May 29, 2009

Will a Palestinian State Fix Everything?

By Mike Evans

It would be absurd for President Obama to think that Benjamin Netanyahu – who went into politics inspired by the heroic death of his brother, Yonatan, in freeing terrorist hostages in the 1976 Entebbe rescue mission – would ever reward an Iranian-funded terrorist regime by again dividing Jerusalem. He would never shrink Israel as a goodwill gesture to help restart the so-called peace process, not in the absence of a genuine goodwill gesture by the Palestinians and Muslim world of recognizing Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state.

I was so moved by the Netanyahu family and Benjamin Netanyahu's moral clarity at the anniversary of the death of his brother in 1981 that I asked then Prime Minister Menachem Begin to give him a government job. I said, "I believe this man will be prime minister some day." Begin hired him the following evening.

What precisely is Obama doing? He has pressured Prime Minister Netanyahu to commit that Israel would not attack Iran, at least until the end of the year, so as not to disrupt Washington's plans to dialogue with Iran over its nuclear program.

Additionally, he has played into Iran's hands by tying the Palestinian situation into the Iranian nuclear crisis. In essence, he is telling the state of Israel: If you want my support in dealing with Iran, you are going to have to give the Palestinians a state.

Why does Netanyahu demand the Arab world recognize a Jewish state? Because they are bigots and they hate Jews.

Barack Obama should read Dr. Martin Luther King's words:
"You declare, my friends, that you do not hate the Jews, you are merely anti-Zionists. I say, let the truth ring forth from the highest mountaintops. Let it echo through the valleys of God's green earth. When people criticize Zionism, they mean Jews. Zionism is nothing less than the dream and the ideals of the Jewish people returning to live in their own land."
Netanyahu wants the U.S. to reaffirm its support for Israel's right to self-defense against the looming threat from Iran. During the last three years, Israel fought two bitter campaigns to halt the bombardment of its civilian population by thousands of terrorist missiles – fired by the Iranian terrorist proxies Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza. Meanwhile, Iran denies the Holocaust while threatening to wipe the Jewish state off the map, as it develops nuclear weapons and tests long-range ballistic missiles.

Israel's prime minister takes Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at his apocalyptic word, as must the leader of a country that has suffered unrelenting Islamist terrorism for 61 years. In terms of Jewish history, Netanyahu considers Iran to be a threat similar to that posed by the Israelites' biblical scourge, the Amalekites, and more ominously by Hitler's Germany. President Obama, on the other hand, thinks Iran can be won over with patience and reason and is no real threat to America or world peace.

Obama's advisers reportedly consider the sole obstacle to peace in the Middle East to be the lack of a Palestinian state. The problem with this Pollyannaish vision is that it lacks hindsight. On Nov. 29, 1947, the United Nations voted to partition British Mandatory Palestine into two states, Jewish and Arab. The Jews accepted the resolution and the Arab states did not and invaded Israel in the first of many unsuccessful attempts to destroy it. The Palestinians could have had their state 62 years ago, but preferred to deny the Jews their own state. The only state the Palestinians have been capable of living in since then is the state of denial.

President Obama has said he does not support regime change. Will this apply to Netanyahu's government, if Washington spins it as an "obstacle to peace"? A possible indication is that Secretary of State Hilary Clinton's spouse, former president Bill Clinton, is advising the leader of Israel's opposition Kadima Party, MK Tzipi Livni.

Obama made his feelings about Netanyahu's Likud Party clear during the recent election when he said,
"I think there is a strain within the pro-Israel community that says unless you adopt an unwavering pro-Likud approach to Israel that you're anti-Israel, and that can't be the measure of our friendship with Israel."
The president wants speedy action and hinted so at a recent press conference with Jordan's King Abdullah. "I agree that we can't talk forever," Obama said, "that at some point steps have to be taken so that people can see progress on the ground." He said he expects such progress to take place in the coming months. If that is going to happen, Obama must first change the Palestinian regime to recognize Israel.

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