After last week’s much-ballyhooed speech to the Muslim world, it should now be blindingly apparent that President Barack Obama is utterly hostile to the cause of Israel. The ahistorical leftist narrative of Israeli history he subscribes to is one only shared by those who take issue with the existence of the Jewish state. But as Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously put it: we’re entitled to our own opinions, but not to our own facts. Anti-Israel forces have continually made up their own facts, and it appears that our esteemed president has swallowed the Kool-Aid. Let’s review the speech, shall we?
It is not true that the Palestinian people have aspired to statehood for 60 years. The nationalist Palestine Liberation Organization, an invention of the Arab League, did not come to prominence until roughly 40 years ago. Led by Yasser Arafat, the League transformed Palestinianism from an ethnicity into a nationality in order to legitimize the Arab cause. Before the PLO, virtually all Palestinians considered themselves rightly a part of Jordan or southern Syria. To this day, the majority of Jordanians are Palestinians.
Despite this rewrite of centuries of history, Israel has, in order to put this conflict to rest, accepted the cause of Palestinian statehood. The original 1948 United Nations partition of the Palestine Mandate actually created a Palestinian state - one that was promptly rejected by the Palestinians and all of the surrounding Arab states, all of whom declared war on Israel as soon as it declared independence. This Arab-initiated war was the cause of the Palestinian refugee crisis. There would have never been a refugee crisis if the Arab states had simply accepted Israel’s right to exist.
The so-called “humiliations of occupation” that are gone through in the West Bank and Gaza also would never have existed had it not been for the Arab states. Egyptian president Gamal Nasser’s crazed mid-century quest for regional hegemony culminated in the lining up of troops on the Israeli border in 1967. Sensibly, Israel read the tea leaves and struck first. Its famous six-day victory over Egypt and the other Arab states resulted in the annexing of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, where attacks upon Israelis were taking place. If the Arabs had left well alone, the West Bank and Gaza would still be theirs today.
Ah, but it could have been theirs today, regardless! In the year 2000, Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered Yasser Arafat a stunning peace deal: 97 percent of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, a shared capital in Jerusalem, and tens of billions of dollars that would be granted to the Palestinians in return for nothing more than an official declaration of an end to the conflict. Arafat rejected it without putting forward a counteroffer. All parties involved, including Bill Clinton and Saudi insiders, blamed Arafat for the deal falling through. Less than a year later, he was back to ordering suicide bombings again.
But if the PLO is awful, then Hamas is pure evil. Sensible people really need to stop pretending that there’s any chance that Hamas will ever “come around” on the question of Israel’s right to exist. Its charter is available for all to read: the official doctrine of Hamas is that the infamous Russian forgery, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, outlines Israeli policy, that the Russian Revolution was a product of Zionism, that the Rotary Club is a Zionist entity, and that jihad modeled after the Prophet Muhammad’s conquests is the only way forward when dealing with Israel. Good luck negotiating a compromise deal with that sort of lunacy.
With this sort of rhetorical appeasement, historical re-write, and moral equivalency, it’s no wonder that Mahmoud Abbas - who has openly stated that he will never accept Israel as a Jewish state - has a cabinet member who declared just the other day that America finally has a president who is “sympathetic to the Arab cause.” Israel may just do well to ignore America whenever possible over the next four years. We’re not on its side right now.