Let’s take a look at some facts concerning the relationship between Israel, its Arab neighbors, and the United States. Right now there seems to be a push for two states as a solution to the conflict. In 1948, Israel originally accepted the UN partition plan which called for two states, and the Arab leadership at the time rejected this. The nascent Israel was attacked by the Arabs, but Israel won the war and became a reality. At that time there was no mention of Palestinians as a separate people by the Arabs or the media. As a matter of fact, “Palestinian” was often used to refer to Jews who lived there. The idea of Palestinian Arabs as a separate entity from other Arabs emerged during the 1960s. There was no call for a separate Palestine on the West Bank which was taken over by Jordan or Gaza which was occupied by Egypt.

Every overture for peace issued by Israel was rejected by Arab leadership because they would not accept the idea of a Jewish state in their midst. The United States has tried for years to broker a peace deal with some limited success. There have been varying degrees of closeness and distance in the 63 years since Israel was established between the USA and Israel.

The latest incident in USA-Israel relations occurred when Vice President Biden visited Israel. In 2009 Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, at Obama’s behest agreed to a freeze on settlement building in the West Bank, but Jerusalem was not part of that agreement. While Biden visited Jerusalem, an announcement was made by Israel’s Interior Ministry that there would be an expansion of housing in Northern Jerusalem. The timing of the announcement could not have been worse, and it was needless and stupid considering the visit by Biden and its ultimate purpose. Embarrassing the American Vice President did not further the cause of peace and Netanyahu correctly apologized for this gaffe. Biden accepted this apology and the issue seemed settled.

That is when President Obama chose to magnify the issue and make it a crisis. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, after consulting with the President on the language that she would use, delivered a 45 minute message that was extremely hostile. I doubt that the leadership of Iran, North Korea or other regimes hostile to the United States would have been treated in such a manner by this administration.

In many respects, President Obama either sees the Arab-Israeli issue from a pre-modern anti-Israel Muslim perspective or perhaps it is a left wing, post-modernist, academic’s anti-Israel perspective. However he has come to this view he has shown it by what has been called his apology tour, where he derided the United States by saying that for too long we have dictated to the people of this part of the world. Of course, when it comes to Israel no such restraints about dictating are evident concerning where its people can dwell.

Obama has always chosen to surround himself with people who are hostile to Israel. These include Jeremiah Wright, his past spiritual advisor who accompanied Louis Farrakhan to Libya at the behest of Muammar Quaddafi. Videos of Wright and Farrakhan screaming anti-American and anti-Israel screeds before cheering crowds can easily be viewed on Youtube.com. Obama was also associated with Edward Said who was a fierce critic of just about everything Israeli to the extent of even belittling the historic Jewish connection to the land.

The world view that Obama seems to have is that Islamic radicalism would be less attractive to Muslims if only there was some sort of peace, or perhaps the illusion of peace, between Palestinian Arab Muslims and Israeli Jews. However, the only Arab peace plan that has been offered by Palestinian leadership has terms in it that would eradicate Israel’s existence as a Jewish state. One of these is the right of return of the descendants of Palestinian refugees. This would mean that there would be enough Arabs between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean to vote Israel as a Jewish state out of existence. This is an impossible condition for Israel to accept. That Arab leadership knows this and their insistence shows that they do not recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. Their idea of peace is no Israel. The treatment of people of over faiths including Jews, Christians, and Ba’hai in Muslim countries shows that any arrangement other than the geographic separation of two peoples wanting the same land is the only possible solution if there is one.

Look at what happens to an Arab leader who truly makes peace. After the 1973 war, I had the opportunity to directly ask Moshe Dayan whether he thought Egypt would ever make peace with Israel, and he responded that he thought Sadat truly wanted peace. This answer surprised me at the time but Dayan turned out to be correct. After Israeli intelligence found out about a Libyan plot to kill Anwar Sadat, the Begin Government warned him and he was able to break up the plot and protect himself. Anwar Sadat made a peace with Israel that endures today. Israel gave back the entire Sinai to Egypt and it seemed that a new day was upon us. Sadat was rewarded for his peace making by being killed by Islamic radicals in his own country. Israel showed that it would give up land for a real peace. Sadat showed that he would make peace and now he is dead for doing so. Perhaps Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of the Palestinian authority, does not want to suffer the same fate as Sadat. Perhaps this is why concessions made by former Israeli prime minister, Ehud Barak, at the Camp David talks of 2000 were rejected by Arafat. Bill Clinton called the offer by Barak “courageous.” It was reported in The New Yorker on March 24, 2003, that Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the US, Bandar Ibn Sultan, thought Arafat should have jumped at this chance to make peace. In 2008, Israeli Prime Minister Olmert offered similar terms to Palestinian leader Abbas who also rejected them. Perhaps he does not want to suffer the same fate as Sadat.

The vast majority of Americans have supported Israel in its successful quest for existence as the one Jewish state in the world for a number of different reasons including religious and shared democratic values. This is along with a view of life that respects the worth of the individual. This is in spite of many in the media and the academy who are hostile including numerous professors and journalists who view Israel as an imperialist western outpost in the middle east. Apparently alone among religious groups or nationalities, Jews have no right to self-determination and national identity in their ancient homeland as do other ethnic entities. Perhaps another reason for this hostility is that it easier to be critical of Israel than its Arab neighbors because Israel will not set out to kill its critics. It is always easier to criticize those who will not seek to murder you. This is why the National Endowment for the Arts can fund an exhibit with a crucifix in a vat of urine and call it art.

This fear of death is not unreasonable considering the recent threats made against the creators of South Park and the capitulation of Comedy Central in reaction to those threats. This situation has nothing to do with Israel. The Danish cartoon incident and the deaths and threats that followed also illustrates just what will happen to those who upset the radical fundamentalists. The assassination of Theo Van Gogh for producing a film about violence against Muslim women also had nothing to do with Israel. In the list of grievances issued by Osama Bin Laden, Israel was a minor feature. Bin Laden called the US the “Great Satan,” Israel was referred to the as the “Little Satan.” The blowing up of ancient Buddha statues in Afghanistan by Muslim fundamentalists had nothing to do with Israel. If Israel was to disappear tomorrow, the fundamentalists would not be satisfied but their appetites only whetted by their victory.

Human rights violations in the Middle East are just not covered by many in the American media. In Saudi Arabia, women cannot legally drive a car and are treated like movable property. Honor killings, where a woman is killed for having had sexual relations (even if they were raped) occur with frequency in that part of the world, but you have to look hard to find mention of them. There is an active slave trade in Muslim dominated countries in Africa, but you would not know it from watching CNN. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis were murdered, and it has been admitted by Eason Jordan of CNN that a deal was made with Saddam Hussein not to cover these atrocities. Things are no better in the print media either. For a story with examples and quotations about journalists who cover up the news go to: http://www.honestreporting.com/articles/critiques/CNNs_Iraqi_Cover-Up.asp. You can draw your own conclusions.

President Obama has it wrong. It is not a lack of a peace treaty that radicalizes many in the Muslim world. It is the fear of reprisal from radicals that prevents some who are relatively more moderate from making peace. One proof of this is the assassination of Anwar Sadat. Obama seems to blame Israel for the lack of peace or at least peace talks, but it was not the Israelis who murdered Sadat. An Israeli assassinated Prime Minister Rabin because he thought Rabin was making too many concessions but it was an individual act. Since then, Israeli governments, as illustrated in this article, have shown a willingness to give up land for peace even at the cost of the lives of its own citizens. Israel withdrew from Gaza completely, uprooting even its own citizens from settlements in a UN verified complete withdrawal. They have been rewarded for their withdrawal by thousands of rockets fired from Gaza into southern Israel. Israel withdrew from Lebanon, and Hezbollah was encouraged by this and fired thousands of its own rockets into Northern Israel.

It is not the absence of peace between Israel and its neighbors that drives people to radical views. It is the radicals who cause the absence of peace by the threat of assassination for anyone who makes peace. It is the radicals who fire rockets into Israel after they withdraw. The reality is that until someone else from the Arab world dares to make peace with Israel and defies the radicals there can never be real peace in that region.

PR-MA