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June 21, 2009
One more liberal gets it
James Kirchick writes for, and is the assistant editor of, the liberal The New Republic and also wirtes occasionally for Commentary Magazine. Today, in the New York Post
he writes of the betrayal of Israel by Obama, and the shaping of public opinion against Israel:
This dramatic shift in American policy began several months ago when the administration signaled that it would make the cessation of Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank the centerpiece of its policy to revamp the region. And that approach, mostly hinted at through anonymous leaks, became as good as official when Obama delivered his vaunted address to the Muslim world in Cairo earlier this month. In that speech, Israel (and, specifically, its policy of settlement construction) was the only state to merit specific criticism from the president of the United States. Among all the degradations and injustices in the Middle East, from the abhorrent treatment of women in nations like Saudi Arabia, to Syrian-backed assassinations of pro-sovereignty politicians in Lebanon, to the arrest and imprisonment of gay men in Egypt, the leader of the free world singled out America's one, reliable democratic ally in the region for rebuke.
Obama's strategic worldview assumes that once the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is resolved, other problems in the Middle East will be easier to fix, if not solve themselves. "We understand that Israel's preoccupation with Iran as an existential threat," National Security Advisor Jim Jones told George Stephanopoulos last month. "We agree with that. And by the same token, there are a lot of things that you can do to diminish that existential threat by working hard towards achieving a two-state solution."
By establishing this connection, the fate of the entire region thus hinges upon the resolution of a problem that hasn't had a solution for over six decades. This is an awfully convenient view for those who enjoy the status quo, which is why so many Arab despots cling to it, and it's discouraging to see the Obama administration joining them.
Every time Obama and his minions (Biden, Clinton) use the phrase that a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians is in “ the national security interests of America” or the “national interest” of America he plants a seed in the mind of America that 9/11 was caused by American support for Israel and that any violence towards America from the Muslim world is motivated by American support for Israel. He has made it a meme and it is proliferating. No American President-including George H.W. Bush, ever coined this particular phrase-one that Obama has repeated ad nauseam for months.