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Thursday, June 04, 2009

Showdown at the University of Cairo Mosque

JPost reports that the Netanyahu government is waiting with tense anticipation for President Obama's speech on Thursday in Cairo.
"Like everyone else we will be following the speech very closely," one senior official said Wednesday. While officials in Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's office did not see a draft of the speech, nor were they asked for their input, they were briefed on the overall content, the official said.

While the Israeli-Arab conflict was expected to be touched upon during the address that will be delivered at Cairo University, it was not expected to be the focus. Rather, Obama has made clear, the focus would be America's relationship with the Muslim world.

With the new administration's Middle East policy still being developed in Washington, however, Israeli officials said they would be listening carefully for clues as to where Obama was steering this policy.
The Netanyahu government can look to two places for guidance on where the speech is likely to go. Unfortunately, neither of them is going to give much comfort.

The first place is Riyadh, where the President arrived yesterday.
A day before his much-anticipated address, Obama went to Saudi Arabia where he said he was "seeking the counsel" of King Abdullah.

"The United States and Saudi Arabia have a long history of friendship. We have a strategic relationship," Obama said as he visited the monarch's desert horse farm. The US president called Abdullah wise and gracious, adding: "I am confident that working together, the United States and Saudi Arabia can make progress on a whole host of issues of mutual interest." [In the last administration, it was Israel with which the US had a 'strategic relationship.' That appears to have gone with the winds of change in Washington. CiJ].


One of the issues the two men were expected to address was gestures that the Arab world could make to Israel at the beginning of the diplomatic process to gain Israeli confidence.

Israeli officials, however, were very skeptical that the Saudi monarch would make any gesture at this time, and said that he probably was waiting for Israel to make the first move.
One can only shudder to think what kind of 'counsel' King Abdullah likely gave Obama. And as to 'gestures,' we already know that the Saudis won't make any. It's far more likely they're discussing more 'gestures' to be made by Israel.

The second place we can look for guidance as to what Obama might say on Thursday is the ubiquitous Roger Cohen, the sniveling kapo who has made his crusade against Israel a twice-weekly occurrence on the editorial pages of the New York Times. Cohen is hearing echoes of James "F**k the Jews they don't vote for us anyway" Baker this week (Hat Tip: NormanF).
Here’s what Baker told the America-Israel Public Affairs Committee — the pro-Israel lobby — on May 22, 1989: “For Israel, now is the time to lay aside, once and for all, the unrealistic vision of a Greater Israel.”

He continued: “Israeli interests in the West Bank and Gaza, security and otherwise, can be accommodated in a settlement based on Resolution 242. Forswear annexation; stop settlement activity.”

Those words make startling but depressing reading: Little has changed in 20 years. After Bush 41 and Baker, we got Clinton’s love affair with Yitzhak Rabin (“I had come to love him as I had rarely loved another man”); the disintegration of Oslo after Rabin’s tragic assassination; and the Israel-can-do-no-wrong policy of Bush 43.

Balance — the credential no honest broker can forsake — vanished from American diplomacy.
The Obama administration to date has been anything but balanced. It has made demands of Israel, but not of the 'Palestinians.' It has run roughshod over the requirements of signed agreements, and has ignored commitments made by its predecessors while trying to hold Israel to commitments made by a scandal-ridden Prime Minister who was being driven from office, without support of his government, party or legislature. Everyone other than Roger Cohen can see that, including Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen.
Abbas and his team fully expect that Netanyahu will never agree to the full settlement freeze -- if he did, his center-right coalition would almost certainly collapse. So they plan to sit back and watch while U.S. pressure slowly squeezes the Israeli prime minister from office. "It will take a couple of years," one official breezily predicted. Abbas rejects the notion that he should make any comparable concession -- such as recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, which would imply renunciation of any large-scale resettlement of refugees.

Instead, he says, he will remain passive. "I will wait for Hamas to accept international commitments. I will wait for Israel to freeze settlements," he said. "Until then, in the West Bank we have a good reality . . . the people are living a normal life." In the Obama administration, so far, it's easy being Palestinian.
Unfortunately, Roger Cohen has been prescient thus far in predicting the Obama administration's moves. Those moves have been right in line with those proposed by James Baker, thus proving that American foreign policy is in 'good' and 'balanced' hands.

What could go wrong?


At 8:13 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Thanks, Carl. Obama and his advisers think applying the screws to Israel will rehabilitate America's image in the Arab/Muslim World. What it won't do is build a bridge between the Jews and the Arabs. Which is a pity since if any one could do that, its Obama and its a missed historic opportunity.

What else could wrong Thursday, indeed.

At 9:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

אַל-תִּירָא, מִפַּחַד פִּתְאֹם; וּמִשֹּׁאַת רְשָׁעִים, כִּי תָבֹא.

עֻצוּ עֵצָה, וְתֻפָר; דַּבְּרוּ דָבָר וְלֹא יָקוּם, כִּי עִמָּנוּ אֵל.

וְעַד-זִקְנָה אֲנִי הוּא, וְעַד-שֵׂיבָה אֲנִי אֶסְבֹּל; אֲנִי עָשִׂיתִי וַאֲנִי אֶשָּׂא, וַאֲנִי אֶסְבֹּל וַאֲמַלֵּט.

"Be not afraid of sudden terror, neither of the destruction of the wicked, when it cometh;"

"Take counsel together, and it shall be brought to nought; speak the word, and it shall not stand; for God is with us."

"And until old age I am the same, and until you turn gray I will carry; I have made and I will bear and I will carry and deliver."

At 9:52 AM, Blogger Ashan said...

Barack Hussein is about to step in a massive pile of doo-doo. Will the American electorate notice? Will Congress finally get the message that this guy is out to destroy America? Will it dawn on Americans that this treasonous SOB needs to be impeached before he does more damage?

Carl - Did you see this video of Hussein's reception line in Sowdi? Not very warm. Heh! But he'll keep on bowing to his benefactors. http://msunderestimated.com/2009/06/03/barack-gets-rebuffed-on-saudi-welcome-line-video/

At 10:12 AM, Blogger Ashan said...

Oops - my bad never mind the video - Hussein seems to be introducing his flunkies Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett.

At 7:40 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

It was a missed historic opportunity. Obama could have called for change in Islam, asked Muslims to reject jihad, accept equal rights for minorities in the Muslim World and accept Israel as an equal - all things Islam rejects. Without a change in the values on the other side, all that Obama talked about is mere chaff on the winds of time.


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