August 14, 2009
Obama bulldozing Israel's futureBy Victor Sharpe
President Obama is demonstrating an alarming hostility toward the Jewish state and has gone out of his way to describe Israeli homes in Judea and Samaria and in parts of Jerusalem, as "illegitimate."
The British government and the European Union are equally determined to deny legitimacy to Israeli construction of homes and schools in the biblical and ancestral Jewish homeland. They do so while actively encouraging with financial and diplomatic means the enormous unchecked building activity of Arab construction in and around Jerusalem and throughout Judea and Samaria. Indeed, many of these new Arab homes are luxurious villas financed with Saudi money, contrasting starkly with the humble homes in which most Israelis live.
President Obama, along with the State Department, Britain and the EU are clearly engaged in de-legitimizing existing Jewish owned properties as well as new construction. This policy has been highlighted by the grotesque outpouring of hostility towards the recent removal of Arab squatters from Jewish owned homes in Jerusalem. The homes in question had been purchased decades ago by their Jewish residents who had subsequently been dispossessed of them by the Jordanian Arab occupiers after the 1948 Arab-Israel War.
I was visiting England and watching BBC television news as it reported on the removal of the Arab squatters. The BBC's spin was so biased against Israel -- no surprise there -- that it almost seemed as if the reporter was in a parallel universe.
After many years of going through the Israeli court system and repeatedly serving notice on the Arab culprits to vacate the premises, the police finally took action. In Britain, squatters are given short shrift by society and the police, but if the miscreants happen to be Arabs in Jerusalem then the BBC displays an altogether different set of values.
Of course the BBC and most of the international mainstream media ignored the Jewish ownership of the properties in question. Such facts would complicate an otherwise delicious story of ‘wicked Israelis' evicting ‘innocent' Arabs. It would also be an inconvenient truth to refer to the legal title owned by the dispossessed Jews.
After illegally annexing the West Bank (recognized by only two countries, Britain and Pakistan) the Jordanian occupiers of east Jerusalem held the Jewish owned homes under a government entity known as the, "Jordanian Custodian of Enemy Property." This in itself clearly implied that the Jordanians considered the Jewish occupants as enemies. This was also an implicit admission that these homes were Jewish owned. Again the BBC predictably ignored that vital fact.
I spoke to several Brits after the BBC had aired the news report and all believed the story as it had been spun. They were completely unaware that the Arab squatters were in the homes illegally. One problem in Britain is that there is no Talk Radio as there is here in the United States. Thus, most folks have little recourse to verifying the truth or otherwise of BBC broadcasts.
It was only after Israel defeated its Arab enemies in the defensive June, 1967 Six-Day War that the lands and properties earlier stolen from the Jews by the Arab aggressors had the opportunity, at last, of being returned to their rightful owners. Much of this land was purchased in the 19th century when Jerusalem was a remote and impoverished provincial town of the Ottoman Empire with a population of less than 40,000.
According to the eminent British historian, Sir Martin Gilbert, in his book, Jerusalem Illustrated History Atlas, the estimated population of Jerusalem in 1845 as evidenced by Dr. Schultze, the Prussian Consul, comprised 7,120 Jews, 5,000 Muslims and 3,390 Christians. Sir Martin adds that by 1889 the population of Jerusalem had risen to 39,175 of whom Jews totaled 25,000, Christians 7,175 and Muslims 7,000.
There are scores of Jewish properties, illegally occupied by Arabs, scattered throughout areas of east Jerusalem. They have remained in legal limbo because of international pressures against successive Israeli governments. This has led to endless delays in the return of the land and properties to their rightful owners. Sadly, the Obama Administration and the State Department are at the forefront of this continuing pressure.
It is too soon to know whether President Obama will shed his anti-Israel animus. It is, perhaps, too soon to learn if he is even aware of the earlier positions of American Administrations and the Congress with respect to the Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Act of 1955. That bill underlined previous American understandings that "Jerusalem should remain undivided.
While the Obama Administration is busy bulldozing through policies inimical to the American way of life, buoyed by an impregnable Democrat voting majority, it is also reaching out to enemies of America, such as Syria and Iran, while betraying and discomfiting loyal allies of the United States.
Its negative attitude toward Israel, its most loyal ally in the Middle East, is but one example of a deeply alarming policy shift. Others include the reluctance to support openly the mostly young protestors in Iran who bravely took to the streets to vent their outrage at the stolen election by Ahmadinejad and the mullahs. Obama remained disturbingly quiet while the protestors were brutally beaten in the streets of Tehran.
However, our same president felt it necessary to voice his support to the ousted leftwing President Zelaya of Honduras who had attempted to illegally run for another term of office and who was poised to trash the Honduran constitution in the same way Venezuela's Hugo Chavez has done in his country.
Obama now has his own Afghanistan War, which according to Stephen Tanner, the author of Afghanistan: A Military History from Alexander the Great to the War with the Taliban, has proven to be a part of the world no foreign power has ever conquered.
Such disturbing policy shifts by this president may yet come to haunt the security of the United States for decades to come.
Victor Sharpe is a freelance writer and author of Politicide: The attempted murder of the Jewish state.