Meir Panim’s Tiberias Free Restaurant not only provides warm meals, but the opportunity to socialize as well.
President Obama is set to mediate a summit between Israel and the PA’s Mahmoud Abbas at the end of September. But the real question is, who will mediate between Israel and Obama?
The Obama administration’s general hostility toward Israel, as well as its efforts to prevent Jews from building houses in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria, has resulted in the majority of Israelis believing Obama is biased toward the Palestinian Arab side, with barely a third believing him to be neutral.
Now the same pundits and diplomats who clamored for the U.S. to be seen as an honest broker must explain how Obama will show he is an honest broker.
Obama has demonstrated that he shares none of Israel’s concerns, whether over POWs, terrorism or Iran’s nuclear program. While presidential spokesman Robert Gibbs and the State Department demand Israel stop building housing in East Jerusalem in order not to prejudice the outcome of final negotiations, the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem openly treats East Jerusalem as Palestinian Arab territory.
Clearly the Obama administration has no problem prejudicing the outcome of negotiations on the side of the terrorist groups they continue to fund; what they do have a problem with is Israel asserting its own rights in any way.
It’s been a decade since Israelis elected a left-wing prime minister. Earlier this year Israelis brought a center-right coalition to power, defeating the center-left coalition that backs the Obama administration’s agenda. Yet while Obama insists his victory last November gave him a mandate to change American policies, he’s been unwilling to apply that line of reasoning to Israel and the policy changes produced by its own democratic process.
Obama has vowed that the era of Washington dictating to other countries is over. But that promise clearly applies only to those countries whose politics and ethnicities meet with Obama’s approval. Israel very clearly does not. The administration claims the presence of high-profile Jewish advisers proves it can’t be biased against Israel or Jews. This is an insulting argument – one right up there with a company arguing it can’t possibly be racist because it has black employees.
As a result of the administration’s all too obvious attitude toward Israel, just 4 percent of Israelis think Obama’s agenda is a positive one for Israel.
Had a poll found similar sentiments among Palestinian Arabs, the liberal media would treat it as a crisis and castigate the administration. Instead the media have responded to a fundamental breach between Israel and the United States by blaming Israelis’ ignorance of Obama’s policies.
The problem, of course, is not that Israelis are ignorant of Obama’s agenda. They understand his agenda and its implications all too well. Obama’s sympathies have been all too obviously on display, and while some American Jews may choose to delude themselves, Israelis don’t have that luxury.
And with Obama’s popularity sinking at home, the next stage of the scenario is an all too familiar one for Israelis. It is something they have witnessed from U.S. president after U.S. president. When their approval ratings inevitably dip and the need arises to divert the public’s attention, they immediately attempt to shake down Israel for more far-reaching concessions in order to facilitate positive media coverage and festive photo ops in the name of peace. This time, though, Israelis may have had enough, as the alliance between the two nations increasingly begins to resemble an abusive relationship.
It’s a given by now that the terrorist leaders in the West Bank and Gaza will never be held accountable to any standard. It’s also a given that the international media and world leaders will blame Israelis for “intransigence” when they try to nail down points in negotiations and accuse Israel of not wanting peace when its diplomats merely ask that Fatah and Hamas recognize Israel and abandon terrorism.
These givens have cost countless Israeli lives – because the bloodletting that defined the early years of this decade was not simply the byproduct of terrorism but of negotiations that relegated to the margins the rights of Israelis to live in peace and security while emphasizing every Palestinian demand as vital and crucial.
It is only when Israel stopped making concessions and began building walls, when Israeli tanks smashed into Arafat’s Muqata, and when checkpoints were securely manned that the bloodshed began to diminish. Now Obama is eager to turn back the clock and begin extracting more concessions and empowering the same terrorists who were responsible for so much horror.
Obama may be eager to mediate between Israel and the terrorists, but Israel first needs someone to mediate its talks with Obama. With the majority of Israelis believing Obama to be biased against Israel, and with the Obama administration prejudicing the outcome of negotiations before they’ve even taken place, any summit or peace conference would be nothing more than a kangaroo court lacking the support of the Israeli people.
It may indeed be time for the U.S. and Israel to reevaluate their alliance and decide what they want and need from each other. If the only use America has for Israel is as a tool for winning Muslim favor by extracting from it territorial concessions for terrorists – as the Obama Administration seems bent on doing – then maybe it’s time for both nations to move on.
About the Author: Daniel Greenfield is an Israeli born blogger and columnist, and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. His work covers American, European and Israeli politics as well as the War on Terror. His writing can be found at http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/. The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of The Jewish Press.
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