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October 27, 2015 7:06 am

Obama Willfully Lies on Israel, Then Retracts, But the Damage Is Done

avatar by Morton A. Klein and Daniel Mandel

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President Barack Obama. Photo: ZOA.org.

President Barack Obama. Photo: ZOA.org.

After weeks of murderous Palestinian stabbing attacks against innocent Israelis, how has the Obama administration responded?

Although Israel has been killing or apprehending knife-wielding terrorists, while Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority (PA) has been inciting and glorifying their acts of murder, the administration presents both sides as morally equivalent, while insinuating — or even asserting — Israeli responsibility.

Obama officials have been doing this in five ways:

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1. Condemning violence and incitement on both sides: Specifically condemning attacks on innocent Israelis, Secretary of State John Kerry nonetheless also called upon “all sides to take affirmative steps to restore calm” and called for “leadership that condemns the tit-for-tat.” And State Department spokesman John Kirby explicitly stated, “We recognize that incitement can go both ways here.”

2. Refusing to identify or condemn PA incitement to violence: Despite disseminating falsehoods about Palestinian terrorists being innocents murdered in cold blood by Israel and Muslim supremacist calls by Abbas for Muslims to block imaginary Israeli take-over and “desecration” of Muslim shrines with “their filthy feet,” administration officials don’t allude to this, much less condemn it. Quite the contrary: State Department spokesman Mark Toner implied Israel isn’t upholding the status quo on Temple Mount, while Mr. Kirby explicitly endorsed this false Palestinian claim, saying , “Certainly, the status quo has not been observed, which has led to a lot of the violence.”

3. Refusing to identify which side is using terrorism: Secretary Kerry has spoken of “a revolving cycle,” while Mr. Toner has referred to the “recent wave of violence,” not Palestinian terrorism, and refused to “assign blame” for the attacks. So did Mr. Kirby (“This isn’t about affixing … blame on either side.”)

4. Accusing Israel of using excessive force in dealing with the knife-wielding terrorists: Mr. Kirby baldy stated, “We’ve certainly seen some reports of what many would consider excessive use of force.”

5. Rationalizing the Arab violence as partly the product of Jews moving into or living in the West Bank: Secretary Kerry spoke of  a “massive increase in [Jewish] settlements over the course of the last years,” which is neither a warrant for murder nor even true. Construction within Jewish communities in the West Bank has dropped during Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s six-year tenure to its lowest point since the Rabin government.

When the Obama administration nullifies and voids the meaning and worth of its original condemnation of attacks on Israelis with defamatory charges and moral equivalence, it exposes its hostility and bias against Israel.

It is also inflammatory. If Kerry can assign blame for Arab terrorism on Jews building houses in the West Bank, why can’t Arabs?

It is also untenable. One cannot credibly condemn terrorist acts and then include under the rubric of restoring calm forbearing from lawful actions of self-defense taken in response to them.

Under consequent pressure to clarify the U.S. position, White House Spokesman Josh Earnest denied that Kerry assigned any specific blame for the recent tensions — which, of course, he had. Mr. Kirby avowed that “we have never accused Israeli security forces with excessive force with respect to these terrorist attacks” — which, of course, he had — and recanted his false statement, saying, “I did not intend to suggest that status quo at Temple Mount/Haram Al-Sharif has been broken” — which, of course, he did.

These disavowals and retractions are correct and necessary — but do not dispose of the root problem of hostility and bias.

Recall, for example, Kerry last year publicly bolstered the Palestinian delegitimization campaign by suggesting that Israel could become an apartheid state and would be understandably the target of boycotts if negotiations then on foot failed. Kerry later retracted his words — but the damage was done.

The administration seems to be seeking the damaging effects of these subsequently triangulated statements. The clarifications are just sufficiently retractive to mollify critics, while nonetheless preserving the original, damaging impact.

In this instance, President Obama seems to think they retracted too much.

Accordingly, on October 16, he himself doubled down on the original misrepresentations uttered by his officials on October 13 and 14, but retracted on October 14 and 15, saying, “We must try to get all people in Israel, and the West Bank” to oppose “random violence.” President Obama also urged both Messrs. Netanyahu and Abbas to tamp down rhetoric, and again called into question Israel’s maintenance of Jerusalem’s status quo.

As for Abbas’ incitement — still not a word from him, nor from U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power, who has also doubled down on some of the earlier false charges in the U.N. Security Council.

The Obama administration is telling falsehoods about Israel, retracting them and then restating them. When someone persists with falsehoods, even after admitting them to be untrue, he intends them to stick.

Morton A. Klein is National President of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA).
Dr. Daniel Mandel is Director of the ZOA’ s Center for Middle East Policy and author of  H.V. Evatt & the Creation of Israel (Routledge, London, 2004).

This article was published by Front Page Magazine and may be found here.

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  • Simon Néhmé

    All his life is a successive lie series, so lying a bit here, a bit there, once more, once less, won’t change anything to the movie… The sooner he leaves the better is for all. America and the world need a true honorable President measuring up with because of his vocation for, and not for vacation.

  • Barrack Hussein Obama face it – Greater Israel is Jewish territory for eternity and it is not negotiable – YJ Draiman

    Barrack Hussein Obama face it – Greater Israel is Jewish territory for eternity and it is not negotiable r13

    The Arabs already have Jordan which is 80% of the territory allocated to the Jewish people under International Law and Treaties of post WWI that allocated Palestine’s 75,000 square miles for the Jewish people and over 5 million square miles to the Arab States.

    Stop fantasizing and deluding yourself and the rest of the world. Greater Israel is for the Jewish people, according to history, archeology, international law and treaties, Such as the 1920 San Remo Conference and was confirmed by the Treaty of Sevres, including the 1919 Faisal Weizmann Agreement and incorporated into the Mandate for Palestine by all 52 members of the League of Nations.

    The Arabs already have over 70,000 sq. miles of Jewish land (6 times the size of Israel) that they confiscated from the terrorized and expelled million Jewish families and their children from the Arab-Muslim countries in the past 80 years. They also have the Jewish territory of Jordan which was reallocated to the Arabs in violation of international law and treaties.

    I think you do not have your facts straight – Israel belongs to the Jews. It has been a Jewish country for over 3,700 years and has been occupied by various Nations who let it deteriorate into a dessert.

    There are 22 Arab countries and only one Jewish country. The land-rich Arabs already occupy over 5 million square miles and land-poor Israel, including all of its territories, comprises only about 10,000 square miles. The Arab areas are thus 500 times larger than Israel and the Arabs already possess 99.8% of the total land. The so-called West Bank and Gaza areas combined total 2,300 square miles and comprise a miniscule 0.046% of the entire Arab empire – and to seize this speck of land the Arabs are adamant and willing to fight and die forever! Only a mind, hopelessly out of touch with reality, can seriously suggest that the Arabs need still more land, carved out of Israel, to create yet another terrorist country.

    The Quran clearly states, Israel belongs to the Jewish people.
    The Jews never had a chance of reaching a majority in the country of Palestine after WWI, given the illegal restrictive immigration policy of the British in violation of 1920 International law and treaties.
    By contrast, Palestine’s Arab population, which had been declining prior to the Mandate for Palestine in 1922, grew exponentially because the Arabs from all the surrounding countries were free to come—and hundreds of thousands did—to take advantage of the rapid economic development and improved health conditions stimulated by Zionist settlement and Worldwide Jewish financial support for the development of Israel.
    Historical archives lays bare the false claim that Jewish settlers dispossessed Arab people from their land in Palestine (As per 1937 testimony of the Mufti of Jerusalem in front of the British Peel Commission). The examination of records from 1830 onward will shock most people.
    In the first place, records shows that Palestine’s population barely grew for 250 years–rising from 205,000 Muslims, Christians and Jews in 1554 to only 275,000 in 1800. In the second, records from 1830, 1863, 1878 and 1893 and 1917, among others, demonstrate that when the heaviest Jewish immigration to Palestine began in 1880, a large proportion of the 425,000 to 440,000 Arabs in Palestine were themselves new and recent immigrants.
    The research also carefully documents the origins of those Arab immigrants into Palestine. Many came from Egypt: The 1831 invasion by the Egyptian Khedive, Ibrahim Pasha, forced Palestine fellaheen, urban dwellers and Bedouin to permanently flee Ottoman military drafts and taxes. The 1837 Great Earthquake and epidemics that followed further cut their numbers. In their wake came Ibrahim Pasha’s Egyptian Arabs, who settled the empty land. In 1831 alone, 6,000 Egyptian Arabs settled in Akko. The Egyptian Arab-Hinadi, Ghawarna tribes settled in the Beit Shean and Hula Valleys and in the Jordan Valley towns of Ubeidiya, Delhamiya and Kafer-Miser. In the Hula Valley, the Egyptian ez-Zubeids later sold their land to Jewish settlers from Yessud-Hama’ala. According to an 1893 British Palestine Exploration Fund report, Egyptians made up most of the population in Jaffa.
    Additionally, Records shows, that Arab and Muslim immigrants also came from Algeria, Damascus, Yemen, Afghanistan, Persia, India, Tripoli, Morocco, Turkey and Iraq. The French conquest of Algeria, for example, led to the eventual rebellion and imprisonment of Abd el-Kadar el-Hassani, whose followers in 1856 fled to Syria and the Lower Galilee towns of Shara, Ulam, Ma’ader, Kafer-Sabet, Usha (near present-day Ramat-Yohanan), the Mount Atlas village of Qedesh and villages on Lake Hula and in the Upper Galilee, where they spoke Berber. In Ramle, immigrants spoke Qebili, a Mugrabi dialect. Circassian refugees from the Caucasus settled in Trans-Jordan and as far east as Caesarea.
    Arab immigration continued to rise through World War I, as Avneri documents, despite locusts, the Ottoman draft and more epidemics. Egyptian laborers, contractors and businessmen flooded the country. By 1922, the Muslim population had more than doubled to 566,311, including 62,500 Bedouins. The 1931 Mandatory government census counted 693,147 permanent Muslim residents, including 66,553 Bedouins. It also gave the natural increase of the population as 132,211 — 57,125 less than the absolute increase. Only illegal Arab immigration explains this contradiction, Avneri shows.
    The next census in 1948, as the research recounts, followed unprecedented economic growth by the Jewish immigration, during which illegal Arab immigration continued and increased substantially. From April 1934 to November 1935, for example, 20,000 Haurani Arabs families came to Palestine. These and tens of thousands of other Arab immigrants worked on farms, construction projects (building roads, railroads and the Haifa port), and government and municipal jobs. Syrians and Lebanese Arabs were free to come with nothing but border passes, and they came along with immigrants from Somalia, Trans-Jordan, Persia, India, Ethiopia and the Hejaz. British Mandatory government rules required the supervision of immigration, but Palestine’s borders remained porous to all but Jews. In all, records shows that 35,000 to 40,000 illegal Arab families, immigrants came from 1931 to 1947 — on top of that up to 20,000 other Arab immigrants families who arrived from 1935 to 1945.
    The research also carefully examines numerous historical descriptions of a desolate landscape; composed almost entirely of swamps and deserts, and sold to the Jewish people by absentee Arab landlords, appointed by the Ottoman government, at enormous profits (those facts were confirmed by the Mufti of Jerusalem while testifying in front of the British Peel commission in 1937). Dozens of sales are documented specifically, including some by the Egyptian el-Husseini family of Yasser Arafat.
    Altogether, this research shatters the Arab claim of dispossession.

    YJ Draiman

    • jeremy

      Longest comment ever award Dostoevsky.

  • Cherie

    America is paying a heavy price for the lies of their President against Israel.Expect more natural disasters and it has absolutely nothing to do with Climate Change whatsoever. Violence will also increase to epic proportions!!!

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