Sunday, June 7, 2015

Obama on Israel, Part II

Obama: "And the challenge I think that I have when it comes to these issues is that I do think part of my obligation of being a friend of Israel's is to speak the truth as I see it. And the truth as I see it is that the very moral imperatives that led to the founding of Israel - the belief that all of us share a basic humanity and dignity and rights that make it important for us to speak out against anti-Semitism - those things also require me from my perspective to say clearly that a Palestinian youth in Ramallah who feels their possibilities constrained by the status quo, that they have a claim on us, that they have a claim not just on Palestinian leaders, that they have a claim on Israeli leaders. They have a claim on U.S. leaders in the same way that children around the world who are locked out of opportunity have those claims."

Where to begin? First, let's dispense with the liberal nonsense that "all of us share a basic humanity." Tell that to all the people who have been beheaded or otherwise murdered by ISIS. Second, if you were a true friend of Israel's, Mr. Obama, you would not make such a lousy deal with Iran - allowing them to keep enriched uranium, thousands of centrifuges, continue their support of world-wide terrorism, and say that recognition of Israel's right to exist is unrelated to a country which constantly threatens to wipe Israel off the map. As a true friend you would not require Israel to reduce itself down to indefensible borders. But maybe we define "friend" differently.

You suggest, Mr. Obama, that you care about all the "children around the world who are locked out of opportunity." What are you doing about the children in all of the other Middle Eastern countries suffering through war and violence - Syria, Yemen, Iraq or Libya to name just a few. What are you doing for children who are truly oppressed in Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia or Cuba, to name just a few.

Mr. Obama, you seem to really only want to talk about children in the West Bank. Why is that? You refer to a "Palestinian youth who feels their possibilities constrained." So, let's talk about that. Allow me to give you some data from Carolyn Glick's book: "From 1967 to 2000, Israeli investment in the local (West Bank) economy enabled the local GDP to grow 5.5 percent each year on average - nearly a full point more than Israel's own economy's average growth rate of 4.2 percent. Literacy rates among the Palestinians rose from 52.5 percent in 1967 to 84.2 percent in 1995. Israel opened six universities in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) and two in Gaza...Life expectancy increased sharply, from forty-eight in 1967 to seventy-two in 2000. Infant mortality plummeted by three-quarters, from 60 per thousand live births to 15, as Israel built more than a hundred clinics, offered comprehensive health insurance, and modernized and expanded sewage and electrical infrastructures." (From the Israeli Solution, pages 113-114.)

No, if you were a true friend of Israel's Mr. Obama you would stop enabling the Palestinians sense of victimhood and entitlement. You would tell them that there will never be a right of return for millions of descendants of the original refugees. You will tell them that Jerusalem will forever remain the undivided capital of Israel - and you will move the US embassy there to prove that point. And you will them - no, force them - to lay down their arms and recognize Israel as the sole Jewish state in the world. But as I said, maybe you and I define friendship differently.

Obama On Israel, Part I

Recently, President Obama gave an interview to Channel 2 TV of Israel. Here is some of what he had to say; followed, of course, with my comments.

Obama: "And I think Prime Minister Netanyahu is somebody who's predisposed to think of security first; to think perhaps that peace is naive; to see the worst possibilities as opposed to the best possibilities in Arab partners or Palestinian partners."

Why would an Israeli P.M. think of security first? Maybe because the Middle East is aflame in turmoil and violence. Maybe because the Palestinians are sworn to Israel's destruction; and even now Abbas says he will never recognize Israel as the Jewish state. And maybe because you, Mr. Obama, seem intent on letting the Iranian Ayatollahs get a bomb - and fulfill their desire to wipe Israel off the map. And how, Mr. Obama, do you account for the fact that it has been reported that Israel is in secret negotiations with Saudi Arabia, if Netanyahu is unable to see all the possibilities?

Obama: "Already the international community does not believe that Israel is serious about a two-state solution." You mean the international anti-Semitic community? The 57 Muslim countries who will always be openly against Israel? The Western Europeans who never learn anything from history? Or maybe the UN, whose Human Rights Council has a standing subject - Israel - on their agenda. Not Iran or Saudi Arabia or China or North Korea or Cuba or Russia. No, Israel is the biggest problem at the UN - you know, the "international community" that you are so concerned about Mr. Obama.

Obama: "Well, when I said after the election that we would have to evaluate our policy, and I was referring to something very specific, and that is how we approach defending Israel on the international stage around the Palestinian issue." The truth comes out Mr. Obama. This writer suspected from day one that notwithstanding whatever military assistance was provided to Israel, you would ultimately sell Israel out at the UN. I said you would allow the imposition of a Palestinian state on the the so-called 1967 borders, which are nothing more than the 1949 armistice lines following the Arabs first attempt to wipe Israel off the map. Those borders are indefensible, being less than 9 miles wide at one point.

Under President Johnson, and following the 1967 war, the Joint Chiefs here were directed to prepare a map that would outline all the land Israel would need to keep - forever - in order to protect itself from further attacks. That map showed Israel keeping much of the West Bank (Judea and Samaria), as well as Gaza, the Golan Heights and other areas. (As reported by Carolyn Glick in her book "The Israeli Solution," 2014 by Crown Forum Publishing.) After the 1973 Yom Kippur war, Israel did return the Sinai to Egypt. Under Ariel Sharon Israel gave up the Gaza strip - only to suffer constant rocket attacks ever since from Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza.