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Friday, June 05, 2009


In Friday's Washington Post, Charles Krauthammer diagnoses the 'settlement canard' perfectly (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
The entire "natural growth" issue is a concoction. Is the peace process moribund because a teacher in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem is making an addition to her house to accommodate new grandchildren? It is perverse to make this the center point of the peace process at a time when Gaza is run by Hamas terrorists dedicated to permanent war with Israel and when Mahmoud Abbas, having turned down every one of Ehud Olmert's peace offers, brazenly declares that he is in a waiting mode -- waiting for Hamas to become moderate and for Israel to cave -- before he'll do anything to advance peace.

In his much-heralded "Muslim world" address in Cairo yesterday, Obama declared that the Palestinian people's "situation" is "intolerable." Indeed it is, the result of 60 years of Palestinian leadership that gave its people corruption, tyranny, religious intolerance and forced militarization; leadership that for three generations rejected every offer of independence and dignity, choosing destitution and despair rather than accept any settlement not accompanied by the extinction of Israel.

That's why Haj Amin al-Husseini chose war rather than a two-state solution in 1947. Why Yasser Arafat turned down a Palestinian state in 2000. And why Abbas rejected Olmert's even more generous December 2008 offer.

In the 16 years since the Oslo accords turned the West Bank and Gaza over to the Palestinians, their leaders built no roads, no courthouses, no hospitals, none of the fundamental state institutions that would relieve their people's suffering. Instead they poured everything into an infrastructure of war and terror, all the while depositing billions (from gullible Western donors) into their Swiss bank accounts.

Obama says he came to Cairo to tell the truth. But he uttered not a word of that. Instead, among all the bromides and lofty sentiments, he issued but one concrete declaration of new American policy: "The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements," thus reinforcing the myth that Palestinian misery and statelessness are the fault of Israel and the settlements.

Blaming Israel and picking a fight over "natural growth" may curry favor with the Muslim "street." But it will only induce the Arab states to do like Abbas: sit and wait for America to deliver Israel on a platter. Which makes the Obama strategy not just dishonorable but self-defeating.
Krauthammer points out the hypocrisy of stating that the United States won't dictate to other countries - except to Israel - and of holding only Israeli to the commitments allegedly made by previous leaders.

But the question Krauthammer doesn't answer is "why"? Why has Obama been so hostile to Israel from the get-go? Why does Obama try to hold Israel to a different standard than the rest of the world? Why does he seem to be out to 'get Israel'?

Unlike the last administration that was this hostile to us, neither Obama nor his Secretary of State can say "F**k the Jews, they don't vote for us anyway." 78% of American Jews voted for Obama. Many Israeli Jews voted against him, but as a percentage of American voters, we're like a microcellular organism. So why the hostility? Why the seemingly visceral hate?

I think the answer is in this Victor Davis Hansen column, which I blogged here. This is the key passage:
Does Team Obama really believe that a murderous autocratic cabal like Hamas is merely different from a democratic constitutional republic like Israel? At best we have naiveté at the helm (Obama thinks he can mesmerize misunderstood killers), at worst, a genuine feeling that Israel is an aggressive, Western imperialist power exploiting indigenous people of color who simply wish to be free--in other words, the Rev. Wright-Bill Ayers-Rashid Khalidi view of the Middle East.
Unfortunately, Obama generally feels that Israel is "an aggressive, Western imperialist power exploiting indigenous people of color who simply wish to be free." His hostility to us will continue whether or not it is in America's interest, just as organizations like 'Queers for Palestine' back the 'Palestinians, even though they would be hunted down on the streets and murdered if they actually set foot in 'Palestine.' Obama's not acting out of a sense of American's interests. He's acting out of a misguided sense of 'morality.'

Unfortunately, convincing a leader that their moral compass is out of whack is almost impossible to do (see Carter, James Earl). It's going to be a long three and a half years.

Read the whole thing.


At 8:20 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Agreed. The problem is as I see it, is Israel spends its time running after the US. And Israel only gets berated and insulted. In contrast, the Egyptians and Israel's enemies ignore and refuse to seek out the US and the US wants and desires their friendship. There's a lesson here for Israel's leaders: make Israel scarce. Stop responding to American requests. And just ignore the US when it wants something from Israel. The old adage "absence makes the heart grow fonder" has a ring of truth to it. One has that much more power in a relationship when one gets the other side to want you instead of taking you for granted. Its an approach that should work to Israel's benefit.


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