This Passover, as in every previous Passover, the struggle for Jewish survival continues.
We now face an administration that has turned a bureaucratic flap over an incomplete building permit into a diplomatic crisis with Israel.
Ramat Shlomo is a Jewish neighborhood. The Arabs never protested building there because the Arabs never envisioned that Ramat Shlomo would be turned over to them in a final peace accord.
Twelve years ago, major construction began in Ramat Shlomo without a stone being thrown.
Today, a fourth stage of a seven-stage building permit and the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s central synagogue, malevolently and illegally destroyed under the Jordanian occupation, creates an Intifada, the Obama Intafada.
Obama has created negotiation positions for the Palestinians they themselves knew were unrealistic. But no Palestinian leader can afford to demand less for the Palestinians than the Americans are willing to demand for them.
First there was the demand for a settlement freeze as a prelude to negotiations. But negotiations took place all the time while settlements were being built. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas never asked for a freeze as a precondition, but once Obama carved out that position, Abbas had to fall into line. Can the Palestinian president be more accommodating to the Israelis than the Americans are?
Then, of course, the Obama administration put the building freeze in Jerusalem on the table. Abbas never asked for a freeze in Jerusalem until after the administration took the lead. Does the Obama administration believe they can make Jerusalem Judenrein (“Jew free”)?
Building in Ramat Shlomo, and the reopening of the central synagogue, the Huvra, transformed into rallying cries for a new Intifada, about which the administration remains mute. Whenever Jews choose to return to where they lived before the Jordanians evicted them, they are met with outcries from the international community. This is the same international community that chose to be blind and mute about Jews being evicted from their homes and cut off from their holy places during the Jordanian occupation.
Obama wants to be the American president who created a Palestinian state, and his vision is clear: Israel returns to the ’67 boundaries and large segments of Jewish Jerusalem are given over to the Palestinians for a capital.
There are two problems with that offer. First, it has been rejected by two Palestinian leaders, Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas. Second, the refugee problem now overshadows the issue of territory. No Palestinian leader has ever said that the return of the territories is a sufficient or even a necessary condition for peace. Yet all forays into the “peace process” behave as if territory will solve everything.