The End of Obama's Middle East Pipe Dream
The stars were always aligned against President Obama's pipe dream of a two-state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on Israel's withdrawal to the 1949 armistice lines, with mutually agreed land swaps.
But this week's explosive expansion of a terror war against Israel from Gaza is a stark reminder to Israelis that the Palestinians are in no mood to negotiate a peace agreement -- and certainly not according to Obama's formula.
On Aug. 18, Israel was shocked by multiple attacks from Palestinian terrorists who used Hamas-ruled Gaza and Egyptian Sinai as launching pads for their deadly rampages. Eight Israelis were killed, mostly civilians, and more than 30 were injured, in coordinated terrorist ambushes near the sea resort of Eilat at the southern end of the Negev.
On Aug. 19, the terror attacks continued with day-long rocket barrages from Gaza that struck a synagogue and a yeshiva in the port city of Ashdos. Ten people were injured, two seriously.
Hamas, with its iron grip on Gaza, was delighted. Although it farmed out expanded attacks to one or more other terrorist outfits, it triumphantly reported the news as supportive of its own agenda to discard Obama's idea of two states and proceed instead to Israel's total destruction.
To underline its real intentions, Hamas declared in its news bulletin that the Eilat attacks occurred in "the occupied territories city of Om Ar-rashrash" -- its Arabic label for Eilat.
This should not be surprising to the folks in the White House. Eilat and the rest of the Negev, after all, are on the Israeli side of the pre-1967 lines. Yet, as far as Hamas is concerned, this makes absolutely no difference. In Hamas's playbook, Eilat is as much an "occupied territory" as Tel Aviv, Haifa and the rest of Israel. Hamas doesn't want two states under any circumstances. It is fully committed to a one-state solution -- Arab sovereignty from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.
But it wasn't just Hamas that gave an unmistakable signal to the White House that Obama's peace strategy is dead as a dodo. For Obama, the Palestinian news was just as discouraging coming from the West Bank, where Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority hold sway.
Obama and Secretary of State Clinton may still fool themselves that Abbas is a genuine peace partner for a deal with Israel, but Abbas's own propaganda machine tells a quite different story.
In the latest in a long series of anti-Israel incitement programs broadcast by PA TV, Abbas signaled that any peace deal with Israel is predicated on removing any and every Israeli/Jewish presence from Jerusalem, including from Judaism's holiest shrines. Specifically, PA TV announced that the Palestinians, once having gotten Israel out of Jerusalem, would use the Western Wall Plaza to build an Arab residential neighborhood. Such uncompromising Abbas claims, which rule out any realistic basis for a two-state deal, have become commonplace, but they had special resonance in a week marked by the spilling of so much Israeli blood.
To show his true colors, Abbas also regularly uses his vast PA media resources to glorify as Paradise-bound "martyrs" terrorists like those who attacked Eilat and Ashdod. Not exactly the marks of a congenial peace partner.
In two blood-soaked days, the Palestinians disabused Obama of any rational basis for believing that he still can be a Mideast peace-maker and earn his Nobel Peace Prize. It won't happen on his watch -- whether he ends up as a one-term or even two-term president.