by Jerrold L. Sobel
Well, she’s at it again. Last week, possibly the greatest disingenuous “friend” the Jewish people have known since Franklin Roosevelt, Hillary Clinton, delivered a speech on the Middle East at the: Brookings Institution’s Saban Center for Middle East Policy last Friday. Not wasting a moment following her initial platitudes, she immediately began pontificating on her vision of what a Middle East settlement between Israel and the Palestinians should look like. With total disregard for the facts and history of this conflict; the futile “land for peace” gestures made by successive Israeli governments; and the rejectionist posture taken by the Arab world pre-dating even the creation of the Jewish State, Clinton went on and on praising the efforts of the “reformed terrorist” Abbas and “Prime Minister Fayyad;” What he’s Prime Minister of, only she knows. In no way did this fact prevent the lemons in the audience from standing up and giving him a rousing ovation.
Throughout her entire confabulation, Clinton gave mention to everyone except Santa Claus and the man she’s brow beaten on more than one occasion, the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu. Words, words, and more words; lots of double speak; obsession with Israeli “settlements,” Israel’s capital, Jerusalem, and Palestinian refugees, but scant attention to the real needs of Israeli security. What Israel got in stead was, you guessed it, more words.
As expected, on behalf of the “One” and herself she re-affirmed U.S. support for Israel by stating; “America’s commitment to Israel’s security and its future is rock solid and unwavering.” Unfortunately, she never mentioned how a Palestinian state based upon the indefensible 1949 armistice lines would accomplish that. “The United States will always be there when Israel is threatened.” My question is, based upon the recalcitrance of the Palestinian Authority, the enmity of its population, and the superior strength of Hamas in Gaza, why would Israel depend on the fickle whims of anyone else, particularly this Administration which professes to be an honest broker but has shown to be anything but?
At a certain point in the speech you have to wonder if Secretary Clinton ever read what was in it before mouthing it out. She further pontificated, “For Israel and for the region, there may be no greater strategic threat than the prospect of a nuclear armed Iran.” Well Madam Secretary, you got that one right. As WikiLeaks divulged to us, the Saudis, the Gulf States, and just about every normal person on this planet agrees with that. So by your own words, why this obsession with Israel, settlements, Jerusalem, refugees, and all that goes with it?
It really is amazing. Several weeks ago North Korea attacked South Korea killing 42 people; have attained nuclear weapons, are continuously aggressive in both word and deed and will most likely rekindle a war that’s been dormant for 60 years. They’ve proliferated weapons to the crazies in Iran, which in turn are developing their own weapons and mining Uranium within Iran itself. But the creation of a Palestinian state trumps every other issue for for her and her boss.
“We have also stepped up efforts to block the transfer of dangerous weapons and financing to terrorist groups like Hezbollah and Hamas” she goes on to say. Just this week, always more than willing to fan the flames of discord in the world, Russia has defied the U.S. by shipping sophisticated rocket systems to that little tin pot dictator in Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, which in all likelihood will soon fall into the hands of not only the rebels in Columbia but the drug gangs right next door to us in Mexico. As the world most of us baby boomers grew up in continues to turn upside down, shuttle diplomacy with the aim of creating a Palestinian state; Israel be damned, is once again the holy grail in Washington.
With the same zeal but hopefully not the same results, this political chameleon and her President are transfixed and insistent upon Israel dismembering her ancient homeland the way the allies were complicit dismembering Czechoslovakia, as if this conflict too is the linchpin of peace in the world. Plodding along on a train to nowhere must be quite amusing to the Ayatollahs as they thumb their collective noses at sanctions as a means to quash their nuclear ambitions. No doubt, lack of food, water, and gas for your average Mohammad must keep Ahmadinejad up late every night. One can only hope that despite unrelenting pressure placed upon him by the Administration and speeches such as this, Netanyahu will stick to his guns and recognize there is no nexus between a nuclear Iran; an increasingly bellicose North Korea, and the century old dispute between Jews and Palestinians.
A dispute professed by the Palestinians to be over land is a premise which over time has proven to be total subterfuge. In reality, this conflict has little to do with land and everything to do with the eradication of Israel as a Jewish State. If Clinton were not so pragmatic; possibly duplicitous being a better word, she would recognize this for what it really is, a religious conflict in which extremist Muslims and even the so-called “moderates” amongst them will not accept another entity on what they consider to be “dar al-Islam;” land belonging to Islam. Whether you laud or loathe our President and his Secretary of State, there is no way Obama and Clinton can not see this. It leaves one to wonder if they they are, pick one; willfully blind, disingenuous, or just truly outright buffoons?
The so called Palestinians have admitted they will never recognize Israel as a Jewish State, insist upon the return of not only the original 700,000 refugees to Israel but approximately 7 million of their progeny, with Jerusalem as their Capital. Glaringly, not one word is mentioned in her speech regarding the 900,000 Jews expelled from Arab lands in 1948 void compensation. Perhaps this was an oversight on her part because unlike the Arabs which chose to make a political statement by forcing generations of Palestinians to languish in refugee camps, Israel absorbed her Jewish refugees and rehabilitated them into successful citizenry.
Also conspicuously absent from her latest politically correct rant is the crux of this century old conflict and why this dispute, short of total acquiescence, is irreconcilable. A fact which fortunately people are increasingly becoming aware of. This dispute is not and has never been a secular conflict where borders, water rights, and commerce are paramount. Jews and Christians within Israel; and around the world for that matter are being opposed by a religious/political movement known as Sharia; domination of Islam over any land where the “true believers;” Muslims, have set foot. Sharia is an insidious movement in which compromise is temporary, lying is encouraged, and submission of the infidel is the ultimate goal. One does not have to read the Qur’an for comprehension; though it would help. The aforementioned scenario is being played out throughout the world in both undeveloped nations throughout Africa and Asia, as well as most western nations in Europe such as England, France, and Holland. Sharia, employing a combination of soft jihad; continuously upping the political ante in host countries, while casting guilt upon the majority for opposing them, and violent jihad; the use of terrorism and violence to ferment change are the tools extremist Islam uses to attain its goal of domination.
This is the real issue not the pollyannaish nonsense being spewed by Mrs. Clinton in her speech. Nowhere can this fact be seen with greater clarity than in Israel. If you’ll notice, every conference, every manifesto stressed by every U.S. Administration in the last fifteen years requires Israel to relinquish something tangible; land, security, or construction in return for ambiguity and little else on the part of the Palestinians. This is a non-partisan conclusion. Whether under Clinton and Oslo II or Bush W. and his “Road Map” which is essentially the same as the “Saudi plan” and its incarnation, the “Arab Peace Initiative” now advocated by Clinton in this speech.
Despite relinquishing Gaza, Southern Lebanon, and biblical cities where the matriarchs and patriarchs so precious to the Jews are buried, Hebron; Nablus; Israeli concessions are only met with more demands; not peace. Ancient Jewish cemeteries have been pillaged, bodies disinterred, and replaced with structures eliminating any and all traces of Jewish connection. What other nation on this planet other than Israel ever militarily controlled real estate on which its most Holy sites resided, relinquished that territory only to have these sites desecrated while being barred from visitation and continuously cajoled to do more? This is a truth that wittingly or otherwise, Clinton fails to come to grip with.
“We look to our friends the Palestinians, and we remember the painful history of a people who have never had a state of their own.” Our friends the Palestinians? Which ones is she speaking of? Hopefully not the throngs that gleefully danced in the streets and honked their horns as thousands of our citizens died excruciating deaths in the World Trade Center on 911. Perhaps she’s addressing the Palestinians that could have had a state anytime between 1917 and 1948 and several times hence but ultimately opted for the failed policy of destroying Israel rather than accepting partition and sharing the land in peace. They “never had a state of their own.” Where was their clamor for it under the Ottomans; during the British Mandate; between 1948-1967 when Judea and Samaria was illegally annexed by Jordan? What about Gaza controlled by Egypt all those years prior to the Six Day War. Can anyone remember the Palestinians calling for their own state then? Our Secretary of State may tell you the sun is shining while it’s pouring rain outside but to anyone with an inkling of what’s going on here you must also remember she was amongst the first Americans to utter the words “a Palestinian state” amongst polite company. Indeed, she’s entitled to her views as we all are in democracies such as Israel and the United States. Likewise, she was entitled to the kiss and warm embrace given to Suha Arafat, the infamous terrorist’s wife, but to then present herself as an honest broker between Israel and the Palestinians is at best disingenuous and at worst, reprehensible.
For the people of Israel and their supporters in the United States it’s time for a reality check. The questions are simple. Is Israel after years of territorial acquiescence in a stronger or weaker position politically than before? What tangible compromises have the Palestinians made and kept over the past twenty years? Has American shuttle diplomacy moved the Palestinians and the rest of the Arab world one inch closer to unambiguously recognizing Israel as a Jewish State? In what way and under present circumstances would an independent Palestinian state dividing Israel be in the interest of the United States?
If the people of Israel wish to remain a sovereign Jewish nation with defensible borders for generations to come, they may soon have to consider thanking the present U.S. Administration for its efforts but respectfully suggest they keep their eye on the ball and tackle the real problems confronting the world and leave Israel to deal with her own.
SecretaryClinton’s Speech: http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2010/12/152664.htm