President Barack Obama visited an influential conservative Washington D.C. synagogue on May 22nd with the avowed purpose of assuring his audience of about 1000 people that his “commitment to Israel’s security is and always will be unshakeable.” Donning a yarmulke and speaking from the synagogue sanctuary’s bimah where the Torah is recited, Obama claimed that “no U.S. President, no administration has done more to ensure that Israel can protect itself than this one.” Carried away by his own self-proclaimed support for Israel, he declared himself an “honorary member of the tribe.”
Obama’s understatement that the “Palestinians are not the easiest of partners” evoked laughter from the audience. He reiterated to applause his commitment to a two-state solution “for two peoples, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security,” while saying he recognizes the “existential risks” Israel would face from a bad deal with the Palestinians that does not “take into account the genuine dangers of terrorism and hostility.”
As usual, President Obama’s words are not matched by his actions. Indeed, Obama’s rhetoric is often at variance with what Obama actually does. He promised his largely Jewish audience that America has Israel’s back. In reality, Obama is stabbing Israel in the back. He is risking an existential threat to Israel from a nuclear-armed Iran, apparently willing to make concession after concession that will mean no unfettered inspections by international inspectors to enforce whatever nuclear enrichment and R&D restrictions are agreed upon with Iran. Then by Obama’s own admission, after about 12 years or so, the restrictions on Iran’s breakout time to build a nuclear bomb would virtually disappear.
Obama is simultaneously pursuing behind Israel’s back the possibility of a UN Security Council resolution that would give the Palestinians virtually everything they are looking for without meaningfully dealing with “the genuine dangers of terrorism and hostility” that Palestinian jihadists still pose to Israeli civilians.
According to an exclusive Debkafile report, President Obama has given the “green light to European governments to file a UN Security Council motion proclaiming an independent Palestinian state.” The French government has been leading the Europeans’ initiative to set forth the basic terms of a final peace agreement in a Security Council resolution favorable to the Palestinian position. The resolution may include a target date for finalizing the agreement and requiring Israel to withdraw from the West Bank, with the potential for further Security Council action such as sanctions if Israel does not comply. Senior Obama administration officials reportedly have been meeting with their French counterparts to plot a common strategy at the UN for such a binding resolution.
Thus, the Obama administration appears to be ready to break with long-standing bipartisan American policy and support the Palestinian initiative at the UN rather than rely on direct negotiations between the parties. Obama is thereby furthering the Palestinians’ diplomatic strategy to isolate Israel as a pariah state in the international community. The Debkafile report points to a probable reason for this dramatic move, in addition to the Obama administration’s intense pique with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The administration may be seeking to use its support of a UN pro-Palestinian resolution “as currency for procuring Saudi and Gulf support for…their acceptance of the nuclear deal shaping up with Iran.” Israel is clearly on the losing side of this exchange at both ends.
Obama’s definition of a two-state solution is essentially the same as the Palestinians’ definition, which their Arab allies support. Israel would be required to withdraw to the highly insecure pre-June 1967 lines, with minor agreed upon land swaps. They would be expected to give up control over East Jerusalem, which would become the capital of the new Palestinian state. Nothing is being demanded of the Palestinians in return except perhaps an unenforceable promise to stop their terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens, a request that Hamas has rejected outright. The Palestinians are not being asked to give up their claim of a so-called right of return, under which millions of descendants of the original Palestinian “refugees” would be permitted to settle within the boundaries of pre-1967 Israel. Obama’s mouthing of concern about the “existential risks” that Israel would face from a bad deal with the Palestinians is nothing more than idle words.
Fatah and Palestinian Authority officials have continued to indicate that they have no intention of conceding any ground on their claim of a right of return. This purported right is passed down from generation to generation, according to Palestinian leaders, and will not go away even if an independent Palestinian state were to be established on every inch of land in the West Bank and Gaza. In other words, the Palestinians’ definition of a two-state solution consists of one state of their own, based on the pre-1967 dividing line with Israel, and a residual Israeli state within which millions of Palestinians with “refugee” status would have a right to claim land as their own based on some sort of perpetual birthright.
For example, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told young Palestinian activists last year that the right of return was a personal right passed down from father to son. “All the refugees who number 5 million today, along with their offspring, are considered 1948 refugees,” Abbas said, as quoted by The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). “There are no refugees who came from Nablus or Ramallah. They are all from Tiberius, Safed, Acre, Nazareth, Jaffa, Beersheba, and so on. What we do not want to accept is the ‘Jewish state.’ We shall never agree to recognize the Jewish state.”
In commemoration of this year’s 67th anniversary of the Nakba (“Day of the Catastrophe”) which fell on May 15, 2015, Palestinian officials were quoted by MEMRI as pressing the right of return as a perpetual right that will never be conceded away.
“What happened in 1948 will never happen again,” Abbas said in his commemoration speech. The Palestinians will not accept any “state with temporary borders.” The implication is that even a border based on the pre-June 1967 lines is regarded by Abbas as only temporary, since the Palestinian “refugees” also have the right to reclaim their ancestors’ so-called ‘homes’ within pre-June 1967 Israel. Yet, as Abbas has said in the past, Israelis would not be permitted to stay in the West Bank as citizens or residents in the new Palestinian state. In other words, Abbas envisions a Judenrein state of Palestine living side by side with an Israeli state confined to its pre-June 1967 boundaries that is expected to forfeits its Jewish character with the absorption of potentially millions of Palestinian “refugees.” And President Obama’s support of a pro-Palestinian resolution at the UN Security Council will mean he is on board with this perverted version of the “two-state solution.”
Abbas, while speaking out of one side of mouth about non-violent resistance, promised in the same Nakba anniversary speech that “religious wars that will spare no one” if there is any jeopardy to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound. He is still seeking to partner with Hamas in a so-called reconciliation government. Hamas’s continued vow to destroy the state of Israel completely and kill Jews wherever the jihadists find them does not deter Abbas one bit. Yet Obama appears to trust Abbas as a “partner” – albeit “not the easiest of partners” – for peace!
Abbas’s associate Munib Al-Masri, who was instrumental in the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation efforts, declared in his remarks in commemoration of the Nakba anniversary: “While the grandparents and parents are indeed deceased, they have bequeathed to their offspring the right of return to the cities and villages from which they themselves were expelled. The right of return is an individual and a collective right, and cannot be relinquished.”
Fatah’s Office of Information and Culture issued a statement that said: “The right of return is as sacred as the right to life. No force in the world… can usurp it from our people or force our people to obey its policy.”
Fatah Central Committee member Nabil Sha’ath wrote: “My right to return here has not been lost. Safed, the city of my birth, is my city; Gaza, the city of my father and his family, is my city; Jaffa is my city, and glorious Jerusalem is my city. Nablus, my wife’s city, as well as Hebron, Acre, Bethlehem, Beersheba and Nazareth – they are all my cities.”
The Palestinians want it all and are using the United Nations and other international organizations such as the International Criminal Court to achieve their long-term goal, no matter how long it takes. Obama appears willing to lend a helping hand.
President Obama is now on a charm offensive to persuade sympathetic Jewish-American audiences to trust him on Iran and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The truth is however, that for anybody who truly cares about Israel’s survival, Obama cannot be trusted. He is willing to sell Israel down the river to secure his own legacy as a “peacemaker.”
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