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

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Walk Away

In less than 25 days, Barack Obama will walk away from the presidency. After the events of the past week, it can't happen soon enough.

With the exception of hard-left commentators and publications, criticism of Obama's abstention in the face of an anti-Israel resolution has been widespread and strong. The generally Obama-friendly Bloomberg Editorial Board writes:
If the Palestinians want a lasting peace based on a two-state solution, they must accept that Israel, not the UN or the “international community,” is their negotiating partner. That means negotiating in good faith, not embracing empty resolutions that ignore agreements they have already reached to redraw Israel’s borders. It also means ending the “stabbing intifada,” condemning and fighting terrorism, and upholding their security obligations. Netanyahu, in turn, must be willing to uproot settlements that even Israeli law deems illegal, to trade land for peace, as Israel has done in the past, and to meet its security and economic obligations to Palestinians if they meet theirs.

The U.S., as the world's only superpower, has already walked away from its responsibility to save hundreds of thousands of Syrian lives, and it permitted a refugee exodus that is destabilizing Europe and may lead to the end of the European Union. To walk away from an ally critical both to U.S. security and to that of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates is ill-advised. To abandon a friend -- a lawful, stable democracy with a dynamic, innovative, outward-looking economy -- is inconceivable.

Fortunately, the bipartisan uproar sparked by Obama’s UN decision provides an opportunity for Democrats and Republicans to rally around a more constructive policy. They should start by agreeing to President-elect Donald Trump’s plans to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem -- a step envisioned but never taken by presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. That would provide a powerful reaffirmation to Israel –- a nation born after the slaughter of six million Jews, and under siege since its birth -- of the U.S.’s enduring commitment, and to the world of Israel’s right to exist. That reaffirmation, in turn, is essential in providing Israel with the confidence to move ahead with a two-state solution.
Our new president, Donald Trump, should act decisively to make a clear statement that the new U.S administration supports Israel and its other allies in the region.

First, he should move our embassy to Jerusalem within 30 days of taking office.

Second, he should work with Congress to reduce U.N. funding and do so immediately. If the U.N. security council insists on focusing its attention on anti-Israel resolutions, there should be consequences, and reducing funding is an excellent start.The U.S. taxpayer need not be generous with a defective international organization.

Third, he should state that any follow-on "BDS" activities (a despicable attempt by the anti-Israel Left to boycott, divest and sanction a liberal democracy) by any nation state will put that state under "economic and trade review." The clear implication is that if a country like, say, England (who, it turns out, was a driver of the U.N. resolution) implements an embargo of Israeli products, we reserve the right to implement a proportional embargo of products from the U.K. And please, spare me the hand-wringing about a trade war! The BDS scum don't seem to be concerned about the implications of their actions, why should we?

Later today, we'll be forced to listen to one of Obama's Team of 2s, John Kerry, outline his warped vision of Middle East peace. It will undoubtedly be cringe-worthy, but far worse, dangerous and counter-productive to any real attempt at peace far down the road. There will be no "peace" until the palestinians accept Israel's right to exist—something they refuse to do.

Bloomberg is right when it states that Obama and Kerry "walked away" from their responsibilities in the Middle East. With political and human wreckage in their wake, it's long past the time when they should walk away—period.


As the Obama Team of 2s prepares to "walk away," Erick Erickson comments on Obama's betrayal of Israel. I fully endorse his opinion and present it without further comment:
Nothing has changed in our relationship with Israel in the past several years. Obama has been increasingly hostile toward Israeli interests, but he has maintained a facade of friendship. Nothing has changed. The only thing that has changed is how much longer Barack Obama has in office and the fact that voters will never again see him on a ballot.

On Wednesday, with less than three weeks to go before they depart, John Kerry intends to give a speech offering a “comprehensive vision” on Middle East peace. He is allegedly expected to recognize a Palestinian state — something no American administration, including this one, has done.

Doing so three weeks before departing office does nothing but create headaches for an incoming administration by an outgoing administration too cowardly to do this before now.

It is not leadership to wait till you have one foot out the door to be bold. It is reckless cowardice and a descent into stereotype of Trumpism this administration believes. Turning nearly a half-century of American foreign policy on its head in the literal final weeks of a presidency is not competent leadership, but childish petulance.

Childish petulance, however, is Barack Obama’s legacy. His childish petulance, though he may never admit it, gave rise to Donald Trump, who is Obama’s ultimate legacy.