Is it April Fool’s Day already? President Barack Hussein Obama must think so.
The AP reports that President Obama tried to assuage Jewish supporters during a fundraising stop in New York hosted by a prominent Jewish donor, who had been billed among prospective fundraisers ahead of time as a chance for a “substantive and candid” discussion about concerns in the Jewish community.
Chief among them has been Israel and lingering questions among some Jewish voters about the administration’s commitment to Israel.
When the fundraiser’s host, American Jewish Congress chairman Jack Rosen, mentioned “concerns” about the ties between Israel and the U.S., Obama declared, “We don’t compromise when it comes to Israel’s security.”
According to the AP report, Obama said no ally surpasses Israel in importance to the U.S.
Yeah, right. That used to be the case, prior to January 2009. Tell us another story, Uncle Barry.
Allow me to direct your attention to the president’s foreign policy speech last May 19th, when he said:
Now, ultimately, it is up to the Israelis and Palestinians to take action. No peace can be imposed upon them — not by the United States; not by anybody else. But endless delay won’t make the problem go away. What America and the international community can do is to state frankly what everyone knows — a lasting peace will involve two states for two peoples: Israel as a Jewish state and the homeland for the Jewish people, and the state of Palestine as the homeland for the Palestinian people, each state enjoying self-determination, mutual recognition, and peace.
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. The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their full potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state.
…Now, let me say this: Recognizing that negotiations need to begin with the issues of territory and security does not mean that it will be easy to come back to the table. In particular, the recent announcement of an agreement between Fatah and Hamas raises profound and legitimate questions for Israel: How can one negotiate with a party that has shown itself unwilling to recognize your right to exist? And in the weeks and months to come, Palestinian leaders will have to provide a credible answer to that question. Meanwhile, the United States, our Quartet partners, and the Arab states will need to continue every effort to get beyond the current impasse.
I recognize how hard this will be. Suspicion and hostility has been passed on for generations, and at times it has hardened. But I’m convinced that the majority of Israelis and Palestinians would rather look to the future than be trapped in the past. We see that spirit in the Israeli father whose son was killed by Hamas, who helped start an organization that brought together Israelis and Palestinians who had lost loved ones. That father said, “I gradually realized that the only hope for progress was to recognize the face of the conflict.” We see it in the actions of a Palestinian who lost three daughters to Israeli shells in Gaza. “I have the right to feel angry,” he said. “So many people were expecting me to hate. My answer to them is I shall not hate. Let us hope,” he said, “for tomorrow.”
That is the choice that must be made -– not simply in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but across the entire region -– a choice between hate and hope; between the shackles of the past and the promise of the future. It’s a choice that must be made by leaders and by the people, and it’s a choice that will define the future of a region that served as the cradle of civilization and a crucible of strife.
For all the challenges that lie ahead, we see many reasons to be hopeful. In Egypt, we see it in the efforts of young people who led protests. In Syria, we see it in the courage of those who brave bullets while chanting, “peaceful, peaceful.” In Benghazi, a city threatened with destruction, we see it in the courthouse square where people gather to celebrate the freedoms that they had never known. Across the region, those rights that we take for granted are being claimed with joy by those who are prying loose the grip of an iron fist.
Prying loose? Nope, Scooter. That grip in Egypt just got a whole lot tighter:
Judges overseeing the vote count in Egypt’s parliamentary elections say Islamist parties have won a majority of the contested seats in the first round. The judges spoke on condition of anonymity because official results are expected to be released later Thursday.
They say the Muslim Brotherhood could take 45 percent of the seats up for grabs. The liberal Egyptian bloc coalition and the ultra-fundamentalist Nour party are competing for second place.
Together, Islamist parties are expected to control a majority of parliamentary seats by March. This week’s vote was the first of six stages of parliamentary elections that will last until then.
Continued success by Islamists will allow them to give Cairo’s government and constitution a decidedly Islamist character. It could also lead Cairo to shift away from the West towards the Iranian axis.
It will also diminish the influence of Cairo’s caretaker junta, which has sought to maintain the Mubarak-era status quo and keep US foreign aid dollars – running into the billions per annum – flowing.
Analysts say Islamists may also seek to annul the 1979 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty, which could prompt Israel to seize the Sinai Peninsula for the fourth time in its history to create a strategic buffer zone.
After reaching the Suez Canal in 1967 and controlling the Sinai for twelve years,, Israel ceded Sinai to Egypt under the 1979 treaty on condition it remains demilitarized.
The Muslim Brotherhood, which birthed the virulently anti-Israel Hamas terror militia, might also seek to effectively annex Gaza. Should Hamas be triumphant in future PA elections, they would also gain a foothold in Judea and Samaria.
A choice between hate and hope, between the shackles of the past and the promise of the future?
It appears that the volatile Middle East is in the process of making their choice, Mr. President, choosing hate and the shackles of barbarism.
Smart Power? Hardly.
May God continue to protect Israel…and us, too.