Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Is Obama Channeling Abbas?

Among Obama's comments in Jordan, this seems to stand out:

So one of the things I think the United States is going to have to do is to help build capacity, make sure that Israel feels secure. And obviously the tragedy that happened with the bulldozer does not help with their security. That breeds a sense of insecurity.

And that's why terrorism is so counterproductive, as well as being immoral, because it makes, I believe, the Israelis want to dig in and simply think about their own security regardless of what's going on beyond their borders. I think the same would be true of any people when these kinds of things happen and innocent people are injured. [emphasis added]

Apparently Palestinian Arabs should stop using terrorism because not only is not moral, but rather because it doesn't work. Such pragmatic considerations reminds one of Abbas, whose reasons for abandoning terrorism seemed to also come from pragmatic considerations. It's not that terrorism is wrong, it's just that the time is not right:

A sign of Abbas' pragmatism has been his opposition to terrorism. In a recent newspaper interview, Abbas repeated his belief that the Palestinians cannot win a military struggle with Israel because they are outgunned.

"The only way is the choice of peace. It is impossible to liberate Palestine with the use of weapons because the balance of power is not with us," he said.

I would have liked to have seen Obama strongly condemn terrorism and distinguish between Palestinian Arabs who commit terrorism and those who want peace. Maybe Obama doesn't want to unnecessarily trample on Palestinian sensibilities, but keep in mind that the failure of the UN to define terrorism has prevented it for properly addressing this major issue in the world today. Obama also seems to be skirting the issue--so much so that the murder of Israelis by terrorists referred to as 'tragedies'--

And obviously the tragedy that happened with the bulldozer does not help with their security. That breeds a sense of insecurity.

One might argue that terrorist attacks breed a bit more than merely 'a sense of insecurity'--and 'tragic' does not begin to cover what Israelis were feeling.

In reference to the kidnapping and murder of Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser by Hizbullah terrorists, Obama said:

"Michelle and I offer the Goldwasser and Regev families, our deepest condolences on their loss, a tragedy no family should have to bear.

As Jennifer Rubin notes, Obama seems unable to "discern evil," to really summon up moral indignation in the face of terrorism and its aftermath.

Now that's tragic.

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