American Elephants


Some Nice Words: Some Bad Judgment. by The Elephant's Child

400x600xobamaarafat-400x600.jpg.pagespeed.ic.pDqwXVCzDa

Barack Obama’s first trip to Israel as President of the United States started off with the presidential limousine breaking down because his people put the wrong fuel in it. A metaphor? Probably.

Mr. Obama has long-expected one of his signature achievements as president would be producing peace in the Middle East by bringing the “peace process” to a satisfactory conclusion. He has believed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to be the cause of all Middle East problems, and he would just demand they sit down and talk.

Obama had some nice words in a speech to the Israeli people, then talked down to them. Then he had the extraordinarily bad judgment to give a speech in Ramallah on the West Bank, in front of a gigantic banner of Yassir Arafat, He actually said this:

I think it’s important for us to work through this [peace] process, even if there are irritants on both sides. The Israelis have concerns about rockets flying into their cities last night. And it would be easy for them to say, you see, this is why we can’t have peace because we can’t afford to have our kids in beds sleeping and suddenly a rocket comes through the roof. But my argument is even though both sides may have areas of strong disagreement [sic], may be engaging in activities that the other side considers to be a breach of good faith [sic], we have to push through those things to try to get to an agreement — because if we get an agreement then it will be very clear what the nature of that agreement is: There will be a sovereign Palestinian state, a sovereign Jewish State of Israel.

And those two states I think will be able to deal with each other the same way all states do. I mean, the United States and Canada has [sic] arguments once in a while, but they’re not the nature of arguments that can’t be solved diplomatically. And I think we can keep pushing through some of these problems and make sure that we don’t use them as an excuse not to do anything.

Can he possibly believe that the problems between Israel and the Palestinians is in any way similar to our arguments with Canada? His arguments with Stephen Harper over the Keystone XL must have been far more acrimonious than we knew. Talk about trivializing murder! The Palestinians bring up their children to be terrorists, extolling being a suicide bomber.

Israel’s demands have always been simple. Stop shooting rockets at us, and recognize the Israeli’s right to their own state.  Obama added:

[T]he United States remains committed to realizing the vision of two states, which is in the interests of the Palestinian people, and also in the national security interest of Israel, the United States, and the world.  We seek an independent, a viable and contiguous Palestinian state as the homeland of the Palestinian people, alongside the Jewish State of Israel — two nations enjoying self-determination, security and peace.

A viable and contiguous Palestinian state? There is no peace process. And the troubles between Israel and the Palestinians is not the reason for conflict in the Middle East. I heard on the radio that some 30 percent of Palestinians would prefer to live in Israel.

The State Department announced that they will unblock $500 million in aid to the Palestinian Authority. Congress froze funding for the Palestinian Authority in the wake of the PA’s attempt to unilaterally declare statehood via the United Nations. Despite President Obama’s request to PA President Mahmoud Abbas  not to go to the International Criminal Court to seek sanctions against Israel, Abbas, now in the ninth year of his four-year term, had vowed to do so.

About these ads

2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

The impression of Obama before the trip? In Israel he was considered a dangerous joke, to the Palestinian Authority he was a useful joke, and Syria considered him an impotent joke.

The impression of Obama over there now? In Israel he is a dangerous, condescending joke, the Palestinian Authority consider him a useful, if condescnding, joke, and Syria considers him an impotent, condescending joke.

And then there’s John Kerry, our Secretary of State, whom the world sees as an extraordinarily out-of-touch elitest.

Between those two, I think if peace were any kind of a possibility in the Middle East, I’m fairly confident that they could kill those chances. And no one is particularly confident of any other result.

Comment by Lon Mead

Yes, I’m afraid that you’re exactly right. And no, I don’t think any kind of peace is possible. There are many posts around that say that Assad has been shot by his bodyguard and is near death, but no real confirmation. I wonder whether we are supporting the Syrian Rebels that want more Democracy or the al Qaeda affiliated ones.

While reading about Obama’s trip, I was also reading the new biography of Saul Steinberg by Deirdre Bair, and ran across this piece Steinberg drew in 1994, called “Zip Code Map” which perhaps brings it closer to home.

Comment by The Elephant's Child




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s



Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 6,728 other followers

%d bloggers like this: