Thursday, March 11, 2010
Sending Israel the Usual Mixed Signals
By Alan Caruba
President Obama is discovering what presidents going back to Eisenhower in the modern era and Jefferson in the earliest days of the nation learned. The Middle East responds best to the point of a bayonet because its primary faith, Islam, was spread by the sword and its holy book is essentially a battle plan to conquer the entire world.
Whatever else you read about the United States and Israel, keep in mind that we have been the closest of allies since it was founded in 1948 and was, of course, immediately attacked by the Arabs from nations around it.
As for those “Palestinian” refugees you keep hearing about, most simply fled during the first war against Israel and now several generations later they remain in United Nations refugee “camps” or as the unwelcome guests in the surrounding Arab nations that will not extend citizenship.
It remains a mystery to me why American presidents, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, the two Bushes, and now Obama even bother to push for a two-state “solution” when the record shows that Arafat and his successors have fled from any negotiations that would actually accomplish that. The so-called Palestinians only want the annihilation of the Jews as does the rest of the region.
Israel, sacred to Jews and Christians, is a rebuke to their claims of holy hegemony.
The United States always looks like an idiot whenever it suggests that Israel (a) give back land won in the various wars against it and (b) should stop building settlements on that land.
A look at the map demonstrates that Israel is a very tiny nation and the building of housing and infrastructure for its population is no less essential to them than it is for any other nation. Is there a strategic objective to the settlements? Yes. They say this is our land and we have a right to live here.
Along with other Middle East nations, Israel is among the oldest in history, dating back some 3,500 years. When it builds new housing in Jerusalem, it is doing so in the capital of Israel that was established by King David of biblical times.
The Muslim “claim” to Israel as its holy land is based entirely on military conquest in the pre-Crusades era and to the fantasy story that Muhammad journeyed to Heaven on a horse from the site of the Dome of the Rock, built from 688 to 691 AD.
The rock, by the way, is one of the most holy sites in Judaism, believed to be the place where Abraham was stayed from the sacrifice of his son, thus biblically prohibiting the sacrifice of one’s child; known as the Temple Mount. Jesus preached there.
There is no record that Muhammad ever stepped foot outside of Arabia though it is known that he originally commanded the early adherents of Islam to face Jerusalem to say their daily prayers. After Jewish tribes in Arabia refused to convert to Islam and declared him a charlatan, he had one tribe slaughtered and its women and children sold into slavery. After that he told early Muslims to face Mecca instead.
In sharp contrast to slaying one’s own children, Muslims cheer when one of theirs commits suicide for the purpose of killing Jews in Israel and, it turns out, fellow Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Vice President Biden has recently been to Israel pledging America’s support in one breath and demanding the end to new settlements in the other. This is old stuff to Israelis who are busy continuing to create a modern state in the midst of those still mired in events that occurred a thousand years ago.
For more than six decades, the Israelis have wandered back and forth in a quest for peace with their neighbors, concluding after several wars, the abandonment of a security zone in Lebanon and the entire area of Gaza, that the so-called Palestinians do not want peace.
Why American presidents and this current administration even bother to seek negotiations to secure peace is a diplomatic charade they feel compelled to stage to placate the Arab nations. Meanwhile, the Israelis and their counterparts in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and even Egypt meet secretly to discuss the real problem in the Middle East, a nuclear-armed Iran.
The Obama administration sends mixed signals because it is a good way to keep all the parties involved distracted from the reality that Israel is here to stay. Sacred to Jews and Christians, Muslims have slim reason to lay claim to it.
The irony in this, seemingly missed by everyone involved, is that the United States has had a huge military commitment of men and arms in the Middle East ever since 9/11 required that we degrade both al Qaeda and the Taliban movements. We have fought several wars there in the last decade and why we would not join in a new one to put an end to the threat the Iranian regime represents is a mystery. Or a well-kept secret.
If jihad is a holy war that must continue until a global caliphate is established, what is the fuss all about if we assist the Iranian people in their quest to overthrow their oppressive government or, if necessary, to destroy their military threat to the region? Why would we hand off this necessary war to the Israelis? Unless, of course, we don’t want our fingerprints all over it?
© Alan Caruba, 2010