America is on the verge of abandoning its most reliable ally in the Middle East, thanks to Barack Hussein Obama.
He began his betrayal with lip service to Israel’s concerns about defending itself from the relentless jihad that has been waged against it throughout the sixty-three years of its lifetime as a sovereign state: “For the Palestinians, efforts to delegitimize Israel will end in failure. Symbolic actions to isolate Israel at the United Nations in September won’t create an independent state. Palestinian leaders will not achieve peace or prosperity if Hamas insists on a path of terror and rejection. And Palestinians will never realize their independence by denying the right of Israel to exist.”
Yet after saying that “Palestinians will never realize their independence by denying the right of Israel to exist,” Obama called for the establishment of a Palestinian state. Yet neither Hamas nor Fatah have acknowledged Israel’s right to exist, and Obama did not make that acknowledgment a condition of the establishment of a Palestinian state. He was merely making an observation, akin to something like: “You’ll never get a good job by sleeping in the sun all day” – more on the order of a polite request, a mild nag, rather than a firm condition.
Obama also called for “two states,” explaining 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.”
It was widely reported Thursday evening that Obama was calling for a return to the 1967 borders, but this is not the case. He actually called for the creation of a “sovereign and contiguous state” for the Palestinian Arabs, and said that “the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines.” Thus he wasn’t calling for a return to the 1967 lines, but new borders “based on the 1967 lines.”
There were, however, no 1967 lines in which Palestinian Arab territory was contiguous. For the territory of Palestine to be contiguous, that of Israel will have to be substantially reduced. Israel’s 1967 borders were indefensible, and Obama is calling for Israel to be reduced even further so that a contiguous Palestinian state can be established.
What’s more, Obama specified that the new Palestinian state should have “borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt,” while Israel should have “borders with Palestine.” The implication was that Israel, in Obama’s vision, will border on neither Jordan nor Egypt – only on “Palestine.” Yet currently Israel has substantial borders with both Jordan and Egypt. Obama was implying that his contiguous Palestine would comprise not just Gaza and Judea and Samaria, but large expanses of Israeli territory bordering on those two states.
That would leave a truncated, reduced Israeli rump state, reminiscent of the reduced and defenseless Czechoslovakia that remained after Neville Chamberlain fed the Nazi beast at Munich. And if Obama did not mean that the diminished Israel he envisioned would have no territory bordering on Jordan or Egypt, the establishment of a contiguous Palestinian state including Gaza and the West Bank would cut Israel in two: Palestine’s contiguous territory would come at the expense of Israel’s.
Whatever Obama meant about Israel’s borders, the establishment of a Palestinian state will come at the expense of Israel’s security. It will not make for peace any more than the withdrawal from Gaza did. In those days the learned analysts were predicting that a withdrawal from Gaza would pacify the Palestinians and normalize their sick society. I said, in contrast, that it would just be another jihad base for more attacks on Israel. That’s what it became. And that’s what a Palestinian state would be also.
The Kuwaiti MP Jama’an Al-Harbash summed it up on Al-Jazeera on March 29, 2010. First he quoted the notorious genocidal hadith in which Muhammad predicts a Muslim genocide of Jews: “Allah willing, a war will be waged between us and them – the war foretold by the Prophet Muhammad: ‘Judgment Day will not come before you fight the Jews – with them on the west bank of the river, and you on the east bank – and the trees and the stones will say: Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me. Come and kill him.’ This war is drawing near, Allah willing.”
With eerie prescience, al-Harbash then declared of the now-toppled regimes in the Middle East that “the countries of surrender and appeasement, and those who have forsaken the holy places and the land, in their efforts to cling to their seats and pass them on [to their sons] – they will be trampled underfoot by the mujahideen.”
Finally al-Harbash explained the nature of the conflict: “This is a war of religion, not just a war between Arabs and Israelis, or a war between liberators and occupiers. This is an ideological war, an Islamic war, which will end in victory only under the banner of Jihad.”
Those who believe that will not be pacified by the creation of a Palestinian state. They will not lay down their arms and accept Israel’s existence, even its truncated, bisected existence, because the Palestinians have statehood. Not only will they not be pacified; they will be emboldened – emboldened to fight on against their bloodied and weakened adversary. Emboldened to move in for the kill.
Obama’s Thursday address thus amounted to a betrayal of Israel, and an attempt to sign its death warrant. Binyamin Netanyahu immediately issued a statement saying that he was going to seek “a reaffirmation from President Obama of U.S. commitments made to Israel in 2004, which were overwhelmingly supported by both Houses of Congress,” including commitments about Israel “not having to withdraw to the 1967 lines which are both indefensible and which would leave major Israeli population centers in Judea and Samaria beyond those lines.”
Will Obama honor this request? Unlikely. But it is good that it is going to be made. Netanyahu has made clear that Israel will not acquiesce to Obama’s betrayal and go gently into the night.
And so now more than ever, all free people must stand with Israel.