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I find this argument perplexing. First of all, what is the “political reason” that has motivated Obama’s current policy in the Middle East? Capturing the evangelical vote? He never had it and never will. Capturing the Orthodox Jewish vote? Insignificant. Capturing the non-Orthodox Jewish vote? He has it in the bag. So what pro-Israel segment of the electorate is going to the polls and voting for Obama based on his Middle East policy? So whom does Misha Gold believe Obama has been working so hard to hoodwink these past four years?

Moreover, even if one accepts the premise that there is some constituency that Obama’s current pro-Israel policies are designed to mollify in order to ensure his reelection, why would this political dynamic be altered in a second term? The Democratic Party, of which Barack Obama is the leader, wants to see a Democrat in the White House in 2016 as dearly as they want this in 2012.

If there is some pro-Israel constituency that must be pleased in order to make that happen, it follows that the Democratic Party will need to keep that constituency pleased over the next four years as well. So in all likelihood Middle East policy during a second Obama term will differ very little from Middle East policy during his first term.

David Fass
Teaneck, NJ

Palestinian Intentions

The Palestinian Daily newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida on July 10 published an op-ed commemorating the 48th anniversary of the founding of the PLO in 1964. Al- Barghouti, the editor, declared that Fatah, which is the main movement of the PLO, would continue to champion the Palestinian cause until that cause was realized and that the Palestinians would never tire in their attempts to obtain an independent state.

Barghouti did not mention that the PLO Charter was created with the founding of the PLO in 1964 when Israel was within its pre-June 1967 borders. The “cause” to which Barghouti referred was the elimination of Israel as clearly stated in this 1964 Charter.

If advocates of returning to the 1967 borders would read the 1964 Charter and the amended 1968 charter in conjunction with the above-mentioned op-ed, they might have second thoughts about their position. Both Charters are readily available online. The following are excerpts from the 1964 and 1968 PLO Charters:

Article 2 of the 1964 Charter states: “Palestine with its boundaries at the time of the British Mandate is a regional indivisible unit.”

Article 17: “The Partitioning of Palestine in 1947 and the establishment of Israel are illegal and false…”

Article 18: “The Balfour Declaration, the mandate system and all that has been based upon them are considered fraud…”

Article 10 (amended 1968 Charter): “Commando action constitutes the nucleus of the Palestinian popular liberation war…”

Article 29 of the 1964 Charter and Article 33 of the 1968 amended charter state that the Charter cannot be amended without a two-thirds vote for a change.

No amendment of the Charter has ever occurred.

William K. Langfan
Palm Beach, FL

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