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    Why Now, Why Israel?

    Why Now, Why Israel?

    Why yesterday for Obama to unload the demand that Israel withdraw to the pre-1967 borders, with some negotiated land swaps? 

    Contrary to what some are claiming, this is a new formulation.  Under the Obama formulation, Israel has a land mass fixed by the 1949 armistice lines, lines which the Arabs never recognized as having any meaning until after Israel acquired more land in 1967.  Hamas, which controls Gaza and has entered into a ruling coalition government for all of the Palestinian Authority, does not recognize Israel’s right to exist within any borders.

    While previous U.S. administrations acknowledged that the pre-1967 borders likely would be the starting framework for a territorial deal, no prior administration set those borders as the best Israel could do.  Issues such as Israeli communities beyond the pre-1967 borders or control of strategic Wests Bank hills and the Jordan Valley, now are open to negotiation on terms set by Obama — in a land swap of existing Israeli sovereign territory.  The standard territorial compromises which would afford Israel territorial security no longer are presumed.

    The Obama apologists who are falling all over themselves to say this really was nothing new, have to ask themselves, if this was nothing new, why did Obama make such a big deal about it in his major Middle East Speech?  If it was no big deal, why were there intense communications between Israel and Obama officials in the hours leading up to the speech?  If it was no big deal, why did Obama wait until the last minute to decide whether to include the language in his speech?

    All of the evidence, historical and otherwise, demonstrates that Obama intended to make a bold new policy statement with his reference to Israel returning to the pre-1967 borders plus some negotiated land swaps.

    Why now?  Why so soon after Hamas and Fatah kissed and made up (at least superficially)?  Why in a speech in which Obama made clear that the butcher of Damascus could and should stay in power so long as he implemented reforms?  Why just a day before Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu left for the U.S. for a speech before a joint session of Congress?

    I don’t think it is hatred of Israel.  Surely there are Israelis who love their country who take a similar view to Obama. 

    More than a hatred of Israel, Obama simply doesn’t feel the historical, religious, and emotional connection to Israel felt by a majority of Americans.  Much as the unique British-American relationship was cast aside, so too the special Israeli-American relationship is secondary to a greater goal.

    The greater goal is Obama’s legacy and ego.  Obama wants to accomplish what no other person has been able to achieve, Arab acceptance of Israel as a permanent Jewish state in the midst of a sea of Muslim nations.

    It is an elusive goal because Israel is not accepted by Muslims.  That’s the hard truth.  Even in Egypt, which has a peace agreement with Israel, public opinion is against Israel and anti-Israel clerics can draw a million people into the streets to chant anti-Israel slogans without much effort.

    Similarly, the Palestinians show no signs of truly accepting Israel.  Palestinians in Gaza elected Hamas, and if there were free elections again in Palestinian Authority territory, it is likely Hamas would win.  The Palestinians, through their votes and actions, have made clear that any agreement with Israel would be just a stage in the war to destroy Israel.

    Against this backdrop of rejectionism, there is only one party who can be pressured if Obama is to achieve his goals, and that party is Israel. 

    As Obama knows, Israel is very vulnerable absent Obama diplomatic support.  Attempts to isolate and delegitimize Israel are only one U.S. abstention in the U.N. Security Council away from success.  With an upcoming U.N. General Assembly session in September intended to declare a Palestinian state, the position of the U.S. and European Union on the issue is the difference between the declaration being just another meaningless anti-Israel General Assembly resolution, or the tool by which Israel is made a pariah nation isolated even from its only allies.

    So Obama, ego-driven and determined to make his place in history, has only one place to go to force a peace agreement.  That place is Jerusalem, not Ramallah.

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    correction in my comment above . . .

    — who are devoted — (not "ate")

    and, remove one "to be able" in the final sentence.

    @The Constitutional Insurgent I'm not one to say that the phrase in his speech referring to the "argument for letting Israel defend itself" was evidence of a hatred of Israel.

    But I must say that the specific comment in his speech, combined with the emphasis Obama placed on that phrase "by itself" sounded very curious indeed to me when I heard him say it.

    Here was the context:

    "As for security, every state has the right to self-defense, and Israel must be able to defend itself -– by itself -– against any threat."

    That phrase could easily be interpreted in several ways, including, but not limited to:

    "If you don't do things my way, Bibi, you're going to be on your own, get it?"


    "We are hereby eschewing any notion, going forward, that the United States will be a 'guarantor' of Israeli security in any sense. We will not step forward militarily to protect Israel if she is attacked."

    Frankly, I don't know why he put it that way, but it was confusing.

    My overall sense of the speech was that, regardless of expressed United States concerns about the Fatah/Hamas accord, somehow it is Israel that must now make a huge concession as a condition precedent to going forward bu accepting the pre-'67 borders as a best case scenario!

    In his speech, Obama said this:

    "In particular, the recent announcement of an agreement between Fatah and Hamas raises profound and legitimate questions for Israel: How can one negotiate with a party that has shown itself unwilling to recognize your right to exist? And in the weeks and months to come, Palestinian leaders will have to provide a credible answer to that question."

    Everything was fine . . . until he got to that final sentence! It is a flight of fancy. It assumes that Palestinian leaders could possibly come up with any answer other than the known fact that that they are ultimately devoted to the destruction of Israel, along with their new best friends in Hamas.

    So, why wouldn't he also make that issue a condition precedent to going forward — a demand that there be an unequivocal statement from the Palestinian leadership regarding their acceptance of Israel's right to exist?

    Instead, his bottom line was that the borders are now no longer a matter of negotiation — the pre-67 borders are now "it" from the point of view of the US.

    "Also, I cannot fathom the circumstances that would prompt Israel to give up, among other things, a military capacity in the Golan Heights, which would open the door to both Syrian, and Iranian proxy hostility. "

    Isn't water also a factor in holding the Golan? Water everywhere, and especially the ME, is the most precious resource after light and air.

    Interesting the multiple comments chiding the Professor for avoiding an ascription of evil to motivations inside the subject at hand. If economics is building up and out (expansion), evil is tearing down and in (contraction). There's been a lot of tearing down and in since this subject came on the public stage, even apparently since its childhood, and its success and rate of advance since 20JAN09 is breath-taking. If this be not evil I know not what is.

    Evil has a use, and wisdom and experience advise trust in its regulation by providence, universal structure. Yet it remains evil and deserves ascription as such and, as felt needful, opposition and defeat. (Evil cannot be annihilated.)

    And why not ask Qui bono? As in the ME. Who benefits from this newly overt, un-American, contractive, long-visible, long-intended policy by an administration said to represent the United States? It's the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies there and around the world, including in the USA. That would make the head of this administration an MB ally. The MB promotes itself as the representative of democracy in the ME and everywhere. "Islam is the true democratic government." And the head of this administration states the new policy is to encourage democracy in the ME. Hamas is a democratically elected tyranny. So was Nazi Germany. All communists have the word "democratic" in their entity names. And idiots claim he's following GWB's freedom agenda? No way. He's not talking about freedom. He's talking about MB-driven "Islam democracy." He's supporting the Muslim Brotherhood more and more overtly as time rolls on. And as one commenter notes, throwing a bone to his academic/oligarch/communist base, whose hate of Israel he shares. Lies. But start with Qui bono? and the tracking isn't difficult. Also remember that MB ideology at inception and continuing marked its affinity with socialism of both Nazi and Soviet varieties. Socialism is misdirection for oligarchic tyranny. And lots of sex, the tyrannical kind, as the world has just been reminded.

    I think the loyal leader cadre in the USA is still a long way from grasping the context and the content of the crisis overwhelming the world and the USA combined. Or, that cadre is aware of the truth but conceptually stumped by its ferocity and tongue-tied by its enormity. I think it's mostly the latter, actually. Certainly I would never fault the Professor, who is among the fairest men I have observed.

    Well, not to worry. Men and women rise to the challenges presented them. This fact evil never gets through his/her head. In fact, evil depends on men and women rising to challenges just as non-being depends on being: no does not exist apart from yes. Yes (being), however, is self-existent and therein lies its ultimacy. God's in his heaven, all's right with the world.

    "More than a hatred of Israel, Obama simply doesn't feel the historical, religious, and emotional connection to Israel felt by a majority of Americans. Much as the unique British-American relationship was cast aside, so too the special Israeli-American relationship is secondary to a greater goal."


    That's been the problem with Obama all along. He does not share our Americanness, and talk as he might about "our values," he doesn't get them, never has, never will. It's not ego, it's a combination of his upbringing and his indoctrination in far left lunacy that disparages, loathes, and actively seeks to destroy America and all she really stands for. And that absolutely includes all of our ties will our historical allies.

    Does he know that he's not speaking for the majority of Americans or acting in our best interests? Who really cares? He's not. That's the part that actually matters. We have to win in 2012 or we will literally lose the America we hold dear. We can repair four years of un- and anti-American policies, maybe even eight here at home, but we'll never repair 8 years of foreign relations. Reelecting that man is a statement to the world that we approve of his foreign policy, and that will not be forgiven or forgotten.

    Hey fancy that . . . some guy named William Jacobson at a blog named Legal Insurrection got some lead "ink" in an article posted on Yahoo in This Week about reaction to the President's speech.

    (ps — Sorry if I'm late to the party on this one, but I just came across it.)

    @Trochilus, isn't it a great pair of pix? I can't claim credit, though, it's from this website, which I came across while looking at reactions to the speech.

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