Sunday, March 02, 2014

Obama Goes Aggressive

This is President Barack Obama speaking (to J. Goldberg):-

"Do you perpetuate, over the course of a decade or two decades, more and more restrictive policies in terms of Palestinian movement? Do you place restrictions on Arab-Israelis in ways that run counter to Israel’s traditions?”...
...“If you see no peace deal and continued aggressive settlement construction -- and we have seen more aggressive settlement construction over the last couple years than we’ve seen in a very long time,” Obama said. “If Palestinians come to believe that the possibility of a contiguous sovereign Palestinian state is no longer within reach, then our ability to manage the international fallout is going to be limited.”
...This is not a situation where you wait and the problem goes away. There are going to be more Palestinians, not fewer Palestinians, as time goes on. There are going to be more Arab-Israelis, not fewer Arab-Israelis, as time goes on...
...I have not yet heard, however, a persuasive vision of how Israel survives as a democracy and a Jewish state at peace with its neighbors in the absence of a peace deal with the Palestinians and a two-state solution. Nobody has presented me a credible scenario...
...I believe that Bibi is strong enough that if he decided this was the right thing to do for Israel, that he could do it. If he does not believe that a peace deal with the Palestinians is the right thing to do for Israel, then he needs to articulate an alternative approach. And as I said before, it’s hard to come up with one that’s plausible...

Persuasive and palusible and credible options and solutions exist but Obama, stuck in his radical outlook frame cannot accept them because of how he views the Arabs. The figures he has been given are wrong.  His assumptions are incorrect.

But, as Dani Dayan pointed out, his references to internal Israel is disturbing (Dani termed it "outrageous").

And his employment of the adjective "aggressive' is outright inimical.

As for managing international fallout, Ukraine will permit Obama to exhibit whether Israel can really trust him and his policies and his reactions.

P.S.  JPost version.



From Elliott Abrams:-

On Israel, Obama was harsh and unfriendly to Netanyahu...Under Mr. Obama corruption in the Palestinian Authority has exploded and they have gone five additional years without an election.

...The burden of making peace is put entirely on Israeli shoulders. PA president Abbas (whose term ended five years ago, and who is surrounded by growing corruption) is portrayed as a lovely man ready for peace—no mention that he refused it when it was offered by then-prime minister Olmert in 2008. Is Abbas really ready, now, to sign what he would not back then: an agreement that ends the conflict entirely and finally tells Palestinian “refugees” that they have no right to go to Israel? An agreement that acknowledges Israel as a Jewish state? These doubts are never acknowledged by Obama, who assumes that the only problems are on the Israeli side.

Then comes the kind of vague threat that Secretary Kerry has also made...As to that “aggressive settlement construction,” it is worth noting that at Obama’s request Netanyahu suspended construction in settlements for ten months in 2009...The political battle over the West Bank would be far greater [than the Gaza Disengagement], so Obama is telling Netanyahu he must risk his own and his party’s future—on faith in both Abbas’s reliability and Mr. Obama’s own. 

From EOZ:-

The reason that there is no peace is because the vast majority of the Western world defines the problem incorrectly.

...The idea that Israeli settlements are expanding inexorably is one of the biggest lies of the Middle East, and it is one that even the President of the United States believes. Sure, the Jewish population has been growing, inside Area C, which is allowed under existing agreements signed by both parties. But essentially all that population growth has been accompanied by no growth in area. 

Abbas knows this fact far better than Obama does, and apparently far better than Jeffrey Goldberg does. Because if the settlements really were inexorably growing, then Abbas would be panicking that time is not on his side, and he would compromise and accept far less than the unreasonable demands he is making. However, his thoughts on the matter were crystallized in 2009, when Abbas said that he is willing to wait for everyone else to come around to his way of thinking

...If there was any real indication of good faith on the part of Abbas - if his schools would teach real peace, if his media would stop incitement, if Israeli Jews could trust him enough to believe that when they want to visit holy sites under his control that his own people won't try to kill them - then peace would be at hand. The reason that Israelis don't accept his words is because they see the divergence between what he says in English and how he acts with his people. 

This is the message that Israeli leaders have been terrible at conveying, possibly because they don't want to insult Abbas when the West loves him so much. But at some point diplomatic niceties need to yield to cold facts, and the reason there is no peace is because everyone is ignoring the facts, and how they fit together.

And Bibi Bops Barack.



Anonymous said...

a comment at Goldberg by ItchBer ---

How ironic is it that this interview appears on the weekend that the Presiident is being played the fool by Putin. This interview explains why Putin feels comfortable toying with the leader of the free world, informed as it is by a unique combination of hubris, naïveté, intellectual dishonesty and ignorance. To take two examples: has Abbas really recognized the State of Israel, created by the UN in Resolution 181 to be a Jewish State? Absolutely not. Is Obama's statement to the contrary informed by ignorance or intellectual dishonesty?

Anonymous said...

Aaron Lerner of IMRA:-

Bad briefing on Israel: "the window is closing for a peace deal part because of changes in demographics... There are going to be more Palestinians, not fewer Palestinians, as time goes on. There are going to be
more Arab-Israelis, not fewer Arab-Israelis, as time goes on.

While the American Jewish staffers and their Israeli Leftist pals continue to pitch the demographic argument, the figures keep moving in Israel's
favor, with Palestinian and Israeli Arab fertility rates declining while Jewish rates go up. Even those secular Russian immigrants whose cousins back home barely approached a sustaining fertility rate are having 3 and 4 kids in the Jewish Homeland.

And to make matters worse: Israelis are slowly starting to realize that the REAL demographic threat would happen if a Palestinian state were created and it was flooded with millions of Arabs who had someone in their family living for any period of time during the British Mandate.

Anonymous said...


Painfully silly argument: "We do not know what a successor to Abbas will look like."

So Israel should cut a deal based on Mahmoud Abbas when there is no telling what kind of radical may take his place?


Painfully silly argument: " Do you place restrictions on Arab-Israelis in ways that run counter to Israel’s traditions?"

Oops. So is Mr. Obama suggesting that even if we give the Palestinians everything they want that we still stuck with terrible problem posed by the Israeli Arabs?