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

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Middle East Peace

Listening to Barack Obama's eloquent farewell speech last night, you'd think he had accomplished great things. After all, the economy is booming with a labor participation rate that is the best in decades, our borders are secure, Obamacare has saved billions, reduced costs, and provided zero-deduction policies for millions, without costing the taxpayer a dime, our debt is at the lowest level in a century, racial relations are the best ever, Russia has withdrawn from Crimea, Syria is at peace, Islam has had a reformation and Islamist thought is no more, the Middle East is calm, North Korea has given up its nukes ... oh wait ... none of that has happened.

Despite the eloquence and the unbridled adulation by Obamaphiles, it's actually difficult to assess which of his many bad decisions, ideologically driven policies, or disastrous outcomes is Barack Obama's true legacy. I won't try.

But in the past month, his petty and ideologically abandonment of Israel at the UN does provides an indication of his warped foreign policy vision. Obama, like all leftists, believes that the "oppressed" palestinians deserve a state and that the creation of that state will lead to peace in the Middle East. That. Is. Fantasy. But then again, fantasy is all most leftists have to work with.

Bret Stevens comments on this in light of still another "Middle East Conference" set for Paris on Sunday in which the Europeans and others will work hard to force Israel into a suicidal "peace" agreement that establishes a "state" for a people (the palestinians) who want nothing more than Israel's complete and utter annihilation. Stevens writes:
Would a Palestinian state serve the cause of Mideast peace? This used to be conventional wisdom, on the theory that a Palestinian state would lead to peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors, easing the military burdens on the former and encouraging the latter to address their internal discontents.

Today the proposition is ridiculous. No deal between Jerusalem and Ramallah is going to lift the sights of those now fighting in Syria, Iraq or Yemen. Nor will a deal reconcile Tehran and its terrorist proxies in Lebanon and Gaza to the existence of a Jewish state. As for the rest of the neighborhood, Israel has diplomatic relations with Turkey, Jordan and Egypt, and has reached pragmatic accommodations with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states.

What about the interests of Palestinians? Aren’t they entitled to a state?

Maybe. But are they more entitled to one than the Assamese, Basques, Baloch, Corsicans, Druze, Flemish, Kashmiris, Kurds, Moros, Native Hawaiians, Northern Cypriots, Rohingya, Tibetans, Uyghurs or West Papuans—all of whom have distinct national identities, legitimate historical grievances and plausible claims to statehood?

If so, what gives Palestinians the preferential claim? Have they waited longer than the Kurds? No: Kurdish national claims stretch for centuries, not decades. Have they experienced greater violations to their culture than Tibetans? No: Beijing has conducted a systematic policy of repression for 67 years, whereas Palestinians are nothing if not vocal in mosques, universities and the media. Have they been persecuted more harshly than the Rohingya? Not even close.
Encouraged by Obama's despicable anti-Israel move at the U.N., the meeting on Sunday just might try to force an agreement on Israel. It won't work, but it will provide new "moral authority" for the disgusting BDS movement—a attempt by leftists to destroy Israel by other means. Just another piece of Barack Obama's legacy.

Steven goes on to dissect the notion that a palestinian state would be good for palestinians and good for Israel. Read the whole thing.


I'm hopeful that among Donald Trump's earliest foreign policy actions will be an explicit move of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. Sure, the palestinians will go ballistic and violence will be forthcoming, but in its own way, that actually strengthens the argument for the move. After all, tip-toeing around palestinian "rage" hasn't done much good over the years, has it?

The palestinians and their leftist supporters state that such a move would be "disastrous to the peace process." Roger Simon comments on that meme:
Really? As opposed to what? The U.S. embassy has been in Tel Aviv since 1966 and almost nothing positive has happened. The 1993 Oslo Accords have come and (more or less) gone. Through all this, the Palestinians have shown little indication they want a two-state solution or "security and stability" of any sort.

What we have had is outbursts of terror, long and short, intermixed with quieter periods when Palestinian leaders enrich themselves at the expense of mostly American and European taxpayers, while doing absolutely nothing to advance peace.

Someone or something must be done to shake up this stultifying pattern, this useless "bribe culture," and moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem is as good a place to start as any. It would signal to the Palestinians, particularly to their greedy, lethargic leaders, that the status quo is over and that the new American administration is going to pay no heed to the recent UN resolution engineered by Obama and Kerry. If the Palestinians really want a two-state solution, they will have to negotiate with the Israelis one-on-one for it. If not, more bad news for them, worse than a Jerusalem embassy, will be ahead.

No doubt in the short run there would be explosions -- physical and verbal -- but the old approach, the Oslo approach, has failed miserably. Time to toughen up and make the Palestinians face reality. Time to stop treating them like children because that's what we (and the Europeans perhaps even more) do. Time to make them take some responsibility for their fate.
Nah ... the palestinians don't have to take any responsibility for their fate. As international victims, they can do whatever they want—corruption, terrorism, anti-Semitism. Only Israel must compromise. Maybe that should change. Until the palestinians show an indication that they actually want peace—not through hollow words but with distinct actions—there will be no peace. And that's a good thing under the current circumstances.