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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Waiting for Obama

While the criticism of Obama in the article below is well-justified, unfortunately a lot of it could also be said about the second Bush administration. In a JPost blog post, Kory Bardash, co-Chairman Republicans Abroad Israel, and Abe Katsman, counsel to Republicans Abroad Israel, explain how Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Hussein Obama has failed to condemn the culture of terrorism founded by Yasser Arafat and perpetuated by Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen (Hat Tip: Hot Air).
Obama made the "easy" condemnation of the terror attack itself. But, once again, he could not bring himself to hold the Palestinian Authority, led by Abbas, responsible for encouraging a pro-terror culture to flourish. The Abbas-led Palestinian Authority tightly controls Palestinian media and textbooks, both of which, in flagrant violation of Roadmap obligations, are overloaded with vile anti-Semitic incitement. Yet, even though Obama later met for an hour with Abbas, there is no indication that the issue was even raised. Words of criticism for the terror-enablers elude Obama, a curious gap in his otherwise impressive vocabulary.

Obama's orientation toward Israel is not transparent, but there are clues to it. Dr. Michael Oren, noted historian and Senior Fellow at Jerusalem's Shalem Center, has identified several:

Although Obama has yet to say anything about the Palestinian Authority's failure to meet its Roadmap obligation to curb terror and stop incitement, he has no such reservations when it comes to impugning Israel's settlements, criticizing the Likud party, or allowing for the re-division of Jerusalem. He has backed the call for a contiguous Palestinian state free of Israeli roads and roadblocks. John McCain, by contrast, has not criticized Israel's settlement policies, and has stressed the need for an end to the promotion of terror and demonization aimed at Israel, and ensuring "that Israel's people can live in safety until there is a Palestinian leadership ready and able to deliver peace."

If Obama's orientation seems familiar, it's because we've seen it before: it is the peace-process-above-all approach we saw during the Oslo years. In the dream of Oslo, Israel created the Palestinian Authority with its own army, gave it guns, gave it land and allowed for massive economic aid. In the dream, this unprecedented gesture would pacify the Palestinians and create a force to police and control still-militant elements of the population as additional negotiations continued. Peace in our time. Palestinian swords beaten into plowshares. It was an elegant, visionary diplomatic theory.

But reality intruded. The Palestinian Authority turned around and, in effect, used their windfall to buy (and smuggle) more swords, unleashing the bloodiest non-wartime period in Israel's history. Yet, no number of exploding buses or massacres of Jews could shake the faith of the Clinton administration and Israel's pro-Oslo leaders that these were attacks against "peace" as opposed to attacks against Israel - even when the Palestinian Authority itself was shown to be complicit. As a result, there were no repercussions for the perpetrators. Peace talks were to proceed-with even greater intensity and calls for more Israeli concessions-following each terror attack.
Unfortunately, the second Bush term, with Condi Rice as Secretary of State, has also had an obsession with the 'peace process.' Annapolis anyone?

I hope that John McCain will restore the first Bush administration's pro-Israel bent. But I fear that instead we will get an Obama administration, which will look a lot like Clinton without all the warm and fuzzy feeling (Clinton loved us but had strange ways of showing it) for Israel and its leaders.

Read the whole thing.


At 3:11 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Carl - Israel has to defend her own national interests. No one else will do that for her - not even a friendly American administration. And certainly not one hostile to the Jewish State's survival prospects.


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