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OT: Timing is Everything and Why Nothing Ever Changes in Mideast Peace

May 19, 2011

From today’s Wall Street Journal article entitled “Jewish Donors Warn Obama on Israel”:

Jewish donors and fund-raisers are warning the Obama re-election campaign that the president is at risk of losing financial support because of concerns about his handling of Israel.

The complaints began early in President Barack Obama’s term, centered on a perception that Mr. Obama has been too tough on Israel.

Some Jewish donors say Mr. Obama has pushed Israeli leaders too hard to halt construction of housing settlements in disputed territory, a longstanding element of U.S. policy. Some also worry that Mr. Obama is putting more pressure on the Israelis than the Palestinians to enter peace negotiations, and say they are disappointed Mr. Obama has not visited Israel yet.


Robert Copeland, a Virginia Beach, Va., developer, who has given large donations to many Democrats, has already decided he won’t vote for Mr. Obama in 2012. “I’m very disappointed with him,” he said. “His administration has failed in Israel. They degraded the Israeli people.”


Mr. Adler says he does not doubt Mr. Obama’s commitment to Israel but thinks the White House needs to do a better job communicating its support.

Three opportunities come in the next four days: On Thursday, Mr. Obama gives a speech about U.S. policy in the Middle East and North Africa, and on Friday he meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. On Sunday, Mr. Obama addresses the largest pro-Israel lobby group, the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee…


Some of the misgivings among Jewish supporters can be traced to specific incidents that resonated in the Jewish community. Last year, for example, Israeli media suggested Mr. Obama had snubbed Mr. Netanyahu and an Israeli delegation by leaving a White House meeting early.

[emphasis added]

I find it fascinating that none of these individuals in this article seem to be the slightest bit annoyed at Bibi Netanyahu for his treatment of this administration. I mean, how dare the POTUS request Israel stop building illegal settlements in accordance with international law and long-standing US policy! How dare the U.S. President try to be an honest broker rather than an advocate for only one side!

This article appeared today for a reason- it was timed to be a shot across the administration’s bow. I just hope that this administration will ignore this kind of flagrant attempt at political blackmail and instead do the right thing- make a strong push for Mideast Peace. Unfortunately, I doubt they will.

This article illustrates the sad fact that while many claim to want two states and claim to support an end to settlements, they really don’t. The attitude is “sure, we support two states so long as Israel doesn’t have to make any concessions, so long as Israel is never criticized and so long as settlements can continue unabated (and so long as huge amounts of money continue to flow) for as long as Israeli leaders see fit.” This attitude is simply not reasonable- in fact, it’s radical and dangerous. The sentiments in the article also feed into negative stereotypes about which special interests have a disproportionate say in US foreign policy as it relates to the Middle East, and why.

Perhaps most damaging, this article encapsulates why nothing ever changes- it helps explain why Obama has seemingly backed down and given up on putting forth a bold plan for getting negotiations going and it helps explain why the status quo remains in the Middle East despite the fact that it harms Israel, the U.S. and the Palestinians.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Tovah permalink
    May 19, 2011 10:41 am

    Thanks for having the guts to highlight this. This is really unbelievable.

    It would be one thing if these groups were talking about general policies, foreign and domestic and using their contributions for those things but they aren’t- they are totally obsessed with one issue-Israel, which last I checked, is still a foreign country.

    As someone who is Jewish, I find this one-issue obsession very strange. I also find it strange that so many of my fellow Jewish democrats think that supporting a far-right Likud Israeli president is more important than encouraging good, just, fair Israeli policies which promote peace in the region and also long-term security for our country, THE UNITED STATES.

    The funny thing is, if someone who is not Jewish says Jewish people use money to influence mideast foreign policy, they would be called antisemitic but it’s ok for the Jewish people in the article to brag about how they use their money to influence foreign policy and support one foreign country? Interesting.

    • May 19, 2011 11:54 am

      Yeah, interesting, isn’t it?

      CNN is live-blogging Obama’s mideast speech and people at CNN are saying Obama will NOT call for 1967 borders as a jump off point for negotiations.

      So Thain, looks like you are voting third party or write-in in 2012.

      Obama is such a coward. Seriously.

      I will likely be voting third party or write-in too. I can’t stand politicians that have no principles other than campaign cash. As far as I’m concerned he’s putting reelection above national security.

      Now, if he does mention 1967 borders then I will come back here and humbly apologize!

      • Thain permalink
        May 19, 2011 12:10 pm

        I think what is amazing is that even the Bush admin. reasserted the importance of negotiating from 1967 borders so the fact that Obama has jettisoned that and yet he STILL is not trusted by these big Jewish organizations, speaks volumes. The I-Lobby is simply not being reasonable.

        I’ll vote Green or write in. I’m sick of the Democrats.

  2. Mark Bernadiner permalink
    May 20, 2011 7:59 am

    In compliance with the 1920 League of Nations Resolution, two-state solution was implemented in 1922 when british administration of occupied Israel allocated more than 70% of Israel territory to palestinian arabs and created Transjordan (now Jordan) where today over 90 percent of the population identify themselves as Palestinian Arabs. Every party, including UN, EU, US, etc., must respect League of Nations Resolutions, adopted and accepted by UN. Therefore, all so called “palestinians” must be relocated there. Enough stealing Israel land. Britain and Jordan must compensate Israel for stolen land and natural resources.

    History of “palestinians”:

    In 1977, an executive committee member of the PLO Zahir Muhsein confirmed that there is no such thing as a separate “palestinian” people of Arab descent. In an interview with the Dutch newspaper Trouw in March 31, 1977, he stated the following: “The palestinian people do not exist. The creation of a palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity.”

    Article 24 of the 1964 PLO Charter addressed to UN stipulates: “Palestinian muslims do not claim West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and Gaza their territories”

    In 1948, Bernadotte, mediator between Jews and Arabs appointed by the UN General Assembly, noted in his journal that the “Palestinian” Arabs had little desire for independence:
    “The Palestinian Arabs had at present no will of their own. Neither have they ever developed any specifically Palestinian nationalism. The demand for a separate Arab state in Palestine is consequently relatively weak. It would seem as though in existing circumstances most of the Palestinian Arabs would be quite content to be incorporated in Transjordan.”

    In 1947, Arab leaders protesting the UN partition plan argued that Palestine was part of Syria and “politically, the Arabs of Palestine (were) not (an) independent separate … political entity.”

    In 1946, Arab historian Philip Hitti testified before the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry that “there is no such thing as Palestine in history.”

    Arab leaders like Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi told the Peel Commission in 1937: “There is no such country as ‘Palestine’; ‘Palestine’ is a term the Zionists invented!”

    Western media must stop broadcasting and publishing fraudulent, fake, false, and lie information on Israel and Jews. Current situation, specifically in Europe, is quite similar to 1930s, however, we, Jews, learned our lessons and will not hesitate to give appropriate response to any mortal attacks on us.

    Mark Bernadiner, PH.D.

    UN and EU officials, who is only educated in Geobbelse propaganda principles and whose only objective is to renew Hitler’s and muslim’s agenda of final solution, must be arrested and put on trial for crimes against humanity. They must remember Nuremberg and consequences they will face, as the World learned the 1920’s-40’s lessons and will not let anybody to repeat Holocaust, invented and implemented by Nazi and palestinian fascists.

    • Steve permalink
      May 20, 2011 8:21 am

      Nice job trying to erase palestinians from history, sort of like people who tried to erase us (Jews) from history. We can have a battle of historical quotes, taken out of context if you like, but honestly, there is no point.

      You are just as extreme as those you oppose.

      By constantly referring back to the Holocaust and politicizing it you cheapen the significance of it.

      Your moral compass is totally off. You are so blinded by resentment and hatred that you sound like you have become the very thing we Jews have been fighting against for so long. Congratulations, you are part of the problem.

  3. Mark Bernadiner permalink
    May 20, 2011 8:08 am

    Obama launched a proxy war on Israel and Jews with altimate goal of eliminating the State of Israel and committing Holocaust in Israel and around the world. Obama is criminal. genetic thief, liar and murderer. He must be impeached and put on jail.

    • Steve permalink
      May 20, 2011 8:16 am

      Oh please, so dramatic. The whole “Obama hates Israel” line is bad enough but claiming he is trying to eliminate the state of Israel just makes you sound like a crack-pot.

      Obama is trying to help Israel- that’s what allies do.

      Are you Israeli? I am and I know an extremist when I hear one and you are an extremist.

      BTW, what is a “genetic thief?”

      Stop using the Holocaust as some cheap political ploy. You’re a disgrace.

  4. January 24, 2013 7:44 pm

    You can’t make everyone happy. If he supports Israel then another country didn’t like him. It’s endless for him.

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