I løpet av disse blodige og lange 63 årene har ikke palestinerne én gang akseptert et tilbud fra Israel om varig fred, de har ikke en gang imøtekommet med noe kortvarig som kunne ta bort truslene om å ødelegge Israel. I stedet har de insistert på en «fredsprosess» — nå er den inne i sitt 17. år etter Oslo-avtalen, og det er fremdeles ikke noe håp om palestinsk koeksistens side om side med en jødisk stat.
Det var en flause. At en byråkrat annonserte boligbygging i Jerusalem samtidig som Biden var i Israel, – Jerusalem er et følsomt emne, og man fornærmer ikke en æret gjest.
Men det var bare en flause. Ikke mer enn det.
Det var definitivt ikke noe politisk sporskifte, eller for den saks skyld svik. Det aktuelle byggestedet er i Jerusalem, og avtalen Netanyahu og Obama gjorde i 2009 var en ti måneders frysing av bosettingene på Vestbredden, unntatt Jerusalem. Ei heller var forseelsen med hensikt. Statsminister Benjamin Netanyahu visste ikke om dette trekket, – det fjerde skrittet i en prosess på sju skritts godkjenningsprosess for bygging som i beste fall vil skje om to-tre år.
Og Netanyahu har bedt om unnskyldning. Og unnskyldningen ble akseptert.
The next day, however, the administration went nuclear. After discussing with the president specific language she would use, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called Netanyahu to deliver a hostile and highly aggressive 45-minute message that the Biden incident had created an unprecedented crisis in U.S.-Israeli relations.
Clinton’s spokesman then publicly announced that Israel was now required to show in word and in deed its seriousness about peace.
Israel? Israelis have been looking for peace — literally dying for peace — since 1947, when they accepted the U.N. partition of Palestine into a Jewish and Arab state. (The Arabs refused and declared war. They lost.)
Israel made peace offers in 1967, 1978 and in the 1993 Oslo peace accords that Yasser Arafat tore up seven years later to launch a terror war that killed a thousand Israelis. Why, Clinton’s own husband testifies to the remarkably courageous and visionary peace offer made in his presence by Ehud Barak (now Netanyahu’s defense minister) at the 2000 Camp David talks. Arafat rejected it. In 2008, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered equally generous terms to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. Refused again.
Under Obama, Netanyahu agreed to commit his center-right coalition to acceptance of a Palestinian state; took down dozens of anti-terror roadblocks and checkpoints to ease life for the Palestinians; assisted West Bank economic development to the point where its GDP is growing at an astounding 7 percent a year; and agreed to the West Bank construction moratorium, a concession that Secretary Clinton herself called «unprecedented.»
What reciprocal gesture, let alone concession, has Abbas made during the Obama presidency? Not one.
Indeed, long before the Biden incident, Abbas refused even to resume direct negotiations with Israel. That’s why the Obama administration has to resort to “proximity talks” — a procedure that sets us back 35 years to before Anwar Sadat’s groundbreaking visit to Jerusalem.
And Clinton demands that Israel show its seriousness about peace?
Now that’s an insult.
So why this astonishing one-sidedness? Because Obama likes appeasing enemies while beating up on allies — therefore Israel shouldn’t take it personally (according to Robert Kagan)? Because Obama wants to bring down the current Israeli coalition government (according to Jeffrey Goldberg)?
Or is it because Obama fancies himself the historic redeemer whose irresistible charisma will heal the breach between Christianity and Islam or, if you will, between the post-imperial West and the Muslim world — and has little patience for this pesky Jewish state that brazenly insists on its right to exist, and even more brazenly on permitting Jews to live in its own ancient, historical and now present capital?
Who knows? Perhaps we should ask those Obama acolytes who assured the 63 percent of Americans who support Israel – at least 97 percent of those supporters, mind you, are non-Jews — about candidate Obama’s abiding commitment to Israel.