The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Ideologically driven fantasy is fascinating to observe—butterflies and rainbows, soft music, whale sounds, and … two countries living side-by-side in peace. That’s President Obama’s ideological fantasy of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or at least that’s what one could conclude after listening to his major speech delivered this afternoon at the US State Department. The problem, of course, is that fantasy has a way of colliding head-on with reality—something that the President prefers not to consider when pontificating on a conflict that has stymied every attempt at resolution since 1948.

But it gets worse. The President stated:
So while the core issues of the conflict must be negotiated, the basis of those negotiations is clear: a viable Palestine, and a secure Israel. The United States believes that negotiations should result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine. The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states. The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state.

As an outspoken opponent of anything “unilateral,” it’s troubling that Barack Obama has unilaterally decided that the pre-1967 borders are appropriate for an Israeli-Palestinian settlement. And this after noting that "the core issues of the conflict must be negotiated." Are the borders not a core issue?

Never mind that those borders were not annexed via unprovoked aggression, but rather as a consequence of a war that was initiated by the Arabs, who lost. To the victor goes the land, or at least a very tiny part of it that (1) unified Jerusalem and (2) provided a necessary buffer for the tiny Jewish state that is surrounded by 100 million hostile Arabs.

Now, Obama has provided a perfect excuse for the Palestinians to demand pre-1967 borders, even if they may have been willing, at some time in the far distant future, to settle for less. After all, the President of the USA says it’s the right thing to do, how can Abbas or his successor settle for anything less.

The incompetence of the Obama administration with respect to the Middle East is matched only by the Carter administration. Carter jettisoned an American ally, the Shah of Iran, all in the name of human rights and “freedom” for the people of Iran. The result was, well, something less than optimum. Obama jettisoned an American ally, Hosni Mubarrak all in the name of human rights and “freedom” for the people of Egypt. Tony Blankley comments on the result:
That "democratic revolution," as the administration persistently called it, seems to have settled down into an ugly accord between the Army-run government, the Muslim Brotherhood and the fanatical salafists -- which the new regime has been releasing from the prisons into which Mubarak very usefully had sent those dreadful men. Killing Coptic Christians, attacking women on the street for non-Muslim garb and other pre-Mubarak attitudes are thus now back in vogue in "democratic" Egypt.

And now, the President unilaterally blind-sides our ally Israel by dictating absurd constraints on any settlement that might occur in the future. With this speech, the President has yet again demonstrated that he is either spectacularly naïve or dangerously ideological when it comes to the Middle East. He is no friend of Israel.