortunate now, just when Israel had announced a moratorium on new settlement building.Obama's statement doesn't read as "almost... a kind of preemptive rationalization for violent Palestinian protest." It reads as a preemptive rationalization for violent Palestinian protest. No 'almost' and no 'kind of.'
It should be apparent that Goldberg answers the question that is the title of his post in the affirmative, namely that Obama 'inadvertently' excused 'Palestinian' violence in the statement quoted above. I would go even further.
Given that Obama gave what was obviously a prepared statement, I don't believe his excuse was inadvertent at all. It was intentional.
In Obama's world, we can't restrain Muslim violence and we're not going to fight it (because then we couldn't 'engage' with it) so we may as well just excuse it.
What could go wrong?