Sunday, July 15, 2012
WAPO: Where Obama Failed On Middle East Peace
An interesting piece in the WAPO on this subject recounts some fascinating detail on the political in-fighting within the Obama Administration over how to deal with the Israeli-Arab conflict, and highlights President Obama's cluelessness in general on the subject. But it also fails to mention some significant details.
First, the article doesn't mention that from the very instant he took office, President Obama created a climate of distance and distrust with a country that was a valuable American ally.
This included the Obama Administration's earlier unilateral trashing of the agreement under which Israel signed on to the Road Map and unilaterally withdrew from Gaza, its six month de facto arms embargo on Israel, the president issuing a statement that the Palestinians need not recognize Israel as a Jewish State.Obama's demands that Israel forbear seeking to protect it's religious shrines as part of its heritage, his demands on Jerusalem, his open courting of the Muslim world and President Obama's treatment of Israeli PM Netanyahu,not once, but twice.
And need I mention the Administration's downgrading of the security coordination with the US that Israel enjoyed in earlier days and presidential appointments that were outspokenly anti-Israel? That includes major advisers with close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, and a hand-picked UN ambassador with a history of bizarre rants on the subject.
The WAPO piece likewise doesn't mention that President Obama's chosen envoy to mediate Middle East peace, George Mitchell, is of Arab-American heritage and someone whom has a documented bias in the matter, as he proved during his tenure, to the point where the Administration had to walk back his statements several times. Not only that, but he was demonstrably clueless about the entire nature of the conflict, something he demonstrated by constantly comparing it to Northern Ireland.
It's also worth mentioning that the Obama Administration has never once done anything significant aside from pro-forma condemnations ( and often, not even that much) to use American aid and goodwill to discourage the Palestinian' open encouragement of violence and terrorism against Israel's civilians.
The real story here is actually quite simple. President Obama has a long history of close relations with 'anti-Zionists' and people who could quite accurately be referred to as anti-semites. His vision, if it could be called that, was that he was going to substantially change America's orientation in the Middle East and bring it more in line with the Muslim World by distancing America from Israel. A key part of that vision was forcing Israel to accept the Saudi 'peace' ultimatum, which this president endorsed - forcing Israel to create half a million Jewish refugees and retreat to the indefensible borders of the pre '67 lines including giving up half of Jerusalem and accepting the Palestinian 'right of return' into what was left of Israel.
After the president's Cairo speech and the president's subsequent actions and rhetoric on Israel, Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinians expected President Obama to be able to 'deliver' the hated Jews without any concessions on their part whatsoever. This is quite understandable, since the Palestinians and indeed the Muslim world has no real understanding about how actual democracy, congress, freedom of the press and public opinion work in America.
When the Israelis understandably refused to go along with President Obama's agenda and the majority of the American people and Congress showed their support for Israel, the president's ideas on 'delivering' Israel failed. Combined with his feckless policy on Iran, this was clear evidence to the Arab world that his word was meaningless and he was not to be relied on.
Thanks to President Obama's failed policies, we're now in a position where neither the Arabs or the Israelis trust us. While the focus on this year's election is the economy, it's important that the American people also look at this president's record of failure on foreign policy generally. It is not limited to the Middle East.