If you hear President Obama speak about the “unbreakable bonds” between the United States and Israel then chances are he has probably just said or done something to fritter away at those bonds.
We heard this when he hosted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last July at the White House after the row he started on settlements in East Jerusalem. Of course, we heard it again last Sunday during his speech in Washington before the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) following his declaration days earlier that any peace between Israeli and the Palestinians would be based on 1967 borders prior to the Six Day War. Somehow I don’t think it will be the last time those words will traverse his lips during the course of his presidency. In which case, we can look forward to more trouble between the Obama Administration and Israel.
Yet one must ask why President Obama goes out of his way to cause so much trouble with our staunchest ally and the most viable democracy in the Middle East? Well, because Obama believes he can get away with it. After all, if there is anything his left-wing base despises more than this country and its traditions, it is Israel. As for alienating Jewish voters let us not forget that Obama garnered 78% of the Jewish vote in 2008 despite his association with anti-Israel figures like the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers and Rashid Khalidi. For many Jews in this country, Israel and its survival is either not important to them and or in some instances the mere mention of the Jewish state provokes outright hostility. Quite frankly President Obama could appear in full Nazi regalia, sporting a toothbrush mustache with his arm extended shouting, “Sieg Heil!” and still get a majority of the Jewish vote in this country.
Now some of you might think such a sentiment unduly harsh. But if one cares about Israel and its fate one might want to pay attention not only to President Obama’s attitude towards the Jewish State but to the demands he makes of it. With this in mind let us give further scrutiny to his remarks to AIPAC. On one hand, President Obama states, “No country can be expected to negotiate with a terrorist organization sworn to its destruction.” But in the very next paragraph he says, “no matter how hard it may be to start meaningful negotiations under current circumstances, we must acknowledge that a failure to try is not an option.” So, in other words, while Israel shouldn’t expect to negotiate with a terrorist organization, failure to negotiate with a terrorist organization is not an option. The incoherence of President Obama’s approach to peace in the Middle East is mind-boggling.
Allow me to provide one more example. While Obama acknowledged “that peace cannot be imposed on the parties to the conflict,” he could not restrain himself from saying that negotiations had to proceed on the basis of the 1967 borders “because we can’t afford to wait another decade, or another two decades, or another three decades to achieve peace.” So let me get this straight. Peace cannot be imposed from without but must be because we cannot wait.
But why can’t we wait another thirty years for peace in the Middle East? Suppose that by 2041 Palestinian schools stopped teaching their children to hate Jews. Suppose that by 2041 the Palestinian Authority were to stop naming their streets and soccer fields after suicide bombers. Suppose that by 2041 Palestinians were to stop dancing in the streets and handing out candy to their children when Jewish babies were murdered. Suppose that in thirty years time the Palestinians produced a leadership that was not only willing to live side by side with Israel but was able to accept it as a Jewish state. Wouldn’t it be better for Israel to negotiate under those conditions? Wouldn’t it be worth the wait?
Well, President Obama can’t wait. The President after all has his legacy to think about. While the death of Osama bin Laden is a big feather in his cap, it isn’t enough. He must earn his Nobel Peace Prize and become the Peace President. This means a new Middle East peace agreement now even if it is one in which in Israel is asked to surrender more land for promises the Palestinians have no intention of keeping. In which case so much for those unbreakable bonds.