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December 9, 2016 / 9 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘obama’s’

Will Betraying Israel be Obama’s Farewell Gesture?

Friday, November 4th, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s website, Word from Jerusalem}

Throughout his entire presidential term of nearly eight years, U.S. President Barak Obama has insisted that he “has Israel’s back.”

The reality is that Obama’s appalling foreign policy has been geared toward the creation of “daylight” between the U.S. and Israel. To this end, Obama reneged on the long-standing bipartisan policy that the U.S. would never be a party to forcing Israel into reverting to the 1949 armistice lines. That policy was reflected in the carefully drafted U.N. Security Council Resolution 242, unanimously adopted on November 22, 1967, which intimated that Israel would never be expected to revert to indefensible borders. The armistice lines imposed at the end of the War of Independence were never considered formal borders. They left Israel only 9 miles wide at its narrowest point and were described by then Foreign Minister Abba Eban as the “Auschwitz borders.”

In explaining the language of U.N. Resolution 242, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Arthur Goldberg was specific. In order to achieve “secure and recognized boundaries” there would be a necessity for both parties to make “territorial adjustments in their peace settlement, encompassing less than a complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from the occupied territories, inasmuch as Israel’s prior frontiers had proved to be notably insecure.” It was also clearly understood that withdrawals would only take place in the context of an overall peace settlement.

In September 1968, President Lyndon Johnson stated that “it is clear … that a return to the situation of 4 June 1967 will not bring peace. There must be secure and there must be recognized borders.”

President Ronald Reagan in September 1982 stated, “In the pre-1967 borders, Israel was barely 10 miles wide at its narrowest point. The bulk of Israel’s population lived within artillery range of hostile armies. I am not about to ask Israel to live that way again.”

Secretary of State George Shultz in September 1988 declared, “Israel will never negotiate from, or return to, the lines of partition or to the 1967 borders.”

President Bill Clinton in his final January 2001 attempt to promote a solution continued to emphasize the importance to Israel of “secure and recognized boundaries.”

Even the Palestinians who initially bitterly opposed Resolution 242 ultimately accepted it when the PLO signed the Declaration of Principles with Israel in September 1993.

In an April 14, 2004 letter to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon responding to Israel’s announcement of the unilateral Gaza withdrawal, U.S. President George W. Bush wrote that “the United States reiterates its steadfast commitment to Israel’s security, including secure, defensible borders.” More explicitly, Bush stated that “in light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli population centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949, and all previous efforts to negotiate a two-state solution have reached the same conclusion. It is realistic to expect that any final status agreement will only be achieved on the basis of mutually agreed changes that reflect these realities.” The U.S. Congress endorsed the letter in joint resolutions by the Senate (95-3) and the House (407-9).

Sharon regarded these Bush commitments as a negotiated deal based on his total withdrawal from Gaza. He considered it to be his most important diplomatic achievement and used it vigorously in an attempt to justify what subsequently proved to be the disastrous withdrawal from Gaza.

As late as November 2009 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who was a major critic of Israel within the Obama administration, still acknowledged the goal of “a Jewish state with secure and recognized borders that reflects subsequent developments and meets Israeli security requirements.”

On May 19, 2011 in a shameful humiliation, without any prior notice, just hours before meeting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Obama stunned his guest by radically reneging on and deviating from this long-standing bipartisan U.S. policy.

He did so when it was clear that the Palestinian Authority was totally inflexible and the entire region was being engulfed by a barbaric civil war. Obama chose that time to state that “the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states.”

If adopted, that would effectively impose the indefensible 1949 armistice lines as the benchmark for opening future negotiations, with any variation subject to Palestinian consent. Given the consistent Palestinian track record of refusing to make any concessions, the concept of “mutually agreed swaps” is pure fantasy. The fallback would be imposing the 1967 borders which would entail forfeiting secure borders and ceding the major settlement blocs including the Jewish neighborhoods of east Jerusalem — something that no Israeli government could contemplate.

Netanyahu unquestionably represented the Israeli consensus when he firmly rejected these proposals — which are now being vigorously pursued by the Europeans, led by France.

Until now, Obama’s statements about 1967 borders were often downplayed by many as merely diplomatic postures to humiliate Netanyahu. But one should not underestimate Obama’s determination to punish Israel before he retires.

To her credit, presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton was unequivocal in her meeting with Netanyahu on September 26, stressing “her opposition to any attempt by outside parties to impose a solution … including by the U.N. Security Council.”

But the vibes from the Obama administration and State Department are ominous. While thousands of Arabs are being massacred almost daily in the region, the State Department focuses its energy on statements condemning the Israeli construction of 30 houses within the boundaries of an existing settlement replacing homes to be demolished.

This obviously encourages the Europeans, especially the French, to intensify their anti-Israeli policy at the U.N. Security Council.

There is a growing fear that despite U.S. public opinion, the unequivocal support of Congress and the stated policy of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, Obama’s obsession to distance the U.S. diplomatically from Israel could lead him to forgo employing the U.S. veto in the Security Council, or worse, endorse a resolution which could pave the way for global sanctions against Israel.

The long-term damage to Israel of such a Security Council resolution, allowed or endorsed by the U.S., must not be underestimated.

Those American Jewish leaders who can have some impact should be actively agitating and creating an atmosphere in which Obama will realize that by pursuing his anti-Israeli agenda, he is acting against the will of the nation.

To the extent that they still have any relevance, Jewish leaders should speak out now before it is too late. In particular, pro-Israeli liberals such as Alan Dershowitz and Haim Saban have an obligation to act.

After having no qualms condemning the Republicans for not supporting a two-state solution, if the Anti-Defamation League wishes to retain any integrity, its CEO should be appealing to his former boss, Obama, not to betray Israel.

In urging restraint, it should be stressed that for a lame-duck president in his remaining 70 days in office to reverse U.S. policy in this manner would make a mockery of democratic procedures. It would be contrary to American public opinion, in direct breach of a bipartisan resolution of Congress, and conflict with the policy enunciated by both presidential candidates, including Hillary Clinton, who explicitly committed herself to opposing U.N. intervention.

Isi Leibler

FULL TEXT: US President Barack Obama’s Eulogy for Israel’s 9th President, Shimon Peres, z’l [video]

Saturday, October 1st, 2016

U.S. President Barack Obama delivered his eulogy on Friday, Sept. 30, 2016 with members of the Peres family, Israeli government leaders and several other world heads of state who bid their fellow statesman a final farewell from the podium. Below is the full text and a video of his eulogy.

Zvia, Yoni, Chemi and generations of the Peres family; President Rivlin; Prime Minister Netanyahu; members of the Israeli government and the Knesset; heads of state and the government and guests from around the world, including President Abbas, whose presence here is a gesture and a reminder of the unfinished business of peace; to the people of Israel: I could not be more honored to be in Jerusalem to say farewell to my friend Shimon Peres, who showed us that justice and hope are at the heart of the Zionist idea.

A free life, in a homeland regained. A secure life, in a nation that can defend itself, by itself. A full life, in friendship with nations who can be counted on as allies, always. A bountiful life, driven by simple pleasures of family and by big dreams. This was Shimon Peres’s life. This is the State of Israel. This is the story of the Jewish people over the last century, and it was made possible by a founding generation that counts Shimon as one of its own.

Shimon once said, “The message of the Jewish people to mankind is that faith and moral vision can triumph over all adversity.” For Shimon, that moral vision was rooted in an honest reckoning of the world as it is. Born in the shtetl, he said he felt, “surrounded by a sea of thick and threatening forests.”

When his family got the chance to go to Palestine, his beloved grandfather’s parting words were simple: “Shimon, stay a Jew.” Propelled with that faith, he found his home. He found his purpose. He found his life’s work.

But he was still a teenager when his grandfather was burned alive by the Nazis in the town where Shimon was born. The synagogue in which he prayed became an inferno. The railroad tracks that had carried him toward the Promised Land also delivered so many of his people to death camps.

And so from an early age, Shimon bore witness to the cruelty that human beings could inflict on each other, the ways that one group of people could dehumanize another; the particular madness of anti-Semitism, which has run like a stain through history. That understanding of man’s ever-present sinfulness would steel him against hardship and make him vigilant against threats to Jewry around the world.

But that understanding would never harden his heart. It would never extinguish his faith. Instead, it broadened his moral imagination, and gave him the capacity to see all people as deserving of dignity and respect. It helped him see not just the world as it is, but the world as it should be.

What Shimon did to shape the story of Israel is well-chronicled. Starting on the kibbutz he founded with his love Sonya, he began the work of building a model community. Ben Gurion called him to serve the Haganah at headquarters to make sure that the Jewish people had the armaments and the organization to secure their freedom.

After independence, surrounded by enemies who denied Israel’s existence and sought to drive it into the sea, the child who had wanted to be a “poet of stars” became a man who built Israel’s defense industry, who laid the foundation for the formidable armed forces that won Israel’s wars.

His skill secured Israel’s strategic position. His boldness sent Israeli commandos to Entebbe, and rescued Jews from Ethiopia. His statesmanship built an unbreakable bond with the United States of America and so many other countries.

His contributions didn’t end there. Shimon also showed what people can do when they harness reason and science to a common cause. He understood that a country without many natural resources could more than make up for it with the talents of its people.

He made hard choices to roll back inflation and climb up from a terrible economic crisis. He championed the promise of science and technology to make the desert bloom, and turned this tiny country into a central hub of the digital age, making life better not just for people here, but for people around the world.

Indeed, Shimon’s contribution to this nation is so fundamental, so pervasive, that perhaps sometimes they can be overlooked.

For a younger generation, Shimon was probably remembered more for a peace process that never reached its endpoint. They would listen to critics on the left who might argue that Shimon did not fully acknowledge the failings of his nation, or perhaps more numerous critics on the right who argued that he refused to see the true wickedness of the world, and called him naïve.

But whatever he shared with his family or his closest friends, to the world he brushed off the critics. And I know from my conversations with him that his pursuit of peace was never naïve.

Every Yom HaShoah, he read the names of the family that he lost. As a young man, he had fed his village by working in the fields during the day, but then defending it by carrying a rifle at night.

He understood, in this war-torn region, where too often Arab youth are taught to hate Israel from an early age — he understood just how hard peace would be. I’m sure he was alternatively angry and bemused to hear the same critics, who called him hopelessly naïve, depend on the defense architecture that he himself had helped to build.

I don’t believe he was naïve. But he understood from hard-earned experience that true security comes through making peace with your neighbors. “We won them all,” he said of Israel’s wars. “But we did not win the greatest victory that we aspired to: release from the need to win victories.”

Jewish Press Staff

Obama’s “Palestinian Land”

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s website, FirstOne Through}

On September 20, 2016, US President Barack Obama spoke at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City. His passing comment on Palestinian Arab-Israel conflict underscored why peace did not advance, and his relationship with Israel worsened over his term.

Obama’s UN remarks covered a lot of activities during his eight years in office, including the Iranian nuclear deal; opening relations with Cuba; and tackling climate change. He spoke about the Arab-Israeli conflict very briefly, but the remark was telling:

“…surely, Israelis and Palestinians will be better off if Palestinians reject incitement and recognize the legitimacy of Israel, but Israel recognizes that it cannot permanently occupy and settle Palestinian land.  We all have to do better as leaders in tamping down, rather than encouraging, a notion of identity that leads us to diminish others.”

“Palestinian land.”  What exactly is Palestinian land, according to the parties themselves? According to the United States? According to Obama?

Oslo Agreements

Since 1993, successive US governments have stood behind the Oslo Accords signed by both the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israel, and its successor document, Oslo II signed in 1995.  That document was the last agreement signed by the two parties to settle the “Question of Palestine.”

Oslo II clearly spelled out what was “Palestinian land” to be fully governed by the Palestinian Authority in regards to military and civil administration.  That area is known as “Area A” in EGL (east of the Green Line) and the Gaza Strip.  Israel handed over all of that land to the Palestinians over a decade ago.

“Area B” in EGL/west bank of the Jordan River, is a mixed territory, in which the Palestinian Authority has responsibilities for civil matters, and military matters are coordinated jointly.  That land is neither “Palestinian Authority” nor “Israeli” exclusively.

“Area C” makes up the majority of EGL, and is “Israeli Territory,” in which Israel administers all matters, including civil and security responsibilities.

 Map showing Areas A, B and C, east of the Green Line

Map showing Areas A, B and C, east of the Green Line

The Israelis and Palestinians negotiated and agreed to the contours of these three blocks.  The parties also worked on a plan for additional land to be transferred from “Israeli Territory” to “Palestinian Authority Territory” over the years 1995 to 2000.  However, Yasser Arafat (fungus be upon him) rejected those negotiations at the last moment, and launched the Second Intifada in September 2000, as the interim Oslo II Accord was due to become permanent.  As such, no additional transfer from Israeli Territory to Palestinian Authority Territory has occurred.

As every US administration has pushed for the two parties to negotiate a two-state agreement on the basis of the Oslo Accords, there is NO BASIS for Obama to refer to Area C as “Palestinian Land.”  That land will continue to be Israeli land until such time as they agree to transfer parts of it to the PA.

As there is no Israeli “occupation” or “settlement” activity in the Israeli territory of Area C, Obama’s mischaracterization of Israeli actions in that land that they legally administer explains his comments and treatment of Israel since he took office in 2009.

Mandate of Palestine

It is also worth noting that international law, established in the 1920 San Remo agreement and the 1922 Mandate of Palestine, specifically gave Jews the legal rights to live and settle throughout Judea and Samaria (the entity known as EGL/West Bank did not even exist when five Arab armies illegally attacked Israel (1948-9) and Jordan annexed the region in 1950.)

The Palestine Mandate stated:

secure the establishment of the Jewish national home, as laid down in the preamble, and the development of self-governing institutions, and also for safeguarding the civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants of Palestine, irrespective of race and religion” (Article 1) Jews were to have full civil rights throughout Palestine, such as buying and building homes.

The Mandatory shall be responsible for seeing that no Palestine territory shall be ceded or leased to, or in any way placed under the control of the Government of any foreign Power.” (Article 5) which Britain did anyway when it separated the east bank of the Jordan River to the Hashemite Kingdom, but which wasn’t a foreign power.

The Administration of Palestine, while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced, shall facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall encourage, in co-operation with the Jewish agency referred to in Article 4, close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.” (Article 6) specifically stating that Jews were to settle throughout Palestine, including lands that Obama believes Jews “occupy”.

The Administration of Palestine shall be responsible for enacting a nationality law. There shall be included in this law provisions framed so as to facilitate the acquisition of Palestinian citizenship by Jews who take up their permanent residence in Palestine.” (Article 7) in which Jews do not only move and settle the land, but become citizens of the country if they live ANYWHERE in the land, including Judea and Samaria.

No discrimination of any kind shall be made between the inhabitants of Palestine on the ground of race, religion or language. No person shall be excluded from Palestine on the sole ground of his religious belief.” (Article 15) clearly states that no person should be barred from living anywhere in the land just because they are Jewish – as if human rights law wasn’t enough.

International law – and human rights law – clearly allow Jews to live throughout EGL/the West Bank. The Oslo Accords signed between the parties specifically state that Israel controls all of Area C until such time as the parties negotiate the transfer of more lands.

The notion that Jews living in houses that they have every legal and moral right to live in, is somehow connected to Obama’s belief of a “permanent occupation of Palestinian land” is false, misleading and arguably anti-Semitic on every level.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Palestinians agree that Israel rules all of Jerusalem, but the World Treats the City as Divided

The Illogic of Land Swaps

The Legal Israeli Settlements

Names and Narrative: Palestinian Territories/ Israeli Territories

Names and Narrative: The West Bank / Judea and Samaria

The Left-Wing’s Two State Solution: 1.5 States for Arabs, 0.5 for Jews

Nicholas Kristof’s “Arab Land”

New York Times’ Tales of Israeli Messianic War-Mongering

The Long History of Dictating Where Jews Can Live Continues

Recognition of Acquiring Disputed Land in a Defensive War

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Join Facebook group: FirstOne Through  Israel Analysis

Paul Gherkin

J Street Recruiting Obama’s Jack Lew to Rob Regavim of Non-Profit Status

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

The leftwing, anti-Netanyahu group J Street is pushing this month a petition titled, “Ask the Treasury to review the tax-deductibility of donations to groups aiding settlement expansion and Palestinian dispossession.” The umbrella cast by the petition appears to be broad, but the real target, as disclosed in an email sent out this week by Meretz MK Michal Rozin, is Regavim, a movement dedicated to enforcing the rule of law regarding illegal Arab construction everywhere.

In another email Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of J Street, sent his members in early September, he announced that he was pressuring the Obama Administration to revoke the US tax-exempt status of the Israeli NGO Regavim in response to their supposed activity against the two-state solution. Regavim has been very effective recently in forcing the Israeli authorities to apply Supreme Court rulings on demolishing illegal Arab construction in Area C of Judea and Samaria. Borrowing a page from the play book of Peace Now, which has been documenting every minute construction in Israeli communities in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem, Regavim has become a pesky companion to every Arab attempt to defy the law, especially in cases where the courts, all the way up to the Supreme Court, have ruled in favor of demolition. As a result, the Netanyahu government and its law enforcement agencies can no longer ignore these rulings and permit illegal Arab construction to flourish.

One of the most outstanding recent focal points of the Regavim efforts has been their campaign against a squatter camp outside the Jewish community of Susiya in Judea, which the US and the EU insist must stay put despite the fact that its existence violates every signed agreement between Israel and the PA.

Ben-Ami wrote his followers that he was shocked to discover that the “settler movements” aiming to destroy Susiya are partially funded by donations from the US — including Regavim which has systematically mapped out the Susiya shacks and lean-tos, pointing Israeli police at the precise location of structures that violate the law. Ben-Ami sees this well-organized campaign to enforce the law as a threat to a future Palestinian State, which, he believes, must some day be handed the entire area.

As MK Rozin told J Street members in her email: “In 2016, they have already demolished more Palestinian homes than in all of last year. … This process is led in part by influential right-wing NGOs (like the group Regavim), which have been systematically mapping out strategically located Palestinian villages — like Susya — and lobbying the Israeli government to demolish them. Their goal is simple — to destroy the dream of the two-state solution.”

By “lobbying to demolish,” MK Rozin, who is entrusted with the rule of law in Israel, is referring to Regavim’s relentless efforts to push government agencies to enforce court rulings. Alas, that obedience to the law in Israel appears to be an affront to US foreign policy, which Rozin would like to thwart by taking away their American tax exempt status. “Incredibly, Regavim and their fellow settler groups often benefit from tax-free contributions coming from the USA — even while they actively oppose the two-state solution, undermining key US and Israeli interests,” Rozin wrote, adding, “That’s why J Street has called on the US Treasury Department to review whether the activities of Regavim should make them ineligible to receive tax-free contributions.”

Now, as promised by Ben-Ami in his email, J Street is making Regavim the target of Obama’s Jewish Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew. In a three-paragraph appeal to Lew, next to the petition described above, J Street is directly challenging the Secretary of the Treasury to take away the tax exemptions of pro-Zionist NGOs whom, they say, obstruct US policy regarding the two-state solution.

The J Street spiel is reasonable on its face: “While the US has consistently opposed illegal settlement expansion, it has allowed Americans to make tax-deductible contributions to groups actively engaged in dispossessing Palestinians of their land and aiding the spread of settlements,” which is why “we’re calling on the Treasury Department to review whether tax-deductible treatment for donations to such groups meet the relevant requirements — and, if not, to cut off the flow of tax-deductible US dollars.”

But the above statement, like all political hackwork, is bereft of specifics and context, lumping together real and imagined targets. The most crucial omission is the fact that Regavim’s official mission has nothing to do with Jewish settlements or with the two-state solution. Instead, as their website states, “The mission of Regavim is to ensure responsible, legal, accountable and environmentally friendly use of Israel’s national lands and the return of the rule of law to all areas and aspects of the land and its preservation.” As such, they are just as effective regarding illegal Bedouin and other Arab construction inside 1967-border Israel as they are about Area C of Judea and Samaria.

The reason Regavim is being attacked by name is because they are not a Zionist movement of slogans and demonstrations (their rallies so far have been pitifully under-attended). They are a Zionist movement dedicated to upholding the law, and as such they beat the opposition at its own game.

Which is why it is highly unlikely that Secretary Lew would devote any time in the next three months to going after Regavim’s tax exempt status — but someone inside the IRS might. Stay tuned.

JNi.Media

David Duke: Jews Plagiarized Michelle Obama’s Speech, Shamed Melania Trump

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

“This is a con job, sabotage, political character assassination plan from the get go!” declared the former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke regarding the embarrassing Monday night GOP convention speech of Donald Trump’s wife Melania, which lifted several key segments from a 2008 speech in a similar setting by then Democratic candidate Barak Obama. “Did a Jewish Neocon Speechwriter Sabotage Melania Trump’s Big Speech?” he wondered.

“I would bet a gefilte fish that this was sabotage,” Duke continued, “I would also bet a bagel it was orchestrated by an Israel Firster who wanted to damage the American Firster.”

Thank God, he didn’t bet a matzo or a Hamantash on anything…

According to the NY Times, two sources inside the Trump campaigned actually confirmed it was a Jew — Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, who commissioned a draft of Ms. Trump’s speech from Matthew Scully and John McConnell, two former speechwriters for George W. Bush.

The two writers were told that the timing of Melania’s speech had been shortened, and that she worked with a person inside the Trump organization to make substantial revisions.

Those revisions obviously included lifts from that great 2008 Michelle Obama speech.

Melania said: “From a young age, my parents impressed on me the values that you work hard for what you want in life, that your word is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promise, that you treat people with respect . . . They taught and showed me morals in their daily life. That is the lesson that I continue to pass along to our son. And we need to pass those lessons on to many generations to follow because we want our children in this nation to know that the only limit to your achievements is the strength of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”

Michelle Obama said: “… Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values: that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say you’re going to do; that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don’t know them, and even if you don’t agree with them . . . And Barack and I set out to build lives guided by these values, and pass them on to the next generation. Because we want our children — and all children in this nation — to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”

Trump senior communications adviser Jason Miller explained away the plagiarized text, saying, “In writing her beautiful speech, Melania’s team of writers took notes on her life’s inspirations, and in some instances included fragments that reflected her own thinking.”

But KKK Duke believes it was the Jews looking to humiliate candidate Trump. “Nobody could have been so stupid as to make about five or six common quotes out of Michele Obama’s Demo convention speech just a few years before and put it in Melania Trump’s speech and not think it would get exposed,” he wrote.

So, what did the Jews stand to gain from humiliating Trump, who, as we all know, is surrounded by Jews, including some of his own offspring? “Of course, that’s easy to answer,” writes Duke. “A vicious corrupt lying Zio Media who are going all out to destroy Donald Trump just as they are setting out to destroy this nation with a flood of immigrants in their bid to divide-and-conquer!” and he reminded his readers of Israel’s Mossad motto, “By deception Thou Shalt Wage War.”

Of course, Duke got that one wrong, too, or perhaps he lifted it off of a White Power website. The Mossad logo is Proverbs 11:14, which goes: “Without clever tactics an army is defeated, and victory comes from much planning.”

Have another bagel, Mr. Duke.

JNi.Media

An Israeli Rabbi’s Response to Obama’s Speech on Radical Islam

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

If you don’t know who you are fighting, you can’t win the war.

Video of the Day

That Kissinger Promise and Obama’s Fulfillment

Monday, May 30th, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s website, Abu Yehuda}

Old realpolitiker Henry Kissinger was in the news recently when he sat down with Donald Trump, to give him the benefit of his experience. It brought to mind Kissinger’s numerous attempts to get Israel out of the territories it conquered in 1967, before, during and – especially – after the Yom Kippur War.

Kissinger went to Iraq in December of 1975 to try to wean the regime away from the Soviet Union and improve relations with the US. In a discussion with Sa’dun Hammadi, the Iraqi Foreign Minister, Kissinger suggested that American support for Israel was a result of Jewish political and financial power, promised that the US would work to force Israel back to pre-1967 boundaries, and indicated that while the US would not support the elimination of Israel, he believed that its existence was only temporary. Here is an excerpt (the whole thing is worth reading):

I think, when we look at history, that when Israel was created in 1948, I don’t think anyone understood it. It originated in American domestic politics. It was far away and little understood. So it was not an American design to get a bastion of imperialism in the area. It was much less complicated. And I would say that until 1973, the Jewish community had enormous influence. It is only in the last two years, as a result of the policy we are pursuing, that it has changed.

We don’t need Israel for influence in the Arab world. On the contrary, Israel does us more harm than good in the Arab world. You yourself said your objection to us is Israel. Except maybe that we are capitalists. We can’t negotiate about the existence of Israel, but we can reduce its size to historical proportions. I don’t agree that Israel is a permanent threat. How can a nation of three million be a permanent threat? They have a technical advantage now. But it is inconceivable that peoples with wealth and skill and the tradition of the Arabs won’t develop the capacity that is needed. So I think in ten to fifteen years, Israel will be like Lebanon—struggling for existence, with no influence in the Arab world.  [my emphasis] …

Kissinger also promised that aid to Israel, which he presented as a result of Jewish political influence, would be significantly reduced. He indicated that legal changes in the US – he must have been referring to the creation of the Federal Electoral Commission in 1974 to regulate campaign contributions – would attenuate Jewish power and therefore American support for Israel. Naturally, he didn’t foresee the Israel-Egypt peace agreement, which permanently established a high level of military aid to both countries.

He further promised that the US would support a PLO-run Palestinian state if the PLO would accept UNSC resolution 242 and recognize Israel. This of course is what (supposedly) happened in the Oslo accords.

Kissinger insisted that “No one is in favor of Israel’s destruction—I won’t mislead you—nor am I.” But his hint that a smaller Israel might not survive is clear. Surely he understood that a pre-1967-sized Israel (within what Eban called “Auschwitz lines”) would have no chance of surviving, simply because of the strategic geography of the area.

Kissinger was wrong about the Arabs developing the capability to challenge Israel, but their place has been taken by soon-to-be-nuclear Iran and its proxies, who are significantly more dangerous than the Arab states ever were.

US policy, however, has kept more or less the same shape, except that the hypocrisy of insisting that the US supports the existence of Israel but in a pre-1967 size is even more glaring. The substitution of the PLO for the Arab states as the desired recipient of the land to be taken from Israel has barely made a ripple either in America or among the Arabs, suggesting that the policy is more about Israel giving up land than about the Arabs getting it.

The original motivation for Kissinger’s promises was supposedly the desire of the US to replace the Soviet Union as the patron of the Arab states. After the collapse of the USSR and the end of the Cold War in 1991, however, there was no change in policy. Although the Oslo Accords were initiated by left-wing Israelis, the US eagerly embraced them, and the so-called ‘peace process’ became a permanent stick to beat Israel with.

President Obama is especially adept at emphasizing support for Israel’s existence while at the same time demanding that Israel make concessions that would make her continued existence impossible. Apparently agreeing with Kissinger about Jewish power, Obama has worked to reduce the pro-Israel influence of American Jews in numerous ways, such as by providing access to the White House for groups like J Street and the Israel Policy Forum, while marginalizing traditional Zionist organizations like ZOA.

Kissinger’s almost anti-Semitic claim that US support for Israel is bought with Jewish money was probably untrue in 1975 and is even less so today, when a large proportion of American Jews, including wealthy ones, have chosen their liberal or progressive politics over Zionism. The coming struggle over the introduction of a pro-Palestinian plank into the Democratic platform is an indication that the party and with it, many of its Jewish supporters, is moving toward Obama’s position.

The Obama Administration’s program to extricate itself from the Middle East by empowering Iran as the new regional power has given a new impetus to the policy of shrinking Israel. Iran sees Israel as a major obstacle to its hegemony, for both geopolitical and religious/ideological reasons, and is committed to eliminating the Jewish state. Obama found it necessary to restrain Israel from bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities at least once (in 2012), and seems to be prepared to sacrifice Israel in order to achieve his goal of establishing Iranian regional dominance.

Some would go even further and say that Obama’s primary ideological goal is to eliminate Israel and the Iranian gambit is a means to this end, but that is highly speculative! Or maybe it’s a matter of two birds with one stone.

Henry Kissinger didn’t do us any favors, but I think the anti-Israel thread in American policy would have been strong enough without him, running from Truman’s Secretary of State George C. Marshall all the way to Obama’s stable of anti-Zionists like Rob Malley and Ben Rhodes.

Today Israel is long gone from the Sinai, more recently from Gaza, and probably only thanks to the disintegration of Syria, still holding the Golan Heights. I would like to believe that PM Netanyahu was correct when he said that Israel will never leave the Golan. Regarding Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, I expect that we are about to begin a very difficult time, as the Obama Administration is likely to mount a campaign in its last days to fulfill Kissinger’s promise to the Arabs at long last.

Vic Rosenthal

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/that-kissinger-promise-and-obamas-fulfillment/2016/05/30/

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