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Obama Brings Mideast Clarity to the Voting Booth

Israel - and American Jews - now know where Democrats stand.

By Petrarch  |  May 25, 2011

During the Cold War, America's intelligence agencies employed "Kremlinologists" whose job was to carefully parse official statements from the Kremlin and try to figure out exactly what the Soviets' plans might be.

The Kremlinologists have long since retired, but it looks like we need some Obamologists.  From the reaction across the Internet, lots of folks seem to have really not the slightest clue as to what exactly Barack Obama meant about Israel in his recent speech to the State Department.

The Washington Examiner made their take crystal clear in an article "President Obama throws Israel under the Palestinian bus":

President Obama stirred up a hornets' nest when he declared during his highly anticipated Middle East speech Thursday that Israel's borders should be based on the pre-1967 lines. He added enough caveats to render his demand unattainable from a practical standpoint, but, as a matter of political and strategic perception, Obama has inflicted a serious wound on America's most reliable ally... Even if Israel were to accept these crushing preconditions, there's no reason to believe that doing so would lead to peace. Arab possession of the disputed territories before 1967 did not prevent three major Arab-Israeli wars.

But most of the mainstream media was hardly disturbed, saying that Mr. Obama merely pointed out the obvious and demanded nothing less than what's reasonable.

What's the problem with moving the border line around a bit?  Let's take a look at a couple of maps.

Conquering Power or Small Island?

The first map is similar to one you've seen many times.  It shows Israel in beige, the "occupied territories" in green, other countries in tan, and of course the Mediterranean Sea in blue.

The tiny green speck on the lower left corner of Israel is the Gaza Strip.  This particular map is misleading; Gaza is not occupied by Israel in any way.  The Israelis pulled out in 2005, forcibly removing every single Israeli from the area and even digging Jewish corpses out of the graveyards.

To great international applause and truckloads of your tax dollars, the Gazans were set free to go to hell in their own way.  Which they promptly proceeded to do: the terrorist group Hamas was elected to power in a "one-time" free-and-fair election, followed by Hamas entrenching its power by pitching potential opponents off the roofs of tall buildings in true Chicago style.

The far larger West Bank remained under nominal Israeli control, but the Palestinians there were permitted a limited form of self-government under the slightly less bloodthirsty Fatah group.  Fatah and its founder Yasser Arafat were no strangers to terrorism, but Fatah acknowledges Israel's legal right to exist, which is more than can be said for Hamas.

Still, given that it's generally accepted that the Palestinians should have a country, and given how teensy Gaza is, why shouldn't Israel just pull out of the West Bank and leave them alone?  The answer lies in the third green spot on the map: Golan, which once belonged to Syria.

The more descriptive name for that area is "the Golan Heights", and it's called that because it is a high-altitude rocky plateau that commands the north end of Israel.  It used to belong to Syria; prior to 1967, the Syrians used it as a convenient artillery platform to lob explosives down on the Jews.

When Syria and the rest of the Arab world invaded in 1967, Israel took the opportunity to solve a longstanding problem.  In the course of pushing back the Arabs, they pushed them a bit further back than where they started.  Israel has controlled the Golan Heights ever since, effectively annexing them as part of Israel in 1981.  It's no coincidence that there haven't been any missiles fired at Israel from the Golan since 1967.

This is in stark contrast with Gaza. On just one single Saturday a few weeks ago, more than 50 - fifty! - missiles were fired into Israel.  A few weeks earlier, a missile hit a school bus, fortunately just after most of the kids had gotten off, though one teenager was not so lucky.  Even Barack Obama thought this was a bit much:

If somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I would do everything to stop that, and would expect Israel to do the same thing.

In any other part of the world, this ongoing missilery would define Gaza as an active war zone and Israel would be seen as fully justified in conquest leading to unconditional surrender.  In the Middle East, however, it's not the murderous Muslims who have turned down every peace plan they've ever been offered who're being pressured; no, it's the democratic state of Israel, which as Prime Minister Netanyahu pointed out in his speech to our Congress:

Of the 300 million Arabs in the Middle East and North Africa, only Israel’s Arab citizens enjoy real democratic rights.

Friends, Enemies, and Knowing Which Is Which

No, the Middle East's problem is not found on the first map, which depicts a country smaller than our state of New Hampshire.  It's found on this second map, which shows the entire Arab world, virtually all of whose people hate Israel with a blazing passion, surrounding a few pixels denoting the only free country for miles around.

In reality it's even worse: this particular map doesn't show non-Arab countries like Iran, whose president regularly promises to wipe Israel off the map as soon as his scientists give him nuclear weapons, or Turkey, who for years was Israel's ally but whose newly Islamist government is following the same bloodthirsty path that all modern Islamic countries have thus far.

Yet our president sides with the barbarians against the free!

Netanyahu came out of his meeting with President Obama saying that the Israelis were still friends and that our ties were still strong.  The thunderous applause Congress gave Netanyahu's speech indicates that Israel's ties with Americans are indeed as strong as ever.

By pressuring the free ally rather than the murderous terrorists, Obama has presented the world, and particularly Jewish Americans, with a stark choice:

Should we defer to the realpolitik of where we get our oil and abandon a tiny but free country that nobody much likes and which has nothing concrete to offer us?

Or should we stand on principle, piss off our gas pumps, and go in swinging on the side of those who truly have something in common with the beliefs America was founded on?

In the coming days, months, and years, this is a question for America's foreign policy mavens.  More importantly, it's a question for individual Americans in the voting booths.  A vote for Barack Obama can no longer be considered a vote for a free, safe, independent Israel, and it's time for the 3/4 of American Jews who voted for him to have a serious round of soul-searching.

Jews tend to be more liberal than most which means that they have historically voted mostly for Democrats.  What's more, Jewish Americans in New York and California are famous as the financial backers of the Democratic party, right up there with unions and ambulance-chasers.

As Mr. Bin Laden's death will give the Muslims a reason to re-think whether they want to stop supporting Jihad and join the modern world, Mr. Obama's speech will give Jews a reason to re-think their liberal ideas.

To illuminate their choice more vividly, Mr. Netanyahu has another quote that all Jews would do well to remember:

If the Arabs put down their weapons today, there would be no more violence. If the Jews put down their weapons today, there would be no more Israel.