All clear on the middle-eastern front 14

In our  post below, Reaching for the moon no more, we discuss our belief that Obama, by choice and taste, is committed to Islam. If we are right, it is entirely consistent that he should dislike Israel and wish to turn US policy against the small beleaguered state, even though a majority of Americans strongly support it. (The wishes of the American majority are not something he takes much notice of anyway.)

What Obama needed was an excuse. He’s found one in a zoning decision by the municipal authorities of Jerusalem to build some houses for Jewish occupants in a Jewish neighborhood in Israel’s capital city. The Israeli government recently replied, out of diplomatic courtesy, to a stupid and bullying demand by the Obama administration that building for Jewish settlement on the West Bank should be stopped, by agreeing to suspend such development for a few months, but the agreement specifically excluded Jerusalem from the suspension. There is no cause here for the Obama administration to take offense, but any excuse is better than none when there’s a really big strategy to be advanced.

Jennifer Rubin writes at Commentary’s Contentions that the Obama administration

wants a fight, a scene, a sign to its beloved Palestinian friends that it can be tough, tougher than on any other nation on the planet, with Israel. What we have here is a heartfelt desire to cozy up to the Palestinians; what’s missing is a cogent explanation for what this gets us. No Israeli prime minister has suspended or will suspend building in its capital. No amount of unilateral concessions, even if offered, would unlock the “peace process.” So the point of this is what then? To permanently shift American policy toward [ie now to be against] Israel? To create havoc and further uncertainty as to where the U.S. stands regarding Israeli security? We are seeing the full flowering of what many of us during the campaign suspected and what was revealed in the Cairo speech: Obama has a deep affinity with the victimology mythology of the Palestinians. We have never had such a president and never had such an Israel policy.

The Wall Street Journal is puzzled too:

In a speech at Tel Aviv University two days after the Israeli announcement, Mr. Biden publicly thanked Mr. Netanyahu for “putting in place a process to prevent the recurrence” of similar incidents.

The subsequent escalation by Mrs. Clinton [she harangued the Prime Minister, as is her harpy way, for 45 minutes on the telephone] was clearly intended as a highly public rebuke to the Israelis, but its political and strategic logic is puzzling. The U.S. needs Israel’s acquiescence in the Obama Administration’s increasingly drawn-out efforts to halt Iran’s nuclear bid through diplomacy or sanctions. But Israel’s restraint is measured in direct proportion to its sense that U.S. security guarantees are good. If Israel senses that the Administration is looking for any pretext to blow up relations, it will care much less how the U.S. might react to a military strike on Iran.

But there is no puzzle at all if it is understood that the Obama administration does not want to halt Iran’s nuclear bid. And all becomes even clearer if Obama’s intention is seen to be an exercise in accustoming Israel and the world to such expressions of US outrage against Israel’s ‘behavior’, that, should Israel be contemplating unilateral military action against Iran, it will be thoroughly discouraged.

Jennifer Rubin herself cannot see what the objective is:

It’s difficult to see who could possibly be pleased with this performance — not skeptics of the peace process, not boosters of it, and certainly not the Israelis. For those enamored of processing peace, this must surely come as unwelcome news, for why would the Palestinians make any move at the bargaining table “when the international community continues to press for maximum concrete concessions from the Israelis in exchange for words more worthless than the air upon which they float away as soon as they’re uttered.” And as for the Palestinians, well they’re delighted to have a president so infatuated with their grievances. They’re once again learning the wrong lesson: fixation on settlements and obstruction gets them American support. What it won’t get them, of course, is their own state.

Indeed not. And that’s the point as far as the Palestinians are concerned. They don’t want their own state if it’s to exist alongside the State of Israel. To accept such a state would be to accept  Israel’s legitimacy. Oh, they want a state alright – but one consisting of Gaza, the West Bank, and Israel. They’ll accept nothing less. That is why they have rejected all offers of a contiguous state since 1947.

Even AIPAC, until now a blind supporter of Obama, rebukes him, displaying a bewilderment which results only from its own deliberate blindness:

AIPAC calls on the Administration to take immediate steps to defuse the tension with the Jewish State. Israel is America’s closest ally in the Middle East. The foundation of the U.S-Israel relationship is rooted in America’s fundamental strategic interest, shared democratic values, and a long-time commitment to peace in the region. Those strategic interests, which we share with Israel, extend to every facet of American life and our relationship with the Jewish State, which enjoys vast bipartisan support in Congress and among the American people.

The Administration should make a conscious effort to move away from public demands and unilateral deadlines directed at Israel, with whom the United States shares basic, fundamental, and strategic interests. The escalated rhetoric of recent days only serves as a distraction from the substantive work that needs to be done with regard to the urgent issue of Iran’s rapid pursuit of nuclear weapons, and the pursuit of peace between Israel and all her Arab neighbors.

Again, all bewilderment clears away if it is understood that Obama does not want Israel to be a close ally, or any ally at all; does not want to stop Iran having nuclear weapons; does not want peace between Israel and her Arab neighbors; does not want there to be a state of Israel. Yes, our suspicion stretches that far! Obama, we guess, is in perfect tune with the international Left, and the international Left passionately desires the dissolution of the state of Israel.

Of course poor old Joe Biden is not aware of this. He’s generally not aware of what is going on or ever has gone on. That’s why he was an ideal envoy to send to Israel at this juncture, to declare everlasting love for the Israelis and immediately afterwards take offense at a quite ordinary and inoffensive thing they’ve done. Any bewilderment he feels is chronic and can never be cleared away.

  • Carl

    This Disqus system ain't working so well for me. It won't post at all, and then it does 3 of them.

    • No.Country.For.Young.Men

      Well really the only chance of peace I see in the middle east is the destruction of the three 'great' monotheistic religions…. that or a nuclear war that renders the region uninhabitable. But the US can't fight religion in the name of bringing peace and reason because it would have to start another civil war in the process 0.0.

      I would say the US now is as divided on serious issues if not more than it was before the Civil War.

      • Carl

        I agree, and Judaism is one of them. There are nutty Jewish groups in Israel who don't want a peaceful border with Palestine any more than the nutty Muslim groups.

  • Carl

    I'm not so hot for Israel.

    Yes, lots of Palestinians want to have the entire country including Israel. But not all.

    And Israel is not so respectful of any concept of a border. It will never be easy to take their side unless they maintain a firm and clear position as to exactly where their country starts and ends.

    This is one of Obama's few choices with which I agree. Israel needs to stick to a stable border, not just keep creeping forward.

    • aeschines

      It would be nice to say to ANY county: Keep on your side of the fence!

      But that's just naiveté. Israel is surrounded by countless wolves who abuse their geographic positions to inflict damage on her. The Golan Heights, anyone? Before Israel took it, it was the BEST location to put a mortar and toss some shells at Jews.

      Israel's neighbors have a LONG history of not respecting borders. The British mandate for Palestine in 1947, where the Arabs held IMMENSE territory in the region wasn't enough. They quickly invaded the Jewish sections of Palestine, hoping to exterminate the Jews once and for all. Even since having their asses handed to them during that fight, the Arabs have bitched and moaned about Israeli incursions into their “homeland.”

      I think the Jews have actually been MORE respectful than their neighbors when it comes to borders. They gave back Sinai, for example.

      Besides, you're still thinking of Muslims as being human and reasonable. They're not. Countless Arab/Muslim leaders have called to drive Israel into the sea. No, not just “take back the Palestinian homeland.” Drive Israel into the sea. All the proof you need that the Palestinians just want to see Jews killed are the 1994 Oslo Accords. The Palestinians could have taken 90% of the territory they wanted. They didn't. They just want to see Israel destroyed.

      • Carl

        When Israel crosses the Palestinian border to build civilian homes, they are not defending themselves against Egypt. They are just grabbing land.

        • aeschines

          Exactly where are they building new settlements? In the northern West Bank?

          Tell me, how exactly is it expansionist to create new settlements in areas that you already control lawfully? What about zones to buffer against the insane Palestinians?

          Besides, Israel has cut back ALL settlements in the Gaza strip and the Sinai.

          A history of Israeli settlements:
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel%27s_unilate

        • Carl

          Yeah, that “unilateral” plan was done in 2005, and yet as of 2006 all of this was still there, and in a lot more places than you snidely mention:
          http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d

        • aeschines

          http://www.starfall.com/

          I researched this for you. Maybe it will help!

          (Protip: Look in the lower right corner of your map. Then look at the dates in the article I gave you. Good luck!)

        • Carl

          You might want to get some reading assistance yourself. The closures are already accounted for with the markings explained on the left side. The fact that a bunch of them have been removed does not means the rest are gone.

  • Carl

    I'm not so hot for Israel.

    Yes, lots of Palestinians want to have the entire country including Israel. But not all.

    And Israel is not so respectful of any concept of a border. It will never be easy to take their side unless they maintain a firm and clear position as to exactly where their country starts and ends.

    This is one of Obama's few choices with which I agree. Israel needs to stick to a stable border, not just keep creeping forward.

  • NO COUNTRY FOR YOUNG MEN

    The only reason I initially supported obama over McCain was because I thought he would be more science, and non-religious friendly. He seemed to be simply smarter than past presidents. I hopped that just maybe a president would follow the constitution and not provide state funding to religious organizations, or that he would be himself agnostic or atheist. I also hoped that he would push forward human rights in the US… increasing personal freedoms, and supporting the poorer citizens like myself – with cheaper education and health care ect.

    But not so. I suppose the libertarian party will get my vote next election… Not that a third party will gain any clout in the US… But neither party really gets it right.

    Democracy in the US is old, slow, and deadlocked. The first past the post two party system makes no sense in the internet age.

  • NO COUNTRY FOR YOUNG MEN

    OK it is official. Obama is worse than POTUS BUSH. What has happened to the Pax Americana after the cold war? How is it possible to squander away such power? The US could have led the world into a new age of individual freedom, peace, and exploration…. The US could have expanded – bringing new peoples under the banner of the US constitution (the best official constitution still!), bringing opportunity and stability to people around the world. Instead the US embraced nationalism – the idea of the homeland, a nation under god, corporatism and unfair free trade (with china).

    The US takes the burden of being the policeman of the world but it doesn't accept any new recruits…. It arrests 'criminals' and then releases them right away (IRAQ). SO it diddles away the wealth and military power of the US. A chronic short sightedness… has resulted in the fall of the US from sole super power status in just 20 years.. from it's peak near 1990.

    The war in Vietnam was lost… the war in Iraq was lost. Even if tactically you win… you did not achieve your goals of victory. Every action in the middle east has been pointless… because Islam has won the propaganda war.

    WASTE, RELIGION, SHORT SIGHTED SELFISHNESS sums up the US's fall.. or embrace of grace in these last 20 years. It disgusts me.

    • aeschines

      Right on!

      Whenever people declare the US to be imperialist, I simply point out all the places we HAVEN'T taken over permanently. We've held Cuba, the Philippines, Korea, Mexico, Germany, Japan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Italy, Panama, yet we can claim NONE of these as territories or States.

      We protect numerous other countries, yet can only claim them as “allies.”

      If Iraq was for oil, we sure did a crap job of ensuring our dominance there. We should have called it New Arizona and introduced it as our 51st State.