UPDATE: No terrorist events reported overnight. Shocking (what a joke!) news–Egypt’s Islamist parties have won 65% of the votes in the first of three elections.
Yesterday, we saw yet another stark example of how the Obama Administration, despite all of the events of the last three years, still doesn’t understand the situation here in the Middle East. Speaking at the Brookings Institution, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta ludicrously declared that the responsibility for peace in the area rests squarely on Israel’s shoulders.
Repeating a tired theme that we heard all during the run-up to the United Nations’ consideration of Palestinian membership, Panetta lambasted Israel’s “growing isolation”–an isolation, he said, that is largely a result of Israel’s refusal to “reach out and mend fences” with Turkey, Egypt and the Jordanians:
“For example, Israel can reach out and mend fences with those who share an interest in regional stability … countries like Turkey and Egypt, as well as Jordan. This is not impossible. If the gestures are rebuked, the world will see those rebukes for what they are. And that is exactly why Israel should pursue them.”
Does your humble servant have this straight? Israel is supposed to make “gestures for peace” so that the world can watch the Turks, Egyptians, and Jordanians “rebuke” Israel. What kind of extraordinarily convoluted masochistic reasoning is this?
More than this, how did the problem with Turkey begin? Because of Israel? It was Turkish PM Erdogan who authorized a flotilla in contravention of international law to confront Israeli forces enforcing a legal blockade of the terrorists in Gaza. And when Israel refused to apologize for its commandos using deadly force when the Turkish IHH terrorists on board assaulted them, it was PM Erdogan who downgraded ties between Turkey and Israel. Why in the world does Israel need to reach out to Turkey?
And what about Egypt–a country with which Israel had an extremely stable relationship until the Obama Administration threw Mubarak under the bus? Israel has spent the last three months going out of its way to make gestures to the leaders of Egypt by not mounting an assault on Hamas for firing rockets at citizens here in southern Israel, by not moving forward with replacing the Mughrabi Bridge in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, and by allowing more Egyptian soldiers into the Sinai to deal with the terrorists that roam the region. Why in the world does Israel need to reach out to Egypt?
And what about the Jordanians? Again, Israel has done nothing to undermine the Jordanian-Israeli relationship while King Abdullah has strutted around the region vilifying Israel at every turn supporting a Jihad against Israel for “Judaizing Jerusalem.” Why in the world does Israel need to reach out to Jordan?
Finally, Panetta bluntly admonished Israeli’s leaders that it was also Israel’s responsibility to revive the peace process with the Palestinians: Israel should “just get to the damned table.” Where in the world has Panetta been? Who has steadfastly refused to return to the negotiating table since the day President Obama took office? Israel? Spurred on initially by President Obama himself, Mahmoud Abbas has continued to throw up every conceivable roadblock to negotiations with Israel.
Every speech like this given by a member of the Obama Administration suggests to the world that all of the problems in the Middle East could be solved if Israel would only would make “gestures” for peace. What utter nonsense.
THIS DAY IN ISRAELI HISTORY
On December 3, 1924 the United States and the United Kingdom signed an agreement calling for the British to “safeguard American interests in Palestine”–an agreement that was the outgrowth of positions taken by President Woodrow Wilson and the U.S. Congress years earlier.
In fact, seven years years earlier in 1917, the text of the Balfour Declaration had been submitted to President Wilson and had been approved by him before its publication. Wilson himself had this to say on March 3rd 1919:
“I am persuaded that the Allied nations, with the fullest concurrence of our own Government and people, are agreed that in Palestine shall be laid the foundation of a Jewish Commonwealth.”
On June 30, 1922, a joint resolution of both Houses of Congress of the United States unanimously endorsed the “Mandate for Palestine,” confirming the irrevocable right of Jews to settle in the area of Palestine – anywhere between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea:
“Favoring the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.
“Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled. That the United States of America favors the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which should prejudice the civil and religious rights of Christian and all other non-Jewish communities in Palestine, and that the holy places and religious buildings and sites in Palestine shall be adequately protected.”