Obama's Israel Speech Fools Few

"D" should no longer stand for "Democratic" but rather the "disastrous" Israeli policy of the Obama Administration.  Those who support a secure Israel have to make an important choice.  This is one of those defining moments when they need to step up to the plate and strongly support Israel's security and existence above everything else.  Some current and former policy makers did just that in statements to American Thinker.

Not only was this one of the most outrageous policy statements, regarding the Israel/Palestinian issue made by a President in decades, but President Obama's timing was shameful.  The speech was given a day before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was due to arrive in Washington.  Edward Koch, a former New York Mayor, a lifelong Democrat, believes that "President Obama is basically hostile to the state of Israel.  A day in advance of his meeting with the Prime Minister of Israel he seeks to cut off Israel's legs in negotiations.  I will not hesitate to say he is an Arabist, meaning he prefers a closer relationship with the Islamic world than having a special relationship with the US ally, Israel."

In the speech President Obama said that the recent agreement between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas "raises questions."  What questions can there be, considering past administrations have repeatedly said that Hamas must publicly accept Israel's right to exist and forgo violence?  Yet there was no mention of this by the President.  Hamas, as dictated in its charter, has only one interest, to destroy Israel and expel every Jew from the area.  Ambassador James Woolsey, the former CIA Director under President Clinton, sarcastically emphasized that "the President implied it is difficult to negotiate with someone who wants to destroy you.  It's not just difficult; it's impossible.  As long as the Palestinian Authority includes Hamas it is pro Holocaust."

Another impossibility imposed upon Israel by the Obama Administration was the resolution of the Palestinian refugee problem.  The President stated that "two wrenching and emotional issues will remain: the future of Jerusalem, and the fate of Palestinian refugees."  He seems not to understand that these refugees cannot have the right to return or Israel's future as a Jewish State would effectively be eliminated.  Woolsey suggested that President Obama should have taken note of the historical facts: that after World War II millions of people were displaced in Europe and the Middle East, including Jews who owned substantial property in Baghdad and Damascus.  While these Jews moved west into Israel the Palestinians moved east; yet, one-sixth of the Arab population chose to become Israeli citizens with all rights.  He further emphasized that all Arab states except Jordan do not "grant Palestinians citizenship.  Today, right of return only applies to the Palestinians, even to their grandchildren, unlike any other refugee in the world.  President Obama's speech was extremely biased.  Abbas (President of the Palestinian Authority) made it quite clear that no Jew would be permitted to live in a Palestinian state.  Why should we grant the Palestinian wish but Israel gets no credit of any kind for having a million Palestinian Arabs as its citizens?  Where is the balance in that?"

The President declared in his speech that the borders should be based on the 1967 lines even though they are indefensible -- the first time any US President has publicly said this.  He obviously did not learn from his earlier statement, demanding the stoppage of Israeli settlement building as a pre-condition for negotiations.  This allowed the Palestinian authority to walk away from the negotiating table.  Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX), a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, emphasized that "the President consistently throws out the bargaining chips before sitting down at the table.  All the Israelis want is to sit down without any pre-conditions. It makes you wonder who the President really supports." 

Obama should understand that the President of the United States' words can be used as powerful ammunition.  Pete Hoekstra a former ranking member of the intelligence committee sees that this speech "pretty much undermines America's whole Middle East policy.  I think the President just likes to go out and give speeches and does not care about the follow up.  I could only imagine what the Israelis would have to give up to maintain Jerusalem.  I hate to see what the price of Jerusalem will be. This speech was tilted so heavily toward the Palestinians that they will be unwilling to negotiate a reasonable compromise."

A word of caution, everyone agreed that if President Obama is re-elected in 2012 things are going to get worse for Israel.  Woolsey goes as far as to say that there is the possibility of another war or infidela.  Hoekstra stated that "after getting re-elected there will be nothing to restrain him," and Mayor Koch wants Americans to understand that Israel is in the greatest danger it has ever been as a result of President Obama's views on the Middle East.  No one should be fooled by the President's words at the recent press conference with Prime Minister Netanyahu, that this is just a difference between friends.  Mr. President, with friends like you, who needs enemies?