The day prior to his tension-filled meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Obama gave another of his speeches about Middle East policy and praising their “democratic revolutions”, commonly known as the “Arab Spring” — though truthfully no one is certain if these revolutions really have anything to do with democracy, or if these countries are going to be ruled by worse people than those already in power.
The only confirmed democracy movement actually happened in Iran, in which Obama didn’t seem particularly interested in supporting, but I digress.
The speech (the entire text which can be read here) sounded pretty, but one segment about the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians made it entirely irrelevant:
“So while the core issues of the conflict must be negotiated, the basis of those negotiations is clear: a viable Palestine, and a secure Israel. The United States believes that negotiations should result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine. 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. The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state.”
Next up in the news — President Obama suggests that we improve our relations with Mexico by granting them “Aztlan”.
As Netanyahu has already made clear to President Obama (in which he had to lecture him as an adult to a child, much to Obama’s displeasure), this simply is not going to happen. Israel won that territory during the “Six-Day War” of 1967, in which the Arab nations were about to attack Israel, but Israel surprised them with pre-emptive airstrikes. As the name implies, that war didn’t last long. They actually gave most of the territory that they had won back after the war was over.
“But wait a second, Mr. Van Edema, you’re leaving out the part about the mutually agreed land swaps” some of you are thinking, “Obama never said that Israel should just give back its borders, you’re not telling the whole truth — what about that part, huh!?”
A “mutually agreed” land swap? Do you really believe that there’s going to be a “mutual agreement” on anything over there?
I’m going to be blunt here. Land held by the Jewish populace tends to be prosperous, secure and generally well-cared for. Lands held by the Palestinians are generally decrepit, crime-ridden slums.
Who do you think is going to get the better end of the deal here?
Besides, we all know what happens when Israel gives up territory. Remember the Gaza Strip? Remember how everyone was convinced that if Israel just gave up the Gaza to the Palestinians, then peace would be achieved?
The Palestinians rushed in and planted their flag — and numerous rocket launchers, all over the strip and kept right on firing rockets, thousands of them a year, into the Jewish populated areas. The Gaza just became another front for them.
Yes, that worked out real well for the Jews, didn’t it?
I’m not entirely unsympathetic to the Palestinians; they have been used by the Arab world as little more than pawns for decades. Rather than their Arab neighbors help educate them on economics and turning what they have into something at least resembling the success that their neighbors enjoy, they point to the Jews and tell them “They are the source of all of your problems. Eliminate them, and your problems will go away”.
Then the Arab world feigns outrage when the Jews actually start killing the Palestinians for trying to do their dirty work for them in the first place.
Still, I know who are friends and enemies are. In the world of the Middle-East, ruled by tyrants, dictators and monarchies, Israel is the only true democracy in the region. They are the only ones whose both government and the general populace do not want to see us dead. Yes, we have our problems from time to time (the spying incidents come to mind), but that’s expected in any relationship.
At the end of the day, I stand with Israel.
“We cannot negotiate with a Palestinian government backed by Hamas. Hamas just attacked you, Mr. President, for getting rid of Bin Laden.” — Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to President Obama during their last meeting in the Oval Office.
Full Text: President Obama’s Middle East Speech: The Nation.com, 05/19/2011
Tension at White House Meeting: Video, CNN online, 05/21/2011
Netanyahu Lectures Obama in Oval Office: IBN Live, 05/21/2011
Six-Day War: Wikipedia
Reconquista (Mexico): Explanation of Aztlan, Wikepedia