Everyone knows that the Obama Israel policy is anti-Israel. They probably forgot that it was always that way.
The Obama Israel policy: from the horse’s mouth
President Barack H. Obama has made two speeches lately, one at the State Department and the other before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Both times, Obama proposed a return to the 1967 Israel borders—or to name them properly, the 1949 armistice line. That solution will not hold against reality and furthermore has no basis in international law.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, in reply, did something rude—and it was about time. He told the President bluntly and in front of witnesses that the armistice line did not pass the reality test. Why Netanyahu did not tell Obama that the armistice line was legally meaningless, your editor will not speculate. Perhaps, to paraphrase Goebbels, if someone lies about you loudly and often enough, you will believe the lies yourself. Ask any wife whose husband beats her up all the time. Why does she take it? Because that’s the way it is.
The Obama Israel policy: Arab and leftist reaction
Yet the Arabs and their sympathizers seem to say (to paraphrase Jefferson) that the Obama Israel policy is a thing of wax for Israel to mold and shape as it wishes. Patrick Seale, on Middle East Online, is a prize example. “Weak-kneed,” he said of the first Obama Israel speech.
In his speech, Obama threw a bone to the Palestinians by saying that the borders between Israel and Palestine “should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps.” But when Netanyahu made furious objection, he snatched the bone back.
Did he? He must not have read the same text that your editor read. And offering the world’s largest squatter colony a return to a line from a cease-fire that the Arabs violated long ago goes a bit beyond bone-throwing.
As bad as this sort of Gentile know-nothing-ism is, Jewish support for the Obama Israel policy is a complete mystery. Why does Richard Cohen presume to tell Netanyahu that he has any real “moment” to seize in the face of proposals of this kind? And what in Sheol is the matter with Ha’Aretz? Why do they run an editorial saying that Netanyahu cannot expect Obama to understand why Israel does not “do the right thing,” even when that “thing” means national suicide?
The Obama Israel policy: the real background
Ha’Aretz accuses Netanyahu of “spitting in [Obama]’s face.” How conveniently they forget that Obama spat in Netanyahu’s face last year. He received Netanyahu for a conference in the White House, and then left the prime minister to sit alone while he, Obama, went in to his family dinner. And they forget something else: Obama has visited Israel only once, during his 2008 Presidential campaign, and for only twenty-four hours. No one can fully appreciate Israel short of a visit lasting at least a week. That shouldn’t be too difficult for a President of the United States. If, in that twenty-four hours, Obama visited Sderot, as he planned, he has forgotten whatever insights he might have gained there. (Your editor did not go to Sderot; the Ministry of Tourism did not want to send an American visitor and his tour group into a rocket-target zone.)
Investors Business Daily has the real background of the Obama Israel policy. Obama turns out to have some curious friends back in Chicago. One of them is Rashid Khalidi, who was once Yasser Arafat’s mouthpiece. Another is The Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Most people might not know this about Wright: before he became a nominally Christian minister, he was a member of Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam. And as well as coming down on America from the pulpit, Wright also came down on the Jews. IBD also reports this gem:
Both Islamism and the radical “Black Liberation Theology” Wright preached rejecting the Jews as God’s chosen people. Obama’s church also preached that North Africa is the promised land, and that Moses and Jesus were Africans.
No wonder Obama feels as he does. He’s made a bad choice of friends and a worse choice of advisers. Even Harold Camping didn’t get it this wrong. He said that God was through with national Israel. Wright says that God never had anything to do with something called “Israel.”
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The Obama Israel policy: where to go from here
Bret Stephens at The Wall Street Journal says the obvious: talk is cheap, and the Obama Israel policy offers only words, not deeds, to Israel. The Hill reports that the Republican Party now sees an opportunity that Obama handed them. Who knew that Obama would give them such a gift? And though Ha’Aretz might indulge in wishful thinking, The Jerusalem Post does not. The Palestinians have to want peace as much as the Israelis do, they say—and the Post sees no sign of that yet.
But this issue is larger than an American federal election. Israel is still the only democratic republic in the Middle East, and its residents, Jew and Arab alike, can do things that no Arab government would let them do. (In fact, one can walk more safely in downtown Jerusalem than in the downtown of any large city in America, let alone in Cairo or Damascus.) The Jews came to that land, dried up the swamp, and made the desert bloom. And Americans should care for Israel for two more reasons:
- God promised Abraham, the ancestor of Israel, that He would curse anyone who curses Israel.
- The militant Arab and Muslim motto is: First Saturday (the Jewish Sabbath), then Sunday (the Lord’s Day).
That’s why the Obama Israel policy is so wrongheaded. And that’s why your editor will always stand for Israel.
Featured image: Tzahal soldiers at the Golan Heights pass by American tourists and Israeli youth-group members. Photo: CNAV.
Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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