If our soon-to-arrive visitor, US President Barack Obama, truly fancies himself the harbinger of new tidings to this region – as he has tirelessly promoted himself in the past – then it’s high time for him to take the truly bold tack and think out of the box.
Had Obama by happenstance peeked over the edge of the conventional box, he’s have recoiled in horror from the two-state sham. He’d have realized that it will unleash all manner of mayhem and misery – as surely as the last vestiges of stability are right now brutally being expunged from the Arab realm in the traumatic wake of what’s still extolled as the Arab Spring.
But so far Obama has never dared venture outside his confining worldview container. His self-acclaimed innovative statesmanship wasn’t ever genuinely innovative.
Obama is an unexceptional mantra-chanter, an unimaginative product of his times. He, moreover, takes formulaic trendiness to dangerous extremes. He distorts and aggrandizes out of all proportion hackneyed clichés that fail both the tests of history and of good sense.
What Obama proclaims as nonconformism is in fact the conformity of his mother’s beatnik and hippie-generation era and of his own upbringing and formative years. Today’s cognition-constricting political correctness is the dogma born in the second half of the twentieth century.
As the proletarian revolution began to slowly but inexorably lose its allure in the free world’s intellectual salons and group-think campuses, well-heeled Western radicals discovered the Third World – downtrodden, but, as stylish mythology would have it, spiritually superior.
That was the outlook inculcated into Obama and from which he either couldn’t unfetter himself or which he had expediently exploited to further personal vested interests. It impelled him to rush, hot on the heels of his first inauguration in 2009, to address the global Muslim collective from Cairo University’s rostrum.
That was just the forerunner of much more in the same vein. Not only was Obama not embarrassed by his fawning performance in Egypt, but he celebrated it as a cultural/diplomatic milestone, a momentous historic event.
And so, on the first anniversary of his sycophantic extravaganza, Obama dispatched his own hand-picked (first African-American) NASA Administrator, Charles Bolden, to tell al-Jazeera that America’s president himself had demanded outright that henceforth NASA’s principal goals be to encourage children to learn math and science, expand international relationships and “foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science… and math and engineering.”
For those who forgot, NASA is the acronym for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, formally lumbered with such mundane uninspiring chores as space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research.
Bolden didn’t misspeak and his utterance was in no way incidental. He later repeated the message to engineering students in Orlando Florida, stressing that Obama specifically instructed him to “find ways to reach out to dominantly Muslim countries.”
The prevailing predisposition is to brush aside assorted Obama administration absurdities as overblown or tendentious reporting. Hence, NASA’s outreach to Muslims was readily dismissed as a one-off bit of trivial flattery meant to make nice and sooth the savage by pretending he’s really a savant.
Obama’s fervent fans are anyhow likely to applaud any of his oddball initiatives as sophisticated pluralism.
This fits in snugly with Obama’s moral-relativist mindset that preaches unstinting tolerance toward adversarial viewpoints, that hypes the hypothesis that no cause is unavoidably more just than any other and that promises preference to ostensible third-world underdogs with a peeve.
The Arabs, especially those parading under the Johnny-come-lately Palestinian moniker, quickly hogged center-stage in that lucrative role of endeared third-world underdogs with a peeve. They became the First World’s permanent superstars – first under Nasser’s banner of pan-Arab nationalism and ultimately under a varied array of warring Islamic fanatics.
But it goes without saying that in all mutations of the love affair with the Middle East’s supposedly suffering masses (their mind-blowing oil wealth notwithstanding), the sufferings of the Jewish people never aroused significant sympathy. Far from it. As ever, Jews constitute fashionable foes.
Never to be left behind, Israeli left-wingers eagerly jumped on the opportunity of luxuriating in the ambiance of chic enlightenment. If their own country is denigrated as uncool and oppressive, then local leftists evince no qualms about jeopardizing the self-determination of the ancient Jewish people. At the same time they espouse the ideal of self-determination for Palestinians, whose nationhood is a recent invention cynically calculated to counterbalance renascent Jewish national independence.
Sad as it is to admit, the entire notion of a Palestinian state residing alongside Israel is totally made-in-Israel. It appeared in the early 1970s on far-Left’s fringes mainly to exasperate then-Prime Minister Golda Meir, who was by no stretch of the imagination a right-winger.
She correctly and vigorously noted that no Arab Palestinian nation had ever existed in the entire annals of mankind, that Palestine is a Roman name inflicted on this country to humiliate defeated Judea, that it remained alive only in Europe, that it was re-imported here by the British Mandate only after WWI, that the Arabs (who couldn’t even pronounce it) rejected the Palestinian designation, which ironically ended up used only to describe this land’s Jews in pre-state days and was only used by them.
The two-state solution was the brainchild of Golda’s political antagonists, part of their effort to denigrate her as incurably obstinate and wrongheaded. This manipulative ploy morphed into establishment orthodoxy as post-Golda Labor veered leftward and inter alia dragged the entire political spectrum with it.
Successive small, seemingly meaningless semantic concessions were in due course codified as the new-fangled lexicon of Israeli public discourse. The two-state solution became standard vocabulary.
All the while, gloating Arab propagandists zestfully built on the Israeli-laid foundations. To hear them, in 1967 Israel premeditatedly occupied a veteran, flourishing and sovereign Palestinian state.
In actual fact, though, the Arabs refused to consider their own Palestinian state in 1947 under the auspices of the UN Partition Resolution. They likewise didn’t seize the opportunity to establish a Palestinian state between 1948 and 1967, when they controlled all the territory they now demand. Nonetheless, their counterfeit historiography has gained widespread respectability throughout the international community.
Then came the Osloite concoction geared to implement the urgent necessity – as the world was bamboozled to believe – of expediting Palestinian statehood. That meant splitting the tiny area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean between Jews and Arabs. To be sure, it’s quite impossible to carve it up in a way that wouldn’t lead to the certain obliteration of Israel (slated to be compressed back into the 9-mile narrowing that dovish Abba Eban described as “the Auschwitz borders”). But foreigners are either unfamiliar with the topography or don’t care.
To add insult to injury, the Osloite blueprint ignored the fact that original Palestine was already callously partitioned in 1922 when the Brits unilaterally ripped away nearly 80% of the total earmarked by the League of Nations as the National Home of the Jewish people. That massive severed chunk of Palestine is today known as Jordan and is strictly Judenrein by law.
Even those who disdain history and who cannot abide mention of the past – most probably because it undermines their bogus case against Israel – shouldn’t, however, in full conscience willfully disregard the present. The facts on the ground are indisputable. Two of the three Arab-controlled portions of Palestine – Jordan and the Oslo-wrought Palestinian Authority – are propped up by Israel. Gaza, relinquished by Israel, has become Hamastan.
If Israel retreats and/or is weakened, Jordan and the Ramallah-run latifundia will go the way of Gaza, Syria and Egypt. They will come under the attack or sway of some bellicose Jihadist outfit or another.
That’s a peace-killer because no coexistence – especially if merely marginally viable – can survive without a minimally stable Arab regime to buttress it. Without some semblance of stability and effective central rule, any deal would overnight be reduced to the fiasco of Israel’s withdrawals from Gaza and South Lebanon. Both were in no time turned into vast arsenals of mass destruction, threatening Israel with a myriad of missiles of different ranges and deadly capacities.
If the Arab Spring should teach Obama anything, it isn’t that it brought forth the blossoming of democracy but that it resulted in the anarchic fragmentation of the artificial Arab nation-states which imperialist Britain and France arrogantly stitched together.
The Palestinians and Jordanians don’t comprise bona fide ethnicities one iota more than do the Syrians, Lebanese or even the Iraqis, whom America vainly sought to democratize and bind into one national cohesive.
Only much-maligned Israel prevents the chaotic and violent disintegration of the PA and Jordan. Only relentless Israeli counter-terrorism daily thwarts the predations of the disparate forces of jihad, already now poised to take over from Mahmoud Abbas. They will be free to do their worst the second Israel pulls out.
Gaza will be much more than hideously replicated on Israel’s long convoluted eastern flank. The density of Israel’s directly adjoining ultra-vulnerable population centers would incomparably compound the calamity. The influx into independent Palestine of Palestinians from strife-torn Lebanon and Syria would throw yet more matches into the powder keg. Such “peace” could mark the bitter beginning of Israel’s end. No less.
That of course, we presume, isn’t what Obama wishes. If anything, he swears that he is our best bud, a bosom ally who knows what’s best for us even if we stupidly don’t.
That makes it all the more morally imperative that Obama remove his ideological blinders – before he begins coaxing us with honeyed blandishments – and that he take a long, hard and unbiased look out of the box. If he doesn’t, then his inability to shake off his affinities, orientations and inclinations should not only perturb Israelis and Jews.
If he claims that his two-state compromise and conciliation agenda can remain realistically relevant in the face of all the frenzied martyr-worshipping Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Salafist and al-Qaeda zealots baying for the blood of Jewish infidels, then contrary to his electioneering rhetoric, Obama is insincere.
Thanks Sarah, very insightful article. But I have given up hope of anything but a focus on domestic political advantage from the current administration.
Oh, Obama is a harbinger alright Sarah, just not a harbinger of new tidings to this region. Well maybe new tidings, just dark tidings, very dark tidings (no pun intended).
שבת שלום לך שרה
“If he [Obama] claims . . .” Ah, but does he?
Just as America is the world’s big satanic bully and must be cut down to size, so also must Israel, the middle east’s little satanic bully, whose teeny-weeny tentacles hold the helpless and hopeless surrounding lands and peoples in their relentless, greedy grip.
This is his claim and conviction, surely and sincerely.
We will wait and listen, to what Hussein Obama is ready to promote…
To promote the 2 state solution, is to promote the self destruction of the Jewish state…!
GWB did so, with his infamous road map to nowhere…
Is Obama better than Bush ?
Are Israels leftists better than Obama ?
WHO has given up on the 2 state solution inside of Israel and WHO has made his position clear ?
On the ground, Israels position has changed for the better…WHY ?
40 years ago, Egypt and Syria had been able, to wage war against Israel…now, Syria is at war with itself and Egypt is staring down the abyss…
The US had been able, to pressure Israel to give up on the Sinai, just because Israel was surrounded by stable AND hostile Arab neighbours !
Today the hostility of these states hasn’t changed, but they can no longer be used to pressure Israel, to dismantle itself.
Even Hussein Obama will be aware of that reality.
We will wait and see…
An esteemed friend and colleague put it to me like this:-
“To expect anything positive out of Obama’s visit is to expect a rattlesnake to not bite”
Great piece, as usual Sarah. I would only differ with the ending…..it isn’t about Obama changing his Tfisat Olam, because that ain’t happening. It’s about Israelis, particularly the younger set, but not only, dropping their hero-worship slobbering and understanding just who he really is. Tough to do with the likes of Yonit Levi around to help shape their views.
I nominate Sarah Honig for Prime MInister…S H Cohen
Who can doubt that Obama is subservient to the Saudis – he bowed to the Saudi ruler when they met and kissed his hand.
He is favouring the Saudis protégés – ie the Moslem Brotherhood.
Israel’s safety is the last of his worries.
If he wasn’t held in check by Congress he would have openly sided with Hamas.
Sarah I enjoyed your article. When will the leftist american Jews wake up and understand Obama and his foreign policy. You can sweeten his views to make him seem like he is the greatest american president of all time in defending Israel but we all know he will probably win an academy award for being the greatest impostor. We as Jews, have a new blood type, called appeasement. As a physician perhaps I should now routinely run this additional blood test on all my Jewish patients. Best Brent
Sarah has compressed 60 plus years of the Israeli Predicament into a marvelously articulate literary gem. Thank you, Sarah.
As she is directing her essay to the “soon-to-arrive-visitor”, who, by her own reasoning, is incapable of thinking out-of-the-box, I would have thought the appropriate concluding paragraph should have been her advice to Obama to please stay home. It is really too late to say I’m sorry. Visiting Israel may help him coast his remaining 3 years at home but if the past is prologue he and his colorful appointments are bad news for Israel.
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I remember that initially, many people considered Obama as a kind of a vaccination shot that would prevent the Americans from voting for a Red ever again. But I fear that the US (or the world) might not recover.
After all 8 years was enough for the National Socialist Germany to brainwash an entire generation into believing that anything the Leader and the Party do is right.