UPDATE 4:30 pm Israel time Saturday: The IDF military censor has just released information that a Grad rocket fired by terrorists struck in the Ovda area of southern Israel at around 1 am last night. It is not clear whether the rocket was fired from Jordan or the Egyptian Sinai.
UPDATE 7 am Israel time Saturday:
A “huge” fire is currently being reported in northern Gaza. No further details.
President Obama’s two-faced penchant for mouthing blather about “having Israel’s back” while continuously stabbing Israel in the back has become a source of increasing anger here in Israel.
From the moment Obama took office in January of 2009, the so-called “peace process” between Israel and the Palestinians ground to an immediate halt because Obama demanded that any negotiation had to be predicated on a complete cessation of the building of Jewish homes, schools, and hospitals in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria. Not to be “out-Palestinianed” by the American president, PLO head Mahmoud Abbas walked quickly away from the negotiating table (not that he had ever really negotiated) and has never returned.
In fact, Obama accomplished exactly what he wanted in the short term. By putting all responsibility for peace negotiations on Israel, he turned Israel into an international pariah and thereby helped propagate international demonstrations and boycott movements against Israel. Where he erred badly was in believing that his stratagem would eventually undermine the democratically elected government of PM Benjamin Netanyahu and force Netanyahu to make massive Rabin/Peres/Barak/and Olmert-like concessions to Mahmoud Abbas and the PLO–or force Netanyahu out of office altogether.
Yet from late 2011 through the early months of 2012 as it became apparent that Obama’s long term goal had completely failed, it seemed to your humble servant that Obama had finally recognized the amateurish folly of his Israeli-Palestinian foreign policy and begun to take a different tack.
How incorrect I was.
Think about yesterday’s announcements.
First, the U.S. State Department announced that Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat will travel to Washington to meet with Secretary of State Clinton next week in efforts to “revive the peace process.” The infamous State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland (who refuses to even acknowledge that the western neighborhoods of Jerusalem are in Israel) disingenuously commented that: “We’re trying to improve the atmosphere so that we can make progress and get them back to the table.”
Just after the announcement of Erekat’s impending visit yesterday, the State Department further announced that U.S. Middle East envoy David Hale is returning to “the region” this week.
And why is Erekat going to Washington, and Hale coming to Israel? Because the United States has told the PLO that it has “new, positive ideas” about how to revive the peace process.
And what are those “new, positive ideas”? According to Ameen Makbul, a PLO official in Ramallah, the Palestinians have been told that the U.S. will demand “more goodwill gestures” from Israel. Specifically, the PLO has been notified that President Obama will demand that Israel release all Palestinian terrorist prisoners and that Israel freeze all “settlement construction.”
And what will the U.S. demand from the PLO? As usual, absolutely nothing.
The summer of 2012 is becoming the Spring of 2009. With Obama thrusting the complete responsibility for resuming negotiations on Israel’s shoulders, Israel will once again become more isolated as the international community blames Israel for the Palestinians’ refusal to “negotiate.”
In sum, most Israelis have long realized that President Obama is no friend of Israel–what we can’t understand is how anyone else can possibly think he is.
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