Does Obama Speak for America?
In the end, the report published by the “Yediot Ahronot”, which had detailed the diplomatic blows Obama was about to rain on Israel, was indeed only partially correct. The president had not mentioned the “illegality of the Jewish settlements” and wasn’t tempted to elaborate a la Bill Clinton on his vision for a divided Jerusalem. It wasn’t really necessary.
May 19th, 2011, will go down in history as a day on which a leader of the free world had fully embraced the Palestinian narrative of the desirable solution to the conflict between the Arabs and the Jews. One has to marvel over the ineffable temerity, with which Obama had in a few words overturned the American policy in force since the resolution 242 was passed by the Security Council. By stating that from now on, the “1967 borders” with minimal swaps are the AMERICAN idea of how the conflict should be resolved on the ground, Obama had covered all his pro-Palestinian bases in one fell swoop.
Consider: if Israel should be rolled back into the Auschwitz “borders” from which it was once saved by its own bravery and the dint of Providence, the whole issue of settlements is made obsolete. Obama had finally buried the solemn commitment of his predecessor to recognize the demographic realities on the ground and to support the annexation of settlement blocks by Israel. Now, the United States had hitched its colours to the Palestinian wagon – what will be acceptable to the Hamas-Fatah duo, will pass muster in Washington. In case of Palestinian intransigence, Israel should not expect the White House to intervene on its behalf – after all, “the 1967 border” is a rule, the “swaps” are only the exception. In fact, the Palestinians would be justified in concluding that, in case of the stalemate over borders, Obama will force Israel to comply. After all, “the international community is tired” not of Arabs killing Jews, but of Jews defending their minimal claims to their national patrimony.
Same goes for Jerusalem. If the “1967 border” becomes the standard solution, then the Jews will have to beg the Arabs for each and every neighbourhood over the “green line”, for each house and alley in the Old City. Arabs might agree; or they might not – in any case, America is no longer a party to those discussions. In case of disagreement, the rule of 1967 must be followed. This is the only logical conclusion one can make from the presidential pronouncement that from now on, the armistice lines drawn in 1949 by Israeli and Jordanian officers are magically transformed into the “territorial outlines of the Palestinian state”.
Reading the relevant part of the speech, the only question on the reader’s mind should be “Why?” Why, exactly, must the future border follow the “green line”? Because that’s what Palestinians demand? And why should they know the territorial parameters of the future settlement before they even got back to the negotiating table? The land is the only tangible asset Israel has in its dealings with Palestinians; take it away, and the only thing left to discuss are the terms of surrender.
Leaving aside the intriguing vision of the future Palestine that is both fully sovereign and demilitarized, and the brisk dismissal of the millennia of the Jewish connection to Jerusalem as an “emotional issue”, just how will the proponents of “Obama is the greatest friend of Israel” theory rationalize his treatment of the Palestinian “unity”? Apparently, from now on the fact that the future Palestine is ruled jointly by the Islamofascist cult of death which treats Protocols of Zion’s Elders as a revelation, becomes the problem for Israel, but not, again, for America, which must “continue every effort to get beyond the current impasse” (read: to pressure Israel) regardless of the composition of the Palestinian government.
The Israelis, most of whom spent the evening at the early Lag ba-Omer bonfires with their children, returned home to a new and stark reality. For all his assurances, president Obama has taken America out of Israel’s corner. Now the only thing that remains to be seen is whether the president was indeed speaking for America.