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His previous actions and words speak louder than this week’s salesmanship.
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Nor was it apparent when, in May 2011, after the PA had ignored Obama’s offer and broke off negotiations for half a year, Obama went ahead anyway by calling for precisely such an Israeli withdrawal with “agreed swaps” — a caveat that actually gives the Palestinians an automatic veto over Israel retaining anything beyond the 1949 lines.
And it became less apparent still when that call included something never publicly supported by any previous president — Israeli relinquishment of the Jordan Valley, whose retention successive Israeli governments have regarded as vital to Israeli defense. (The late Yitzhak Rabin said as much in his last speech to the Knesset in October 1995.)
Palestinian terrorism &
Obama has said more than once that he will hold Palestinians accountable for their words and deeds, including incitement to hatred and violence against Israel. But nothing of the sort happened in August 2009, when Abbas’ Fatah, which controls the PA, held a conference in Bethlehem, which reaffirmed its refusal to accept Israel’s existence as a Jewish state, glorified terrorists living and dead by name, insisted on the so-called ‘right of return,’ and rejected an end of claims in any future peace agreement with Israel.
Nor did anything of the sort occur when Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA) subsequently urged Clinton to take up the issue with Abbas. Instead, she issued a flat-earth denial, saying that the Fatah Conference showed “a broad consensus supporting negotiations with Israel, and the two-state solution” and that contrary statements by unnamed “individuals” at the conference “did not represent Fatah’s official positions.”
Nor did anything of the sort happen in January 2010 when terrorists from Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a recognized terrorist group, murdered an Israeli, Rabbi Meir Chai, in a drive-by shooting and Abbas himself sent condolences to the families of the three terrorists subsequently killed by Israeli forces. Obama said nothing, even when specifically informed of these events by the Israeli government.
Nor did anything of the sort happen when, in March 2010, the PA named a public square in Ramallah after Dalal Mughrabi, the leader of the 1978 coastal road bus hijacking, in which 37 Israelis, including 12 children, were slaughtered. (The Administration did, however, condemn Israel for announcing a program of building Jewish homes in eastern Jerusalem the day before.)
Nor did anything of the sort happen when, several days later, Clinton provided the Administration’s belated criticism of the obscene glorification of Mughrabi. Quite the contrary, she whitewashed and protected Abbas and the PA by falsely stating it was “a Hamas-controlled municipality” that had initiated the event.
Nor did anything of the sort occur in March 2011, five members of the Fogel family, including three children, were murdered in their beds, their throats slit, by Palestinian terrorists. Nor did anything of the sort happen the next day when the PA held a ceremony to name another public square after the terrorist Mughrabi. Quite the contrary: it took four days before a minor State Department official condemned the event and urged PA officials to “address it” — but didn’t condemn Abbas or his ruling Fatah party, under whose auspices the ceremony took place.
Then there are the intangibles, matters of tone and emphasis when disagreements arise. The Obama Administration has used the terms “condemn,” an “insult” and an “affront” when expressing disagreement with Israel’s March 2010 mere announcement of a program of housing construction in a Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem – a project which violated no agreement with America. “Condemn,” “insult” and “affront” are harsh and ugly terms that America and Obama have never used in reference to an ally’s actions. To the contrary, when Turkey did not vote along with the U.S. for further sanctions on Iran, the Administration was merely “disappointed.” When Afghanistan’s Hamid Karzai spoke publicly of considering joining forces with the Taliban, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said it “respected” him.
Compare that to Gates criticizing Israel last September for giving nothing in return for U.S. military and intelligence support in terms of peace talks and calling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “ungrateful.” Or his successor Leon Panetta criticizing Israel the next month for not being more pliable, or again, last December rudely urging Israel — which has been open to negotiations with the PA all along — to “get to the damn table.”
So what is really left of Obama’s claims of having Israel’s back? A strong — and mutually beneficial — defense cooperation actually inaugurated and funded by George W. Bush, which would require Congressional approval to reverse; supplying Iron Dome missile defense systems to Israel for which he has recently trimmed funding; affirming Israel’s right to act against Iran that his own senior officials have continuously and publicly opposed; saving Israeli diplomats in Cairo from a mob enabled by his having helped push Hosni Mubarak from power weeks before; and some UN speeches seeking to limit the damage of noxious Arab initiatives he previously encouraged.
The words of the prophet Daniel apply — “You are weighed in the balance, and are found wanting.”
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online