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On Arab-Israeli Conflict Obama Manages to Infuriate Almost Everyone
On Arab-Israeli Conflict Obama Manages to Infuriate Almost Everyone
President Obama’s second Middle Eastern speech on Thursday was very different in tone and substance from his first in Cairo back in 2009.
His first “new beginnings” speech was defensive, an effort to repairing longstanding mistrust between the Arab Muslims and America. Now with the killing of Usama bin Laden behind him, Obama could gloat that Al Qaeda had failed. But on the democracy front, he was largely responding to dramatic upheavals that Arabs themselves had wrought, with virtually no prodding or help from the U.S. This was Obama’s “get on the right side of history” speech.
Comparing those speeches reminds us of how profoundly the Arab world has changed since Obama headed for Cairo.
For one thing, there were no apologies in this speech for America or American foreign policy in the Middle East, no quotes from, or repeated references to the “Holy Koran,” as there were back in 2009.
For another, the president emerged as a full-throated, if still somewhat inconsistent proponent of the freedom and democracy agendas that former President George Bush embraced after 9/11, only to abandon them in his second presidential term.
Though he insisted in both speeches that democracy could not be imposed by force, Obama could not have been more adamant about naming and shaming the Arab leaders who he thought had to yield power – Yemen and Libya -- and if their leaders do not stop killing protesters and denying legitimate demands for freedom, less corrupt and more responsive governments, Bahrain, America’s long-term ally in the Gulf and home to the Fifth Fleet, and Syria, with whom the administration had been negotiating.
Third, this speech was far tougher on Iran than was the Cairo speech or any of his earlier pronouncements. Gone was the genteel reference to the “Islamic Republic of...” The president just spoke of “Iran,” and harshly at that. He denounced Teheran’s hypocrisy in endorsing the overthrow of tyrants while killing and repressing its own people. There was no renewed call for “engagement” or “negotiations” as there was in the Cairo speech. Teheran had its chance, and blew it, President Obama seemed to imply.
Finally, his discussion of the Arab-Israeli conflict – not the core of his remarks any more than it is the heart of the instability dogging the region – managed to infuriate almost everyone.
Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu immediately rejected the president’s suggestion that a final resolution of the contract would involve Israel’s eventual return to the 1967 borders with land “swaps” to achieve “secure and defensible borders.”
But Hamas denounced the speech even more harshly. Sami Abu-Zuhri, the spokesman in Gaza of militant Islamic Hamas, which rejects Israel’s right to exist, called the speech a “total failure.” “Obama is the one who needs the lesson given his absolute endorsement of Israel's crimes and his refusal to condemn Israel's occupation, he said. "The (Arab) nation does not need a lesson on democracy from Obama." he said, adding that the group would “not recognize the Israeli occupation under any circumstances."
Any speech that Hamas, which is on the U.S. terrorist list, hates that much must have something to recommend it. And indeed it does.
Athough many supporters of Israel are upset that President Obama referred to the 67 borders with unspecified “land swaps” as the base line for borders of future Israeli and a Palestinian state, this was not really new. It was just made explicit for the first time.
Palestinians and Israelis had already negotiated prospective borders for two states along those lines in peace talks held under presidents Clinton and Bush, offers that the Palestinian negotiators, not Israel, ultimately rejected, incidentally. My friend Rob Satloff, the director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, complained that Obama’s speech “concretizes a move away from four decades of U.S. policy based on U.N. Security Council resolution 242 of November 1967, which has always interpreted calls for an Israeli withdrawal to "secure and recognized" borders as not synonymous with the pre-1967 boundaries.” But Obama amended his reference to 1967 borders with land swaps notion by saying that any division of land had to achieve “secure and recognized borders.”
There was much that friends of Israel should like about the speech and the peace process. For instance, President Obama personally endorsed the insistence that the Palestinian state would have to be de-militarized.
He also all-but-dismissed the agreement between the more pragmatic, Palestinian West Bank leadership and militant Hamas as being a non-starter, suggesting that Israel could not be expected to negotiate with a group that rejects its right to exist. Even more encouraging was his portrayal of the Palestinian initiative to ask the United Nations General Assembly to declare a Palestinian state in September a “symbolic” diversion of time and effort and a colossal waste of time.
Perhaps most telling of all was the presence of George Mitchell in the audience at the State Department, not as a Middle East peace negotiator. The fact that Mitchell, who reportedly had earlier urged Obama to highlight settlements as the most important obstacle to peace, resigned just prior to the speech, and that President Obama did not replace him before he delivered what was billed as such a major policy speech suggests that Washington does not expect negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians to begin anytime soon.
Arab-Israeli peace was clearly the caboose of this Middle Eastern train – a car that seems no place close to leaving the station.
Will President Obama Willingly Violate the War Powers Act?
Will President Obama Willingly Violate the War Powers Act?
May 21, 2011
Is President Obama about to violate federal law? It’s possible, though the administration is currently exploring several options that would enable a continued presence in Libya without superseding executive powers.
It’s been two months since the president sent Congress a letter announcing the U.S.-led mission in Libya. And now, 60 days later, Obama’s time frame for securing Congressional approval has expired. The 1973 War Powers Act requires that the president get congressional authorization at the end of the two-month mark. If permission isn’t granted, the mission must conclude within 30 days.
Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg recently testified that the president has operated under the War Powers Resolution since the beginning of the Libya mission and that he will continue to do so. But, unless the president has plans to make major changes to U.S. involvement in the mission or find another work-around plan today, he will find himself violating federal law.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are less than pleased with the lack of protocol being employed. CNN has more:
Rep. Brad Sherman, D-California, tells CNN he believes Obama is trying to “bring democracy to Libya while shredding the Constitution of the United States.”Last week, The New York Times covered some of the potential methods through which the Obama administration may continue the Libya conflict without actually violating The War Powers Act:
One concept being discussed is for the United States to halt the use of its Predator drones in attacking targets in Libya, and restrict them solely to a role gathering surveillance over targets.It will be interesting to see if Obama’s handling of Libya sets a new precedent for presidential behaviors, or if Congress will stand up and be vocal. Below, watch Rep. John Duncan, (R-Tenn.), discuss his campaign to better clarify the president’s powers under The War Powers Act:
View Video Here> http://www.theblaze.com/stories/will...ar-powers-act/
White House on War Powers Deadline:
'Limited' US Role in Libya Means No Need to Get Congressional Authorization
May 20, 2011 7:14 PM
In an effort to satisfy those arguing he needs to seek congressional authorization to continue US military activity in accordance with the War Powers Resolution, President Obama wrote a letter to congressional leaders this afternoon suggesting that the role is now so “limited” he does not need to seek congressional approval.
“Since April 4,” the president wrote, “U.S. participation has consisted of: (1) non-kinetic support to the NATO-led operation, including intelligence, logistical support, and search and rescue assistance; (2) aircraft that have assisted in the suppression and destruction of air defenses in support of the no-fly zone; and (3) since April 23, precision strikes by unmanned aerial vehicles against a limited set of clearly defined targets in support of the NATO-led coalition's efforts.”
A senior administration official told ABC News that the letter is intended to describe “a narrow US effort that is intermittent and principally an effort to support to support the ongoing NATO-led and UN-authorized civilian support mission and no fly zone.”
“The US role is one of support,” the official said, “and the kinetic pieces of that are intermittent.”
From the beginning of the U.S. military intervention in Libya, the Obama administration has cited the 1973 War Powers Act as the legal basis of its ability to conduct military activities for 60 days without first seeking a declaration of war from Congress. The military intervention started on March 19; Congress was notified on March 21. Those 60 days expire today.
The president thanked the congressional leaders – House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky --- for the support that they have “demonstrated for this mission and for our brave service members, as well as your strong condemnation of the Qaddafi regime.”
The president voiced support for a bipartisan resolution drafted by Senators John Kerry, D-Mass., John McCain, R-Ariz., Carl Levin, D-Mich., Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Lindsey Graham, R-SC, and Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., stating that Congress “supports the U.S. mission in Libya and that both branches are united in their commitment to supporting the aspirations of the Libyan people for political reform and self-government…Congressional action in support of the mission would underline the U.S. commitment to this remarkable international effort.”
Earlier this month, Kerry – who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee – described his resolution as “in limbo.”
Last edited by Paparock; 05-21-2011 at 05:17 PM..
Middle East Reactions to Obama's Speech
Middle East Reactions to Obama's Speech
by IPT News • May 20, 2011
President Obama seems to have unified Muslims and Israelis with his speech about the new Middle East Thursday. Leading voices on all sides panned the address.
Following a White House meeting Friday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed the president's call for a peace agreement with Palestinians based on 1967 borders with land swaps, saying it leaves Israel vulnerable to attack. And he rejected any notion of an agreement granting Palestinian refugees a right to return to Israel, demographically swamping the Jewish state.
"It's not going to happen. Everybody knows it's not going to happen," Netanyahu said. "And I think it's time to tell the Palestinians forthrightly that it's not going to happen."
Obama's speech was also rejected in large sections of the Muslim Middle East, from individuals to governments.
Robert Tait, writing for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, explained that the much-touted speech "went down like a lead balloon in Egypt's capital." Joe Hammond, another correspondent for RFE/RL in Cairo, "described the mood on the streets as a mixture of ignorance and apathy. In contrast to the 2009 address, which was closely followed, many Egyptians were not even aware Obama had made a speech. Others, mindful of U.S. indecision in the early stages of the anti-Mubarak protests dismissed it as a 'Johnny come lately' speech."
While the VOA's Meredith Buel called the speech "effective in aligning American policy with the sweeping changes in the region," Arab newspapers show mixed reviews.
"All this familiar talk we have heard on the lips of more than one U.S. official, but the question is about the practical steps to turn it into actions on the ground," noted Adel Bari Atwan, writing for the popular London-based paper Al-Quds Al-Arabi. "We heard stuff like this two years ago in [Obama's] first speech at Cairo University … what were the results? … Full retreat on all these promises, the adoption of all Israeli demands, and failure to convince his allies, the Israelis, to freeze settlement activity for only two months."
Leading Egyptian daily Al-Ahram published a cartoon showing President Obama trying to give a lesson about the importance of new Middle East, but his hand points to a fractured Middle East and globe.
America's Turkish allies also weren't pleased by Obama's remarks on Israel, calling for him to adopt a "more principled attitude" to Palestinian statehood. "They should not refrain from giving support to Palestinian reconciliation due to Israel's unnecessary reservations," Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said in an interview Friday with the CNNTürk news channel.
The reactions of those condemned by President Obama were predictable.
"Palestinian leaders will not achieve peace or prosperity if Hamas insists on a path of terror and rejection," Obama said. The group responded in kind on its new Arabic website, expressing its "disapproval and condemnation" of the president's comments, which were "grossly biased towards the Zionist occupation at the expense of Palestinian national rights." They also stated that America's approach was "devoid of any new approach concerning the Palestinian issue," which "demonstrates the credibility of the group's [Hamas'] position."
The New Arafat
Obama tries to impose indefensible, catastrophic borders for a “trusted ally."
by P. David Hornik
The United States believes that negotiations should result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine. The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps…. The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state…. The full and phased withdrawal of Israeli military forces should be coordinated with the assumption of Palestinian security responsibility in a sovereign, nonmilitarized state….
These words from President Barack Obama’s speech on Thursday are the most chilling message ever sent by a U.S. president to Israel, and possibly by any head of government to a supposed “ally.” It is often mentioned that, soon after the Six Day War of 1967, the then Israeli foreign minister Abba Eban referred to those 1967 lines as the “Auschwitz borders.” It is also often mentioned, as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu did after his meeting with Obama on Friday, that these borders leave Israel all of nine miles wide at one of its most populous points.
Under Obama’s dispensation, Israel is left with these borders and no others. A “full and phased withdrawal of Israeli military forces” from the West Bank means no Israeli military presence in the Jordan Valley, stipulated as essential in all Israeli military assessments, and certainly not in the West Bank’s mountain ridge, where the 1967 U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff study, as well as a 1974 follow-up study by the U.S. Army’s Command and Staff College, also viewed an Israeli military presence as strategically indispensable.
Moreover, the two parts of the Palestinian state, the West Bank and Gaza, are supposed to be “contiguous,” a demand that Yasser Arafat used to raise in Oslo-era negotiations with Israel. A glance at a map of Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza reveals that demand as little less than astounding. There is no way to make the West Bank and Gaza contiguous except by some sort of passageway connecting the two, slicing Israel in half, creating a security nightmare and a compromise of Israel’s integrity and sovereignty such as exists in no country of the world and that Obama, it is safe to say, would not contemplate for a moment regarding the United States or any part of it. Note also Obama’s use of “nonmilitarized,” which in the lingua franca is distinctly different from the “demilitarized” frequently used by Netanyahu. A nonmilitarized Palestinian state would probably be formally denied heavy weapons like tanks and planes, while maintaining ground forces of some sort (clearly necessary, at the very least, to maintain public order). Yet, apart from the fact that demilitarization agreements have a history of crumbling—let alone in the volatile and violence-ridden Middle East—even modestly armed Palestinian forces on the mountain ridge overlooking Israel’s coastal plain could make life intolerable for the country. They could do so by:
* Sniper fire. The West Bank terrain is so close to Jerusalem that snipers could shoot into Israel’s capital itself—as they did during Israel’s 1948-1949 War of Independence, forcing one-quarter of the Jews then living in the city to flee it, and as they did frequently from East Jerusalem into West Jerusalem in the succeeding years. Since the 2005 withdrawal from Gaza, sporadic sniper fire at Israeli farms along the Gaza-Israel border has created a serious security problem. In 2008 a volunteer worker at one of those farms was killed by sniper fire. West Bank snipers would also be well in range of major Israeli traffic arteries.
* Rocket fire. Whether openly perpetrated by a Palestinian government or by rogue—or subtly tolerated—terrorist forces, the 1967 borders entail a nightmare of vulnerability to rocket fire for Israel. Even cheap, homemade Qassams could reach, for instance, the coastal town of Kfar Saba, Jerusalem, and Ben-Gurion International Airport. In other words, even mere Qassams could create a strategic threat to government buildings in Jerusalem and to the airport, Israel’s only link with the outside world (not to mention shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles). As for somewhat longer-range Katyusha rockets, they could reach Tel Aviv, Beersheva, most of Israel’s airbases, and much more.
* Terrorist infiltrations. Although since the 2005 disengagement Israel has mostly been able to stop terrorist incursions from Gaza—though not always, as in the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit and killing of two other soldiers in the 2006 Kerem Shalom attack—the West Bank border is, again, vastly longer, more meandering, and incomparably more difficult to police. Indeed, from 1949 to 1967 when the West Bank was in Jordanian hands, the permeability of that border exacted a death toll from terrorist infiltrations for Israel.
If these problems are generally—but, as noted, not necessarily—on a tactical level, gravest of all would be Israel’s radical strategic vulnerability in the situation envisaged by Obama. Even a Palestinian state that more or less complied with “nonmilitarization” could allow—or be forced to allow—Arab armies from the east to traverse the short distance to Israel’s coastal plain, where a mere nine-mile push by a tank force would suffice to sunder Israel and put an end to Jewish sovereignty. Would Israel’s large, capable army be able to stop the invasion? Very likely not—because the bulk of that army consists of reserve forces, which require 48 hours for a full mobilization. An Arab force could cross the West Bank in much less time. Meanwhile the reserve forces rushing along exposed arteries to exposed mobilization centers would be subject to various forms of debilitating fire—very likely including missile barrages from states and terror enclaves bordering Israel.
It is inconceivable that, in Obama’s meetings with Netanyahu and other top Israeli officials since becoming president, these and similar points have not been raised. What is chilling to the bone, then, is that his words on Thursday reveal that they have made no impression on him. He either is so dominated by the notion of Palestinian victimhood that he cannot contemplate—despite the rather voluminous evidence to the contrary—Palestinians constituting a threat to Israel; or he does not care. Was Netanyahu, in his talk with him, able to bring Obama back to earth? There is no way of knowing. What is clear is that this is the time for Israel’s real friends to show their mettle by expounding the truth and effectively opposing the president’s designs.
Obama’s Abandonment of America »
Obama’s Abandonment of America
How the president's speech represents the effective renunciation of the US's right to have and to pursue national interests
by Caroline Glick
Reprinted from carolineglick.com.
I was out sick yesterday so I was unable to write today’s column for the Jerusalem Post. I did manage to watch President Obama’s speech on the Middle East yesterday evening. And I didn’t want to wait until next week to discuss it. After all, who knows what he’ll do by Tuesday?
Before we get into what the speech means for Israel, it is important to consider what it means for America.
Quite simply, Obama’s speech represents the effective renunciation of the US’s right to have and to pursue national interests. Consequently, his speech imperils the real interests that the US has in the region – first and foremost, the US’s interest in securing its national security.
Obama’s renunciation of the US national interests unfolded as follows:
First, Obama mentioned a number of core US interests in the region. In his view these are: “Countering terrorism and stopping the spread of nuclear weapons; securing the free flow of commerce, and safe-guarding the security of the region; standing up for Israel’s security and pursuing Arab-Israeli peace.”
Then he said, “Yet we must acknowledge that a strategy based solely upon the narrow pursuit of these interests will not fill an empty stomach or allow someone to speak their mind.”
While this is true enough, Obama went on to say that the Arabs have good reason to hate the US and that it is up to the US to put its national interests aside in the interest of making them like America. As he put it, “a failure to change our approach threatens a deepening spiral of division between the United States and Muslim communities.”
And you know what that means. If the US doesn’t end the “spiral of division,” (sounds sort of like “spiral of violence” doesn’t it?), then the Muslims will come after America. So the US better straighten up and fly right.
And how does it do that? Well, by courting the Muslim Brotherhood which spawned Al Qaeda, Hamas, Jamma Islamiya and a number of other terror groups and is allies with Hezbollah.
How do we know this is Obama’s plan? Because right after he said that the US needs to end the “spiral of division,” he recalled his speech in Egypt in June 2009 when he spoke at the Brotherhood controlled Al Azhar University and made sure that Brotherhood members were in the audience in a direct diplomatic assault on US ally Hosni Mubarak.
And of course, intimations of Obama’s plan to woo and appease the jihadists appear throughout the speech. For instance:
“There will be times when our short term interests do not align perfectly with our long term vision of the region.”
So US short term interests, like for instance preventing terrorist attacks against itself or its interests, will have to be sacrificed for the greater good of bringing the Muslim Brotherhood to power in democratic elections.
And he also said that the US will “support the governments that will be elected later this year” in Egypt and Tunisia. But why would the US support governments controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood? They are poised to control the elected government in Egypt and are the ticket to beat in Tunisia as well.
Then there is the way Obama abandoned US allies Yemen and Bahrain in order to show the US’s lack of hypocrisy. As he presented it, the US will not demand from its enemies Syria and Iran that which it doesn’t demand from its friends.
While this sounds fair, it is anything but fair. The fact is that if you don’t distinguish between your allies and your enemies then you betray your allies and side with your enemies. Bahrain and Yemen need US support to survive. Iran and Syria do not. So when he removes US support from the former, his action redounds to the direct benefit of the latter.
I hope the US Navy’s 5th Fleet has found alternate digs because Obama just opened the door for Iran to take over Bahrain. He also invited al Qaeda – which he falsely claimed is a spent force – to take over Yemen.
Beyond his abandonment of Bahrain and Yemen, in claiming that the US mustn’t distinguish between its allies and its foes, Obama made clear that he has renounced the US’s right to have and pursue national interests. If you can’t favor your allies against your enemies then you cannot defend your national interests. And if you cannot defend your national interests then you renounce your right to have them.
As for Iran, in his speech, Obama effectively abandoned the pursuit of the US’s core interest of preventing nuclear proliferation. All he had to say about Iran’s openly genocidal nuclear program is, “Our opposition to Iran’s intolerance – as well as its illicit nuclear program, and its sponsorship of terror – is well known.” Well so is my opposition to all of that, and so is yours. But unlike us, Obama is supposed to do something about it. And by putting the gravest threat the US presently faces from the Middle East in the passive voice, he made clear that actually, the US isn’t going to do anything about it.
In short, every American who is concerned about the security of the United States should be livid. The US President just abandoned his responsibility to defend the country and its interests in the interest of coddling the US’s worst enemies.
AS FOR ISRAEL, in a way, Obama did Israel a favor by giving this speech. By abandoning even a semblance of friendliness, he has told us that we have nothing whatsoever to gain by trying to make him like us. Obama didn’t even say that he would oppose the Palestinians’ plan to get the UN Security Council to pass a resolution in support for Palestinian independence. All he said was that it is a dumb idea.
Obama sided with Hamas against Israel by acting as though its partnership with Fatah is just a little problem that has to be sorted out to reassure the paranoid Jews. Or as he put it, “the recent announcement of an agreement between Fatah and Hamas raises profound and legitimate questions for Israel.”
Hamas is a jihadist movement dedicated to the annihilation of the Jewish people, and the establishment of a global caliphate. It’s in their charter. And all Obama said of the movement that has now taken over the Palestinian Authority was, “Palestinian leaders will not achieve peace or prosperity if Hamas insists on a path of terror and rejection.”
Irrelevant and untrue.
It is irrelevant because obviously the Palestinians don’t want peace. That’s why they just formed a government dedicated to Israel’s destruction.
As for being untrue, Obama’s speech makes clear that they have no reason to fear a loss of prosperity. After all, by failing to mention that US law bars the US government from funding an entity which includes Hamas, he made clear that the US will continue to bankroll the Hamas-controlled Palestinian Authority. So too, the EU will continue to join the US in giving them billions for bombs and patronage jobs. The Palestinians have nothing to worry about. They will continue to be rewarded regardless of what they do.
Then of course there are all the hostile, hateful details of the speech:
He said Israel has to concede its right to defensible borders as a precondition for negotiations;
He didn’t say he opposes the Palestinian demand for open immigration of millions of foreign Arabs into Israel;
He again ignored Bush’s 2004 letter to Sharon opposing a return to the 1949 armistice lines, supporting the large settlements, defensible borders and opposing mass Arab immigration into Israel;
He said he was leaving Jerusalem out but actually brought it in by calling for an Israeli retreat to the 1949 lines;
He called for Israel to be cut in two when he called for the Palestinians state to be contiguous;
He called for Israel to withdraw from the Jordan Valley – without which it is powerless against invasion – by saying that the Palestinian State will have an international border with Jordan.
Conceptually and substantively, Obama abandoned the US alliance with Israel. The rest of his words – security arrangements, demilitarized Palestinian state and the rest of it – were nothing more than filler to please empty-headed liberal Jews in America so they can feel comfortable signing checks for him again.
Indeed, even his seemingly pro-Israel call for security arrangements in a final peace deal involved sticking it to Israel. Obama said, “The full and phased withdrawal of Israeli military forces should be coordinated with the assumption of Palestinian security responsibility in a sovereign, non-militarized state.”
What does that mean “with the assumption of Palestinian security responsibility?”
It means we have to assume everything will be terrific.
All of this means is that if Prime Minister Netanyahu was planning to be nice to Obama, and pretend that everything is terrific with the administration, he should just forget about it. He needn’t attack Obama. Let the Republicans do that.
But both in his speech to AIPAC and his address to Congress, he should very forthrightly tell the truth about the nature of the populist movements in the Middle East, the danger of a nuclear Iran, the Palestinians’ commitment to Israel’s destruction; the lie of the so-called peace process; the importance of standing by allies; and the critical importance of a strong Israel to US national security.
He has nothing to gain and everything to lose by playing by the rules that Obama is trying to set for him.
Abraham Foxman to Jews: Stay on the Reservation »
Abraham Foxman to Jews:
Stay on the Reservation
Retailing soothing falsehoods about Obama’s speech
by Robert Spencer
Seventy-eight percent of American Jews voted for Barack Obama, and in the wake of Obama’s betrayal of Israel, Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League is trying to keep them on the reservation.
One wonders why Foxman even bothers with this dangerous fool’s errand. Obama has associated with antisemites and Palestinian jihad sympathizers throughout his political career, such that the Jews and supporters of Israel who voted for him in 2008 should be in full backpedal mode by now, apologizing for their earlier support for this clear enemy of Israel and dedicating themselves to defeating him in 2012.
But apparently Foxman’s pride is more important to him than the survival of Israel as the Jewish homeland and the sole bulwark of freedom and human rights in the Middle East. And so instead of renouncing his earlier support for Obama and taking a stand for Israel when that embattled country needs it the most, he has opted to pretend that Obama’s statement really wasn’t all that bad, and that Jews and all supporters of Israel should relax and keep on loving Barack Hussein Obama.
“I don’t see this as the president throwing Israel under the bus,” Foxman told Greg Sargent of the Washington Post. “He’s saying with `swaps.’ It’s not 1967 borders in the abstract. It’s not an edict. It’s a recommendation of a structure for negotiations.”
Foxman was referring to Obama’s statement that “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.”
Foxman apparently believes that Obama’s statement about “the 1967 lines” is the core of the problem that those who are appalled by Obama’s speech have with it – thus his emphasis that “it’s not an edict,” but simply a “recommendation.” He added that “there is a danger that the 1967 marker, which was always there but has never been stated so directly, may become this year’s settlements issue.” But, he repeated, “it’s not an edict — it’s not what he did with settlements.”
In this Foxman overlooked what most mainstream media reports about Obama’s speech also overlooked: that he wasn’t calling for a return to the pre-Six Day War borders at all, but to new borders “based on the 1967 lines,” and creating “two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine.”
This would be even worse for Israel than a return to the 1967 lines. A Palestinian state that bordered on Israel, Jordan and Egypt while Israel bordered only on Palestine would mean a substantially reduced Israel, having been forced to cede much of its core territory to the Palestinian Arabs in exchange for the chimera of peace with what are in fact implacable and unappeasable jihadis. Abraham Foxman should have learned from the disastrous aftermath of Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza that territorial concessions to the Palestinian jihadis do not bring peace and never will bring peace. Instead, Foxman declared Friday that Obama’s speech “indicated to me that this administration has come a long way in better understanding and appreciating the difficulties facing both parties, but especially Israel in trying to make peace with the Palestinians.” Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu disagreed. Meeting with Obama at the White House on Friday, he emphasized that “while Israel is prepared to make generous compromises for peace … it cannot go back to 1967 lines, because these lines are indefensible.” Netanyahu didn’t say it, but clearly he was not going to accept anything worse than the 1967 lines, either.
Apparently sensing that Obama was also preparing to back the spurious “right of return” for the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Palestinian Arab refugees (who were not offered citizenship by any of the neighboring Arab states except Jordan), Netanyahu declared: “The Palestinian refugee problem will have to be resolved within the context of a Palestinian state but certainly not within the borders of Israel. That’s not gonna happen. Everybody knows it’s not gonna happen. And I think it’s time to tell the Palestinians it’s not gonna happen.”
It’s noteworthy that Netanyahu thought it necessary to say this even though Obama did not mention the refugee problem in his Thursday speech. Netanyahu, unlike Foxman, can tell which way the wind is blowing in the White House, and has no illusions. But Foxman’s persistent self-delusions showed through again in the statement he issued through the ADL, along with Robert G. Sugarman, the ADL’s National Chair. Foxman and Sugarman declared: “We welcome President Obama’s compelling speech on the priorities for American policy in the Middle East. We applaud his strong outlining of the principles which motivate that policy, including supporting the universal rights of free speech, equality and religious freedom, opposing the use of force and political repression, and promoting political and economic reforms. These are a reflection of American values and promote American interests.”
There is, however, no indication that the revolutions in the Middle East, which Obama spent quite some time hailing, will lead to regimes that will have any interest in protecting free speech; the freedom of peaceful assembly; freedom of religion; or equality for men and women under the rule of law. Instead, in country after country pro-Sharia Islamic supremacists seem to be gaining the upper hand, just as I predicted.
With similar blinkered vision and naivete, Foxman and Sugarman stated: “We support the President’s vision of a negotiated Israeli-Palestinian settlement with strong security provisions for Israel, and a non-militarized Palestinian state. We appreciate his direct rejection of a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state and his understanding that the Hamas-Fatah agreement poses major problems for Israel.”
They didn’t seem to notice or care that Obama had not made the dissection of Israel or the creation of a Palestinian state contingent upon the dissolution of the new ties between Hamas and Fatah, or their acceptance of a “non-militarized” state. His statement about their need to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist was ambiguous enough to satisfy (or enrage) both sides.
And so if the aftermath of this speech follows the pattern of earlier attempts to bring peace to the Middle East, the Israelis will be forced to make genuine concessions in exchange for Palestinian promises that will quickly be broken – although no one will be holding them accountable for that.
So it goes, and so it will go, until the jihadis destroy Israel utterly, or someone in Washington gets a clue. Whichever comes first.
Abe Foxman should have noticed the pattern of Israeli concessions and Palestinian broken promises years ago, and started alerting the Jewish people and all friends of Israel to it. Then he would never have issued his statement of support for Obama Friday. Indeed, he never would have supported Obama in the first place.
Clarice's Pieces: Obama and the 'Teutonic Shift' in the Middle East
Obama and the 'Teutonic Shift' in the Middle East
By Clarice Feldman
One wonders if this is finally the week that the scales fall from the eyes of those Jews who voted for and supported Obama, not to mention these and other voters who hoodwinked themselves into believing that this man was some sort of brilliant new leader.
The preamble to this week's Obama epic foreign policy blunder was the president's comment on May 10 in Austin that there was a "Teutonic shift" taking place in the Middle East. To me, the grandiose albeit risibly erroneous description signaled that Obama's narcissistic needs needed stoking with some bold new initiative which no one but such a genius as he is could imagine. The following day, someone in the White House brain trust corrected the transcript to read "tectonic shift," but the writing on the wall was clear, even though White House spokesman Jay Carney denied it.
Obama intended to and, in fact, did go on to make a stupid but dramatic call that Israel return to the indefensible 1967 borders.
First, of course, he patted himself on the back for imaginary achievements, indicating that he had supported democracy in the Middle East from the moment of his Cairo speech. Actually, for those who paid attention, he did no such thing. He ignored the popular revolts in Iran and Syria, and he was slow to respond to the events in Egypt and Tunisia. Of Syria, in fact, he said this week, "The Syrian people have shown their courage in demanding a transition to democracy. President Assad now has a choice: He can lead that transition or get out of the way." I'm not sure Assad or his people heard the clarion call. At the moment it was made, Assad's forces were firing at and killing peaceful civilians gathered in pro-democracy demonstrations in Banias and Homs.
As bad as the misstatements about the Middle East generally were, the call to return to untenable 1967 borders is far worse. If the president sticks to this, it means that he is reneging on the promise Bush made to Israel, the second time a Democrat president has gone back on the word of his predecessor to Israel's great disadvantage. For Democrats, the word of the U.S. is certainly not our bond -- at least not to allies.
Citing with approval Charles Krauthammer, David Bernstein at The Volokh Conspiracy explains why the Israelis have no reason to put their trust in us:
He says exactly what I was thinking [link in original]: Israel necessarily gives up tangible assets (land) for promises of peace. Israel is willing to do only if her government trusts the U.S. When President Obama ignores promises made to Ariel Sharon by Obama's predecessor in exchange for withdrawal from Gaza-that American policy started from the premise that Israel would keep the settlement blocs-that trust evaporates.One could safely assume that this will go nowhere -- after all, there are no negotiations scheduled, and there are unlikely to be any. There's not even a U.S. "facilitator," George Mitchell having pulled out a week ago, when it was clear that Obama's mucking about had destroyed the possibility of any meaningful talks. He didn't even suggest a next move in this Opus. So why was this blunder so significant?
Because the president's comment lends support to the anticipated effort to get the U.N. Security Council to mandate an Israeli return to the 1967 borders, the Obama plan is more than silly and faithless -- it would mean Israel's destruction. And any suggestion that some international peacekeepers could protect Israel after a massive shift of its population to forty-year-old boundaries is beneath consideration.
My friend Jimmyk says it even more succinctly:
Aren't UN "Peacekeeping" troops stationed expressly at the pleasure of the local despot, meaning that it's official policy that they can be dismissed for any or no reason at any time? If so, that's more or less like having fire insurance that is void in the event of, you know, a real fire. (That's quite aside from the child sex abuse scandals and other corruption.)After making his swan dive into the abyss, Obama preceded with a White House chat with Prime Minister Netanyahu followed by a press opportunity and a scheduled state dinner.
One assumes that Obama anticipated that his own position would remain unchallenged in this formal setting -- rather like his attacks on Congressman Ryan in a "seminar"-type setting in which he controlled the mic, or the unprecedented attack on the Supreme Court justices at the State of the Union address, at which the justices do not get to speak.
If so, he was mistaken, as even an illiterate could tell from the body language of the two men.
In a controlled but respectful address to the press while seated alongside the president, Bibi argued that "peace based on illusions will crash on the rocks of reality" and used the opportunity to school the president on the facts on the ground. Bibi flatly stated that Israel could not be secure with a return to the 1967 borders, that it could not negotiate with a state that is partnered with Hamas, and it could not agree to an Arab right of return, which would destroy Israel entirely.
Both Mark Steyn and I consider the president's enormous miscalculation a result of his academic background. To my mind, so much of the liberal arts and social science class college work rewards the "original, creative, non-conventional" approach over a well-thought-out solid one, which explains why Obama frequently reaches for the former approach as evidence of his own intellectual prodigy. In fact, as in this case, it shows he doesn't know the facts and has a sloppily constructed, unsupportable thesis.
In a similar vein, Mark Steyn sees this as a product of the "faculty lounge" thinking.
[i]f you have the western faculty lounge attitude, which is the sewer Obama has been marinated in his entire adult life, then 1967 matters far more than 1973, or 1948, or 1922, because 1967 is as the faculty lounge left see it, the moment when the Israeli occupation began[.] [...] Why by the way did it begin? It began because Israel's neighbors launched another disaster war on them. The enemy, Egypt - Israel's enemies are incompetent at fighting conventional war and they discovered that actually instead of sending your troops into battle and keep losing your wars, why not play western public opinion like a fiddle and eventually the pressure - you start with the low-hanging fruit, your average European foreign minister, but eventually if you keep the pressure up you will land an American president who basically is not prepared to stand by the state of Israel and that's what they got right now.You need only compare pictures of Netanyahu and Obama as young men to see the difference. One is a serious person, the other a jive-ass (h/t:Janet).
Like Obama, Netanyahu has fine educational credentials, with degrees from Harvard and MIT, but Netanyahu has been personally tested in battle, where rash, unconsidered actions have immediate, fatal consequences. Obama until now has been pontificating and swanning about. His only real battles to date have been with straw men of his own making.
The Coming Assault on Israel
The Coming Assault on Israel
By James Lewis
Suppose you've just turned 18, barely out of high school, and now you're on guard duty at the borders of Israel, like the girls and boys who check your tourist luggage at Ben Gurion airport. It's an adult job, but you try to live a normal life, while being publicly threatened by suicidal Moo Bros, nuke-happy Ahmadinejad, and all their leftist enablers. Welcome to your life. This is not your beer-soaked Spring Break. It's not a break at all.
Check out the daily hate propaganda translations in English on MEMRI.org, and you can see what they are facing. Fortunately it's easy for Israel's young draftees to drive to their IDF jobs, because it's only a few miles from their homes.
A month ago Barack Obama told Egyptian President Mubarak to leave office, thereby throwing the Middle East into a dizzying downward spin. Every Muslim country is now torn by vicious in-fighting between reactionaries and modernizers. Turkey has become a Muslim Brotherhood satrapy after seventy years of the most benign government in a bad neighborhood.
In Egypt the phony "democracy" demonstration in Tahrir Square -- where an American television news anchor was stripped, beaten, and gang-raped -- was immediately followed by a Million Muslim March, to welcome Egypt's Ayatollah Khomeini back from exile. The day after Mubarak fell, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood called for trashing the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty, the only formal peace treaty in the Middle East. Syria, Iran, Yemen, Bahrain, and Jordan have seen thousands of street demonstrators being killed.
When Arab regimes see riots in the streets they always crank up the flow of hate-Israel propaganda, to distract "the Arab Street" from its real problems; it's a long and dreadfully sleazy tradition in reactionary Islam. More than a million Israelis emigrated from Arab countries and Iran, where wild mob scapegoating was standard operating procedure after the imam's weekly sermon, and no one was allowed to defend themselves. They have really great gun control laws in countries like Iran and Syria, which is why all good liberals love them.
A million plus Jews from Arab countries left and moved to Israel. It is still their land of refuge, in a world that is falling back into its medieval past.
So if you are an eighteen year old draftee in Israel today, you can see every nation within missile range turning ugly. You have to grow up fast.
Today in Egypt, Coptic Christians are being murdered with the silent consent of the military regime. Turkey is planning to demolish the oldest Christian monastery in the world. Palestinian Christians have been driven out of Bethlehem. In India and Pakistan, Muslim mobs have rioted against Hindus, as usual.
Thank you, Barack Hussein Obama.
The other day Obama assured a brainwashed group of American Jews that those "Arab Spring" riots are bound to improve the chances for peace in the Middle East. He should have been laughed out of the room. Instead, liberal Jews seem completely willing to believe in Tinkerbell and the Fairy Queen again. Liberals all over the world are in nodding off to sleep, and the radical left plays them like a Hawaiian ukulele. They are sure to vote Obama again, because he's so intelligent and liberal.
Nobody who reads the European news can doubt that the radical left is colluding with radical Muslims to delegitimize Israel and drive the Jews into the sea. That is the single most significant fact in international politics today. If you doubt it, check out all the articles on American Thinker and European websites. In London, the Hamlet Towers district has just gone shari'a. Those Muslim votes were imported by the Labour Party when normal British voters were turning against the left. That's how Tony Blair stayed in power for a dozen years.
Obama has a lifetime of radical activism. Everybody he's ever known is the same way. The very word "activist" is a euphemism for the old term "agitator." Communist agitators like Saul Alinsky used to take a lot of pride in whipping up discontent, which is why Alinskyites founded ACORN and 40 other rabble-rousing groups.
Today Chicago --- Tomorrow the World!
The question is whether as president Obama has enabled the collusion between his friends and comrades Bill Ayers, Jodie Evans, and Code Pink with the likes of Hamas and Hezb'allah. Ten years after 9/11 we have a president who actually brings Hamas to power. Obama assassinated OBL with one hand while aiding and abetting his twin brothers in Egypt. The media celebrated him for his heroic defense of America.
If Israel survives the coming assault, the Israeli and American left will quickly cover up for his sabotage of peace in the Middle East. Israel has its own Fifth Column. It often happens in war.
When Obama called for Mubarak to resign because "Now means Now!" he looked like a barefaced imperialist. But did Obama really mean to give the Muslim Brothers an historic chance to take over the most powerful nation in the Middle East? Does anybody remember that they assassinated Anwar Sadat thirty years ago for making peace with Israel?
Thousands of people have died in "Arab Spring" riots all over the Muslim world. Obama has just told us this is all good news. Is this his idea of spreading love and peace? Or is it the Audacity of Hope and Change in its genuine, malignant guise?
Self-deluded liberals are always the last ones to know. Conservatives can at least watch, and figure out how vote the next time.
Organized left-Islamist assaults on Israel are going to get worse soon. In June, Code Pink and the Turkish government plan to run another agit-prop operation against the arms blockade of Gaza. The two wings of the Palestinian revenge movement, Hamas and Fatah, have come back together, and in September they are expected to declare "Palestinian" national independence.
The irony is that "Palestine" was the Roman name for the place where Jesus was born. Those were the same Romans who routinely crucified Jewish rebels, remember? None of the Arabs in former Palestine knew they were Palestinians; they were Syrians or Druze or Bedouin, but why pick up that old Roman name? Today the world is conditioned to believe in "Palestinian" as a nationality, which brings us right back to the time of Jesus.
The Euro-American Left, Obama, and the New York Times can be expected to create one almighty ruckus in the coming weeks, to put maximum pressure on Israel to retreat from defensible borders. That's what this is all about. Think about those teenage soldiers who are now facing the barbarians, and imagine that your strongest ally for the last sixty years has just joined with your enemies. With the moronic support of American liberals, natch.
Israel has a coastline patrolled by a tiny navy. That's where Code Pink and Hamas are concentrating their activities right now. Last year they ran the Mavi Marmara agit-prop stunt, in which Turkish street thugs wrapped white rags around their heads, wrote their wills, said their jihad prayers for martyrdom, dug out their crooked old Ottoman dagger and swore to die while killing as many Jews as possible. This is the Religion of Peace as it has always behaved, going back to the desert raiders of Arabia. Islam means "surrender." Not peace.
For the Mavi Marmara stunt Code Pink launched its "peace flotilla" from Cyprus, while the Turks sailed from Istanbul. Then the suicide boat mingled with Code Pink's criminal colluders; because make no mistake -- deliberate, planned collusion in murder and assault is a criminal offense in all civilized nations. If Code Pink tried the same thing in Lake Michigan, the Chicago cops would haul them to jail, "peaceful resistance" or not.
Even Da Mare would go after them.
When Israeli patrol boats challenged the Mavi Marmara flotilla off the coast of Gaza the Pinks sailed to an Israeli port, while the Mavi Marmara kept driving to Gaza. That's when the defenders fell into the trap.
The Mavi Marmara was boarded by IDF helicopter commandos rappelling down, one by one, armed with paint guns for crowd control. The Turks attacked each soldier as he came on deck with steel bars, knives, and possibly guns. The Turks were ready to die for Allah, and some of them did, and the international media had their field day. It made headlines for weeks.
Code Pink and the media just happened to be there on the spot, broadcasting all over the world. A coincidence, ya think? It was a classic agit-prop operation, with a dozen dead and wounded on both sides. To this day liberals all over the world believe this stunt was for real, and you know what side they are told to blame. Liberals are very obedient to the media, afraid that somebody might call them a "racist" or "Islamophobe."
The Mavi Marmara suicide attack was the Reichstag Fire of the Obama left. Same goal, same methods, and the same Big Lie. It's the Audacity of the Left. But it's amazing how little has changed since Lenin and Hitler. Of course, now they have an American president on their side.
So if you're an 18-year old boy or girl and you see a "peace" flotilla off Gaza you also have to watch for coordinated Hamas suicide attacks in Jerusalem. The left will try to draw you to one place while Hamas and Hezb'allah will find a weak spot to attack. Syria is bristling with Scud missiles, Hezb'allah controls Lebanon, and Iran can now send warships through the Suez Canal to dock at the new Russian naval base in Syria.
You don't know where the next attack will come from. Yes, you've learned to shoot a gun and you've learned the rules of engagement in strictly controlled, civilized armies.
But your biggest dilemma is telling friend from foe.
Take America, for instance. It used to be a friend, but is it now a foe? (The answer is Yes.) Turkey and Iran used to have excellent relations with Israel (before Jimmy Carter did his thing), but they are now bitter foes. Europe used to profess its friendship, but with 53 million European Muslims next door, will Europe collapse again? (The answer is Yes.)
If you're that 18 year old kid the left and Islamic suiciders have just made your first job a lot tougher. Your chances for getting wounded or killed are a lot bigger.
You've been Community Organized.
This administration has sent a clear signal that it's ok to screw with Israel's sovereignty, safety, and security. Like everything else with Obama, there are rules for Me and rules for You, and they are never the same.
Americans who do not understand the extreme anti-American, anti-Israel policies of this administration are deaf, dumb, and blind. No matter how educated and intelligent they seem to be, on crucial questions of survival they are self-appointed victims.
At least Muslim radicals choose to commit suicide. Liberals do it completely unawares.
Obama: 1967 Lines With 'Swaps' Means Different Israeli Border Than in 1967
1967 Lines With 'Swaps' Means Different Israeli Border Than in 1967
May 22, 2011
Friday: President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meet at the White House.
WASHINGTON -- Claiming his remarks earlier this week on borders for Israel and a future Palestinian state had been misrepresented, President Obama said Sunday that "1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps" means the two sides will "negotiate a border that is different than the one that existed on June 4, 1967."
In remarks Sunday to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the president tried to explain his earlier position to a warm but occasionally tentative crowd by saying that his speech Thursday at the State Department didn't offer anything new or provocative in the way of peace negotiations.
"There was nothing particularly original in my proposal; this basic framework for negotiations has long been the basis for discussions among the parties, including previous U.S. administrations," he said.
"What I did on Thursday was to say publicly what has long been acknowledged privately," he added, saying his remarks were no different than a "well-known formula" that has been worked on for a generation.
"It allows the parties themselves to account for the changes that have taken place over the last 44 years, including the new demographic realities on the ground and the needs of both sides. The ultimate goal is two states for two peoples. Israel as a Jewish state and the homeland for the Jewish people, and the state of Palestine as the homeland for the Palestinian people; each state enjoying self-determination, mutual recognition, and peace," he said.
Since Thursday, tensions between the U.S. and Israel have been sharper than ever. The remarks -- in which the president said he wants Israel and the Palestinians to negotiate a land deal that starts with the 1967 borders -- received considerable criticism, including a public dressing down by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
"It's not going to happen," Netanyahu said Friday. "Everybody knows it's not going to happen."
But on Saturday, Netanyahu, who will address the pro-Israel lobby on Monday and Congress on Tuesday, played down any rift.
"The disagreements have been blown way out of proportion," he told The Associated Press on Saturday. "It's true we have some differences of opinion, but these are among friends."
Obama received a strong welcome at the conference, earning a standing ovation when he arrived and when he finished his remarks. He also earned considerable applause for several other pledges, including when he said the U.S.-Israel bond is unshakeable.
"Even while we may sometimes disagree, as friends sometime will, the bonds between the United States and Israel are unbreakable, and the commitment of the United States to the security of Israel is ironclad.
"We have a strong commitment to its survival as a secure homeland for the Jewish people," he added.
Obama named several areas where the U.S. and Israel agree, including preventing Iran from gaining nuclear weapons, developing weapons system to give Israel a military edge and vetoing U.N. resolutions designed to undermine the isolated nation's security.
"No vote at the United Nations will ever create an independent Palestinian state. And the United States will stand up against efforts to single Israel out at the U.N. or in any international forum," he said.
"The core issues can only be negotiated in direct talks between the parties," he said.
But the room was considerably quieter when he began to address the comments he made a few days ago, and the president acknowledged that "some of you will disagree with this assessment."
The president's remarks last Thursday stunned many in the foreign relations community who saw them as a distinct shift in U.S. policy toward backing the Palestinian position in the Mideast peace process.
Talks Friday with Netanyahu were chilly, and Israel supporters slammed the president for calling for borders that would jeopardize Israel's very existence.
"I think the president made a mistake, and he's been sort of trying to backtrack since then, as well he should," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told "Fox News Sunday" before the president spoke.
Noting that it's not up to the U.S. to decide what's best for Israel, McConnell added, "The maxim that the parties to the conflict need to be the parties to the settlement still holds."
The nation of Israel, created in 1948, expanded in 1967 after it was collectively attacked by its three Arab neighbors, Syria, Egypt and Jordan. Israel repelled the attack in six days and captured the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. It has since abandoned Gaza, which is now run by Hamas, a U.S.-designated terrorist group.
Hamas, which calls for the destruction of Israel in its charter, has recently formed a unity government with Fatah, the Palestinian party that operates Palestinian territories in the West Bank.
That in itself has stalled the peace process, which has been stuck over the central questions of what the borders of a future Palestinian state will be, whether to divide Jerusalem to give East Jerusalem as a capital for the Palestinians and whether to allow millions of Palestinians who left the country to return to Israeli land.
The president said no country should be expected to recognize a government that calls for its destruction, and he called on Hamas to "accept the basic responsibilities of peace, including recognizing Israel's right to exist, rejecting violence and adhering to all existing agreements."
But Marc Thiessen, a former adviser to President George W. Bush, said Obama's exclusion of the latter two issues while calling for narrowing Israel's borders puts Israel in a precarious position.
"By leaving that out while calling for the 1967 borders, he essentially tried to take away the Israelis negotiating card while leaving the Palestinians theirs," he said. "If 7 million Palestinians return to Israel, it will end Israel as we know it."
The U.S. Must Pay the Jizya
The U.S. Must Pay the Jizya
by Richard Butrick
The jizya is a tax that infidels (non-Muslims) must pay in order not to be brutalized by Allah's chosen.
Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold forbidden that which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued. Qur'an 9:29It is basically a protection racket. Think Mafia run by religious zealots. In this case, as President Obama sees it, in order not to suffer terrible disruption ("a deepening spiral of division") by justifiably irate Muslims, the U.S. must pay up. It is part of the Obama Doctrine: billions for tribute but not one more cent for defense.
Justifiable anger? Invasion of Arab lands, stealing Arab oil, propping up the Shah. Drawing cartoons of Mohammed. The list goes on.
This is Obama's jizya plan to placate our Arab overlords: forgive up to $1 billion in debt Egypt owes the U.S. Secure $1 billion in loan guarantees for the region from the International Monetary Fund. Secure more billions from the World Bank and the European Bank for "reconstruction and development" -- the Europeans must pay their fair share of jizya. Then, of course, throw an ally or two under the bus. What's a little lost sovereignty and betrayal of allies for some peace of mind? As Caroline Glick puts it:
Beyond his abandonment of Bahrain and Yemen, in claiming that the US mustn't distinguish between its allies and its foes, Obama made clear that he has renounced the US's right to have and pursue national interests. If you can't favor your allies against your enemies then you cannot defend your national interests. And if you cannot defend your national interests then you renounce your right to have them.That should mollify our Arab overlords. Although Obama might have to make another Middle East Apology Tour and show us that cute little curtsy of his.
Obama, Islamic Jihad & the Zionists
Islamic Jihad: "Obama is a weak and helpless man in the face of the Zionist lobby and everyone needs to realize this"
Why is it unlikely in the extreme that Barack Obama is a tool of the "Zionist lobby"? Well, for one thing, he has consistently allied with enemies of Israel throughout his political career. For another, his "1967 lines" recommendation, whatever he ultimately means, would weaken Israel to the point that its future survival would be in doubt. For a brief explanation of Obama's latest statements see Pamela Geller's latest, "Obama gaslights the Jews."
"Islamic Jihad: Unsurprised at 'weak' Obama's speech," by Elior Levy for Ynet News, May 23:
Senior Islamic Jihad member Azzam Nafez says his organization was unsurprised at a speech by US President Barack Obama. [...] "Obama is a weak and helpless man in the face of the Zionist lobby and everyone needs to realize this," he said.
John Bolton on the Difference Between Israeli-Palestinian Border and the '67 Border L
John Bolton on the Difference Between Israeli-Palestinian Border and the '67 Border Lines
Insight as to how Osama bin Laden became radicalized
American pilot for the bin Laden family offers insight as to how Osama bin Laden became radicalized
May 23, 2011
Osama bin Laden became an Islamic terrorist because of the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood, the SAME Muslim Brotherhood that Barack Hussein Obama is supporting to take over leadership of Egypt. The SAME Muslim Brotherhood that the Obama Regime wants you to believe is a moderate Muslim organization.
BARACK OBAMA has endorsed a role for the Muslim Brotherhood in a new, post-Mubarak government for Egypt. This should come as no surprise. Obama has behaved consistently all along, from his refusal to back the protesters in Iran, who were demonstrating against an Islamic Republic, to his backing of these protesters in Egypt, to whom he has just given a green light to establish a government that, given numerous historical precedents, will likely be the precursor to an Islamic Republic. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs sai that a post-Mubarak Egyptian ruling group “has to include a whole host of important nonsecular actors that give Egypt a strong chance to continue to be [a] stable and reliable partner.” Contrary to claims that it is a moderate organization, the Muslim Brotherhood is actually the prototypical Islamic supremacist, pro-Sharia group of the modern age.
Obama’s Neville Chamberlain Speech »
Obama’s Neville Chamberlain Speech
The president charts a course for Israel comparable to that charted for Czechoslovakia in 1938
by Kenneth Levin
In his May 19 speech on the Middle East, President Obama, in a matter of minutes, abandoned Security Council Resolution 242, which for more than four decades had been the cornerstone of diplomacy in pursuit of Arab-Israeli peace; likewise abandoned the Roadmap, adopted in 2003 by the so-called Quartet (the U.S., UN, EU and Russia) as a blueprint for resolving, more specifically, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; committed his Administration to pushing Israel back to indefensible borders; and essentially adopted as Administration policy Mahmoud Abbas’s variation on Arafat’s “Plan of Phases” for Israel’s destruction.
The cumulative impact of Obama’s declarations is to chart a course for Israel comparable to that charted for Czechoslovakia in 1938 when Neville Chamberlain endorsed Hitler’s demands of that country.
“We believe,” declared the President, in just one of his statements undermining Israel, “the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines.”
Resolution 242, adopted unanimously by the Security Council a few months after the 1967 war, calls for establishment between Israel and its neighbors of “secure and recognized boundaries.” The resolution does not call for Israel to return to the pre-war armistice lines, and the resolution’s authors asserted that this omission was intentional, that those lines were an invitation to further aggression against Israel and the future borders ought to be elsewhere.
Lord Caradon, Britain’s ambassador to the UN at the time and the person who introduced Resolution 242 in the Security Council, told a Lebanese newspaper in 1974:
“It would have been wrong to demand that Israel return to its positions of June 4, 1967, because those positions were undesirable and artificial. After all, they were just the places where the soldiers of each side happened to be on the day the fighting stopped in 1948. They were just armistice lines. That’s why we didn’t demand that the Israelis return to them, and I think we were right not to…”
Lyndon Johnson, then President, stated that Israel’s retreat to its former lines would be “not a prescription for peace but for renewed hostilities”; and he advocated new “recognized boundaries” that would provide “security against terror, destruction, and war.”
Subsequent presidents have endorsed Israel’s need for “defensible borders,” and Prime Minister Netanyahu’s comments at the White House on May 20, to the effect that Israel is indefensible within the pre-1967 armistice lines and cannot return to those lines, are more consistent with traditional American policy than is Obama’s new stance. In addition, Congress has likewise backed Israel’s right to defensible borders. For example, an April, 2004, letter from the United States to Israel stipulating that the nation was not expected to return to the pre-1967 lines but, rather, was entitled to “defensible borders,” had the endorsement of a bipartisan consensus in both houses of Congress.
Israel’s vulnerability within the pre-1967 lines goes beyond its being reduced to a nine-mile width at its center, as mentioned by Netanyahu. Those boundaries also mean forces on the other side would control the hills that totally dominate Israel’s coastal plain, home to 70% of its people.
Despite this longstanding American support for new, defensible boundaries for Israel, and the obvious threats represented by the pre-1967 lines, there are some who insist on characterizing Netanyahu’s strong opposition to a return to those lines as reflecting his being “right-wing.” But Yitzhak Rabin, Labor prime minister in the first years of the Oslo process, articulated Netanyahu’s position in even stronger terms. In his last speech in the Knesset, shortly before his assassination in November, 1995, Rabin declared:
“The borders of the State of Israel, during the permanent solution, will be beyond the lines which existed before the Six Day War. We will not return to the 4 June 1967 lines.Obama, in promoting Israel’s retreat to the pre-1967 lines, did throw in the sop of a reference to “mutual agreed [territorial] swaps.” The meaninglessness of this with regard to Israel’s self-defense is illustrated by Obama’s reference in the preceding sentence to “permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt…” Here he dismisses the necessity of Israel retaining control of the Jordan Valley, without which hostile forces east of the Jordan would have easy access – whether for invasion or for smuggling arms – to those heights that, again, render the vast majority of Israelis ready prey for attack, both by regular forces and by terrorist rockets and mortars such as those that currently target Israeli communities near Gaza. Obama reinforced this element of his undermining Israel’s self-defense by calling as well for “the full and phased withdrawal of Israeli military forces,” rejecting even some limited Israeli military presence in the Jordan Valley.
On the territorial front, as if this were not enough of an assault on Israel, Obama threw in that the Palestinians have the right to – in keeping with Palestinian demands – a “contiguous” state. But there can be no contiguity between Gaza and the West Bank without splitting Israel in two, and the President had nothing to say about Israeli contiguity.
Beyond demanding suicidal territorial concessions from Israel, the President then insists that these concessions, and the accompanying “security arrangements” with the “non-militarized [Palestinian] state” – a largely meaningless, unenforceable flourish, as the Oslo experience dramatically demonstrated - should be spelled out in detail before two other key issues, “the future of Jerusalem” and “the fate of Palestinian refugees” are addressed. But, of course, the President has already defined the Administration’s stand on the future of Jerusalem in his call for Israel’s return to the pre-1967 armistice lines. And Israel is to surrender its essential bargaining chip, the extent of its territorial concessions, before the Palestinian demand for the so-called “right of return,” the plan to flood and overwhelm Israel with descendants of refugees from the 1947-48 war, is even addressed. Moreover, there is nothing in Obama’s speech calling for the Palestinians to give up this path to Israel’s dissolution.
The insistence on both pushing Israel back to the pre-1967 boundaries and establishing the territorial dimension of an agreement before other issues are addressed, as well as the President’s refraining from taking issue with the “right of return,” reflect his embracing demands made by the Palestinians while ignoring consideration of the untenable situation in which they place Israel.
The president’s agenda also entails an abandonment of the Roadmap. For example, in the Roadmap territorial issues only begin to be addressed in Phase II, and then only in terms of creating provisional borders and testing Palestinian intent and preparedness for statehood before there are any steps toward definition of permanent borders. On the other hand, in Phase I, indeed at its very outset, the “Palestinian leadership issues unequivocal statement reiterating Israel’s right to exist in peace and security and calling for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire to end armed activity and all acts of violence against Israelis anywhere. All official Palestinian institutions end incitement against Israel.”
Obama does acknowledge as a problem that Israelis live “with the fear that their children could be blown up on a bus or by rockets fired at their homes, as well as the pain of knowing that other children in the region are taught to hate them.” But he has little further to say about Palestinian terror – beyond the vague references to security arrangements – and nothing more to say about incitement. That Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority uses its media, mosques and schools to indoctrinate Palestinians into believing that Jews have no historical or legal connection to the land but are mere usurpers whose presence must be extirpated; that those who massacre Israelis are heroes who must be emulated – a line of hate-indoctrination upon which Abbas himself seems particularly fond of elaborating; and that it is the obligation of Palestinian children to dedicate themselves to Israel’s destruction; are not, to our President, particularly troubling issues warranting immediate and focused attention.
With regard to Hamas, Obama does ask rhetorically, “How can one negotiate with a party unwilling to recognize your right to exist?” But Hamas is not simply a “rejectionist party” or a “terrorist entity” as designated by the United States. It is an explicitly genocidal organization, declaring in its charter its dedication to the murder of all Jews; and its leaders continually assert their fealty to their charter and their undying commitment to its program. Hamas’s incitement to the eradication of the Jews is a violation of Article 3 of the 1948 UN genocide convention; a violation which the contracting parties, including the United States, have undertaken to punish.
But some leaders of Hamas have also indicated that, to advance their ultimate goal, they are willing to pursue a temporary ceasefire and go along with negotiations aimed at getting Israel to withdraw to the pre-1967 lines. And President Obama has signaled that if they adopt and maintain this mask for some while, desisting from trumpeting their ultimate intent, he is prepared to ignore their genocidal agenda and join with them in pushing for an indefensible Israel.
Of course, Fatah is now forming a national unity government with Hamas, which, in addition to Abbas and the PA’s anti-Israel and anti-Jewish incitement, would presumably raise further questions about the PA’s reliability as a peace partner. So, too, one might imagine, would its ongoing promotion of the “Plan of Phases” for Israel’s destruction. But President Obama’s program, while violating Resolution 242 and the Roadmap, actually adheres to the agenda put forth by Arafat and Abbas to advance the “Plan of Phases.”
At the time of the initiation of the Oslo accords, on the evening of the famous signing and handshake on the White House lawn in September, 1993, Yasir Arafat appeared on Jordanian television and explained to his constituency and wider Arab audience that they should understand Oslo in terms of the Plan of Phases, formulated in 1974. The Plan called for the Palestine Liberation Organization to acquire whatever territory it could by negotiations, then use that land as a base from which it would pursue its ultimate objective of Israel’s destruction. Arafat repeated this understanding of Oslo many times thereafter.
Consistent with this strategy, Arafat was more than willing to take control of any territory ceded by Israel via the Oslo process while making in return commitments – particularly regarding ending terror and incitement – on which he consistently reneged and avoiding signing onto any limitation of future Palestinian territorial claims. When, under pressure from President Clinton, he reluctantly entered “final status” talks with Clinton and Prime Minister Ehud Barak at Camp David in July 2000, Arafat rejected all the concessions offered by Barak and Clinton and refused to put forward counter-proposals. He was unwilling to accede to any accord, whatever the territorial and other concessions made by Israel, because an “end-of-conflict” agreement was now expected of him in return and he was not interested in ending the conflict and foregoing future, additional, Palestinian demands.
Around the same time, Arafat spoke of declaring a state unilaterally, as a way, again, of establishing “Palestine” without signing away future claims against Israel. Clinton made it clear the U.S. would not support such a unilateral move and, not least because of U.S. pressure, European states conveyed the same message.
Abbas, a longtime associate of Arafat and member of the Fatah and PLO leadership, has largely followed Arafat’s course. He has not actively pursued a terror campaign – and he was critical of the terror war launched by Arafat after Camp David – but he made clear at the time, and in statements since then, that his opposition to the manner in which Arafat used terror was purely tactical. He felt it did not serve to advance the Palestinians’ ultimate goals. Abbas has also made clear that those goals, for him, are the same as for Arafat. He has refused to recognize Israel’s legitimacy as the Jewish state, the expression of the right of national self-determination accorded other peoples, even though the original UN resolution on the division of Mandate Palestine west of the Jordan called for the establishment of a Jewish and an Arab state. He has refused to consider any compromise regarding Palestinian insistence on the “right of return.” And he has given no indication of any willingness to agree to a final status accord.
Abbas has stated he intends to seek in the coming fall United Nations recognition of a Palestinian state demarcated by the pre-1967 lines, and he has already requested and obtained such recognition from various nations. This strategy once more reflects Arafat’s policy of seeking to gain a state in the territories without conceding future claims against Israel; that is, without foreswearing future phases in the Plan of Phases.
But Obama’s program, laid out on May 19, likewise promises Abbas a state, indeed a state along the pre-1967 lines, without obliging him to give up insistence on the “right of return” or to sign an “end of conflict” agreement and foreswear future, additional claims against Israel.
Apologists for Obama point to his statements in the speech advising the Palestinians against turning away from negotiations with Israel and focusing instead on winning backing for their demands at the United Nations and elsewhere. (Obama actually implies in the speech that it is Israel’s continuing building in the “settlements” that drove the Palestinians to abandon negotiations. But Israel has not deviated from limits on building agreed upon with previous administrations, and negotiations with both Arafat and Abbas had proceeded without a total freeze. In addition, when Netanyahu did impose a ten-month freeze, Abbas waited until close to its expiration before resuming talks and then refused to continue them unless the freeze was extended. He clearly did not want to maintain negotiations and used Obama’s pressing for a total freeze as an excuse to refuse talks.) These apologists imply that the President had to move toward Palestinian positions in order to entice Abbas to follow his advice and refrain from actions at the UN that would hurt Israel.
But any UN action would hurt Israel only to the extent that Obama allowed it to do so. No General Assembly vote trumps Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 (passed near the end of the 1973 Yom Kippur War and calling both for implementation of 242 and for negotiations between the parties to advance the peace envisioned in 242). Obama could respond to any General Assembly move by emphasizing the United States looks upon the provisions of the two Security Council resolutions as the basis of movement towards resolution of the conflict and rejects any effort to circumvent their provisions. He could also pressure our allies, including in Europe, to take a similar stance.
In the Security Council, he could, of course, respond to any effort to recognize a Palestinian state at this point by using our veto power, and he indicated in his speech that he would do so. But he could also, again, pressure our allies in the Security Council to do the same. He could, as well, exert similar pressure on the Europeans against any move by them to grant recognition on a bilateral basis of a Palestinian state with borders defined by the pre-1967 lines. As noted, President Clinton effectively dissuaded the Europeans from responding positively when Arafat, after Camp David, sought support for unilateral declaration of a state. But President Obama shows no signs of sharing Clinton’s determination to prevent the Palestinian leadership from advancing their quest for statehood while they reject negotiated compromises and persist in pursuing Israel’s dissolution and absorption of its lands into a Palestinian state.
While Israel and its friends and supporters were so troubled by Obama’s dismissal of Israel’s need for, and right to, defensible borders, Obama’s speech was greeted with much enthusiasm by European states, led by the Munich Three – England, France, and Germany – who had colluded at Munich in the dissolution of Czechoslavakia in 1938. The Munich Three have in recent months been calling for precisely what Obama has now delivered: embrace of Palestinian demands for statehood based on the pre-1967 lines.
They, and many other European states, have, in fact, long indicated their preparedness to sacrifice Israel’s well-being and very existence in the service of advancing their Arab oil interests and appeasing the wider Arab and Muslim world, particularly the Islamist elements, as well as their own domestic, significantly radicalized, Muslim constituencies.
Of course, they justify their anti-Israel policies by characterizing all the territory beyond the pre-1967 lines as occupied Palestinian land, with Israel as the unconscionable occupier, whereas, in fact, these areas have never been part of a Palestinian entity and, under Resolutions 242 and 338, they are – except for the areas already ceded by Israel under Oslo – disputed lands whose ultimate disposition is to be determined by negotiations.
Obama, too, has demonstrated, and openly acknowledged, his eagerness to appease Arab and broader Muslim sentiment, particularly radical sentiment. (He has not been as forthcoming to such Muslim populations as the people of Darfur or those seeking freedom from tyranny in Iran and Syria, and has, in fact, cut U.S. funding to pro-democracy groups in Arab and other Muslim nations.) He showed once more in his recent speech that he, too, is prepared to sacrifice Israel’s interests to do so.
Czechoslovakia in 1938 was also a small nation and a rare democracy in its region, and was perceived by Britain and France as standing in the way of peace with a rising hostile, militant power. So Britain and France colluded with Germany in stripping the nation of the Sudetenland, mountainous, fortifiable territory necessary for the defense of the rest of the country. Now it is Israel – according to the President, and the chorus of like-minded European leaders, an obstacle to improved relations with those who wish the West ill – that would be stripped of the ability to defend itself.
Obama does aver that “our commitment to Israel’s security is unshakeable.” But Britain and France also offered solemn promises that, should Germany violate the Munich agreement and move against what remained of Czechoslovakia, they would come to the rump nation’s defense. Yet when, less than six months after Munich, Hitler conquered the rest of Czechoslovakia, Britain and France did nothing.
When the likely Hamas-dominated Palestinian government is shelling Israeli coastal towns; and making additional territorial demands of Israel, such as annexing areas with significant Arab populations; and pursuing an intensified terror campaign in Israeli cities to which it will now have readier access; does anyone truly expect Obama to live up to his pledges of defending Israel? Indeed, no such defense will be possible, even for a president more predisposed to providing it.
As not only Obama’s recent speech but the tenor of his diplomacy regarding Israel since the beginning of his Administration clearly indicates, the only real question is whether Israel is prepared to play Czechoslovakia to Obama’s Chamberlain. Current indications are that it is not.
But this is of only limited comfort in the face of Obama policies that, at best, are likely to lead to more challenging of an Israel seen as vulnerable in the face of diminishing support from an American administration that is in any case perceived as weak; more challenging of Israel in the form of more violence, more war, and more carnage.
Kenneth Levin is a psychiatrist and historian and author of The Oslo Syndrome: Delusions of a People under Siege.
Obama’s Border Problem »
It's not only Israel that the president is putting in jeopardy
by David Solway
In his recently published Grand Strategies, Charles Hill reflects on the reason that the Republic of Venice, a vast commercial, naval and diplomatic power stretching across the eastern Mediterranean, ultimately failed to become a modern state, meeting an ignominious end in 1796. Its failure, Hill explains, was owing to “its inability to define and defend the first principle of sovereign statehood: clear borders.” By extrapolation, it is equally evident that a sovereign state, no matter how long it has been established, will begin to falter and break down when it is no longer willing to clearly demarcate and vigorously defend the boundaries that give it its character. A state requires plenary consolidation if it is to preserve its unity and coherence as a functioning polity—a lesson now being relearned by several European countries inundated with North African refugee claimants in the wake of the “Arab Spring.”
As for President Obama, his problem—one of many—is that he has no clear sense of borders and what borders imply for the continued existence of the nation state—unless, of course, it is precisely the concept and reality of the nation state he wishes to undermine. “Either Obama has no idea what he’s doing,” writes PJM Tatler editor Bryan Preston, “or he does know what he’s doing. I’m not sure which possibility is the more disturbing.” The jury is still out on the nature of the president’s ulterior purposes, but the effect of his policies, whether intended or not, cannot be evaded.
In his May 19 speech on the Middle East, Obama called for the creation of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 (actually, pre-1967) borders, that is, the 1949 cease fire or Armistice Lines recognized by the principal framers of UN Resolution 242 in the aftermath of the Six Day War as impermanent and subject to negotiation. Were these temporary lines—the “Auschwitz Borders” in then foreign minister Abba Eban’s memorable phrase—to become internationally recognized borders, Israel would immediately find itself once again in an untenable position. In the context of modern warfare, it would become frankly indefensible. Lord Caradon himself, Britain’s ambassador to the United Nations and one of the chief architects of Resolution 242, stated in the Beirut Daily Star for June 12, 1974, that “It would have been wrong to demand that Israel return to its positions of June 4, 1967, because those positions were undesirable and artificial.” Similarly, Caradon’s colleague, Undersecretary of State Eugene V. Rostow, writing in the American Journal of International Law, explains in his discussion of 242 that Israel was “certified by the Security Council” to remain in the captured territories and “would not be required to withdraw without a prior agreement of peace.” Obama appears wholly oblivious to original documentary intent. Moreover, as far back as 1967 and Resolution 242, it was already obvious to the American Joint Chiefs of Staff (who prepared the Pentagon Map of the region), UN Ambassador Arthur Goldberg and Rostow himself that the “minimum territory needed by Israel for defensive purposes,” as specified by the Map, included the Golan Heights and the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria—considerations that the present road map does not embrace and the president does not accept.
Indeed, as Robert Spencer points out, Obama has gone even further than attempting to turn Israel into a rump state. In positing a “contiguous” Palestine, he envisions cutting Israel in half to allow for the geographical harmonization of Gaza and the West Bank, thus depriving Israel not only of defensible borders but of anything that resembles a viable border in the first place. “Not only will [the Palestinians] not be pacified,” Spencer writes, “they will be emboldened…to move in for the kill.”
In fact, Obama has not simply demanded that Israel revert to the “1967” borders or the so-called “Green Line” but that it permit itself to be vivisected along the lines of the 1937 Peel Commission Plan or the Woodhead Partition recommendation of 1938, transforming the country into a scattering of small, exposed territorial morsels entirely at the mercy of its enemies. (The United Nations Partition Plan of 1947 comprised only a modest improvement upon these cartographical abbreviations.) The very idea of a border would then become entirely meaningless and the later Mandate plan to dismember the country to the advantage of the Arabs will have been realized. There would then be two tinier Israels, neither of them with a very long lease on life. Despite a few mollifying remarks concerning the inadmissibility of Hamas at the peace table, delivered during Obama’s meeting with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on May 20, and the politically expedient softening of his stance in his May 22 speech to AIPAC, the presidential shearing is likely to persist.
However, Obama’s border confusion—or agenda—applies not only to the Jewish state but to his own country as well. It is now obvious that Obama has no credible intention of defending his own southern border from the ongoing violence of the Mexican drug cartels, the infiltration of Islamic terrorists across undefended terrain and the flood of illegal immigrants sluicing into the U.S. on a daily basis. The president has claimed that the border fence authorized by Congress is “now substantially complete,” but according to reports, the “varying levels of operational control,” whatever that means, cover a mere 44% of a 2000 mile border and just 15% may be classified as fully controlled. The rate of entry for these illegals is estimated at 700,000 per year, swelling the eight to twelve million (as per the Department of Homeland Security) and perhaps considerably more already in place, sufficient to change the demographic profile of the country.
Plainly, it is not only Israel that has been put in jeopardy by Obama’s destructive meddling, but the U.S. too is suffering a serious erosion of its sovereignty under the seemingly inexplicable policies of an apparently inscrutable president. As Preston noted, it is difficult to say what motivates Obama. Is he simply out of his depth, a foolish and unprepared chief executive who has absolutely no idea of statecraft and no understanding of the geopolitical forces constantly at work in the international arena? Is he a driven but ignorant idealist who scarcely touches the real world even at a tangent?
Or is he, on the contrary, fully aware of what he is doing? Does he harbor a covert and possibly ominous purpose, predicated on the subversion of the nation state itself? The two most robust Western democracies, founded on strong constitutional principles and justifiably proud of their national heritage, are the United States and Israel. These are the two countries that have been in the forefront in the war against Islamic supremacism. These are the two Western countries that have insisted on preserving their historical identity and the only ones that have maintained the approximate population replacement ratio of 2.1 children per family. And these are precisely the two countries whose firm and necessarily unseverable perimeters Obama is aiming to weaken. After all, in making for a nation’s cohesion and even for its survival, a frontier is not an extremity. The hinterland is part of the citadel. In dismantling the periphery, one hollows out the center. It’s really quite simple. Cede the Golan to Syria and yield, de facto, the southern portions of Arizona, Texas and California to Mexico and the grand design of national disintegration will be largely achieved. The Westphalian consensus that produced the concept of the nation state appears repugnant to Obama, who acts as if he were bent on creating a post-Westphalian structure of supra-national loyalties that has a lot in common with the Islamic notion of a world-supervening Caliphate and the Marxist conviction of the withering away of the state. It is a Utopian project that is no less sinister for all its presumed visionary impetus. “We have a chance,” he intones in his initial speech, “to pursue the world as it should be”—a fantasy, as Raymond Ibrahim observes, “entirely unprecedented in human history,” and one that has done incalculable harm to human welfare.
Has the man gone to too many movies? Does Obama see himself as the head or the principal mover of a Star Trek-type Federation in which individual nations become a thing of the primordial past? Has he bought into that adolescent fiction? Or has he succumbed to the indoctrination of his mentors, leftist ideologues like Frank Marshall Davis and Saul Alinsky? Does he view the Republic of Venice as the future of both the United States and Israel? What Hill says of Rousseau may also be true of Obama, espousing “the critical aim of delegitimizing the state, the international [i.e., the Westphalian] system, and the civilization they serve.” Or, in the last analysis, is he incapable of distinguishing the border that divides the imaginary from the real, the dream from the fact, theory from practice and ego from world?
Who can say? But one thing is certain. The United States and Israel are the world’s two most muscular democratic and national entities. The former is being invaded from the south and the latter is being parceled out to its enemies, a symmetrical process manifestly abetted by the current occupant of the White House. It is no exaggeration to regard America and Israel as the bulwarks of Western civilization now under attack on many different fronts. And for reasons that remain at least partly ambiguous, the president of the United States is complicit.
Repent! The End of Keynesian Economics Is At Hand!
It is absolutely true in war, were other things equal, that numbers, whether men, shells, bombs, etc, would be supreme. Yet it is also absolutely true that other things are never equal and can never be equal - Maj.Gen. J. F. C. Fuller
At that time, I will search out and destroy all of the nations who have come against Jerusalem - Zechariah 12:9
Editors Against Obama
Editors Against Obama
by Hillel Fendel
U.S. President Obama’s new positions regarding Israel and the Palestinian Authority have earned the ire, and strong criticism, of some leading analysts and opinion-formulators. A selection:
From the Washington Post editorial board:
“[Obama and Netanyahu] have a powerful and urgent common interest.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has turned his back on both Israel and the United States; he is seeking accommodation with the extremist Hamas movement and has announced that he will seek a declaration of Palestinian statehood from the U.N. General Assembly in September… Now, of all times, the Israeli and U.S.governments ought to be working closely together… Instead, Friday found Mr. Obama and Mr. Netanyahu once again publicly and poisonously at odds with each other, thanks to a handful of lines added by Mr. Obama to his Middle East speech on Thursday…
"Mr. Obama’s decision to confront [Netanyahu] with a formal U.S.embrace of the [1967 borders] idea, with only a few hours’ warning, ensured a blowup. Israeli bad feeling was exacerbated by Mr. Obama’s failure to repeat past U.S.positions — in particular, an explicit stance against the return of Palestinian refugees to Israel.
"Mr. Obama should have learned from his past diplomatic failures — including his attempt to force a freeze on Jewish settlements in the West Bank— that initiating a conflict with Israel will thwart rather than advance peace negotiations… [Obama] appears to assume that Mr. Abbas is open to a peace deal despite growing evidence to the contrary. And while he acknowledges that it is “very difficult” to expect Israel “to negotiate in a serious way” with a party — Hamas — that rejects its existence, Mr. Obama has been vague about what the Palestinians must do to resolve this concern… This president likes to portray himself as a pragmatist in foreign policy. In this case, pragmatism would suggest that restoring trust with Israel, rather than courting a feckless Palestinian leader, would be the precondition to any diplomatic success."
By Caroline Glick, Jerusalem Post:
"Quite simply, Obama's speech represents the effective renunciation of the US's right to have and to pursue national interests. Consequently, his speech imperils the real interests that the US has in the region - first and foremost, the US's interest in securing its national security.
"…Obama mentioned a number of core US interests in the region. In his view these are: 'Countering terrorism and stopping the spread of nuclear weapons; securing the free flow of commerce, and safe-guarding the security of the region; standing up for Israel's security and pursuing Arab-Israeli peace.' … Obama went on to say that the Arabs have good reason to hate the US and that it is up to the US to put its national interests aside in the interest of making them like America. As he put it, 'a failure to change our approach threatens a deepening spiral of division between the United States and Muslim communities.'
"And you know what that means. If the US doesn't end the "spiral of division," … then the Muslims will come after America. So the US better straighten up and fly right. And how does it do that? Well, by courting the Muslim Brotherhood which spawned Al Qaeda, Hamas, Jamma Islamiya and a number of other terror groups...
"…All he had to say about Iran's openly genocidal nuclear program is, 'Our opposition to Iran's intolerance - as well as its illicit nuclear program, and its sponsorship of terror - is well known.' Well so is my opposition to all of that, and so is yours. But unlike us, Obama is supposed to do something about it. And by putting the gravest threat the US presently faces from the Middle East in the passive voice, he made clear that actually, the US isn't going to do anything about it.
"…Hamas is a jihadist movement dedicated to the annihilation of the Jewish people, and the establishment of a global caliphate. It's in their charter. And all Obama said of the movement that has now taken over the Palestinian Authority was, 'Palestinian leaders will not achieve peace or prosperity if Hamas insists on a path of terror and rejection.' Irrelevant and untrue. It is irrelevant because obviously the Palestinians don't want peace. That's why they just formed a government dedicated to Israel's destruction. As for being untrue, Obama's speech makes clear that they have no reason to fear a loss of prosperity. After all, by failing to mention that US law bars the US government from funding an entity which includes Hamas, he made clear that the US will continue to bankroll the Hamas-controlled Palestinian Authority."
by Moshe Feiglin, Manhigut Yehudit/Jewish Leadership:
"You [Mr. Obama] demand of the Nation of the Bible, of the nation chosen by G-d from amongst all the nations, the nation to which G-d gave the Land of Israel from which to proclaim liberty to the entire world – to retreat from the heartland of the Promised Land. You demand that we leave the proclamation that is supposed to emerge from Zion in the hands of those who invented the suicide bomber! In the hands of those who went out to celebrate in the streets when Bin Laden destroyed the Twin Towers! In the hands of a culture that sanctifies death!
"Do you honestly believe that this is what will bring peace to the world?
"Please note, Mr. Obama, that before we, the Israelis, succumbed to American pressure and recognized the Arab demands on the Land of Israel in the Oslo Accords, the world had never heard of a suicide bomber. From the moment that this culture of death got a foothold in Jerusalem – the genie was out of the bottle. There, on the White House lawn, the fate of the Twin Towers was sealed."
Netanyahu Imparts ‘Unvarnished Truth’ at AIPAC »
Netanyahu Imparts ‘Unvarnished Truth’ at AIPAC
Israel is not what's wrong with the Middle East -- Israel is what's right with the Middle East
by Rick Moran
An overflow crowd at the Washington Convention Center turned out on Monday night to hear Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tell the gathering that Israel is America’s “indispensable ally” and that the bond between the two countries has never been stronger.
In a speech interrupted numerous times by applause – and also by the occasional heckler – Netanyahu spoke emotionally at times about the “special relationship” between Israel and the United States and he thanked America on behalf of the Israeli people and government for their support.
The speech was not a preview to the prime minister’s Tuesday address, which will take place before a joint session of Congress. However, he made some references to what he would be talking about. He will speak “the unvarnished truth” about the peace process as well as give his take on the “Arab Spring.” In that respect, Netanyahu will directly answer critics who say that Israel is to blame for all the problems of the Middle East. Pointing out that the millions in Arab countries who have taken to the streets do not do so in opposition to Israel, but rather for the simple reason that they desire freedom, the prime minister raised his voice when he said, “Israel is not about what’s wrong with the Middle East. Israel is about what’s right with the Middle East.” A standing ovation – one of several Netanyahu received – followed that statement. Netanyahu knew he was among friends and appeared very comfortable talking about what America means to Israel and vice versa. His opening remarks made reference to the terrible storms to hit the Midwest and he offered his condolences to the dead on behalf of the people and government of Israel. Throughout the speech, he sought to cement the bonds of friendship by hearkening to our shared heritage and values.
He called to mind that common bond of liberty that unites the two peoples, stating that the words on the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials can find their echo in the Old Testament. He reminded the audience that Jews were proclaiming “all men are created equal” thousands of years ago when the world was inhabited by slave owning empires. “Israel is the cradle of our civilization, and the modern state of Israel was founded precisely on these eternal values,” said Netanyahu. He added that this civilization was born in “our eternal capital: The united city of Jerusalem” – an observation that received the loudest and longest standing ovation of the night.
The prime minister also pointed out that the Muslims and Christians who live in Israel enjoy complete religious freedom. Reason enough, he said, to give Israel complete control of the holy city since they could be trusted to allow freedom of worship for all.
The prime minister was frequently interrupted by hecklers. The effort seemed well-coordinated because as soon as one heckler was escorted from the premises, another would start up in a different part of the room. It’s a tactic that was refined during the Bush years by Code Pink and other radical Left groups. Netanyahu looked on with bemusement as the crowd would first drown out the heckler with applause, and then begin chanting “Bi-Bi, Bi-Bi” as the miscreant was led more or less voluntarily from the hall. Only once did he directly address the disturbances when he asked the audience if they thought this kind of protest could be held in Gaza. He received another standing ovation.
The prime minister had effusive praise for President Obama, calling him a strong friend of Israel and thanking him and the people of the United States for the security assistance we provide. Netanyahu received another standing ovation when he said that “Israel cannot return to the indefensible 1967 lines,” referencing President Obama’s belief that a peace deal must be based on the boundaries that were in place before the Six Day War. But there was no mention made of the disagreement, and Netanyahu appeared to go out of his way to speak kindly of the president.
Netanyahu saved his most passionate words for the prospects for peace with the Palestinians. “It’s time that we admitted another truth: This conflict has raged for nearly a century because the Palestinians refuse to end it. They refuse to accept the Jewish state.” That singular fact of existence dominates the peace process. All other issues including right of return, the status of Jerusalem, and territorial issues pale in comparison to the importance of the Palestinians acknowledging their partner in the process.
Also addressing the AIPAC Conference was opposition Kadima leader Tzipi Livni. While most of Israel backs Netanyahu’s position on borders, Livni warned that “inaction is not an option.” She said she decided to speak to the conference “not to ask what the U.S. can do for Israel, but what we can do together to confront the challenges.” Livni feels those challenges are to keep Israel democratic and Jewish while working toward a two state solution with the Palestinians.
The Kadima leader believes there are two main obstacles facing Israel right now: the Palestinian drive for statehood at the UN and the unity agreement that brought Hamas and Fatah together. But Livni thinks there is still time to change both:
September could be just another month of the year. I was glad to see the U.S. president taking an initiative to prevent the unilateral steps. Launching the negotiations process will postpone September and maybe even produce some success. We could rally the world to our fight against the terror and delegitimize Hamas.Those are hopeful words directed at a world that is increasingly hostile to Israel and its prospects for survival.
But the night belonged to Benjamin Netanyahu. There is little doubt he will be more serious and less personable when he stands in front of the House and Senate on Tuesday. We will probably see more steel in his words, animated as they are by the constant recognition of the danger his people and his government are subject to on a daily basis. That will be some of the “unvarnished truth” he will try to impart, attempting to convince those who need convincing that, as he said during this evening of fellowship and good cheer, “[W]e can only make peace with the Palestinians if they’re prepared to make peace with the Jewish state.”
Obama’s Bow to the Muslim World, Round II
Obama’s Bow to the Muslim World, Round II
The high price continues of ignoring the spiritual imperatives that inspire jihad
by Bruce Thornton
In September 1938 English Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, explaining why he was flying to Germany a third time in order to make peace with Germany, recited the old nursery rhyme: “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.” Cynical wags in the Foreign Office, who knew Chamberlain was in fact appeasing Hitler by surrendering Czechoslovakia to him, quickly began circulating another version of the saying: “If at first you don’t concede, fly, fly, fly again.”
President Obama’s new “outreach” to the Muslim world reminds me of Chamberlain’s serial efforts to appease a Germany bent on aggression and conquest. First there was the Cairo speech in June 2009, which was supposed to be a “new beginning” for U.S. relations with Muslims, but in fact simply indulged the same old bad habits of Western self-doubt and historical guilt. Thus Obama attributed the “tension” between the West and Islam to a “colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims, and a Cold war in which Muslim-majority countries were too often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations.” Next came the videotaped New Year’s greetings to Iran, and the multiple letters to the Iranian “Supreme Leader” Ali Khamenei requesting “co-operation in regional and bilateral relations.” These outreaches were followed by Khameini’s announcement that “the path of Iran’s nuclear progress could not be blocked,” and by the brutal crackdown that summer on the demonstrators protesting the tyranny of the mullahcracy. Meanwhile Iran continues its support of terrorists murdering our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama also extended the hand of friendship to Syria’s Bashar al Assad, sending an ambassador back to Damascus despite that country’s close ties to Iran and Hezbollah, its assassination of Lebanese former prime minister Rafiq Hariri, and its support given to terrorists by facilitating their travel into Iraq and Afghanistan. Assad reciprocated by hosting a confab with Hezbollah’s Hassan Nasrallah and Iran’s genocidal Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. And like his Iranian buddies, Assad has responded to the current demonstrations against his regime by killing about a thousand protestors. Nor has Obama’s abandonment of Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak worked any magic in changing the Egyptians into liberal democrats or even making them like us more. The jihadist Muslim Brotherhood daily grows more powerful, attacks on Christian Copts, abetted at times by the military, are proliferating, the border with Gaza is open, and more and more Egyptians are calling for trashing the peace treaty with Israel. Unsurprisingly, according to a May Pew Research survey, only 20% of Egyptians view the United States favorably, and only 35% have “a lot” or “some confidence” in Obama’s leadership.
In short, every time Obama has offered his hand to Muslims in friendship, the less he and America are liked, and the less events trend in directions favorable to our national interests. Now comes another effort, the recent May 19 address to the Muslim world that attempted to take account of the demonstrations and protests roiling the Middle East, and to outline America’s response. And like those previous efforts, this one will do little to change either perceptions or events, for it is predicated on the same dubious assumptions and misapprehensions that have compromised our reactions to the Muslim world.
The main thrust of Obama’s speech in the main reprises the same Bush Doctrine that the president and his party spent years attacking. The problems of the Muslim Middle East, in this view, result from a lack of political and economic “self-determination” and “universal rights” that prevents people from enjoying freedom and prosperity. Tyrannical rulers and jihadist outfits alike exploit this frustration and despair, attempting “to direct their people’s grievances elsewhere,” as Obama puts it, blaming the West, colonialism, and Israel for all that ails the Middle East. The solution, then, is for the United States “to promote reform across the region, and to support transitions to democracy” so that people can obtain “a set of universal rights” including “free speech; the freedom of peaceful assembly; freedom of religion; equality for men and women under the rule of law; and the right to choose your own leaders.” In addition, economic reform will be supported through efforts “to build networks of entrepreneurs, and expand exchanges in education; to foster cooperation in science and technology, and combat disease.” More practically, this means encouraging the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to provide funds, asking Congress to create Enterprise funds for investment, and forgiving $1 billion in Egyptian debt, with promises of access to $1 billion more.
Lurking behind all this rhetoric, however, is a flawed assumption––that everybody in the world is just like us and wants the same things we want. This Western article of faith arose in the 19th Century, when increasing global trade, European colonial penetration and global dominance, and world-shrinking technologies like the telegraph and steamship seemingly were creating a global “harmony of interests” based on a universal rational human nature. Peace, freedom, and prosperity are the deepest desires of all humans, previously unrealized because of persisting religious or tribal superstitions, irrational ethnic and nationalist loyalties, oppressive governments, a lack of education, and poverty. Remove those impediments and the whole world would enter the paradise of peace and plenty. However, as the nightmare history of the 20th Century shows––with its some 200 million slaughtered by war, genocide, ethnic cleansing, and political murder––human beings may want peace and prosperity, but they want other things as well, some of them dark and violent and not to be appeased with material bribes or concessions.
Our struggle against Islamic jihad has been compromised by this same mistaken assumption. By locating the origins of jihadist terror in the material and political conditions of the Middle East, we have ignored the spiritual roots of jihadism in traditional Islamic theology, and its certainty of Muslim superiority and right to dominate others. This mistake has been obvious in the commentary on the so-called “Arab Spring” that Obama’s speech basically recycles. Too many have celebrated the uprisings as efforts to achieve the freedom, prosperity, human rights, and other goods we possess. No doubt some Muslims do want these things. But as the behavior of the new regime in Egypt suggests, perhaps even more want something else in addition to less oppression and corruption and more economic opportunity––to create an Islamic government that institutes an illiberal shari’a law and battles more directly against the enemies of Islam such as Israel. These Western idealizers enthusing over the demand for “freedom” need to ask the most important question––freedom to do what? Be like us, or be good Muslims? But what if being good Muslims means rejecting foundational democratic principles such as political freedom and human rights? Chamberlain’s mistake was to think that Germany just wanted to bring home its people who had been unjustly stranded outside of the motherland by the unjust Versailles Treaty. Heal that wound, and the Germans would get back to seeking prosperity and peace with its neighbors. Of course, the majority of Germans wanted something more sinister, a racial empire that dominated its neighbors, and were willing to kill and die and murder to achieve it. That mistaken assumption about German intentions led to the diplomatic disaster of Munich and the following inferno of global war. So too our serial efforts at “outreach,” and our continuous offerings of material incentives and goods like the freedom that we prize, blind us to the spiritual imperatives motivating millions of people in the Muslim world.
It’s time we stopped reacting to a world we have created from our own wish-fulfilling assumptions and delusions, and start heeding the wisdom of scripture: By their fruits ye shall know them. We have rescued Muslims from murderous thugs in Bosnia, Kosovo, Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan; we have transferred billions and billions to Muslim nations, including the terrorist PLO; we have spent our blood and treasure to create for Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan the freedom and self-determination Obama’s speech proclaims we support and Muslims desire; we have done all this, yet outside Indonesia and Lebanon, not even 1 in 5 Muslims like us. Maybe it’s time to rethink our assumptions.
House members side with Netanyahu
House members side with Netanyahu
By Mike Lillis - 05/24/11 04:05 PM ET
House lawmakers from both parties are siding with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over President Obama in their differing approaches to the Israel-Palestine border dispute.
Obama last week called for Israel's 1967 borders to mark the "foundation" for renewing stalled peace talks between the two sides – a concession to Palestine that Netanyahu has bluntly rejected, including in remarks to a joint meeting of Congress Tuesday.
"The vast majority of the 650,000 Israelis who live beyond the 1967 lines reside in neighborhoods and suburbs of Jerusalem and greater Tel Aviv," Netanyahu told lawmakers in his 45-minute address. "And under any realistic peace agreement these areas, as well as other places of critical strategic and national importance, will be incorporated into the final borders of Israel."
Rep. Robert Andrews (D-N.J.) said Tuesday that Obama is "tilting toward Hamas" – a reference to the Palestinian group the United States and Israel consider a terrorist organization. He emphasized that Congress would never base its approach to Israeli aid on such a position.
"A majority of the Congress disagrees with him,” Andrews said of Obama.
Rep. Austin Scott (R-Ga.), for one, said the president "absolutely … made a mistake" with his 1967-borders proposal, and suggested it would harm — rather than bolster — the chances of renewed peace talks.
"With all of the political turmoil and unrest in the Middle East, I don’t understand why the president injected himself into that issue right now," he said.
Both Rep. Steny Hoyer (Md.), the House Democratic whip, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) have also rejected Obama's proposal in recent days, telling the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) that preconditions have no place in the negotiations.
"No one should set premature parameters about borders, about building or about anything else," Reid said Monday night to roaring applause.
Israel has expanded its borders considerably since 1967, most notably during that year's Six Day War, when Israel conquered parts of the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. Thousands of Israelis have settled in the border regions.
While it is not unlike other plans promoted by past administrations, Obama’s call has provoked an outcry from Israeli leaders, Republican presidential hopefuls and a slew of Capitol Hill lawmakers, including some Democrats.
Addressing AIPAC Sunday, Obama sought to temper those concerns. The president clarified that he's not calling for those boundaries to be the final lines and emphasized that "mutually agreed [land] swaps" would ensure that they wouldn't be.
"By definition, it means that the parties themselves – Israelis and Palestinians – will negotiate a border that is different than the one that existed on June 4, 1967," he said. "That is what mutually accepted swaps means."
After Netanyahu's speech Tuesday, Hoyer downplayed the division between Obama and Israel's allies in Congress, saying both sides have moved beyond the rift.
"I don’t think the president had any intention of changing policy," he said. "He said it was subject to swaps, in order words, adjustments. That’s essentially what President Bush said. I think we’re beyond that."