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July 23, 2008
The problem of Obama's moral relativism
Senator Obama seems to be engaging in the same type of moral relativism that is at the heart of the failure to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Jennifer Rubin, writing in Commentary Contentions, continues her masterful coverage of Barack Obama, noting this moral relativism. While this type of morality may be popular in the intellectual salons of Hyde Park, on the ground it has led to misery and murder. This moral relativism places blame equally on both sides of the conflict- a recipe for ruin, I will explain in a moment.
She notes that
In other words, blame Israel.
Obama's response is to shower more money on the Palestinians, and for Israel to allow more freedom of movement in the West Bank. This freedom of movement would increase security risks for Israel (roadblocks prevent terror) and also might facilitate the takeover by Hamas of all the levers of power in the West Bank (Hamas has many strongholds throughout the West Bank, including mayoral positions). Israel allowed freedom of movement within Gaza when it removed its solders and citizens from the area. Result: an endless stream of missiles into Israel and the creation of a mini-terror base on its borders.
Terror problems erupted when Palestinians had freedom of movement ; when they were the beneficiaries of the Israeli economic boom. So, how did the terror start?
But the crux of the problem is that Barack Obama has blinders on. He doesn't comment on the failure of the Palestinians to prepare themselves and their children for peace and for compromise. He fails to express concern -- or even recognition -- about the rife and rank anti-Semitism that is pervasive in the West Bank, in schools, mosques, in the media, and from the mouths of its leaders.
This is a core problem which Obama completely ignores (notably, his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton was in the forefront of efforts begun years ago to cleanse Palestinian textbooks of anti-Semitism). Anti-Israel lessons and terminology is force-fed to Palestinian children. Mosques have become breeding grounds for hate. Does Barack Obama care about this form of prejudice?
Perhaps, Barack Obama has become desensitized to such expressions of prejudice and hatred. He sat through hateful rhetoric (and exposed his daughters to it) while listening to the rantings of Pastor Jeremiah Wright, Jr. for twenty years (a man whom he has called his "moral compass' ,"sounding board", and "confidant"). He and his wife gave the bulk of their charitable donations to a church where such prejudice was incorporated into sermons.
But a man who campaigned in front of Jewish audiences with the widely ridiculed claim that "nobody has spoken out more fiercely on the issue of anti-Semitism than I have" might try to back up his claim with actions on the ground.
Or was that just another claim that does not hold up under even the most middling type of scrutiny?
There is one other little noticed problem with Obama's statement: His view that terrorism make the Israelis want
How can this be interpreted? That Israelis are blind to the effect of its actions on the entire region? Does he blame Israel's security measures for problems in Iraq, Lebanon, with Iran? He seems to believe so when he blamed the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians as a "constant sore" that "does infect all our foreign policy" ("All"? Negotiations with Russian, NAFTA, Hugo Chavez included?). He believes that the lack of a resolution of this "problem provides an excuse for anti-American militant jihadists to engage in terror". So Israel's actions to protect its citizens are blamed for repercussions that include terrorism against Americans and others. Blame the victim? Again.
Or is Barack Obama referring to Israeli actions that effect Gaza and the West Bank. If so, he considers these areas beyond the "borders of Israel". This would be prejudging the final outcome of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians regarding borders. These are supposed to be determined by negotiations between the parties. Even the UN Resolution 242 , passed in the wake of the 1967 War, recognizes that Israel would not be required to withdrawal from all territories which fell under its control as a consequence of that war.
Borders were to be determined by negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians. Senator Obama seems to have already laid out what he considers the borders should be: the "Green Line" borders of pre-1967 Israel-borders that have been characterized as "Auschwitz" borders