Thursday, May 19, 2011

Obama's Middle East Speech — Dumb or a Fraud

President Obama made his Middle East policy speech today. In one part of it, he laid out his vision for a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. A few things stood out to me in press reports of the speech.

Number one — with a bullet — is that Obama's feelings and beliefs are frozen far in the past. In this case, in about 1966. Obama must know the pre-1967 borders were indefensible. They were part of why all the surrounding Arab states attacked Israel repeatedly between 1948 and 1967.

Yes, it could be that I'm wrong about his frozen-in-time viewpoint, but that would require that he is actively and deliberately antagonistic to Israel and supportive of the deliberately racist Arab position.

Regardless of this, Obama has made the position of Israel a lot more dangerous. He has supported the position of those claiming Israel has no right to exist over the position of Israel (and the United Nations, which mandated Israel's creation).

Despite apparently promising — repeatedly — that he would not advocate the division of Jerusalem, he has now (in his speech) done precisely that. In doing so, he has shown that the word of the United States cannot be relied on, that it can change from president to president. That makes us appear more like a garden variety third world country, not like the world's sole remaining superpower.

And one other thing struck me. Obama insists “The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state.” But by insisting on this right for the Palestinians, he explicitly denies this same right to the Israelis. To see why, just look at the map below. Is there any rational way to connect the territory on the West Bank (by the Dead Sea) with the Gaza Strip (on the Mediterranean coast) without cutting Israel into two parts, or taking a large fraction of Israel's already small territory? There doesn't seem to be a solution — unless Obama plans to move everyone from Gaza to the West Bank. Or the other way around. (That might be better — confine all the terrorists and their supporters in the Gaza Strip and seal them up there.)

I have no idea what exact words will be used when Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu meets with President Obama tomorrow, but I think I can divine the meaning of whatever words he will use:

Are you really as dumb as you sounded yesterday, or is it all an act? Or do you think we're really that stupid?
If Barack Obama has any honor at all, Prime Minister Netanyahu will be right and President Obama will take back his rhetoric and not make such demands. If he doesn't, then Knesset members are right and Obama is no different than unrepentent Arab terrorist Yasser Arafat.

The only other alternative is that Obama is really as ignorant and inexperienced as he appears to be. And that would mean the United States is in a lot more trouble than we have thought.

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