domingo, 23 de novembro de 2014

Obama's Legacy (and Europe's)

Guy Millière
It is difficult to think that President Obama — or leaders in Europe — want their names to go down in history as the fools who actually legitimized a rogue entity such as "Palestine" or enabled Iran to acquire nuclear weapons. But just as Neville Chamberlain is looked on as the biggest laughing stock in history for promising "peace" with Hitler, so can Obama's legacy be that of an even bigger fool. Chamberlain, after all, did not have a Chamberlain to warn him.

On October 30, when the Swedish government recognized "the State of Palestine," Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said she thought that the decision "shows the way" to other European governments.

It seems she is right. Even earlier, on September 30, French President François Hollande declared that "France will soon recognize a Palestinian state." French Socialist representatives are presently working on a text along those lines. And on October 13, the British Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of the official recognition of "Palestine", even if the vote was non-binding.

But non-binding votes can easily lead to binding decisions.

Sure enough, true to Wallstrom's prediction, on November 18, the Spanish parliament did the same thing — on the same day as a murderous terrorist attack on Israeli civilians praying at a synagogue in Jerusalem.

Wallstrom had added that the recognition of the "State of Palestine" by the Swedish government would help to facilitate renewed negotiations and strengthen the positions of the "moderates."

In reality, however, all recent diplomatic statements of Mahmoud Abbas[1] and other "Palestinian" leaders show a willingness to reach a formal recognition of "Palestine" but without the negotiations to which they had agreed under international law in Oslo II, and without any peace agreement.

It is precisely this recognition, in violation of international law, that Sweden gives the Palestinian Authority [PA], and that other European governments would give it if they follow Sweden.

Meanwhile, the most recent statements of PA President Mahmoud Abbas and other "Palestinian" leaders about the use of violence show no trace of "moderation."

Abbas's advisor and Fatah Central Committee member Sultan Abu Al-Einen recently said, "Blessed be your quality weapons, the wheels of your cars, your axes and kitchen knives… [because they are being used] according to Allah's will. We are the soldiers of Allah."

Another Fatah official, Muhammad al-Biqa'i, announced on official PA TV on November 7, that, "Jerusalem needs blood in order to purify itself of Jews."

There are countless more such examples.
The Palestinian leadership is encouraged to continue, when they see that they can publicly praise murderers as heroes and nevertheless be described as "moderates."

Wallstrom also stressed that the Swedish government was acting according to "principles defined by the European Union." In December 2009, the Council of the European Union adopted a document asserting that the "State of Palestine" should be "officially recognized" by the EU and its members "as soon as conditions are met." The document emphasizes that the borders of the new state will have to be "the pre-1967 borders" and that its capital "must be Jerusalem." It points out that "border adjustments" will be accepted by the EU only with the "full agreement of both parties," a statement that in plain language means that any border adjustment will be accepted by the EU only if it is fully accepted by the "Palestinians." It also designates Judea and Samaria, historically the home of the Jews for nearly 4,000 years, as "occupied Palestinian territories."

What is painful is that the European leaders who adopted this document are not ignoring history. They know that the so-called "pre-1967 borders" were not borders but armistice lines drawn in 1949. They know that:

§  The Six Day War was an Arab war of aggression aimed at the annihilation of Israel
§  Territories lost in 1967 were lost by Egypt, Jordan and Syria, not "Palestine."
§  In 1967, there were no "Palestinian territories" and no "Palestinian people." They know that the Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO] did not then claim the creation of a "Palestinian state" and wanted to "liberate" only one territory: Israel.

§  No "Palestinian" leader has ever accepted the creation of a "Palestinian state" living in peace side by side with the Jewish state of Israel, and there will therefore never be any peace treaty.
§  The "Oslo peace process" led only to an unprecedented wave of suicide attacks in Israel.
§  The Israeli "disengagement" from Gaza resulted in the emergence of a terrorist entity that constantly threatens Israel and uses Arabs living in the Gaza Strip as human shields.

§  The 1949 armistice lines are considered militarily indefensible by the Israel Defense Forces, and no Israeli government can, will or should accept indefensible borders.

And they know, finally, that no Israeli government will agree to divide Jerusalem again and give up Israeli sovereignty over the Old City and Jewish holy places. It was already tried and failed abysmally. Under Jordanian rule, from 1948 until 1967, East Jerusalem and the walled Old City were closed to Jews — and badly desecrated. Jewish gravestones, for example, were ripped from the Mount of Olives and used as flooring for Jordanian latrines.

The Europeans, however, sadly and revealingly, have adopted the falsified version of history spread by Arab propaganda. The Europeans choose positions that so thoroughly ignore both Israel's history and security needs — even as they overlook the most obscene crimes against Israel— that when negotiations fail, as they must, only Israel is blamed.

Even more unfortunately — because it involves their countries — the Europeans also choose to forget what separates democracy and totalitarianism, barbarism and the rule of law, and to disregard the explicitly stated aims and means of the Palestinian and other terrorist organizations. In both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas charters, these include genocide, not only the destruction of Israel, but the genocide of Jews.[2]

While pretending to be neutral and balanced, the Europeans have placed themselves at the service of these aims and means. They claim to be friends of Israel, but they speak and act as partners of "Palestinian cause" and as enemies of Israel.

Understanding their position involves deciphering the evolution of Europe since 1945.
Europe was rebuilt after the Second World War on the basis of an assumption: that the nation state and national identity are the source of all evil. Israel is a nation state and has a strong national identity, so Israel is necessarily bad. (In way, of course, that Slovakia and Moldova are apparently not.)

Europe was also rebuilt in the shadow of European guilt about the Holocaust. For Europeans who want to get rid of the guilt, supporting the "Palestinians" allows them to pretend that the Israeli Jews are just as criminal as the Europeans were at the time of Nazism. The old saying that Europeans will never forgive the Jews for Auschwitz remains true: to get rid of their guilt, many Europeans have to find a way to declare that the Jews are guilty — of anything.

Europe then became suffused with a relativistic, multiculturalist discourse. "Imperialism" was added to the list of alleged crimes. Not to apologize for imperialism, but at least it often brought with it education. How many countries are now governed more responsibly after the imperialists pulled out?

In Europe today, all cultures are considered equal. Yet, because of its "imperialist" past, Western culture is considered less equal than others. Israel, even though it never engaged in any economic exploitation, but because it values democracy and other Western freedoms, has also been marked by the indelible sin of "imperialism."

On a continent where the idea that peace at all costs has become the supreme value, as well as the certainty that all conflicts can be solved by appeasement, when Israel must respond to an attack with either with acts of defense or acts of surrender, acts of defense seem intolerable.

Another major factor is the change in Europe's population. As Muslim minorities have increased, Europe has moved closer to the Muslim worldview. The Europeans are frightened by the risk of Muslim riots in Europe, so they seem ready to sacrifice Israel as a way, they hope, of maintaining calm and not arousing Muslim anger.

Most European leaders are stubbornly certain that the "Israeli-Palestinian conflict" is the central problem in the Middle East and the cause of all Muslim rage. They see in Israel's refusal to pander to all "Palestinian" demands the main obstacle preventing the resolution of the problem, and the main obstacle to harmonious "cooperation" with the Muslim world.

Recently, the new EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Italian Socialist Federica Mogherini, visited the Middle East. Despite acts of terrorist violence and incitement to jihad uttered by Mahmoud Abbas, as well as by the leaders of Hamas or Islamic Jihad, she expressed "confidence" in the ability to move towards a "peaceful solution." She added that, "We need Palestinian state" with "East Jerusalem" as its capital, and that "this is the position of all the European Union." She said these words in Gaza. She did not condemn anti-Israel attacks or Palestinian calls to destroy Israel. She directed all her criticism against the Israeli government. Two days earlier, Israel's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, had told her that the European positions were "irresponsible." Apparently she was not interested.

Federica Mogherini, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, meets Rami Hamdallah, Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, on November 8, 2014, in Ramallah. Hamdallah recently honored a pair of suicide bombers who murdered 16 people, saying "God grant them His Paradise". (Image source: EU)
The next step in anti-Israeli offensives will take place very soon. Mahmoud Abbas and the "Palestinian" leaders will go to the United Nations, and seek recognition of a "Palestinian State"by the UN Security Council. If they succeed, "Palestine" could become a full member-state of the UN without having to make any concessions to anyone all — and free to continue inciting terror, committing terror and glorifying those who practice terror. Abbas and Palestinian leaders might then demand that the Security Council set a deadline for Israel's withdrawal to the "pre-1967 lines".

France and the United Kingdom and will abstain, which will mean that they agree. The only thing that can prevent all this is a U.S. veto.

However, relations between the United States and Israel have so deeply deteriorated since the beginning of the Obama presidency, that many Israeli diplomats think a U.S. veto uncertain.

In the context of Iran's unfettered pursuit of nuclear weapons, a "Palestinian state" in Judea, Samaria and Gaza would soon become a vital threat to Israel. Short-range rockets could hit Israel's main population centers. Israel would have to respond decisively. A regional war might well follow.

It is difficult to think that President Obama — or leaders in Europe — actually want their names to go down in history as those who legitimized a rogue entity such as "Palestine," or enabled Iran to acquire nuclear weapons. But just as Neville Chamberlain is looked on as the biggest laughing-stock in history for promising "peace" with Hitler, so can Obama's legacy be that of an even bigger fool. Chamberlain, after all, did not have a Chamberlain to warn him.

[1] Except one under diplomatic duress, lukewarmly condemning the slaughter.
[2] Hamas, a designated terrorist organization, is in a unity government with Fatah. Both of their charters call for the destruction of Israel. The PLO Charter was never amended. Proposed changes removing the clauses calling for Israel's destruction were never ratified.

Guy Millière, GatestoneInstitute, November 23, 2014

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