A post by Maynard.

You know of Obama’s latest speech about the Middle East. It was filled with the usual rosy platitudes. And then came the big slice of meat: An indication of a shift in American policy goals. This is what everyone’s talking about. That part that said, “We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states.”

You’ve heard the various analyses and talking points about what Obama is signaling here and what the consequences might be. I won’t bother to repeat them, except to say that I’m cautious about knee-jerk reactions on anyone’s part, including mine. It’s fair to consider whether actions that seem wrong-headed on the surface may bring positive results.

Alan Dershowitz’s analysis is worth noting. Dershowitz is a Jew and a Democrat (and was part of OJ Simpson’s defense team); he supports Israel but is in no way part of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy™. Here’s his article from the Huffington Post, “President Obama’s Mistake”.

You’ll recall Obama’s earlier call for freeze on construction beyond the Green Line. He demanded, and got, a moratorium from Netanyahu. What was the practical impact of Obama’s opening move? Dershowitz observes the harm it did.

[It was a] mistake was to demand that Israel freeze all settlements. The Palestinian Authority had not demanded that as a condition to negotiations. But once the president of the United States issued such a demand, the Palestinian leadership could not be seen by its followers as being less Palestinian than the president. In other words, President Obama made it more difficult for the Palestinian leadership to be reasonable. Most objective observers now recognize Obama’s serious mistake in this regard…

You see the problem here. It’s politically very difficult for Palestinian leadership to offer even the smallest concession, for fear of being accused of weakness. Here’s a recent report in Newsweek:

[Abbas] told me bluntly that Obama had led him on, and then let him down by failing to keep pressure on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for a moratorium on settlement building in the West Bank last year. “It was Obama who suggested a full settlement freeze,” Abbas explained. “I said OK, I accept. We both went up the tree. After that, he came down with a ladder and he removed the ladder and said to me, jump. Three times he did it.”

Of course, Abbas, being a politician, needs someone to blame just like any other politician. So you’re justified in taking his explanation with a grain of salt. But, as described here, Obama foolishly raised Palestinian levels of expectation to an unrealistic level. This became the basis for intransigence, resulting in yet another stalemate.

Dershowitz connects Mistake #1 to Mistake #2.

…What is shocking is that [Obama] has done it again. By demanding that Israel surrender all the territories it captured in the 1967 war (subject only to land swaps) without insisting that the Palestinians surrender their right of return, the president has gone further than Palestinian negotiators had during various prior negotiations. This makes it more difficult for the Palestinian leadership to be reasonable in their negotiations with the Israelis.

Israel’s previous unilateral concession led nowhere. This time it’s unlikely that Israel will agree to Obama’s demand; certainly not as an opening for negotiations. So the next round of negotiations are probably doomed from the start. What will Obama do then? Backtrack and “clarify”, as Dershowitz suggests? Or will Obama get heavy-handed with Israel? Either way, he doesn’t seem to be laying the foundation of a pathway forward.

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14 Comments | Leave a comment
  1. Artgal says:

    Obama has already been heavy-handed with Israel; his rhetoric earlier today was a direct assault on the nation – and he knows it!

    The words of Obama are not mere mistakes. He knows exactly what he’s saying and desires the effect whether it’s to heighten tensions to make the Palestinians react a certain way toward Israel at his urging, or to directly inflame tensions by putting the United States in charge of pressuring Israel which, in turn, puts world pressure on the tiny nation. Remember – Obama is skilled as a community organizer & he’s putting that to ‘good’ use throughout the Middle East.

    About 11:30ish tonight, I received a tweet from Israel National News. It was 9:05 a.m. their time when the article was released online (updated at 9:20 a.m.). They reported an escalation of IDF presence at the borders with Syria and Lebanon as they are expecting riots Friday after Muslim prayers end. The article also noted that calls for Arabs on social media sites have been going out as they organize to march against Israel. Apparently, there have been ‘tens of thousands’ responding to those calls.

    The article ends citing another call for demonstrations against Israel to follow the Nakba Day riots. The next set of riots will be recognizing Naksa Day (believe that’s going to be June 7) mourning Israel’s defeat of Egypt, Jordan and Syria in 1967. The timing seems to be ripe with Obama’s demands for 1967 borders.

    Yes, Obama does appear to be going further than the Palestinian negotiators. Why? Because he is the dictator many of us feared he was. He is manipulating this situation. I disagree with Dershowitz’s assessment that Obama is making things more difficult for Palestinians to be reasonable in their talks with Israel. Since when have they been reasonable? Land concessions have never quelled the situation in the Middle East. These people will not be happy until Israel is gone and every Jew exterminated. That is the ugly truth of the matter.

    I realize my take on this situation comes from a Biblical perspective so I am not holding out for lasting ‘peace in the Middle East’. That is not to say there cannot be peaceful times, but it will not happen under Obama. It can only happen if we have someone in the White House who understands the importance and unique position Israel holds in this world – I already have my thoughts on who understands that ; )

    • Maynard says:

      Artgal, I wouldn’t argue with anything you’re saying. The underlying problem is that the Palestinians don’t accept Israel’s existence, so at some level we deceive ourselves by giving overmuch focus to these details of who gets what bit of land. In fact, the PLO was created before the 1967 war, back when the territories were still under the jurisdiction of Egypt and Jordan. So it’s all something of a rationalization for anti-Semitism, and the world’s “reasonable” stance merely enables more Jew-hatred. Would be nice if a president could say these things plainly, but I suppose that’s too much to expect…and of course I wonder if any good would come of plain speaking. Maybe diplomacy can’t happen without pretending the other guy isn’t a complete genocidal maniac — although that level of polite denial will only get you so far, as Chamberlain and others found out. With Obama, of course, we’re concerned not only about the usual mealy-mouthed diplomacy and confusion, but about a mindset that’s corrupt and even evil. But in making this post, I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt, at least for the sake of this discussion. Hence the reference to “mistakes” rather than “sabotage”. Whatever the true reality is, I’m thinking that more people can see for themselves that Obama isn’t accomplishing what he says he’s accomplishing. That’s a fact we can observe; why he’s doing it is a thing that will be less clear, at least at this point in time.

      • Artgal says:

        You’re a much better person than I am, Maynard. I don’t give Obama the benefit of the doubt at all and do see ‘sabotage’ instead of ‘mistakes’ – I need only look to the dangers lurking in our own country, his behavior toward our allies and favoritism toward terrorists to make that assessment.

        The sad reality is this situation will not be resolved through peaceful means (again, not saying there won’t be interims of peace, but it won’t be long-lasting). It is not because of Israel, but because of the Arab world. They will not be satisfied until the Jews are gone – and that goes for those of us supporting the Jews as well.

        From the time of Abraham’s covenant with God wherein Isaac became the son through which God’s blessings would be bestowed causing Ishmael (Abraham’s son through his wife’s Egyptian maid, Hagar) to become resentful and jealous, the world has been on the forward march to this very tipping point. Just as Isaac’s lineage gave us the twelve tribes of Israel leading through the tribe of Judah to Christ’s birth and the promise of a Second Coming, Ishmael’s lineage also produced 12 tribes with his son Kedar’s line giving the world Muhammed and the promise of a future 12th imam. The funny thing is: only Islam embraces calls for revolution and throwing the world into chaos in order to establish the conditions for the 12th imam to appear. It may put some perspective on why we did not intervene on behalf of the Iranian people in 2009 – and may offer a glimpse into why our president assisted the Egyptian uprising.

        Ultimately, this will become a massive, bloody battle and it will be a fight between good and evil. Though it is inevitable, we also know from Biblical writings that God will spare ‘doomsday’ when people turn away from evil things. We will have an oppportunity next year to test ourselves and see if we are going to turn away from that which destroys us and become reacquainted with The Author of life and freedom, or continue to the point of no return in the belly of The Beast. There is only one person on the public stage who understands that along with our relationship with Israel, and I do see her as having a Divine Purpose in these difficult times.

        Too bad if the Palestinians do not accept Israel’s existence; if the world had a clue, they would know better than to accept the existence of ‘Palestinians’. They are Arabs. The PLO was indeed around prior to 1967 and there was Fatah before the PLO – Fatah becoming a large military network under the PLO. What tied these sister terorist groups together was Yassir Arafat who was pursuing activity against Israel from 1948 while he was still young. Again, bringing Israel to destruction has been the goal of the Islamic world since the area was rightfully turned over to the Jews in 1948.

        On another thought: maybe this is how Obama will ‘resolve’ the land grab by Mexican Marxists in the southwest. Perhaps we will go back to the border maps of the mid-1800′s to appease those who do not recognize us as the rightful owners of this region. Maybe that’s why 30 miles of Arizona has been taken over by foreign nationals.

        • Maynard says:

          Artgal, thanks for touching on the Bible and history; people need to be aware of these basic facts in understanding Israel’s place in the world, and its fundamental reason for being. Sadly, too many people “know” that Israel is merely a colonial imposition upon peaceful natives (witness Helen Thomas’s recent rants), and don’t understand why Jews can and must be there. How many people realize that all these Jew-free countries in the Middle East — Egypt, Yemen, Libya, Iraq, etc. — had thriving Jewish populations until they were driven out after the creation of modern Israel? Yes, there were Arab refugees in the wake of the Arab wars against the Jews, but there were just as many Jewish refugees — and I mean from the region, not from Europe. So Israel took in the Jewish refugees, and the Arabs quarantined the Arab refugees, and thus the world systematically perpetuated the Palestinian problem as a thorn in the side of the world’s only Jewish state. And Israel is accused of being the apartheid state, while her Jew-hating ethnically-cleansed neighbors bristle with indignation. And so much of the West acquiesces to this nonsense, out of fear of getting blown up, or latent (and sometimes blatant) anti-Semitism.

          It’s ironic that Obama, who has made such a point of refusing to control America’s borders, is so intent on controlling Israel’s borders.

          As far as future Biblical history goes…I do wonder how our nation could elevate someone like Obama, whose problems are so obvious, to such a position of authority. For example, Obama was an executive of Wright’s Trinity Church, which was organizing a campaign of disinvestment from Israel to end, as their literature put it, “the injustice and the racism under which the Palestinians have lived because of Zionism.” That Obama could walk away from connections like this makes me wonder what’s gone wrong with our minds.

  2. Palin2012 says:

    I agree with you Artgal. Obama’s remarks gives a nod to those who wish to destroy Israel, and I don’t believe for one minute that it wasn’t intended. Continuing to give Obama the “benefit of the doubt” will ultimately destroy us.

  3. Shifra says:

    *Excellent* points, Maynard and Artgal. I would just add that a return to pre-’67 borders would result in an Israel that is only 9 miles from East to West…. Israel already gave back Gaza, and it was a disaster. Give back more land? In exchange for what?

    I stand in astonishment and horror that one man (Urkel-in-Chief) can wreak so much havoc on our country and the world.

  4. NancyB says:

    Dumping salt on the wound is listening to other talk shows this morning, hearing comments like; well I understand both sides(Israel/”Palestinian”)of the issues, or the evil bastard(obama)didn’t really mean what he said; he worded incorrectly. Please, he ran to the podium to give this speech while Netanyaho was in air in transit to the U.S. This creep is definitely a Jew hater & I believe he wouldn’t even flinch at the destruction of Israel. This was definitely a green light to all those insane barbarians that wish for the destruction of Israel to do what they must. God please protect Israel against all her enemies that surround her & God bless Israel!

    • sandyl says:

      Nancy, totally agree. I have been frustrated with these idiots since 2008 election. Never actually listening to what the DB said, or did, but what he meant to say, or how he was misunderstood, or “he worded incorrectly.” It makes me want to scream, which I have done on many occasions listening to this garbage.

      Obama is such an ideologue he truly believes he will be “Dicktator” (thanks aggedor) of America, and one day King of the World. He “won” so now he is brazen about the jew hatred he spews. He knows Pravda/media will cover for him.

      The one thing that always gives me comfort–God will always triumph over evil–and yes–God bless and protect Israel and God bless America.

  5. otlset says:

    How is it possible to “deal” with anyone who is sworn to your destruction beforehand? Would the goal to “deal” with such people then be a slower, perhaps more institutionalized destruction? It makes no sense, and this whole “peace process” is based on that untenable foundation. Add to that Obama’s clear siding with Hamas in apparently starting “negotiations” off in their favor (the undefensible pre-1967 borders) and it becomes clearer than ever this whole process is a pro-Palestinian charade.

    There is no way to “deal” with Hamas and the murderous rabble of “Palestinians” that continue to fire missles into Israel, our cherished ally, so frequently now it doesn’t even merit news coverage anymore.

    Obama is the worst, and most dangerous to America President America has ever had. He makes me sick. And to think the RABBLE in our own country may re-elect this charlatan is depressing to me beyond belief.

    • sandyl says:

      Exactly otlset!

      Pres. Obama: “Let’s negotiate peace in the Middle East. We can do it the hard way or the easy way. We can allow the peace-loving muslims to bomb you out of existence, or you can simply walk yourselves into the gas chamber and save time and energy. Deal?”

  6. aardvark says:

    I know you had to title this something…but I might have been tempted to use “Obama’s ‘Final Solution’ for Israel.”

  7. SoCalGal says:

    Obama is an Israel-bashing, Israel-hating P-O-S**t. I effing hate him.

    I pray that Bibi never gives in to this little boy president’s demands. I don’t think he will. He never should have even met with him today. Bibi is a hawk and Nobama is a pacifist, I sure as hell hope Bibi bitch slaps the boy president into
    remission.

  8. SoCalGal says:

    I’m sorry, into submission.

  9. lord-ruler says:

    A great book to read about this situation is “fantastic victory” by Cleon Skousen. It is all about the 1967 war and the biblical history that artgal is talking about. I have michael orens book as well on my ipod so I will have to fire it up and get caught up my my middle east history.

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