Thursday, February 21, 2013

Will Obama Grasp The Significance of A Minority?

I met with Sol this week, but after he had submitted his piece to his editors.  

Excerpts from Sol W. Sanders on Obama finally visits the Holy Land

One of the most quoted of Maynard Milord many clever aphorisms is: “You can’t push on a string”...The quip comes to mind this morning on the eve of President Barack Hussein Obama’s visit to Jerusalem. Israeli media are full of anonymous quotes from American and Israeli sources about how the meetings are “to push” the so-called “peace process”.

The reality is that there is no peace process to push.

Negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians [and other Arabs] have been deadlocked for months. The media also report that neither side, neither the Americans nor the Israelis, have any new initiatives to propose.

...President Obama and his coterie of long-time Palestinian and Arabist friends and advisers may have dealt the death blow to such a solution when he opened his presidency with an insistence on making Israeli/Jewish settlements in the so-called Occupied Territories gained by Israeli the 1967 war his highest priority. They had been only one of many equally difficult issues before that but never made the sine qua non of progress toward a long-term settlement.

But by threatening to end an expansion of Jews living in the historic mountainous sites of the ancient Hebrew Kingdoms [the old Roman and Ottoman provinces of Judea and Samaria, the West Bank of the Jordan], Obama upended the assumption that two democratic states might tolerate significant minorities – at least – of the other. After all, Israeli Arabs constitute 20 percent of its estimated 7-plus million people. [No one would dare propose an exchange of populations such as took place in the 1920s between Turkey and Greece.]

So what is the President doing here?

...Obama is also visiting Jordan next door...[which] has [its] own “Palestinian” problem. More than half his population is descended from Arabs from the West Bank of the Jordan [after his own originally “Transjordan” was whacked off the original League of Nations British Mandate by London without a by-your-leave from Geneva] faces a growing phalanx of middle class professional and commercial “Palestinians”, infected by both the promise and the violence of the Arab Spring in surrounding countries, demanding more government participation...
That element - that democratic states should tolerate significant minorities - for, after all, Israel has a 20% minority of non-Jews, has been dealt with by me quite often.

Will Obama understand what is really at stake in this matter? 


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