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Obama delivers Jerusalem speech Photo: Reuters
Obama delivers Jerusalem speech Photo: Reuters
 
 

Obama still can't be trusted

Op-ed: US president's Jerusalem speech should have been addressed to young Palestinians

Shoula Romano Horing
Published: 03.30.13, 15:13 / Israel Opinion

After his trip to Israel, it is clear that President Obama's strategy in regard to Israel has changed but his goal remains the same. He is still trying to convince the Israelis to take suicidal risks and agree to the establishment of a Palestinian state in the pre-1967 borders, which includes dividing Jerusalem.

 

It is true that we are a nation that feels isolated, unaccepted, and hated in our neighborhood and are condemned and boycotted almost daily by the world. But are we so psychologically damaged and insecure as a people that after one speech and two days of flattery, adoration and reassurances by the president we are willing to give up all of Judea and Samaria and divide our capital for another Hamastan?

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Are the Israelis so desperate for love and acceptance that they believe that Obama and his true intentions regarding Israel can change almost overnight?

 

For four years he strategically kept "daylight" between Israel and the US, but after he failed to achieve his goal of a Palestinian state, he decided to pay us a visit and show us a lot of love to lower our defenses. Obama still does not care for us, but it certainly seems that he has learned how to play us.

 

Can we trust the president's newly found friendship and rapport with the Israeli prime minister he now calls Bibi after he has verbally and. publicly disrespected, humiliated, and confronted him for four years? Just last September he refused to meet Netanyahu to discuss the Iranian threat and met Beyoncé instead. Just two months ago he was reported to view the prime minister as a "political coward."

 

Can we trust a president who just appointed a defense minister who supports talking to Hamas and Hezbollah and a CIA director who has referred to Jerusalem by its Arab name Al-Quds? In May 2011, Obama embraced the Palestinians' demands by announcing his support for the establishment of a Palestinian state along the 1967 lines, including eastern Jerusalem, which houses the Western Wall and the Temple Mount.

 

Obama with Abbas in Bethlehem (Photo: MCT)
Obama with Abbas in Bethlehem (Photo: MCT)

 

Can we trust a president who earlier in the same day of his Jerusalem speech, spoke at a joint news conference with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, at the Muqata presidential compound in the West Bank city of Ramallah, with the father of terrorism Yasser Arafat's huge picture in the background? Any true friend of Israel would have demanded the picture of the one responsible for so much Jewish suffering and bloodshed to be removed or covered or would have spoken in another room.

 

Obama in his Jerusalem speech to young Israelis talked about the benefits and miracle of peace. All Israeli Jews agree that a true peace is in their best interests. The young Israelis should not have been the audience of such a speech, which should have been delivered to young Palestinians. We, as Jews, have been praying in our daily prayers and every holiday for peace. Peace is being glorified at schools, in poems, in books, and at places of worship. In contrast, anti -Jewish and anti- Israeli incitement to hatred and violence and martyrdom is being taught daily in Palestinian schools, textbook, media, and mosques.

 

Barack Obama told the crowd that a peace agreement is the only path to true security. In an ideal world such a claim is true especially if your neighbors are Mexico and Canada. It is not true when your neighbors are Hezbollah, Hamas, Iran, Syria, Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda and other jihadists, who repeatedly call for your destruction. In the Middle East the only true security is military strength that deters war.

 

Obama told us that Abbas is a true partner for peace negotiations. However, he is a weak leader who rejected Israeli Prime Minister Olmer's 2008 offer for peace and has taken unilateral steps to establish a state without negotiations.

 

The president stated that Israel is not alone as long as it has the US. However, Jews learned from history that we can only trust ourselves. Obama's refusal to stop the slaughter of the Syrian people does not help to reassure us.

 

Finally, Obama asked the young students to pressure their leaders to take risks for the "hope" of peace. But as he has done throughout his administration, he asked nothing from the Palestinians except to return to the negotiations without preconditions, which Abbas has done many times under President George W. Bush.

 

The first thing the Obama administration did just after his leaving Israel on Friday was to quietly announce that nearly $500 million in aid to the PA has been unblocked after Congress froze funding late last year as punishment for Abbas' unilateral UN bid for statehood. Not coincidentally, it was followed on Monday by the Israeli government's announcement that it is releasing frozen funds it collected to the PA.

 

The fact that Obama was willing to work so hard during his visit to convince the Israelis that he cares, should alarm them as to what he will be willing to do in the next four years to facilitate the establishment of a Palestinian state.

 

Shoula Romano Horing is an attorney. Her blog: www.shoularomanohoring.com

 

 

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