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Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Obama and Israel

Boston attorney Jeff Robbins argues that the Obama administration's pulling America to distance itself from Israel will actually make it less likely that Israel and the 'Palestinians' will make peace.
For Democrats who voted for Barack Obama, but who regard the encirclement of Israel by well-armed fanatics pledged to its destruction with some alarm, the President's treatment of Prime Minister Netanyahu on the occasion of their first meeting has provoked a certain unease. The Obama Administration's pointed and singular focus on Israeli settlements while downplaying the underlying problem of Palestinian rejectionism, the extensive leaking aimed at letting the world know what little regard the Administration has for Israel's newly-elected leader, and Vice President Biden's ostentatious scolding of Israel's supporters at a recent AIPAC conference, can all be regarded as part of a master plan, intended to bring the Arab world into the peace process by demonstrating that American policy toward Israel has changed. Under this theory, Obama's stiff-arming of Israel might be viewed as the diplomatic equivalent of a Hail Mary pass, intended to improve the desperate situation of President Abbas and empower Abbas and other relative moderates to persuade the Arab masses to finally accept a Jewish state.

The risk, of course, is that rather than enhancing the stature of moderates and reducing the influence of those who openly pronounce that what they really seek is the disappearance of Israel, the Obama Administration's gambit will have the opposite effect. The record of Palestinians professing in the West to accept a two-state solution while assuring their own people that they refuse to accept any such solution is incontrovertible, and does not appear to have evolved to any meaningful degree, as Morris points out.

The Administration's purposeful distancing of itself from Israel is likely to empower those who have always believed, and who continue to believe, that in the fullness of time, American support for Israel can be degraded, and with it Israel's ability to survive. Those in the Arab world who have counseled that that is the case—and there are many of them—will take the Administration's insistence that it wishes to be "an honest broker" as evidence that, at long last, American support for Israel has begun to erode, and that it is only a matter of time before it is no longer necessary for them to pretend that it is a two-state solution in which they are interested. If this proves to be the case, the Obama Administration, while intending to be helpful, will have inadvertently dealt whatever prospects exist for Middle East peace a serious blow.
What Robbins apparently does not consider is the possibility that Obama actually wants to bring about Israel's destruction because he regards the Jewish state as "an aggressive, Western imperialist power exploiting indigenous people of color who simply wish to be free." If that is the case - and I believe it is - Obama wants Western support for Israel to erode and not just for the Arabs to expect that it will. Unfortunately, Obama seems well on the path to succeeding in reaching that goal.


At 4:41 PM, Blogger Kae Gregory said...

Another point missed, imo, is that by abandoning Israel the U.S. further legitimizes terror by proving its effectiveness which makes the likelihood of increased violence against Jews a near certainty.

At 6:25 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

As Caroline Glick pointed out, Obama's foreign policy vision is one of a world in which the US is no longer the sole player. That's one that has remained with him since his youth. All that's changed since are the details and not the import of it. In such a world, Israel is on its own as are all the US allies.


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