Friday, May 08, 2009

Obama And Israel: Following The Signs

In The Wages of Moral Equivalence, Victor Davis Hanson writes about the developing Israeli policy of the Obama administration:
The Obama outreach to Syria, the video sent to Iran, the failed Freeman appointment, the $1 billion to Hamas, the anti-Israeli figures in Obama's past (cf. the Wright outbursts, Khalidi, etc.), and the Al Arabiya interview all point to an "adjustment" in U.S. policy toward Israel — made easier by the victory of the rightist Netanyahu.

We are entering a new phase in which, for the first time since Jimmy Carter, an American administration really believes that land concessions back to 1967 will ipso facto ensure new mentalities that are not like those in 1967, when the Arab world on three occasions had gone to war to destroy the Jewish state within its 1947 borders.

If the Obama plan is successful, we would see Israel back to about the 1947-sized state, public professions of eternal peace — and then triumphalism from non-democratic players in the radical Islamic world to the effect that first Sinai, then Lebanon, then Gaza, then the West Bank, capped off with Jerusalem — and, for the next generation, the final task of the end of Israel itself.

Once U.S. foreign policy is based on moral equivalence — that a Western democratic state is about the same as an undemocratic, radical authoritarian entity that embraces terrorism as a tool of state policy — then anything is possible, from calling for Israeli nuclear disarmament as part of an Iranian deal, to pretending that a Hamas ten-year truce is something other than a decade of chest-thumping before the final assault.

Given the fact that the vast majority of American Jews voted for Obama — despite clear indications that he would embrace radical changes in U.S. policy toward Israel — the politics of what is to come will be as fascinating as they will be tragic.
I recall when Rahm Emanuel was appointed Obama's White House Chief of Staff, most pundits wrote that it was because of Emanuel's aggressiveness. One person at work claimed that the appointment was a sign of Obama's outreach to Jews and evidence of his friendliness towards Israel. 

I don't know--maybe the appointment was in part so that when Jews see what Obama is doing to Israel and cry foul, Obama can point to Emanuel and say, "I'm not anti-Israel--I even have a Chief of Staff who is Israeli!"

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