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Monday, April 27, 2009

Mrs. Clinton is on track

It's Monday morning that means that it's time for yet another anti-Israel column by the sickeningly gleeful Roger Cohen who takes a perverse pleasure in watching the Obama-Clinton administration attempt to destroy the only democracy in the Middle East (Hat Tip: Memeorandum). I'd like to make three points about Cohen's latest anti-Israel screed, but I will point them out in order of importance rather than in the order Cohen makes the points.

First, Cohen complains about how the 'poor Palestinians' cannot move freely around the West Bank Judea and Samaria.
I hear that Clinton was shocked by what she saw on her visit last month to the West Bank. This is not surprising. The transition from Israel’s first-world hustle-bustle to the donkeys, carts and idle people beyond the separation wall is brutal. If Clinton cares about one thing, it’s human suffering.

In fact, you don’t so much drive into the Palestinian territories these days as sink into them. Everything, except the Jewish settlers’ cars on fenced settlers-only highways, slows down. The buzz of business gives way to the clunking of hammers.

The whole desolate West Bank scene is punctuated with garrison-like settlements on hilltops. If you’re looking for a primer on colonialism, this is not a bad place to start.

Most Israelis never see this, unless they’re in the army. Clinton witnessed it. She was, I understand, troubled by the humiliation around her.
I moved to Israel in 1991 and I live in Jerusalem not far from the former dividing lines between the eastern and western parts of the city, and between Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria. When I moved to Israel - 24 years after Judea and Samaria had been liberated by the IDF - there were no road blocks between Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria. The 'Palestinians' were free to cross the 'green line' at will and many of them did so daily to work at jobs within the 'green line.' Many Israelis used to travel to Bethlehem and Ramallah and other cities across the 'green line' to hunt for bargains. What changed everything was terrorism that took a new and dangerous turn in Israel during the post-Oslo period. And the first Israeli leader to place roadblocks between Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria was none other than that mythical peacemaker (and 'friend' of Clinton's philandering husband), Yitzchak Rabin.

That 'Palestinians' can no longer travel freely between certain points in Judea and Samaria was a result of further terrorism that occurred here between 2000 and 2002. After the Seder night massacre in 2002, the IDF was sent into Judea and Samaria in an operation known as Operation Defensive Shield. The IDF put dozens of roadblocks in place in Judea and Samaria and took control of all of the major 'Palestinian' cities. It is the IDF's control of those cities - and nothing else other than the grace of God - that has prevented most terror attacks on Jerusalem from taking place ever since. As an aside, it is also the IDF control of Judea and Samaria that prevents Hamas from gaining control there as it did in Gaza.

Mrs. Clinton can complain all she wants about the Israeli roadblocks. But Israelis elected a right-leaning government because we were tired of Ehud K. Olmert and Tzipora Livni endangering our security by removing roadblocks and making concessions to the 'Palestinians' every time a clueless American administration asked them to do so. The average Israeli has had it with those failed policies.

Second, Cohen points out the unfortunate shift by the Obama-Clinton administration in dealing with Hamas - a shift that someone denied in comments on this blog earlier this week.
Clinton also indicated an important shift on Hamas, which the State Department calls a terrorist group. While stressing that no funds would flow to Hamas “or any entity controlled by it,” she argued for keeping American options open on a possible Palestinian unity government between the moderate Fatah and Hamas.

So long as a unity government meets three conditions — renounces violence, recognizes Israel’s right to exist and abides by past agreements — the United States would be prepared to deal with it, including on $900 million in proposed aid, Clinton indicated. Washington does business with a Lebanese government in which Hezbollah controls 11 of 30 seats, although Hezbollah is also deemed a terrorist group.

Such a changed U.S. policy makes a lot more sense than the previous one, which insisted on Hamas itself — rather than any Palestinian unity government — meeting the three conditions. No peace can be made by pretending Hamas does not exist, which is why advancing Palestinian unity must be a U.S. priority.
Cohen is right about the shift itself, but then that's in keeping with the Obama administration policy of abandoning staunch democratic allies like Israel, India, Poland, Georgia and Colombia in favor of dealing with terror organizations and undemocratic rogue regimes. That policy is going to come back and bite America in the face - it's only a question of whether it will happen sooner or later.

And he's even right about it not being possible to make peace by pretending Hamas does not exist. That's exactly why it's not possible to make 'peace' with the 'Palestinians' at all. Not that Fatah is any better.

It will be interesting to see what the Obama-Clinton administration does if Hezbullah wins control of the Lebanese government in June. Will they refuse to deal with Lebanon? Don't bet on it. That's what was really behind Mrs. Clinton's promise that the US would never abandon Lebanon.

Finally, Cohen claims that Hillary Clinton is an 'unlikely source' of criticism of the Netanyahu government. But as the pictures in this post and Mrs. Clinton's (and her husband's administration's) past associations indicate, no one here is really surprised that Mrs. Clinton is criticizing the Netanyahu government. For those who don't recognize the other woman in the pictures, she's none other than the $250,000 per month in international aid Suha Arafat. The kisses were given just after a speech in which Mrs. Arafat accused Israel of infecting 'Palestinian' children with AIDS by injecting it into the drinking water in Gaza. Yes, that's the kind of company Mrs. Clinton keeps.

Unfortunately, January 20, 2013 is still too far away.


At 1:22 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Carl - that's true. But Israel does not have to follow Roger Cohen's and Secretary Clinton's advice. The point of having a sovereign Jewish State is to pursue policies in the best interest of the Jewish people - not necessarily those preferred by Cohen and Mrs. Clinton. Jews paid a high price for their freedom to let any one, even an ally, order them around again.

At 3:11 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

While the insane-ward drift of US foreign policy happens on Obama's single term, my free advice to Israel is to wait them out. You can sit on your hands, and not follow the diktats of The One(tm) and his cronies.

Obama does not have Israel's best interests in mind. Nor, in my opinion, and in a large and growing segment of the population in the US, does he have the US's best interest in mind.

On the contrary, he is demonstrating right now, policies and actions for which the entire concept of impeachment was created ... protecting the republic against the danger of keeping a president unable or unwilling to operate in the best interests of the country and its people.

Unfortunately we have the most liberal congress in history, and it is highly unlikely that articles of impeachment would ever get to be read into the record. Until after the mid term elections.

The citizens of the US now see for themselves that Joe the Plumber was correct to fear Obama and his policies. They now see that he needs to be reigned in. Since we have to suffer with 3 and a half more years of The One(tm), the best way to reign him in is to rapidly change the power structure in congress.

So to Israel, and all our other allies that Obama is doing an amazing effective job of frightening ... please, bear with us until we correct this mistake. Sit on your hands, resist his pressure. We will restore order when he leaves the white house on the 19th of January 2013.

At 4:44 PM, Blogger Andre (Canada) said...

Sorry to rain on the parade, people, but I do not believe that the American public is starting to turn on Obama and his policies. His approal rating is still extremely high and he is still being talked about as some sort of Messiah.
I think it is time for Israel to realize that the US is no longer an ally it can count on and that new alliances are vital. In particular, I think that India is the most natural ally for Israel because both countries have very similar issues to deal with, with regards to radical Islam. Both countries have most to loose if radical Islam gets hold of nuclear weapons.
On the positive side, both countries have very aggressive research and development policies and have the skills to develop advanced weapons. It is important for Israel to pursue this relationship.


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