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November 15, 2016 7:39 am

Obama’s View of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Will Fade Away With Him

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama. Photo: Kobi Gideon/GPO.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama. Photo: Kobi Gideon/GPO.

I have no idea what is going to happen in a Trump administration, either domestically or in foreign policy. I don’t know what his Israel policy will be.

But there will be one instant and long-lasting effect: the Obama narrative of the conflict will become hugely diminished.

In Obama’s worldview, Israel is the only party with any agency and any responsibility. And the lack of peace is wholly Israel’s fault.

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In Obama’s worldview, Palestinian terror is an unfortunate but understandable consequence of Israeli policies.

In Obama’s worldview, Jews living in Judea and Samaria are the single biggest obstacle to peace.

In Obama’s worldview, Netanyahu is an intransigent bully who has no desire for peace and whose policies will doom Israel unless the left saves the country in spite of him.

In Obama’s worldview, supporting Iran is the only reliable path for a stable Middle East.

In Obama’s worldview, American Zionists are part of the problem, and therefore an alternative movement that shares his viewpoint must be encouraged and propped up.

Being President isn’t only about policies, laws, bills and strategies; the White House has a huge influence on American public opinion and how Americans view the world.

Americans will inevitably view the Middle East differently, because Obama will be out of the White House.

It will be shocking to the world when President Trump opines on the Middle East for the first tune. But chances are that he will look at the region without the obscuring clouds of years of lies about “settlers” and “Likud intransigence”. If there is anything Trump loves to do, it is to burst the bubble of conventional wisdom.

Maybe he’ll ask, “If settlements are inexorably taking over the entire disputed areas, then why don’t Palestinians rush to make peace and protect what they can?”

Maybe he’ll ask, “Why, 23 years after Oslo, has the Palestinian Authority continued to teach hate on TV and in the classrooms?”

Maybe he’ll ask, “If Palestinians want peace so much, why have they turned down every peace offer, and why did they respond to Bill Clinton’s plan with a war on Jewish civilians?”

Maybe he’ll ask, “Why are people wanting to boycott the one country that does more for human rights than any other country in the entire Middle East”?

Maybe he’ll ask, “What possible purpose does it serve to keep the US embassy out of the undisputed part of Jerusalem?” (The official answer, that the US still officially supports the part of the 1947 partition plan where all of Jerusalem was supposed to become an international city, is so stupid that it is a perfect thing for a Trumpian president to expose and ridicule to show that he is different from his predecessors.)

These types of obvious questions — obvious to anyone who is not caught up in the previous narrative, that is — will create more positive change than any number of conferences or bills passed. The media will not be able to ignore the plain truths that they have been studiously ignoring for many years.

The anti-Israel crowd is in a panic, and for good reason. It is not because Trump is necessarily pro-Israel. It is because Trump is not afraid to speak out loud what everyone knows deep down. And those truths are what scares the hell out of the people whose entire existence depends on maintaining their anti-Israel narratives in the media and on campus.

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  • Phyllis Kosen

    I’m not sanguine that Obama’s view will fade with him. It’s held by too many humanities academics who can influence those they teach and too many who hold a knee-jerk liberal view of the palestinians as underdogs. Obama’s view, if I understand correctly, was developed while he was in college. Elder might not agree with me, but a liberal point of view has many positive aspects. It fails when the situation is not examined clearly. It also fails when self-interest trumps helping the underdog.

  • Peter Joffe

    Obama is a Muslim and as such his constitution is the Quran and the Sharia. You may remember that Obama did not swear on the Bible to support the American Constitution. He did it in private on the Quran supported by liberal Democrats who looked the other way. Obama never made an oath of office and immediately he proceeded to destroy the American Constitution. He nearly succeeded but now Republicans have a huge job of getting rid of the super liberal ways of the democrats in general and Obama in particular. In the future expect huge objections to the Republicans when they start to enforce Law and Order again and take note of majority rights.

  • SteveC1

    I am not so certain that Obama would agree with the author regarding his (Obama’s) view of Israel and the Palestinians. Regardless, I do hope that the Trump administration manages to find the key to a better and more peaceful scenario.

  • Lucy S.

    Trump talks like he does because he likes attention. He also caves in frequently. Time will tell how he’ll treat Israel or anything else.

  • It’s uncertain, if outgoing President Obama attempts a late-term initiative to enhance his legacy within the Arab world. Nonetheless, the Arab-Israeli conflict will continue until Arabs genuinely accept Israel as the Jewish nation. As for the incoming Trump administration, its first 100-hundred days will be very interesting, indeed.

  • cpa cpa

    I hope Elder of Ziyon is right about Trump espousing/acting on at least one of these.

    • bb

      The Arab- Jew conflict goes back to Abraham, Sarah and Hagar and Ishmael and Issac.
      Sarah told Abraham to have s son with Hagar, Ishmael. In the meantime, Sarah miracuasouly had Issac at 90. All Hell broke loose. Hagar and Ishmael had to flee. God made a seperate pact with Hagar and Ismael, Thus creating the Arab Nation. Issac Became the Hebrew Nation.
      Chaos ever since.

      Semper Fi

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