“Israel appreciates President Obama’s commitment to peace,” the response began, curtly. “Israel believes that for peace to endure between Israelis and Palestinians, the viability of a Palestinian state cannot come at the expense of the viability of the one and only Jewish state.”
“That is why Prime Minister Netanyahu expects to hear a reaffirmation from President Obama of U.S. commitments made to Israel in 2004, which were overwhelmingly supported by both Houses of Congress.”
“Among other things,” Netanyahu reminded Obama, “those commitments relate to Israel not having to withdraw to the 1967 lines which are both indefensible and which would leave major Israeli population centers in Judea and Samaria beyond those lines.”
Netanyahu is set to address Congress May 24. That’s just next Tuesday, a short enough timeline for the Obama speech to remain front and center, yet plenty of time for Netanyahu to hammer out an epic thrashing.
Obama has not only hinged Israel’s future on a single word — “contiguous” — he has put the Democrats on a knife’s edge as Jewish donors have already started voicing disapproval of his MidEast policies. And that was before this speech hit the streets.
I’m curious about the timing of all this. The Middle East is a boiling mess, with elections coming up in Egypt this fall that will tell the world a great deal about where the region is headed. Why not wait to see how that turns out before launching this retro 1967 borders effort? The allegedly moderate PLO has already hitched itself to Hamas, which is if anything a shift away from civilized behavior and toward genocidal terrorism aimed squarely at the Jews. Why reward them with this call to give them a state? They haven’t earned it; their choice should have set their cause back. The Syrians, in the midst of a campaign of shelling against their own people for daring to rise up against Assad, get rewarded if Israel actually retreats to its 1967 borders, by getting the Golan back. Again, why do this now? The Libya mess shows no sign of abating even as the War Power Act deadline turns that non-war into an illegal war tomorrow. Stroke of midnight tonight, Barack Obama the anti-war candidate is Barack Obama the illegal warmongering president. And Obama chooses this moment in time to turn all of the focus back on Israel?
Either Obama has no idea what he’s doing, or he does know what he’s doing. I’m not sure which possibility is the more disturbing.