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

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Turning Point?

The Obama administration was the most anti-Israel administration in my lifetime. It's antipathy for Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu was as evident as it was embarrassing. Its overt and convert attempts to demonize the only liberal democracy in a sea of Arab hatred and violence was astounding. It tried hard to weaken the Israelis in the naive hope that Obama could craft a peace deal (likely as stupid and dangerous as his "Iran Deal). Yet Obama failed in his efforts to weaken Israel or to cement anti-Israel policy as the prevailing policy of the United States.

When Donald Trump was elected all of that changed. Caroline Glick comments on recent events:
Monday will long be remembered as a turning point in Middle East history. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s statement Monday that Israeli settlements are not illegal per se is the most significant shift in US Middle East policy in the past generation. Jerusalem’s status as Israel’s capital has been a matter of US law since 1996.

There was little interest in Washington in recent years in pressuring Israel to withdraw from the Golan Heights. But the issue of the legality of Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), has been the defining issue of much of the international discourse on Israel for a generation.

In the vast majority of cases, the discourse has revolved around the widely held allegation – with no basis in actual law – that Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria are illegal.

This allegation has served as the justification for a continuous barrage of condemnations of Israel in the international arena and for anti-Israel legal verdicts in international courts including the International Court of Justice at the Hague in 2004 and the European Court of Justice last week.
The elites who have counseled past presidents have argued that an "even-handed" treatment of Israel and the palestinians will lead to peace. How has that worked out over the past 70 years? The Arabs don't want peace—they want Israel gone. They don't want compromise, they want Israel to disappear. They don't want co-existence, they want Jews removed from the Arab crescent. Yet, the gray beards keep telling us that capitulation is the only path forward. They have been continuously and grievously wrong. Trump sees it differently.

Obama's antipathy for Israel from 2008 to 2016 opened the door for public statements of antipathy by far too many Democrats. There's a clear and continuous anti-Israel tinge to the stated policies of major presidential candidates like Bernie Sanders or Liz Warren. There's overt antipathy expressed by hard-Left members of "The Squad" (have you noticed they've been relatively quiet lately ... wonder who read them the riot act) or even deep state operators in the State Department.

Trump's actions on Israel fly in the face of the Left's desires and they hate him for it. As Glick notes:
Since taking office, Trump has worked consistently to align U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and beyond to the world as it is, rather than to the world as “experts” imagine it to be. In the Middle East, this realignment of U.S. policy has provided the nations of the region – including Israel and the Palestinians – with the first chance of reaching genuine peace they have ever had.
I hope Glick is correct, but I have my doubts. Building a country is difficult work, and given that reality, it seems that the palestinians would much prefer to remain perpetual victims supported by international welfare. Add the fact that Iran is now in control of terrorist organization like Hamas and Hezballah, and the chances for peace are slim to none. So be it.