Obama's Position on Israel: Why Are We Surprised?
In the past few days, there have been many sharp, biting and on target comments about the fabricated crisis Obama has manufactured between Israel and its most important ally, the United States. If you go to this link, check out the Daily Alert for March 19th, and read the links to the articles by Marty Peretz, Bret Stephens, Charles Krauthammer, Jackson Diehl, Elliot Abrams, Dan Senor, Jonathan Schanzer, Lanny Davis, Mitchell Bard and Clifford May. All of these writers, each in their own distinct way, show how the Obama administration has chosen this moment to appease the Palestinians, who have done little of content to show any real desire for a peace agreement, and to pressure our major ally in the Middle East and to push them to the wall at a time of great peril in the region.
Among all these writers, there is major agreement on the following: 1: All of Israel knows that the contemplated building is not controversial. The settlement freeze announced earlier did not apply to building in this area of Jerusalem, a stone’s throw from the Knesset. 2: While the Israelis have time and time again shown a commitment to obtaining peace with the Palestinians, both Fatah and Hamas have not produced any movement of substance to match very real Israeli moves of compromise. To the contrary, any movement by Israel has been met instead by more intransigence. 3: By singling out Israel alone for tough talk, and ignoring any similar harshness towards any of the Palestinian factions, the administration has made it harder for Mahmoud Abbas to accept any of Israel’s offers, since it would make him look weaker than the American President. 4: The President is clearly revealing that he is moving along the path announced last year in Cairo, when his words indicated an overwhelming desire to tilt in the direction favored by the Arab nations.
As the liberal Democrat Lanny Davis asked, referring to the recent announcement that the “settlement” construction had to be condemned, “How could the U.S. government use such language about a democracy that has been America’s most loyal ally in the world on virtually all issues, a nation that shares our core values — protecting civil rights, women’s rights, due process and free speech — not only for Israeli citizens, but for over 1 million Israeli Arabs as well?”
It is the question, and one answer comes from Marty Peretz, editor in chief of The New Republic, who both endorsed and campaigned for Obama during the campaign, and assured his readers Obama was a keen supporter of Israel and its alliance with the United States. Peretz makes the following startling statement. Rather than hope that the condemnation was a “temporary aberration,” as Davis thinks it might be, Peretz writes:
That the president and his team should now take up this old Arab formula for disguising reality demonstrates the poverty of their grasp of the problem at hand. In fact, Obama seems to think that he is the superego of the conflict and that his function is to hand out dicta on how to end it. But he has no dicta for the Palestinians and plenty for the Israelis. The Jewish state has many conditions under which it would be prepared to give more rather than less. Alas, the president can’t bring himself to publicly acknowledge this. The fact is that he does not particularly like Israel. Which is why it is so frightful to have his messenger running between Jerusalem and Ramallah making demands on the Jews.