Monday, May 25, 2009

Obama still intent upon throwing Israel under the bus.

I here post this email article in its entirety:

Women in Green
A wary encounter
by Melanie Phillips
May 19, 2009

In remarks made after his meeting with Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu, President Obama said:

I suggested to the Prime Minister that he has an historic opportunity to get a serious movement on this issue during his tenure. That means that all the parties involved have to take seriously obligations that they have previously agreed to. Those obligations were outlined in the road map...

But the first obligation in the Road Map was laid upon the Palestinians -- to dismantle their infrastructure of terror. It was their failure to meet that first obligation, without which the rest of the Road Map could not be implemented, which led to its collapse as a strategy. Yet Obama appears to think that the only obligations which must be met are those which apply to Israel, with the Palestinians apparently getting a free pass.

This is of course all of a piece with his belief that Israel is the cause of the Middle East impasse which would be solved by the creation of a state of Palestine. The fact that even now Fatah states explicitly that it won’t accept the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state, let alone Hamas repeatedly restating its intention to destroy Israel and kill every Jew, is not, in Obama’s mind, the real obstacle to a solution. Not only does Obama not see the creation of ‘Hamastan’ in the West Bank as an obstacle -- he sees instead the refusal to treat Hamas as part of the solution as an obstacle. Accordingly, he presents as the obstacle not the people continuing to wage war but the country that is the victim of that war ­ which he blames for not agreeing to destroy its own security.

The irrationality and injustice of this is manifest on every level. But what cannot be stressed enough is the way both Obama and the ‘progressive’ legions behind him have made as their rallying cry support for a proposed racist and religiously exclusionary state that denies civil rights for all. Those screaming ‘apartheid’ at Israel are demanding the establishment of a putative Palestine state which would allow no Jews to live there, let alone enjoy the equal civil and human rights afforded to Arab citizens of Israel. As the former CIA Director James Woolsey is reported to have observed earlier this month:

...the world has a tendency to ‘define deviancy down for non-Jews.’ As a result, governments around the world, including the Obama administration, never even mention the possibility that Jews should be able to enjoy the same rights and privileges in any future Palestinian polity that Israeli Arabs exercise today in the Jewish state.

So, instead of what amounts to a Hitlerian program of Judenrein in any prospective Palestinian state - meaning, as a practical matter, if not a de jure one, that no Jews can reside or work there, there could be approximately twice the number of Israeli Jews as currently reside in so-called ‘settlements’ on the West Bank. They should be free to build synagogues and Jewish schools. And newspapers that serve the Jewish population in any future state of ‘Palestine’ should be permitted to flourish there.

Jews should also have a chance to elect representatives to a future Palestinian legislature. They should be able to expect to have representation as well in other governing institutions, like the executive and judicial branches. In order for the foregoing to operate, Jews in the Palestinian state must be able to live without fearing every day for their lives. In Mr. Woolsey`s view, ‘Once Palestinians are behaving that way, they deserve a state.’

On all these essential preconditions for a solution that pass the basic test of civilised values, Obama is silent. Quite apart from the injustice of his approach to the Middle East impasse and the irrationality of linking it with the Iran crisis, his policy of ‘engagement’ with Iran is hardly making him popular in the Arab world. He agreed with Netanyahu that there was a new and more promising mood in the Arab world. But he seems unable to grasp that what’s behind that new mood is terror of Iran getting the bomb ­ and despair at the way the US is resorting to the policy of appeasement. Accordingly, Obama is actually squandering the opportunity to enlist those Arab states in the fight against a common enemy of Iran. As John Hannah writes in the Washington Post:

Notably, the administration’s approach is increasingly at odds with that of U.S. allies in the Middle East that seek to maximize pressure on Tehran. For the past month, Egypt has mounted a courageous public effort to rally America’s Arab friends in opposition to an Iranian campaign of subversion that stretches from Iraq to Morocco. Instead of rushing to the defense of distressed allies, Obama has largely remained silent, instead opting to reiterate his interest in reaching some sort of accommodation with Tehran, the source of the region’s problems.

This was amplified by this telling exchange at the press conference after his talks with Netanyahu:

Q : Thank you, Mr. President. Aren’t you concerned that your outstretched hand has been interpreted by extremists, especially Ahmadinejad, Nasrallah, Meshal, as weakness? And since my colleague already asked about the deadline, if engagement fails, what then, Mr. President?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, it’s not clear to me why my outstretched hand would be interpreted as weakness.

Q: Qatar, an example.


Q: The example of Qatar. They would have preferred to be on your side and then moved to the extremists, to Iran.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Oh, I think -- yes, I’m not sure about that interpretation.

On the face of it, the evidence that has emerged from this meeting between Obama and Netanyahu could not be more stark -- as David Horowitz observes -- that the Obama administration is set upon a strategy that would effectively throw Israel to the Islamist wolves. The worst fears of Israel’s government and friends appear to have been amply confirmed.

And yet and yet; notwithstanding all this, sanity might eventually still prevail. A small hope indeed ­ but it may just happen.

Consider. The fact that Obama is making this lethally false linkage between creating a state of Palestine and tackling the problem of Iran should not blind us to the fact that the overriding issue is indeed not Palestine but Iran. That is the issue which will define Obama’s presidency. The great question is whether Obama has concluded that, when push comes to shove, America will have no option but to ‘live with’ a nuclear Iran. My understanding is that, while there are those in his administration for whom the answer is ‘yes’, there are others for whom the answer is ‘no’. In his post-meeting remarks, Obama himself acknowledged the danger a nuclear Iran poses not just to Israel but to America and the whole of the Middle East. Certainly, he thinks ‘engagement’ can defuse that danger. But what will he do when it becomes apparent that it will not?

Obama has already demonstrated that, when brought up sharply against the suicidal consequences of his naivety, he can shift his position. We saw this in recent days by his twin retreats from publishing more pictures of ‘enhanced interrogation’ in Iraq and from his previous opposition to military tribunals for al Qaeda suspects. He has stated that if Iran hasn’t unclenched its fist by ­ variously ­ the autumn/end of the year he will introduce ‘tough sanctions’. This is not altogether reassuring, both in the vagueness of the timetable, the weakness of any sanctions regime and the fact that he is still giving Iran the greatest gift of all ­ time -- to progress towards its nuclear goal. But it may just be that he really does think in his liberal hubris that making nice with Iran will draw the poison ­ and when he realises it has not done so, he may not be too keen on becoming the President that allowed Iran to go nuclear on his watch.

A further point about Obama is this. He is a man of the left. The left is not merely Manichean, but insulates itself from any possibility of heresy by surrounding itself only by those with whom it agrees. It is therefore rarely forced to follow through its reasoning and thus see its patent falsehoods and idiocies exposed. From his history and past associations, it’s a fair bet that Obama has thus never had his assumptions properly challenged by exposure to rationality and evidence. In recent years, Israel has been led by politicians who were either incapable, for various reasons, of properly articulating that rationality or themselves subscribed to many of the false premises of post-modern, post-moral, ahistorical thinking that characterises ‘progressive’ opinion in the west. Netanyahu breaks that mould. By simply talking to him, Obama may have heard for the first time an argument that is intellectually capable of puncturing at least one or two of his illusions.

We have no way of knowing whether any of that took place; or, if it did, whether it had any significant effect at all. No-one should take too much notice of the public show of relaxation and relative harmony with which this meeting was subsequently spun. Nor should we believe the counter-spin that Netanyahu returned to Israel a grimmer and wiser man. He knew the score about Obama well before he set out on this trip; and he would indeed be a fool if he were not therefore playing a carefully thought-through diplomatic and strategic game. Let’s hope he is; because if ideologue Obama does indeed turn out to stifle pragmatic Obama over the issue of Iran, Israel really will be on its own.

Women For Israel's Tomorrow (Women in Green)
POB 7352, Jerusalem 91072, Israel
Tel: 972-2-624-9887 Fax: 972-2-624-5380


The Leader, Garnel Ironheart said...

I wouldn't worry about this. We've were in worse shape when Ehud Barak openly offered Arafat, y'sh, 99% of what he asked for and was turned down flat in Clinton's presence.

Obama can press and press but short of demanding unilateral withdrawals by Israel any deal he comes up with is ultimately going to be rejected by the Arabs.

Ahavah Gayle said...

The end result will not be Israeli capitulation, most likely, but rather a complete end of all aid from the US government to Israel. And it's not like the UN is going to give Israel any support. My worry is not about Obama, it's about that inevitable day that most people stick their heads in the sand about.