Barack Obama And Israel

President Obama has been pressuring Israel to stop the development of West Bank settlements as part of a peace deal with the Palestinians, and is trying to get Arab willingness to accept Israel as its neighbor.

The fact is that the Arabs have been implacable rivals since the inception of the Jewish state in 1948, and there is no guarantee that any settlement requiring the giving up of Israeli settlements and the creation of a Palestinian state will bring peace and guarantee the territorial security and integrity of Israel.

Obama is trying to open up to the Arab and Islamic world, but there is no way that we are going to be able to do that in a form that protects our one democratic ally in the Middle East–Israel.

Therefore, Obama is creating problems for Israel’s survival, and playing with fire in his belief that we can trust any Arab nation in its future intentions toward our friend and ally.

I look at it this way: How would we feel if other nations in Europe were trying to pressure us to give up our territory won in war? How would we react if we were told we had to sacrifice our national security in order to appease the desire of our neighbor, Mexico, to seize land we won many years ago?

When we are ready to give back to Mexico land we won in the Mexican War of the 1840s (California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas), then we have the right to tell Israel what to do. Since we are not about to do that, President Obama needs to cease and desist in his pressure on our loyal friend and democratic ally, Israel!

5 comments on “Barack Obama And Israel

  1. Dave August 28, 2009 10:02 pm

    Dad, I couldn’t disagree more. I think you are confusing two different concepts.

    President Obama is not asking Israel to cede territory. He has urged Bibi to temporarily (and I stress the word temporarily) halt the construction of settlements in areas that ultimately will be subject to the discussion of land swaps that will be essential to a final peace agreement.

    Any final peace agreement will include some land swaps to ensure territorial integrity for both Israel and the Palestinian state and provide, wherever possible, that communities of Israelis and Palestinians not be isolated outside from their states once an agreement is reached. This has been a part of nearly every peace plan that has been discussed over the past decade, and no peace will ever be achieved if this is not left open for discussion. In fact, both sides agree upon nearly 97% of the eventual borders of the two states.

    A temporary halt puts the onus and pressure on the Palestinians to move forward with what is required of them to further efforts towards peace, which is exactly where the pressure needs to be because they have so many more steps to take, but with a lot less stable political situation. President Obama (and Congressman Wexler, I should add) believe this is a critical political tool to measure the commitment of the Palestinian people (and the Arab world behind them) to achieve meaningful progress. If they are not able to step up and meet what is required of them, their own inaction will dictate the political capital for Israel to continue with its plan for settlements and to defend its position that they have consistently been the side committed to peace while the other side waffles and collapses under its own indifference as to how to determine its own destiny.

    President Obama would never expect Israel to make any concessions that threaten Israel’s security or territorial integrity. A temporary building freeze maintains security and territorial integrity while providing Israel with political capital in upcoming negotiations and putting the ball in Abu Mazen’s court, while at the same time giving him something to bring back to his people to show the urgency of moving forward with peace talks now.

    If Israel continues to build settlements without this temporary freeze, such action empowers the extremists in Palestinian society to continue to reject efforts to move forward with peace and encourage terrorism. It is critical that moderate Palestinians become empowered to lead their people, and Israel’s government has a huge part to play in legitimizing their moderate leaders and providing them with the capital to defeat Hamas and ensure peace is the goal, not violence and terrorism.

    President Obama has ushered in a new foreign policy and a new opportunity to establish a lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians. He has presented himself as a fair arbiter who understands the need for peace for both societies and the importance of having two states. By urging this step by Israel, he has lifted Israel up as the side of the issue that is unequivocably committed to achieving peace.

  2. Tate August 28, 2009 10:48 pm

    Professor, your son (your own flesh and blood, I might add) seems to make an excellent point here. Rather than dilute this family discussion I will simply sit back and await reading your response. 🙂

  3. Ronald August 28, 2009 10:54 pm

    Dave, you have me tongue tied LOL I certainly know that on this subject, Israel, working for Robert Wexler, you have a greater grasp than I do. After careful reflection, I realize that the strategy of Obama DOES make a lot of sense. But understand the Jewish community is divided over this issue, and my colleague, Richard Corseri, has made it clear that he does not trust Obama or Hillary Clinton. His view swayed me, but now I am swaying over to your side as, hopefully, making more sense. The main goal is bringing the hope of peace which seems so elusive. I congratulate you, my son, for an excellent response and I concede this one to you! 🙂 LOL

  4. Ronald August 28, 2009 10:56 pm

    Tate, I am sure you are having a great laugh over my response to my son. 🙂 I am not too proud to say that I can still learn and see different viewpoints. My son is a brilliant young man, and I am very proud of him, and I think he makes a lot of sense. But I am curious, what would be your stand on this matter? (Now I am putting YOU on the spot! 🙂 LOL )

  5. Tate August 29, 2009 9:41 pm

    I’m not sure that I can top you (or your son) when it comes to political jib-jab. However, I would be glad to offer my views. Sadly, I do not have the answers. Will there be peace in the Middle East? Will Palestine and Israel ever be able to co-exist? Your guess is as good as mine.

    I do agree with Dave that by standing with Obama, and haulting the settlements, Israel would be the “bigger man” and appear to have put the focus clearly on Palestine to arrive at the peace table.

    I have read articles that feel we (the USA) are fighting these recent wars for Israel. We provide them with billions of doallars a year (never to be repaid), the latest military equipment, training, have allowed them to build in excess of 200-400 nuclear weapons (without having to sign any nuclear agreements as other countries have), and have pledged our unbreakable loyalty. I do not agree with this argument – but I fear that unless some peaceful resolution comes to pass – there are those that may begin to blame Israel for their son’s death, their countries slow demise, etc. In short, the days of the rest of the world watching the dog and cat fight are coming to an end. The action in the early nineties (Gulf War) and a second venture into the middle east that is still ongoing (and spreading) has many feeling and questioning what we are doing and for whom it is being done. Again, these are not my personal thoughts (as I think we should always stand side by side with Israel) but listening to the “other side” can often shed light on what is coming down the pike and there is a growing group “out there” that think these ventures are purely a means for the US to kill off Israel’s enemys.

    Regardless, I think both countries (and their people and cultures) need to end this. If Obama is the answer – and Israel and Palestine are ready for peace – I hope it happens. If not, than maybe these two countries could reach some agreement on their own without a third-party broker.

    I’d like the leaders of both countries to witness first hand the pain and fear this conflict has instilled in the average person simply trying to survive and live. Those women, children, sons, and daughters are why they should put this issue to rest.

    I am not a very religious man. I was raised Catholic, went to church until the age of seven, and then told myself that God loved watching football on Sunday as much as I did. My dad told me Texas stadium had a big hole in the roof – proving this point. 🙂 But, when I do find myself praying to the “creator” (whoever he/she may be) shortly after asking that he/she keep my family safe…my next prayer is always for Israel; for those that have suffered unimaginable horrors, discrimination, and fear. For those that died – and those forced to live with their loss.

    I got off on a rant here, I appologize for any spelling errors…but this truly is my hope not only for Israel but for the world as a whole. While this post can’t compare with the specifics your posts have outlined – I think (knowing one of you personally and knowing that you Dave are the product of a good man :)) that this post would represent all of our hopes regarding this ongoing issue.

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