This past week, the cat was out of the bag and the American president’s infinite arrogance came bursting forth. Unlike his European colleagues, whose statements made sure to minimize their involvement to “ending the occupation of 1967,” President Obama (via a State Department spokesman) revealed his intention to bring an “end to the conflict.”
Does Obama really know how to “end the conflict?” We got the answer two days later, when a document published in the media revealed the US Administration’s intention to secure a final-status agreement within a year, while implementing it within 10 years. In other words, Obama wishes to win all the glory while mortgaging the future (our future, not his.)
After all, this is Obama’s specialty. The president “saved” the US economy by printing more than $3 trillion, most of which were poured into the American economy via the acquisition of inflated mortgage-backed securities. He’s leaving the bill for his successors.
Americans may be willing to clean after Obama and believe that he saved them from collapse (they will find the fractures and skeletons in a few years,) but the State of Israel cannot take such chances. We live in the present and not in promises for a rosy future; hence, the US president would do well to show a little modesty: Learn about the roots of the conflict, understand why there is no solution for it at this time, and most importantly, premise any proposal for an interim agreement on realities on the ground.
If Obama wishes to use the “implementation in 10 years” card to shove a “deal” premised on the types of dreams he’s selling to his own people down our throats, we have news for him: We’re not your highness’ suckers. If you wish to propose something that would be implemented in 10 years, you’re invited to come back for a visit nine years from now. Any attempt to look even just one year into the future is dangerous in our neighborhood.
The real core issue
The talks Obama organized for us are seemingly supposed to focus on what he (mistakenly) refers to as the core issues – including refugees, borders, and Jerusalem. Yet his preoccupation with all these issues shows that President Obama has no understanding whatsoever of the real core issue.
The only genuine core issue is the ideology that refuses to accept the existence of a national home for the Jewish people in the Middle East (within any borders.) Islamic imperialism seeks to spread in all directions, while the tiny Israel is like a thorn in its side at the heart of its home base, the Middle East.
Israel and the Jewish sovereignty over its territory is the only core issue. All the rest are excuses. Two generations after 1948, the issue of refugees has remained an excuse, just like the “humanitarian supplies” on board the Gaza-bound Turkish ships were merely an excuse.
In order to understand the arrogance inherent in his desire to “end the conflict," Obama would do well to look at two elements expressed aboard the Mavi Marmara: What was the song, “Khaibar, Khaibar,” sang by activists while they prepared the metal rods used to assault IDF soldiers? And how did these activists know that IDF troops – supposedly members of the brutal occupation army – will not use any arms while raiding the ship?
Khaibar is an ancient town on the Arabian Peninsula. In 629, Mohammad’s soldiers attacked the Jews barricaded in the city. A year earlier, Mohammad signed the Treaty of Hudaybiyya with the Jews, promising them to live in peace while telling his followers this was the right path: Sign agreements when the Jewish enemy is strong and bide your time.
When Mohammad conquered Khaibar, he executed all the men, the women (including the girls) were brutally raped, and boys were sold to slavery. This event was deeply etched in Islamic imperialism’s consciousness, and the song “Khaibar, Khaibar, oh Jews, Mohammad’s army shall return” has been used as a battle cry since 629 and until the Mavi Marmara days.
Accepting Jewish sovereignty
This leads us to the next question: How did the activists know it was a good idea to prepare bats in order to counter the region’s most powerful army? The answer is simple: They knew that the de-legitimization campaign against Israel would prompt the IDF to fight with its hands tied behind its back. Israel cannot use the weapons it holds for fear of the international condemnation that follows every new provocation against it.
Palestinian Authority President Abbas is right to say that he should not be asked to characterize the State of Israel as the Jewish people’s state; however, he is wrong when he tells us to “define yourselves any way you want.” We already did it, in line with a UN resolution dating back to 1947 and a League of Nations resolution dating back to 1922. We established the Jewish national home at the heart of the Islamic Middle East.
And this leads us to the real question: Is Abbas, as well as all the leaders and leading clerics in Islamic states, willing to absolutely recognize the Jewish people’s right for sovereignty in its land? Much before we try to draw the borders, we need to ask whether the Muslims are willing to accept our sovereignty here on any plot of land.
This is the first core issue, to be followed by the second core issue: Are all Islamic states willing to accept that any violation of the final-status agreement planned for us by Obama will receive an immediate response on the ground? That is, would the State of Israel have the right to remove any hostile element from any territory used to attack us?
If the answer to those two questions is affirmative, we have something to talk about. However, if the answer is negative, then even presidential pledges to protect Israel under an American nuclear umbrella would not guarantee our existence here. The State of Israel, whose breadth ranges from 12 to 50 kilometers, cannot afford to sustain even one Iranian nuclear bomb.
And so, we do not intend to put out trust in promises, but rather, to defend ourselves – against the Iranian bomb, and against Palestinian demography.
Avi Trengo is a journalist