Have you heard the saying "talks the talk, but doesn't walk the walk?" Simply put it means someone talks about things, but their words do not translate into action.
This exemplifies President Obama when it comes to Israel. For example, throughout his administration he has promoted the so-called two state solution. Time after time he eloquently lauds the dreams and aspirations of the Palestinian people living in their own state side by side a secure Jewish state of Israel.
On the surface this sounds like a noble goal. However, time after time Mr. Obama places all the pressure on Israel to make unilateral moves in order to bring this about, while asking virtually nothing from the Palestinians.
For example, while suggesting Israel needs to have "defensible borders" he expects the already tiny Jewish state to slice itself up even more, to a mere 9 miles in width north of Tel Aviv, where 70% of its population lives.
It's bad enough the small desert town of Sderot has endured thousands of rockets from Gaza during the past decade. Now, if Obama gets his wish almost 5 million Israeli civilians would be subjected to the same situation. Imagine Los Angeles or Chicago living under a daily threat of rocket attacks, where residents have a mere 15 seconds to get to a bomb shelter. How long would Mr. Obama expect Americans to live with such a situation? Yet he expects Israelis to. Plus, with high rise buildings, congested freeways and city streets full of traffic jams, it would be impossible for many of the Israeli's in this region to get to bomb shelters in time.
Some 80% of Israel's industry is based in this area, which means there could be lengthy large scale interruptions of basic consumer goods, water or electricity as a result of destructive and lethal rocket fire. This area would be so narrow one could walk from the eastern side of Israel to the Mediterranean in less than 3 hours.
Complete freedom of worship
If this is Mr. Obama's definition of "defensible borders," I would shudder to think what his definition of "indefensible" is.
Mr. Obama also expects Israel to hand over the Old City of Jerusalem, which was liberated in the Six Day War allowing Jewish access to the Western Wall and Temple Mount for the first time in almost 2,000 years. Moreover, his administration has refused to publically acknowledge Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. This is tantamount to de-facto complicity with the oft heard lie perpetrated by the Muslims that there is no Jewish historical connection to Jerusalem.
In reality, there is archeological evidence confirming Jewish presence in Jerusalem dating back to the First Temple period.
Ironically, since Israel liberated the Old City Muslims are allowed complete freedom of worship on Temple Mount, and Jewish access is highly restricted. How often does Mr. Obama promote this fact?
If Israel was to comply with the long list of "bold sacrifices" can we expect Mr. Obama to require the Palestinians to provide commensurate gestures in order to facilitate his goal of a two state solution?
For example, would he require the Palestinians to allow Israel to maintain a presence in the Jordan Valley in order to ensure weapons aren't allowed in from Jordan? Is he requiring the Palestinians not have an armed military, or military aircraft? What verifiable measures has he asked of the Palestinians to ensure total elimination of all forms of terrorism against Israelis?
Has he asked for the removal of the numerous references of Israel's destruction which are in the charters of both the PLO and Fatah Party, of which Mahmoud Abbas is head? How many of these commitments has Mr. Obama gotten the Palestinians to agree to?
The answer is none.
Not only has Obama not gotten the Palestinians to make any of these commitments, he can't even get Mahmoud Abbas to accept Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state.
Yet, time and again, we hear Obama say his commitment to Israel's security is "unshakable." No doubt he'll utter similar words for the umpteenth time when he debates Governor Romney on foreign policy.
Well Mr. President, with all due respect, your ever-present "unshakable" commitment to Israel's security is nice talk, but that's all it is.
It's about time you stop expecting Israel to make 100% of the "bold sacrifices" for peace, and have a conversation with Mr. Abbas and suggest he's got some serious sacrifices of his own to make.
Absent of this all you're doing is "talking the talk." If you wish to be seen as a fair minded broker of peace, I suggest you start "walking the walk," or else take a walk.
Dan Calic is a writer, historian and speaker. See additional articles on his Facebook page