|05-20-2011, 09:20 AM|
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Obama's approach full of fail
Disturbing Questions about President Obama's Vision for Israel
By Peggy Shapiro
President Obama's speech yesterday about U.S. policy in the Middle East in general and about the Israel-Palestinians conflict specifically calls for democracy yet abandons the only democracy in the Middle East. It rewards terror states and potential terror-states. It asks Israel to accept U.S. assurances while abandoning all the assurances he made as a candidate. Rather than answers, the speech leaves us with many disturbing questions.
1. The president promises billions in aid to Egypt with no non-terror strings attached.
"...we do not want a democratic Egypt to be saddled by the debts of its past. So we will relieve a democratic Egypt of up to $1 billion in debt, and work with our Egyptian partners to invest these resources to foster growth and entrepreneurship. We will help Egypt regain access to markets by guaranteeing $1 billion in borrowing that is needed to finance infrastructure and job creation...
"OPIC will soon launch a $2 billion facility to support private investment across the region. And we will work with allies to refocus the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development so that it provides the same support for democratic transitions and economic modernization in the Middle East and North Africa as it has in Europe"
Will these funds be forthcoming if Egypt is in the control of the Muslim Brotherhood (a more likely scenario each day) and tears up the peace treaty with Israel?
2. The president frames the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as the root of larger problems across the Middle East.
"For decades, the conflict between Israelis and Arabs has cast a shadow over the region. For Israelis, it has meant living with the fear that their children could get blown up on a bus or by rockets fired at their homes, as well as the pain of knowing that other children in the region are taught to hate them. For Palestinians, it has meant suffering the humiliation of occupation, and never living in a nation of their own. Moreover, this conflict has come with a larger cost the Middle East, as it impedes partnerships that could bring greater security, prosperity, and empowerment to ordinary people."
Candidate Obama said to the pro-Israel community at AIPAC in 2008.
"And then there are those who would lay all of the problems of the Middle East at the doorstep of Israel and its supporters, as if the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the root of all trouble in the region. These voices blame the Middle East's only democracy for the region's extremism. They offer the false promise that abandoning a stalwart ally is somehow the path to strength. It is not, it never has been, and it never will be."
3. The president calls for ethnic cleansing of some areas in the disputed territories and even Jerusalem.
"My Administration has worked with the parties and the international community for over two years to end this conflict, yet expectations have gone unmet. Israeli settlement activity continues."
There are no calls for Palestinians to refrain from building in certain areas which the president wants Muslim-free. Is ethnic cleansing only for Jews?
4. The president asks Israel to take bold (dangerous) steps for peace.
"But precisely because of our friendship, it is important that we tell the truth: the status quo is unsustainable, and Israel too must act boldly to advance a lasting peace.
Responding to American pressure, Israel has acted bolding in unilateral withdrawal from Lebanon and Gaza. The return for these bold moves was increased terror. What bold steps does the president ask the Palestinians to take?
5. While maintaining that "No peace can be imposed upon them, nor can endless delay make the problem go away," yet he issues a concrete proposal with the starting point major concessions from Israel?
"The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps..."
These armistice lines, drawn after the War of Independence, left Israel vulnerable to attack then and would be even more dangerous today. Every assurance since then, including UN Resolution 242 acknowledged that such lines were indefensible. A border on these lines would return the strategically important Golan Heights to Syria and make Israeli towns once again easy targets for the Syrian state-sponsor of terrorism.
6. The pre-1967 lines endorsed by President Obama includes Jerusalem's holiest sites. Jews would be denied access to their holiest sites, which would certainly be desecrated as they were when Israel lost control of Jerusalem in 1948 or even more recently when Israel removed guards from Joseph's Tomb. The president's Israel denies safety and religious rights to the Jewish state. Where is that Barack Obama who pledged in his last address to AIPAC, "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided."
7. The president's vision describes a sliced up nation of Israel.
"The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state."
Look at a map and try creating a contiguous Palestinian state without splitting Israel into little indefensible slices.
8. The president holds onto a fantasy that Hamas will reject the path of terror and rejection. Is there any evidence on this planet that Hamas will reject terror and the annihilation of the Jewish state since the end to all Jewish existence is the core element of the terror group's charter? He also hopes for the Hamas-Fatah terror state to provide border security for Israel.
"Provisions must also be robust enough to prevent a resurgence of terrorism; to stop the infiltration of weapons; and to provide effective border security...The full and phased withdrawal of Israeli military forces should be coordinated with the assumption of Palestinian security responsibility in a sovereign, non-militarized state."
9. The president expects Israel to negotiate with terrorists and give up security for empty promises.
"Recognizing that negotiations need to begin with the issues of territory and security does not mean that it will be easy to come back to the table. In particular, the recent announcement of an agreement between Fatah and Hamas raises profound and legitimate questions for Israel - how can one negotiate with a party that has shown itself unwilling to recognize your right to exist. In the weeks and months to come, Palestinian leaders will have to provide a credible answer to that question."
Will Israelis be so gullible or so pressured to accept another promise, which can be tossed into the bin of broken Palestinian promises? In this case, talk is cheap, but the price Israel would have to pay in blood is very high. In 2008, Obama understood that Israel must not negotiate with terrorists.
"We must isolate Hamas unless and until they renounce terrorism, recognize Israel's right to exist, and abide by past agreements. There is no room at the negotiating table for terrorist organizations."
10. This analysis focuses on Israel, but there is a broader question of a major address which begins with encouragement of the democratic movements in the Middle East and sells out its only democracy.
"Let me be specific. First, it will be the policy of the United States to promote reform across the region, and to support transitions to democracy."
If President Obama wants to support democracy in the Middle East, then why is he endangering the only true democracy in the region; Israel?
Asking Israel to accept a terror state on dangerous pre-1967 armistice lines and giving up its holy sites, all in return for meaningless words, rewards terrorism, not democracy. The message to terror groups is, "Keep up the violence and the US will back you to get whatever you want." The message to a democratic ally is, "Make dangerous concession for peace with US assurances and the US will forget the assurances and ask for more concessions."