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A Wary Encounter

by Melania Phillips
Tuesday, 19th May 2009

In remarks made after his meeting with Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu, President Obama said:

I suggested to the Prime Minister that he has an historic opportunity to get a serious movement on this issue during his tenure. That means that all the parties involved have to take seriously obligations that they have previously agreed to. Those obligations were outlined in the road map...

But the first obligation in the Road Map was laid upon the Palestinians -- to dismantle their infrastructure of terror. It was their failure to meet that first obligation, without which the rest of the Road Map could not be implemented, which led to its collapse as a strategy. Yet Obama appears to think that the only obligations which must be met are those which apply to Israel, with the Palestinians apparently getting a free pass.

This is of course all of a piece with his belief that Israel is the cause of the Middle East impasse which would be solved by the creation of a state of Palestine. The fact that even now Fatah states explicitly that it won’t accept the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state, let alone Hamas repeatedly restating its intention to destroy Israel and kill every Jew, is not, in Obama’s mind, the real obstacle to a solution. Not only does Obama not see the creation of "˜Hamastan’ in the West Bank as an obstacle -- ‚  he sees instead the refusal to treat Hamas as part of the solution as an obstacle. Accordingly, he presents as the obstacle not the people continuing to wage war but the country that is the victim of that war "“ which he blames for not agreeing to destroy its own security.

The irrationality and injustice of this is manifest on every level. But what cannot be stressed enough is the way both Obama and the "˜progressive’ legions behind him have made as their rallying cry support for a proposed racist and religiously exclusionary state that denies civil rights for all. Those screaming "˜apartheid’ at Israel are demanding the establishment of a putative Palestine state which would allow no Jews to live there, let alone enjoy the equal civil and human rights afforded to Arab citizens of Israel. As the former CIA Director James Woolsey is reported to have observed earlier this month:

...the world has a tendency to "˜define deviancy down for non-Jews.’ As a result, governments around the world, including the Obama administration, never even mention the possibility that Jews should be able to enjoy the same rights and privileges in any future Palestinian polity that Israeli Arabs exercise today in the Jewish state.

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