By Caroline Glick –
www.jpost.com / March 19, 2010
Why has President Barak Obama decided to foment a crisis in US
relations with Israel?
Some commentators have claimed that it is Israel’s fault. As they
tell it, the news that Israel has not banned Jewish construction in
Jerusalem – after repeatedly refusing to ban such construction – drove Obama
into a fit of uncontrolled rage from which he has yet to recover.
It is not credible to argue that Jerusalem’s local planning board’s
decision to approve the construction of 1,600 housing units in Ramat Shlomo
drove cool Obama into a fit of wild rage at Prime Minister Binyamin
Obama himself claims that he has launched a political war against
Israel in the interest of promoting peace. On Friday, Obama ordered
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to present Netanyahu with a four-part
Israel must cancel the approval of the housing units in Ramat Shlomo.
Israel must prohibit all construction for Jews in Jerusalem neighborhoods
built since 1967.
Israel must make a gesture to the Palestinians to show them we want peace.
The US suggests releasing hundreds of Palestinian terrorists from Israeli
Israel must agree (1) to negotiate all substantive issues, including the
partition of Jerusalem (including the Jewish neighborhoods constructed since
1967 that are now home to more than a half million Israelis) and (2) the
immigration of millions of hostile foreign Arabs to Israel under the rubric
of the so-called “right of return,” in the course of indirect, Obama
administration-mediated negotiations with the Palestinians.
To date, Israel has maintained that substantive discussions can
only be conducted in
negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian officials.
Obama’s ultimatum makes clear that
mediating peace between Israel and the
Palestinians is not a goal he is interested in achieving.
Obama’s new demands follow the months of American pressure that
eventually coerced Netanyahu into announcing both his support for a
Palestinian state and a 10-month ban on Jewish construction in Judea and
Samaria. No previous Israeli government had ever been asked to make the
Netanyahu was led to believe that in return for these concessions
Obama would begin behaving like the credible mediator his predecessors were.
But instead of acting like his predecessors, Obama has behaved like the
Palestinians. Rather than reward Netanyahu for taking a risk for peace,
Obama has, in the model of Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas, pocketed
Netanyahu’s concessions and escalated his demands. This is not the behavior
of a mediator. This is the behavior of an adversary.
With the US president treating Israel like an enemy, the
Palestinians have no reason to agree to sit down and negotiate.
Indeed, they have no choice but to
for Obama’s behavior.
And they are not mutually exclusive. …
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