Obama’s Cynical Jerusalem “Used Car” Speech

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


There is no doubt that a lot of time and effort went into assembling Obama’s Jerusalem speech. And it’s obvious why Obama chose to ignore Israel’s parliament and deliver the speech to a selected audience of students.

After mostly ignoring Israel for 4 years, aside from one ugly incident, Obama arrives on what can only be described as a “love bombing” tour.

The student speech is full of love-bombing. 80 percent of it consists of empty compliments and flattery. It’s the car salesman telling you how much younger you look behind the wheel of a 20-year-old convertible with a whole lot of miles and paint jobs on it. The other 20 percent is the same old message wrapped in new compliments.

The used car that Obama wants to sell Israel is the beat-up 20-year-old “concessions to terrorists” coupe. It’s got a new paint job, but it doesn’t run because there’s nothing under the hood except paper and empty promises. But every time you turn the key, it blows up and a lot of people die.

So yes, Israel looks great behind the wheel of the peace process. It looks 20 years younger. And 20 years dumber. But strip away the empty compliments and it’s the same dirty old clunker underneath.

 

1. Obama starts out by promoting the myth that sanctions can stop Iran’s nuclear program, when even the Washington Post has admitted that the sanctions have failed.

“Strong and principled diplomacy is the best way to ensure that the Iranian government forsakes nuclear weapons,” Obama says. It’s an old buzzword that has turned into an old buzzard.

 

2.  Obama covertly suggests that he’s taking on the Jewish Lobby by pushing for more peace concessions.

“You know, politically, given the strong bipartisan support for Israel in America, the easiest thing for me to do would be to put this issue aside, just express unconditional support for whatever Israel decides to do. That would be the easiest political path…”

It’s cleverly worded, but it makes it clear that Obama intends to go the “harder route” of challenging that bipartisan consensus by pressing Israel to make a deal.

 

3.  If Israel doesn’t agree to a Two-State Solution, Obama suggests there will be a One-State Solution

“The only way for Israel to endure and thrive as a Jewish and democratic state is through the realization of an independent and viable Palestine.”

Again deftly worded, but it’s the same old message. The reality though is that the peace process has badly undermined Israel’s existence.

 

4.  If Israel doesn’t achieve peace, it will be isolated.

“There are other factors involved. Given the frustration in the international community about this conflict, Israel needs to reverse an undertow of isolation.”

The reality is that Israel has become isolated by its decision to create a Palestinian state, thereby creating a perpetual conflict.

 

5. Israel has to make peace with peoples, not governments

“Peace will have to be made among peoples, not just governments… The days when Israel could seek peace simply with a handful of autocratic leaders — those days are over.”

All Arab leaders are autocratic. If peace treaties signed with Arab governments are worthless, then why bother? Obama lifts Hillary Clinton’s line about making peace with peoples not governments, but that just means that Israel shouldn’t sign peace treaties with peoples who don’t accept permanent peace.

Perhaps Israel should demand a national referendum in any country or among the Palestinian Arabs before signing any peace treaty. That is where this argument locally leads.

 

6. And then finally Obama gets past the “love-bombing” to the plain old “bombing.”

“It is not fair that a Palestinian child cannot grow up in a state of their own — living their entire lives with the presence of a foreign army that controls the movements, not just of those young people but their parents, their grandparents, every single day. It’s not just when settler violence against Palestinians goes unpunished,” Obama says. “It’s not right to prevent Palestinians from farming their lands or restricting a student’s ability to move around the West Bank or displace Palestinian families from their homes. Neither occupation nor expulsion is the answer.”

And whose fault is that unrightness exactly? Are these measures in place because Israelis are evil or because they are put into place in response to terrorism?

So-called “settler” violence does not go unpunished. Jews face far worse penalties for attacking Muslims than the other way around. People on the way to work who fired a gun into the air in response to attacks have been sent to jail while their attackers haven’t been touched.

 

7. Peace can be had if we just completely ignore the facts

“Now, Israel cannot be expected to negotiate with anyone who’s dedicated to its destruction. But while I know you have had differences with the Palestinian Authority, I genuinely believe that you do have a true partner in President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad. I believe that. And they have a track record to prove it. Over the last few years, they have built institutions and maintained security on the West Bank in ways that few could have imagined just a few years ago.

So many Palestinians, including young people, have rejected violence as a means of achieving their aspirations.”

Where exactly are these Palestinians who rejected violence? Can we get some numbers on that? Last time I checked, Hamas was polling in the lead.

And Hamas is so popular that President Abbas the Palestinian Authority insists that he has the same policies as Hamas.

 

8. Mass murder is not an excuse not to act. It’s something that sane people try to avoid.

“There are always going to be reasons to avoid risk. There are costs for failure. There will always be extremists who provide an excuse to not act.”

 

9. Unbalanced and unfair

“Meanwhile, Palestinians must recognize that Israel will be a Jewish state and that Israelis have the right to insist upon their security.
Israelis must recognize that continued settlement activity is counterproductive to the cause of peace and that an independent Palestine must be viable, with real borders that have to be drawn.”

Notice that Obama does not call on the Palestinians to actually enact any set of policies or take any tangible steps such as ending terrorism. But Israel is called on to stop building houses in territory that the terrorists have decided that they want, but don’t want to negotiate for.

 

10. He’s got a peace plan.

“I’ve suggested principles on territory and security that I believe can be the basis for these talks,” Obama said.

So yes, look for him to take a more active role in pushing proposals.

 

11. Time to make a deal with Hamas

“And that’s why Israel has a right to expect Hamas to renounce violence and recognize Israel’s right to exist.”

Obama isn’t even denouncing Hamas anymore. Just discussing terms on which a deal with Hamas should be made.

That clunker is looking more beat-up than ever.

 

  • AndyTexan

    Michael Medved thought it was a great speech and gushed over it for an hour. Of course Michael Medved's political judgment is as suspect as Mitt Romney's.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      It's a good speech. It was clearly worked on. But most of it is empty flattery and the substantial portions of it laid out here is the same old rotten material.

      The speech was a fantastic makeup job on a pig. The makeup is great, but underneath is a pig.

    • Iceman

      I heard Medved too. Also heard a guest on Dennis Prager have the same reaction. Granted it is a well crafted speech, but when it is coming out of the mouth of a politician like Obama it should set off red flags. Obama knows how to play a group. He's a demagogue. He has not changed his colors. What must be asked is what was the intention of the speech. My take on it is that (our community manipulator) is trying to stir up emotional momentum among Israelis so as to put preassure on the leaders to give further concessions to achieve peace and a Palestinian state, which would mean the death of the Israeli nation.

  • objectivefactsmatter

    “You know, politically, given the strong bipartisan support for Israel in America, the easiest thing for me to do would be to put this issue aside, just express unconditional support for whatever Israel decides to do. That would be the easiest political path…”

    As if he's made an ipso facto case that it would be wrong to do so. Politicians are constantly being selfish and expedient and constantly telling us how courageous they are in fighting other political currents.

    What a loser he is. What a loser. This is why he needed a young leftist audience. He just hoped to find a few people who hadn't been down this road before with other liars.

  • JacksonPearson

    Obama's a damn fool. Israel making peace with their Arab neighbors are liken to a fool living on the other side of the planet, talking Israel to befriend and hand feed deadly cobras. The outcome will predictably be the same…lots of smarting bites, a struggle for survival and, eventual self inflicted death!

  • SocialistBill

    President Obama and Israeli youth obviously understand something that the right-wing Zionists in the United States and Israel don't: that peace will only come to the Middle East when Israel ends its illegal occupation of Palestine.

    • Lady_Dr

      Bill,

      First explain who the Palestinians are? Name one leader before Arafat? Name one famous moment in Palestinian history before 1970, name the Palestinian currency, language, etc. before that date? The fact is that you cannot because there wasn't any. As a youth I once asked who the Palestinians are, and a very wise man told me "mongrels." Indeed they are. They are 2nd, 3rd, 4th generation in the land and have come not just from Syria and Egypt, but from as far away as Morocco and Afghanistan, and they came AFTER WWI, so you have shown your ignorance of history and the entire land. Go back under your rock.

  • Michael

    And Hamas is so popular that President Abbas the Palestinian Authority insists that he has the same policies as Hamas. So how I read this is that Abbas also wants to destroy Israel and Obama is good with that statement? How can he stand up in front of Israeli students and make idiotic statements? Maybe we need to tell Obama to stay home and clean up the mess he has made sofar.

  • Asher

    Frankly the earth and sky does not move with Obama's speeches, he is really boring to me, its the same old lies and community organizing effects, Definitely not The One! Its also amazing that people believe anything he says anymore, its like reading the same book over and over, looking for new material and not getting it.

  • George

    Those who rely on gun (force) for security are as fools;
    because, from time to time, they will sleep (slip).

    War is expensive, takes courage, takes ingenuity, and there are set backs even losses.
    Peace is expensive, takes courage, takes ingenuity, and there are set backs even losses.

    Only one of them gives reliably sweet fruit.

    These are self evident.
    Grow up!

  • Lady_Dr

    Am I the only one who has noticed that Passover is Monday night? That means that nearly every Jew in the world is, or will be, busy preparing for that night and by the time it is over they will have forgotten about Obama unless they are really, really obsessed with politics because they are going to be too darn busy clean, cooking, traveling to grandma's house, etc, etc.

    So I think that a lot of what Obama said will go in one ear and out the other. And I hear that the Arabs are mad at him anyway and will stay mad until and unless they take Israel and the USA.