Opposed to the right of Jews to build in Jerusalem, Obama’s administration can no longer be considered impartial, let alone friendly. He’s out to “liberate” the Holy Land.
Taking an extreme position — contrary to what Ambassador Michael Oren believes — is unprecedented. No American president has made Israeli settlements the issue; nor has there been such an ignorance of the threats Israel faces and a willingness to jeopardize Israel’s basic security interests. Linking action against Iran to preventing Jews from building in Judea and Samaria, areas Israel conquered in 1967, characterizes a policy of American aggressiveness against an ally rather than an enemy. The message is clear: Israel will pay the price for the establishment of another Palestinian state.
Obama’s negativity towards Israel, moreover, has encouraged other countries to join in what David Landau, former chief editor of Haaretz, advocated: the rape of Israel.
Obama’s next move will reveal his true agenda. If he demands significant concessions from the Palestinians and Arab states — for example, an end to all incitement and support for terrorist groups — his arm-twisting of Israel may seem less painful. Deeds, not rhetoric, are the test of sincerity. Lacking reciprocity, however, will only strengthen Israeli resolve. After nearly two decades of constant terrorism since the Oslo “peace” accords were signed, no Israeli government will return to that nightmare and chaos.
Israeli security forces have contained Palestinian terrorism, Hamas was defeated in Gaza, and Hezbollah — although still powerful — was beaten in Lebanon. The Israeli economy is in good shape, and the Palestinian economy is no less robust. Shopping malls in Ramallah and Jenin and vast housing projects throughout PA-controlled areas are more hopeful indicators.
A Palestinian civil war, however, is ongoing.
American-trained and -supplied PA (Fatah-affiliated) army units are still untested against more powerful and popular Hamas-linked groups in Judea and Samaria. General Keith Dayton, under whose command these new units operate, warned that they could spearhead a new wave of terrorism. Missing is a Palestinian leader who has popular support, can unite all factions, and can control the multitude of well-armed militia gangs.
Until then, what’s the point of another Arab Palestinian state? Jordan’s latest move was to rescind citizenship of descendants of those born in what was then called Palestine, in order to deflect any suggestions that Jordan, with two-thirds of its population “Palestinian,” could be considered a Palestinian state. Following Obama’s lead, King Hussein has declared that solving the “Palestinian refugee issue” is Israel’s problem.
Obama’s attack on Israel has unleashed a worldwide condemnation of the Jewish state. Dangerous in itself, it serves to isolate and demonize Israel. Combined with an unwillingness to confront Iran, overtures to Syria and other terrorist-supporting countries, more than 700 anti-Israel NGOs, and a rise in anti-Semitism, Obama’s crusade against Israel is lethal.
From an Israeli perspective, the more antagonistic Obama is perceived, the less relevant he is; Arabs have the opposite reaction. But Arabs suffer failed societies, Israel is a success, and all sides understand this, especially Palestinians whose economic development depends on Israel. Unwanted and often scorned throughout the Arab world, Palestinians ironically share this experience with Israelis, which explains why they perceive themselves in an all-or-nothing struggle with Jews. For Palestinians, only one side can win; for Israelis, both sides can enjoy prosperity. Palestinian nationalism is based on destroying Israel, not on statehood; Israeli nationalism, Zionism, is still the most creative and fruitful ethos around.
The Arabs have oil and are supported by Muslims and Jew-haters throughout the world. In a short while, Iran and perhaps other countries in the region will have the bomb. It would seem that Israel doesn’t have a chance. We’ve been there before.
Trashing Israel may, in fact, boomerang. Although settlements may not be a consensus issue in Israel and America, notes Israeli journalist and editor Amnon Lord, the Obama administration is trying to use this to create a rift between Israel and American Jewry. The opposite appears to be taking shape as reality takes hold. Israel cannot afford to take existential risks posed by a terror-based Palestinian state, all of whose leaders refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist. A Palestinian state won’t resolve the core demand that former “Palestinian refugees,” including their descendants, regardless of where they live, are entitled to property in and compensation from Israel. Nor will such a state relinquish its claims to Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount. A second Arab Palestinian state, despite Obama’s hopes and visions, will be no better than the institutions and philosophy of which it is comprised. As long as terrorism and incitement are not only condoned but officially sanctioned, Obama’s “two state” delusion will create more harm than good. Israel’s true friends understand this.