Only three days, but I’m already sorry

Palestinian coffee mugThis morning I watched a TV news program which headlined “The honeymoon is over”. They were talking about Barack Obama’s relationship with the US Senate, but I was thinking about his Mideast policy. Some honeymoon — I want an annulment!

Even before he took office, it appears that he ordered Israel to stop the Gaza campaign prematurely and to have its troops out before his inauguration. As a result, Hamas remains in power with the ability to restart rocket attacks at any time, is industriously resuming weapons smuggling and taking charge of reconstruction activities to solidify its hold on the Strip.

Since Israel was not allowed to continue the operation long enough to rescue Gilad Schalit, there’s talk about a deal involving the release of thousands of prisoners in return for his freedom.

Then the President called for Israel to open border crossings into Gaza for ‘humanitarian reasons’.

In other words, Obama is in effect forcing Israel to meet Hamas’ demands throughout the war: withdrawal of troops, opening of the crossings, and massive prisoner release.

He has also praised the Arab League / Saudi ‘peace’ initiative, which is simply a restatement of Arab demands for Israeli surrender (he said it contained ‘constructive elements’ but in any recognizable form it would be a disaster).

And finally, he announced that George Mitchell, who inspired the policies — the Mitchell plan, the Tenet plan, the Roadmap, and the Annapolis process — that increasingly force Israel to make concrete concessions to the Palestinians while requiring only lip-service from them in return — will be his special envoy to the Mideast.

Nope, I’m not happy with this marriage at all. Actually, I almost didn’t show up at the altar: on the eve of the election, I wrote (“Who do you want to make that midnight call?“):

Which brings me to the coming war between Israel and the Iranian proxies, Hamas and Hezbollah. When it breaks out President Obama or President McCain will have to make a decision:

Should the US allow Israel — which has made great strides in military preparedness and has gotten rid of most of the culprits of the 2006 debacle — to defeat her enemies? Or should the US hold Israel back, producing another stalemate and a huge political victory for Iran?

I guess we know which path President Obama has taken.

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10 Responses to “Only three days, but I’m already sorry”

  1. ME says:

    Can you explain why America and its top official have the power to order Israel to do anything? That is not really clear.

    It makes it seem like Israel is not a Sovereign, which is inaccurate. Where is the support for the contention that the USA provided orders for a withdrawal? I have only seen blanket statements to that effect.

    On a side note:
    Did you see the Rick Steve’s in Iran? There are anti-American and anti-Israel propoganda interdispersed amidst beautiful places in Iran. Then, at one point, in the mosques, there are “Death to Israel” posters all over the place. Hostile.

  2. Vic Rosenthal says:

    As you know, the US is the main supplier of arms to Israel and has enormous leverage. It’s not possible to prove that US officials representing the new administration told Livni that Israel had to leave Gaza; however, the purported reason for the trip — the memorandum of Understanding — was vague and unimportant. It was very much to Israel’s disadvantage to stop fighting when it did, and it coincided with the entry of the new administration. So what else can we think?

  3. ME says:

    Vic Rosenthal:

    Thanks, yeah, I thought maybe that was the case when I read some similar content earlier this week.

    My only reservation about that deduction is that, when Barak visited a week or so prior to Livni, everything was on the up and up, and considering his closeness with military, wouldn’t a request have gone through sooner and the fighting stopped sooner? The reports at that time indicated Barak’s statements that the conflict would take something in the nature of as long as necessary . . .

    It is sort of ironic to stop defense of a State in order to have the State continue to receive arms in the future.

  4. Shalom Freedman says:

    I don’t think it makes much sense to blame Obama for what Israel did or did not do in Gaza. Israel might have begun a ground- offensive shortly after the initial air- raid and taken over Gaza in less than a week. It chose not to do this. It chose in fact to move very very slowly. It had the time to break Hamas but chose not to.
    I also think it unfair to at this point, criticize Obama on his general policy. He is for the two- state solution. So are Livni and Barak and a very good share of the Israelis.
    I believe Obama to be pragmatic. I also believe that he studies each reality very carefully before he decides on what to do. I believe he means it when he speaks of the security of Israel as something he is strongly commited to.
    I believe it is necessary to give him time, and see how he in fact operates.

  5. Vic Rosenthal says:

    You said

    I also think it unfair to at this point, criticize Obama on his general policy. He is for the two- state solution. So are Livni and Barak and a very good share of the Israelis.

    A two-state solution is impossible as long as Hamas is standing. So if everyone is for it and Israel could have broken Hamas, why didn’t it?

    Look at the outcome:

    Smuggling is restarting.

    Hamas can fire rockets again whenever they want.

    Schalit is still in captivity and we are looking at another lopsided ‘prisoner exchange’.

    Israel’s image has been blackened by atrocity stories all over the world and all that has been gained is a cease-fire.

  6. Shalom Freedman says:

    I don’t disagree with any of your statements regarding the present impossibility of a ‘two-state solution’. I am worried about the Obama Administration’s pushing for something which is truly impossible, and when it does not work out blaming Israel.
    I also myself do not agree with the Barak and Livni positions which as I understand them would push for a two- state solution now. I do not even think that if Fatah were in control also of Gaza such a ‘solution’ would be, given their fundamental attitude of rejection of Israel, truly possible.
    But I am also deeply troubled by the alternative or lack of alternative to the two- state solution.
    No matter how right we are, no matter how wrong they are the continuation of the conflict hurts us.

  7. Vic Rosenthal says:

    I think that in the abstract a two-state solution would be best, even if we have to give up territory — and think that some of the territory we would undoubtedly have to give up is really important to Judaism. But it would be worth it if it meant that there would be peace.
    The problem is that the real isn’t the abstract. We need to deal with these Palestinians today, not some abstract Zionist Palestinians. I agree with you that Obama’s administration is full of people who think, like Mitchell, that you just have to work hard enough to find the right compromise. And he also has some friends — Malley, Power, Brzezinski — who simply don’t like Israel very much and wouldn’t miss it if it were gone.
    Of course the continuation of the conflict is bad for Israel (and for the Palestinians, although they don’t think so). This is the problem with the Left, that they are so obsessed with this fact that they jump at anything that has the word ‘peace’ in it. You can’t lose sight of the desirability of peace, but you also can’t distort reality because it is unpleasant.

  8. Shalom Freedman says:

    I do not take exception to anything you have said above.
    What troubles me is the idea that Obama may believe ‘peace’ is the urgent priority, no matter how real and enduring that Peace is. i.e. That he may fall from an Arab or even Iranian set of lies, and thus push us to an agreement which truly undermines our security interests.
    Yet I have some kind of secret hope that what he is really going to push towards is an agreement which helps Israel’s security in the long- term. Again I may just be ‘dreaming’ here.

  9. yonason says:

    And don’t forget (sorry if you said it and I missed it) that O’Bozo has pledged $900 million of American tax dollars to rebuild the terror infrastructure of the hell hole of Gaza.

    I tried to warn as many frei Yiddin as I could that they were crazy to vote for him, but oh noooooo, they were just a whole lot smarter than I was. And they probably STILL think that!

  10. yonason says:

    Sorry, Vic, but you are totally wrong. As the Rebbe said, just talking about talking about giving up any of our Land incites the nations to demand more, and more, and more. So, it can not solve the problem.

    Some more of what the Rebbe said.

    If you want to save Israel, and stop the flow of Jewish blood, you need to listen to what he said.