President Obama made a speech yesterday addressing the current political situation in the Middle East. He came out in support of all pro-Democracy movements, which was not a surprise. I was surprised, however, by his staunch anti-Israel statements.
During his campaign, Obama was clearly a supporter of Israel. He came out with very clear positions regarding Israel (compiled by Ideapalloza):
40) I will bring to the White House an unshakeable commitment to Israel’s security
41) Finally, let there be no doubt: I will always keep the threat of military action on the table to defend our security and our ally Israel
42) Obama and Biden will make progress on the Israel-Palestinian conflict a key diplomatic priority. They will make a sustained push – working with Israelis and Palestinians-to achieve the goal of two states
43) I will implement a Memorandum of Understanding that provides $30 billion in assistance to Israel over the next decade-investments to Israel’s security that will not be tied to any other nation
44) Barack Obama and Joe Biden strongly support the U.S.-Israel relationship, believe that our first and incontrovertible commitment in the Middle East must be the security of Israel
45) He and Joe Biden believe strongly in Israel’s right to protect its citizens
46) Barack Obama and Joe Biden have consistently supported foreign assistance to Israel
47) We have to press for enforcement of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701, which demands the cessation of arms shipments to Hezbollah, a resolution which Syria and Iran continue to disregard
48) That’s why we must strengthen the hands of the Palestinian moderates who seek peace and that is why we must maintain the isolation of Hamas and other extremists who are committed to Israel’s destruction
49) We can and we should help Israelis and Palestinians both fulfill their national goals: two states living side by side in peace and security
50) I will strongly urge Arab governments to take steps to normalize relations with Israel
51) We also know that we should never seek to dictate what is best for the Israelis and their security interests. No Israeli Prime Minister should ever feel dragged to or blocked from the negotiating table by the United States.
52) I also believe that the United States has a responsibility to support Israel’s efforts to renew peace talks with the Syrians.
53) The danger from Iran is grave, it is real, and my goal will be to eliminate this threat.
Now, look at his words yesterday:
So while the core issues of the conflict must be negotiated, the basis of those negotiations is clear: a viable Palestine, a secure Israel. The United States believes that negotiations should result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine. We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states.
I do agree with one part of his comments, that Israel shall have secure and recognized borders. However, it is not the place of the United States or any other government to determine those borders.
I have said for months that the only way for any peace agreement to actually work is for a mutually negotiated framework including borders, Jerusalem, and security issues. Obama has clearly undermined Israel’s sovereignty by implying that it will enforce a non-negotiated peace agreement.
Recent Past Presidents
Bill Clinton was much more of a friend to Israel than Barack Obama. Clinton worked hard on a peace deal that was negotiated over a series of meetings and ultimately led to the infamous Oslo Accords.
While the Oslo Accords may have been fair in principle, only one side actually followed their side of the agreement. Israel, while not perfect, did uphold its side of the agreement. All the while, Yassir Arafat continued anti-Semitic incitement and violence toward Israel.
Bill Clinton came to the realization that it takes two sides to have peace, and until the Palestinians are ready to recognize Israel as a country with a right to exist (that includes both Hamas and Fatah), no peace is possible.
Jimmy Carter has been one of the most damaging figures for Israel in modern history. While he did little damage as President, his legacy has left a path showing clear biases, if not open hatred, toward the Jewish State.
I will give Carter credit for helping negotiate the Camp David Accords leading to peace between Israel and Egypt. That peace treaty has held since 1978. It is only now under pressure from the Egyptians.
After his Presidency, Carter has held high profile meetings with known terrorist leaders. He has written books that are clearly one sided and show a lack of understanding of the true issues on the ground. He is an enemy of Israel and the Jewish people.
The United States House of Representatives and Senate have almost always been supporters of Israel. This goes for both Democratic and Republican representatives and senators.
Just last week, the House Democrats issued this statement:
Half the Democratic caucus in the U.S. Senate urged President Obama to suspend assistance to the Palestinian Authority unless Hamas recognizes Israel and renounces terrorism.
“It is imperative for you to make clear to President Abbas that Palestinian Authority participation in a unity government with an unreformed Hamas will jeopardize its relationship with the United States, including its receipt of U.S. aid,” said the letter sent May 6 to Obama and signed by 27 Democratic senators.
The Real Story
So, what trend do we see here? Democrats are not enemies of Israel, as some would lead you to believe. However, certain prominent Democrats have done significant damage to Israel. Obama is the newest one to join the list.
Public domain image from WhiteHouse.gov.