Does Barack Obama believe Israel is a sovereign state? Wednesday, his diplomatic mouthpiece Hillary Clinton said Israel must stop all settlement activity -- outposts, new settlements and natural growth of existing settlements.
What exactly is natural growth of existing settlements? It means adding a new room to a home within the boundaries of a settlement if a family gets larger, say though a new baby, or building a new home in this settlement, if a couple gets married.
In essence, Obama is now telling Israelis not to have children and not to marry. Such a friend. Does anyone really believe that adding on that new room or that new home, is what has stopped the Arabs and Palestinians from making peace with Israel the last 40 years?
Virtually all Americans, whether from the Clinton or Bush administrations, who have participated in The Israeli Palestinian negotiating track since the Oslo process began, have accepted that most of the settlements near the green line will become part of Israel if a peace deal is reached. Is Obama signaling that he believes the 1949 armistice lines should be the new boundaries of Israel, as demanded in the Arab League proposal?
There really are only two conclusions to draw from this new American chokehold on Israel. One is that Obama and his people are stupid (that's right: fools, despite all the fancy degrees) in believing that peace is at hand if only all settlement growth ended. . The other is that they really mean to put the screws to Israel, and are looking for an opening to create conflict between the nations (excuse me, between the US and its vassal).
But hey, 78% of Jews voted for this guy. You know who you are.
Why would Obama want to screw with Israel? Two possibilities here as well. One is that he was never a friend, despite all that money and support that came into his campaign from the adoring liberal Jewish masses. Some of us (think Ed Lasky) kept warning last year, that all those years with Bill Ayers, and Reverend Wright, and Samantha Power, and Rashid Khalidi, and Ali Abunimah, maybe, just maybe, shaped Obama a bit on the Israeli Palestinian issue.
After all, our most empathetic President tends to see the world in terms of winners and losers, the haves and have nots. And on that power equation he has to love the Palestinians.
The other explanation gets back to stupidity. Could Obama actually believe that our enemies in the Muslim world will start playing nice if only we distance ourselves from Israel? Could he be that naive? Do the Taliban care about the natural growth of settlements? Does Al Qaeda? Would Ahmadinejad embrace Israel if only natural growth of settlements ceased?
What is particularly distressing is how Democrats in Congress, ostensibly such great friends of Israel when they send out campaign fundraising letters, are now lining up with Obama on the settlements issue. Why would they do this?
I think it is because Israel is not really a top concern, just as it is not for many American Jews. For liberal politicians, and liberal Jews, global warming, and single payer government health care matter, not the survival of Israel.
The clock is ticking on Iran's nuclear program. Any of you have faith Obama will lift a finger to stop the mullah's march to the bomb? Will the US allow Israeli jets to over fly Iraq if it decides to attack Iran? Count me as a skeptic.
But hey, why worry? We may soon have cap and trade, and the planet will heal, and new national healthcare that will spend the country into oblivion. Who cares abut Israeli babies, or for that matter Israelis of any age?