Thursday, September 24, 2009


Disaster at the United Nations

There was a whole lot not to like about the President's speech yesterday before the UN, and better minds than mine have taken President Obama to task for some of his worst excesses. I think the silver lining* one could see is that the President revealed some of his core beliefs, clearly visible among the pathological narcissism, the historical ignorance, and general disdain for the country of which he is the Commander in Chief. That's part of why it was a disaster. But I just want to talk about one subject, Israel. Here is what the President said:

We continue to call on Palestinians to end incitement against Israel, and we continue to emphasize that America does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements.
The time has come to re-launch negotiations - without preconditions - that address the permanent-status issues: security for Israelis and Palestinians; borders, refugees and Jerusalem. The goal is clear: two states living side by side in peace and security - a Jewish State of Israel, with true security for all Israelis; and a viable, independent Palestinian state with contiguous territory that ends the occupation that began in 1967, and realizes the potential of the Palestinian people.
Let's start with the obvious. Israel is a staunch, long term ally, one of our very few in the Middle East. Israel is one of the few democracies in the Middle East. Israel gives equal civil and political rights to Palestinian and Arab citizens of Israel. The Palestinians, on the other hand, have sporadic elections at best and insist that the territory they inhabit must be Judenrein. Israel has been attacked several times during its 61 year existence and has been successful in defense each time and has, as a result of these serial attacks on them, taken over land from the attacking nations, from Egypt, Jordan and Syria, much of which has already been returned. Egypt didn't want Gaza back, and recently Israel has unilaterally withdrawn therefrom, even forcibly removing long time Jewish residents so it could be the required Jew free Palestinian territory. That's a short primer of accurate history.

...America does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements.

We don't accept as legitimate the 40 year settlements in the West Bank? I do. I believe there are millions of Americans who do. Our President supports ethnic cleansing of the West Bank. We Americans do too? Really? I don't. negotiations - without preconditions - that address the permanent-status issues:

No preconditions? Not even a precondition that the leadership organizations, Hamas in Gaza and Fatah in the West Bank, accept Israel's right even to exist? It seems that without that small precondition, any discussion of peace vis a vis Israel's security is a complete waste of breath.

...a viable, independent Palestinian state with contiguous territory...

Wait, Gaza is on the Mediterranean coast and the West Bank is east of the Jordan River with all of Israel in between. How can a reconstituted Palestine possibly have contiguous territory with-out bisecting Israel?

...that ends the occupation that began in 1967...

Wait, the Egyptians seized the Gaza strip and the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan seized the West Bank in the 40s. That was a near 20 year occupation. Then these occupiers of so called Palestinian territory attacked Israel in 1967, and lost big time. Israel ended up in control of the territory at the end of a successful defensive war. Occupation is the wrong word. Here's more history. Japan attacked us in WWII, we fought back, won and had troops in Japan as of September, 1945 and for years after. Had we conquered Japan? Did we occupy it? Japan occupied the Philippines for more than 3 years after its troops invaded and conquered it. We liberated the Philippines from the Japanese occupation and had troops there. We did not occupy it. That's not the right word. It's not the right word for us in Japan post 1945 and it's not the right word for Israel winning territory from actual occupiers in a defensive war. And is the President insisting that Israel retreat to the less secure borders that existed in 1967? Sure sounds like it...that's not working for the security interests of our ally Israel.

President Obama went out of his way to disparage our ally Israel. It was a stark contrast to his silence on the actual torture and political murder of citizens of Iran and North Korea, for example. He ignores the tiny fact that Hamas, specifically, and the Palestinian people overwhelmingly don't want a two state solution. They want a one state solution--Palestine, a Judenrein Palestine east of the Jordan River to the sea. President Obama trots out the very tired, never happen Middle East Peace negotiations--but with a worse starting point and a worse end point for our ally, the praiseworthy Israel.

Good luck with that, Commander in Speech.

*Silver lining for Republicans and the rapidly wising-up Independents.

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