May 6, 2009

Here Comes the Flood

By Stan Goodenough

As 2009 get seriously underway, the world is ganging up on Israel more than ever before.

Like a flood foaming furiously behind a massive logjam, the river of “new” antisemitism that expresses itself in anti-Israel enmity has been gathering strength for years.

Unleashed, it has the potential to pulverize the “pestilence” that is the Jewish state.

Until just a few months ago one “key log” – the United States of America – had been holding it back.

Wielding its veto in the Security Council, the US repeatedly resisted the relentless campaign that for years demonized and sought to delegitimize Israel.

But now, 100 plus days into Barack Obama’s presidency, numerous reports and leaks assessing his planned approach to the Middle East indicate the blockage is to be removed.

There is mounting evidence that the new administration has resolved to see the biblical and historical Land of Israel divided between Jew and Arab on its watch.

It has made this decision knowing full well the unjustness of it (these are Jewish lands); the peril of it (to Israel’s existence); the bankruptcy of it (from Madrid to Annapolis, 18 years of the land-for-peace process have been 18 years of failure).

Israel will not be allowed to stand in the way; her concerns will not be given the time of day.

“The two state solution is the only solution,” emphatically stated Jewish turncoat and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel Sunday.

“Israel has to back the two state solution,” said Vice President Joe Biden Tuesday.

A few days earlier Obama’s national security adviser, General James Jones, told a European foreign minister a week ago Obama plans to be “forceful” with Israel.

“The new administration will convince Israel to compromise on the Palestinian question … we will be more forceful toward Israel than we have been under Bush.”

According to Ha’aretz, Jones is quoted as saying that the United States, European Union and moderate Arab states must redefine “a satisfactory endgame solution.”

Jones “did not mention Israel as party to these consultations.”

Former US House speaker Newt Gingrich has blasted the Obama administration for setting itself on a collision course with Israel and endangering the Jewish state.

“They are systematically setting up the most decisive confrontation that we’ve ever seen,” the leading Republican politician told The Jerusalem Post.

“There’s almost an eagerness to take on the Israeli government to make a point with the Arab world.”

The “New America”, it seems, isn’t even looking for a fig leaf to cover its nakedness. It plans to flaunt it.

The Israeli news site DEBKAfile this week gloomily analyzed the upcoming meeting between Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“Netanyahu can expect the full force of a bludgeon to be wielded in his White House talks on May 18,” it said.

The Israeli leader can expect to “find administration officials deaf not only on Israel’s arguments on the Palestinian issue but on a nuclear-armed Iran too. [He] will see the US president no longer prioritizing the suspension of Iran’s nuclear aspirations, but bent on establishing a new Persian Gulf order that formalizes Iran’s rising power. Washington’s objective now is negotiations for setting the boundaries of Iran’s Middle East expansion and limits for its nuclear program.

“Israel will have no say in this process. In fact, by elevating Iran to premier regional power, America is sidelining its longstanding friends, Israel and Egypt, and setting aside their security and strategic interests for the sake of deals with Iran.”

Dennis Ross, US envoy for Iran, last week carried this message to the capitals of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, DEBKAfile reports.

A State Department team, the service continues, “is working overtime on a new American ‘road map’ [that] starts out with pressure on Israel to freeze settlement activity on the West Bank (sic) and construction in east[ern] Jerusalem.

“At a later stage, Israel would be pushed to abandon large sections of the West Bank, remove authorized communities as well as unauthorized outposts and hand over the historic nucleus of Jerusalem.

“Finally, the Israeli government would be required to accept an independent Palestinian state, even if its government is dominated by the rejectionist terrorist group Hamas.”

DEBKAfile’s Washington sources report that Obama “is fired up to be the first US president in decades of close friendship and cooperation to clash openly with Israel…”

Obama is expected “to squeeze the Netanyahu government hard for immediate engagement on the Middle East conflict without further delay … the White House staff is working at top speed on options for imposing its will.”

Eighteen years ago, Israel seemed to bottom out at a new low in world opinion.

The little country’s reputation had been on a steady, if gradual, decline since the Yom Kippur War. What sympathy was generated by that surprise assault, which nearly succeeded in obliterating Israel, had been well eroded by the outbreak of the First Intifada.

By its end, and specifically by 1991, there was no sympathy to be found.

Also by then, the worldwide admiration at the plucky nation’s victories in both that conflict and the preceding, Six Day, war – had long evaporated, to be replaced by a near-universal loathing.

The Arab-loving media had successfully primed the nations – which as history amply evidences, has an inbuilt proclivity to abhor Jewish people – to likewise loathe the Jewish state.

Come 1991 in Madrid, to which Israel was dragged for the staged – blatantly biased – “International Middle East Peace Conference,” this prejudice came strongly to a head.

Vicious then, it has only grown worse. During the last eight years, the Bush administration – with sporadic, restricted and conditional support from a handful of other nations, and despite leading the diplomatic charge – still alone withstood this trend.

That respite, it seems, is now over.

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