U.S. president Barack Obama’s May 19th speech at the State Department -- in which he assumed the most pro-Palestinian position ever by an American president -- might have dealt a major diplomatic blow to the Jewish State if not for the heroics of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu, during a press conference at the White House following a meeting between the two leaders, pummeled Obama into place by denouncing the president’s Middle East policy.
It is not surprising that Obama, following Netanyahu’s sensational rebuke, and due to the tremendous bipartisan backlash against the president’s speech, would engage in “damage control” by addressing AIPAC’s annual policy conference a few days later. However, his attempt to placate the Jewish people by pandering to the most powerful pro-Israel lobby in the U.S. should be taken with a grain of salt. Obama is no friend of Israel, and, if reelected, will be completely free to imposing upon Israel a “final solution” to the Palestinian “question.”
Obama’s duplicity is vividly evidenced by his only other address ever given to AIPAC.
When then-Senator Barack Obama was campaigning for president, he addressed AIPAC in Arlington, Virginia on June 4, 2008. In his speech, he triumphantly declared: “Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.”
The day after his speech, June 5, 2008, Obama appeared on CNN’s “The Situation Room” and was asked by Candy Crowley, “You said that Jerusalem must remain undivided. Do Palestinians have no claim to Jerusalem in the future?” Obama replied: “Well, obviously, it’s going to be up to the parties to negotiate a range of these issues. And Jerusalem will be part of those negotiations.”
A month later, July 22, 2008, Senator Obama was confronted by Katie Couric during a CBS interview: “You said not too long ago that Jerusalem should remain undivided. And then you backtracked on that statement.” Obama retorted: “If you look at what happened, there was no shift in policy or backtracking in policy. We just had phrased it poorly in the speech.… It’s the same policy [previous presidents] put forward, and that says that Jerusalem will be the capital of Israel, that we shouldn’t divide it by barbed wire[.]”
The next day, July 23, 2008, in an ABC interview with Charlie Gibson, Obama admitted that the status of Jerusalem “is going to have to be one of those final status decisions that are going to be made by Palestinians and Israelis.” When Gibson suggested that Obama’s statement to AIPAC regarding Jerusalem was a “rookie mistake,” the future U.S. president muttered: “I think that veterans make mistakes as well.”
Barack Obama’s 2011 “unshakable” commitment to Israel’s security falls into the same category as his assertion to AIPAC in 2008 that Jerusalem will always remain the undivided capital of Israel. They are both illusions, conjured up for the purpose of gaining Jewish electoral support.
This is reinforced by the other major promise—or lie—Obama spoon-fed to AIPAC in 2008: “[In] any agreement, the Palestinian people must preserve Israel’s identity as a Jewish state.” However, in Obama’s May 19th speech, he purposefully refused to denounce the absurd Palestinian claim to a “right of return,” but instead openly declared that the issue was still up for negotiation (although he did mention that said negotiations could only commence once Israel voluntarily yielded it’s lone bargaining chip: territory). Speaking out against the preposterous “right of return” would not have been revolutionary, nor even required a modicum of courage -- Obama needed only to fall in line with his predecessor George W. Bush. In fact, he could have blamed Bush for adopting such a position, while nonetheless reiterating this as U.S. policy.
Returning to the issue of borders: that Obama believes that the Palestinians are entitled to a state based on the “1967 lines” further proves, beyond a reasonable doubt, his anti-Israel predisposition. It is widely understood in all military circles that these borders pose a grave risk to Israel, given that Israel would be 9 miles wide in certain areas and that the Judean Hills, overlooking Israel’s largest population centers, would fall outside of its jurisdiction. To quote Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, “These were not the boundaries of peace, they were the boundaries of repeated wars because the attack on Israel was so attractive.” This, coupled with Obama’s blatant declaration that no Israeli military presence in the Jordan Valley would be permitted, undeniably exposes Obama’s complete indifference to Israel’s security.
But there is more. The creation of a “contiguous” Palestinian state with “permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt” implies that Obama believes that Israel should be bisected—literally cut in half—to accommodate a future “Palestine." Less than ideal, it is a suicidal prospect for Israel.
Just as Obama’s comments to AIPAC in 2008 regarding Jerusalem’s indivisibility and the preservation of Israel’s Jewish character were a sham, so, too, was his most recent assurance to AIPAC that his commitment to Israel’s security is “iron clad.”
The Jewish people must acknowledge and vehemently reject president Obama’s falsities, as they jeopardize the ongoing existence of our lone place of refuge in the world: Israel.