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Friday, March 26, 2010

Assume Obama will have a two-term Presidency

Dr. Aaron Lerner says that Israel's policy makers must assume that President Obama will have a two-term Presidency. He then goes on to argue that we cannot think we will hold Obama off for that long a time by making a few concessions on Jerusalem. Lerner argues that we should not concede anything at all in Jerusalem - it's all just a steep, slippery slope.
Assuming a two term Obama presidency radically changes the ramifications and consequences of the concessions Israel makes today.

Let's not kid ourselves.

This is a man who genuinely believes that Israel should pull out of the Golan in return for a piece of paper; that turning Jerusalem into a patchwork quilt of sovereignties is workable; that Israel's national heritage claims to sites beyond the Green Line are either irrelevant or should be addressed at the most by paperwork ostensibly assuring some kind of access to those locations and that Israel's security needs can be met by a combination of pieces of paper and gizmos.

And he is surrounded by people who share this view - both inside and outside his administration.

Conceding on Jerusalem construction today will only encourage heightened pressure to implement policies that are in line with President Obama's beliefs.

Pressure that a confused Israeli public will find ever more difficult to support withstanding after a freeze in Jerusalem was justified.

There is a difference between Jerusalem and many of the other issues.

Construction in Jerusalem is an easy consensus issue that most Israelis understand.

Should Mr. Netanyahu opt to concede on Jerusalem construction, he will find himself facing American demands for other policy concessions with the Israeli public split as concession supporters argue that the hard earned benefits of the Jerusalem construction freeze concession will be lost if Israel refuses to make the next concession.

The slippery slope is indeed both steep and slippery.


At 5:07 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

As Silvan Shalom warned, giving in on Jerusalem would not only mean the end of the government, it would mean the beginning of the end of the Jewish State as well. Once Israel surrenders sovereignty over its capital, all that's really left to define the terms of its own dissolution as a state. A country that is not willing to defend its rights in its own capital has no reason to continue to exist.

And if Netanyahu thinks he would just be buying time, he is wrong. Conceding on Jerusalem would mean Israel having to make concessions on a whole host of other issues. A weak Israel is not going to survive for long in the Middle East and the Iranians won't even have to use the bomb to destroy it. The Jews will have torn up their own country all by themselves.

Its now or never.

At 5:15 PM, Blogger Thermblog said...

I agree with the strategy. Instead of just staying, "no" however, Israel should make some demands too.

Insist that Obama do "final status" demands on Israel up front; i.e. submit in writing the maximum he will ever demand from Israel. In addition the U.S. must enact a building freeze in any disputed U.S. territory. The same to apply to all Quartet members and anyone else opening their yaps on the matter.

Then sit back and have fun watching.

At 5:49 PM, Blogger Ralph said...

Isreal, you have my permission and approval to defend yourselves using whatever means you have at your disposal. A one year old political player should not be taken any more seriously than a one year old child. You should be glad Netanyahu understands that.

Remember, the only record so far of our President are failed social and education initiatives in Chicago and a massive expediture called "Putting America Back to Work" that since its inception has appeared to have done the opposite. His influence among those of free will (outside the Democratic party) has shruck tremendously, and it appears whatever he advocates the smart money is now on taking the opposite position.

At 9:29 PM, Blogger Soccer Dad said...

If you recall, when Clinton was President, he did all he could to undermine Netanyahu - most significantly reneging on whether further redeployments were to be determined by Israel. Every step of the way Netanyahu deferred to Clinton until Wye. Wye, Netanyahu got some of the commitments he was looking for, but gave up too much and ended up losing his coalition. About a half year after Wye, Ehud Barak was PM. A little more than a year later, Arafat rejected Barak's offer at Camp David. Two months later was the "Aqsa intifada." Clinton got the PM he wanted, but he still didn't get peace (or the Nobel Prize.)

At 11:50 PM, Blogger Nomadic100 said...

I'm not so sure Obama will run again. He seems bent on being as destructive as possible as long as he can but he shows no signs of accommodating himself to popular misgivings. I suspect he is a pure ideologue who has tried to keep his ideology mostly under wraps. I'd guess he is not counting running in 2012 and that accounts for his monomania.


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