Barack Obama does not represent me or my values (or my country either, as far as I'm concerned). This is the Certificate of Honour given to my great-uncle, Jan Roorda and his wife Rein, awarded to them by the Yad Vashem for their heroism in saving Jewish families during WWII. They were part of the Dutch resistance during the time that the Netherlands was occupied by Nazi Germany. They and others in their town stood with the Jews and took care of "about one hundred" people in hiding, according to Uncle Jan. Jan and Rein Roorda received the Medal of the Righteous, and their names are inscribed on the Honour Wall in the Garden of the Righteous at Yad Vashem, Jerusalem.
Here's what Rush Limbaugh had to say about Obama's "big, big" middle east speech yesterday. Limbaugh believes that Obama is feeling his oats because of the Osama assassination. Obama's foreign policy is "reelect Barack Obama in 2012."
All right, so now we know, ladies and gentlemen, it is official, and the instincts of many, including mine, were correct. The Arab Spring is an uprising of Middle Eastern nations against Israel, and they have been aided and abetted by President Barack Obama of the United States of America. That's what's going on, and that's what this speech was all about.
Obama wants Israel to go back to the 1967 borders, which would include giving up buffer areas like the Golan Heights. Although Limbaugh says also that going back to the 1967 borders is "not that big a deal" to the Israelis, that apparently it was going to be a bargaining chip that Netanyahu was prepared to use, but he can't use it now because Obama beat him to it and gave it away. So instead of the 1967 borders being an end-point in the negotiation, Netanyahu has been handed the issue as a starting point. The real issue, says Limbaugh, is the "right of return," meaning that Palestinian refugees from 1948 demand a return to their homes in pre-1967 Israel. That's something that the Israelis will never agree to and the Palestinian's won't compromise on, so realistically there can never be a two-state solution. So really Obama's speech was pure grandstanding, which if true would be pure Obama.
Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu, who is obviously more of a diplomat than Obama (although my goofy black Lab named Docker is more of a diplomat than Obama), replied to Obama's speech: "The viability of a Palestinian state cannot come at the expense of Israel's existence." He also called the pre-1967 borders "indefensible."
OK, this is obviously a complex issue, and I'm not sure I understand all the nuances. This is from Fox News: Though Israel occupied East Jerusalem, along with the West Bank and Gaza Strip, in the 1967 Six Day War, Obama said Thursday that the "future of Jerusalem" remains to be worked out, as does the fate of Palestinian refugees.
A leading Jewish American group, ZOA (Zionist Organization of America) is calling for AIPAC to rescind their invitation to Obama, where he is scheduled to speak on Sunday. AIPAC is the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, America's pro-Israel lobby. The AIPAC website says the conference will include more than 10,000 delegates from all 50 states, among them more than 1,500 students from 400 college campuses. Even before Obama's speech on Thursday, AIPAC had sent out an email telling attendees not to boo Obama.
Here is what ZOA had to say about Obama's speech on Thursday.President Obama is either extraordinarily naïve or extraordinarily hostile to the Jewish state of Israel, despite his claims of commitment to Israel’s security. One cannot claim to care about a neighbor’s young children while renting out rooms to child predators.
It is breath-taking, shocking and frightening that at a time when the Nazi-like terrorist group Hamas (a proxy of Iran), whose charter calls for the murder of every Jew (Article 7) and Israel’s destruction (Article 12), merges with Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah, forming a unity government, Obama can now call for a PA state and on the ’67 indefensible lines yet. Obama was recently given a Noble Peace Prize; he should now receive the Nobel War Prize for increasing the likelihood of a Mideast war and endangering Israel’s very xistence....President Obama mindlessly and shockingly ignores all this vile hatred, vile actions, and continuing threats. The last thing the world needs, Mr. Obama, is another Islamist terrorist state.
As Congressman Allen West (R-FL) of Florida said today, “Today’s endorsement by President Barack Obama of the creation of a Hamas-led Palestinian state based on the pre-1967 borders, signals the most egregious foreign policy decision his administration has made to date, and could be the beginning of the end as we know it for the Jewish state."
Today, we are ashamed of and frightened by America’s policy regarding Israel. The ZOA prediction several years ago that President Obama will become the most hostile president to Israel ever, has come true. Helen Thomas, Rashid Khalidi, Ali Abuneimah, J Street, and George Soros, and every anti-Semite in America, are surely thrilled by this speech. All thhose who love peace, justice, and Israel – are not.
We urge friends of Israel and enemies of Islamist terrorism to contact your Members of Congress to fight against Obama’s anti-Israel policy.
The Jews in America who voted for Obama had better wake up. Because after they're finished with Israel, they're coming for you. And the rest of us in America, particularly my liberal friends who would rather go on with their nice lives and not pay attention to what's going on in the world, had better wake up too.
First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak out for me.
--Pastor Martin Niemoller, 1892-1964
Updates. I'm looking around the internet, trying to find some other responses to The Barack's speech.
Here's something from and Israeli news source: Netanyahu associate: Obama detached from reality. --"Obama apparently does not understand the reality in the Mideast."
Something from The NYT: Obama and Netanyahu, Distrustful Allies, to Meet. The article says that "Obama has told aides and allies that he does not believe that Netanyahu will ever be willing to make the kind of big concessions that will lead to a peace deal." The article also characterizes a phone call between Netanyahu and Hillary Clinton on Thursday as "furious"--and then of course, The NYT writer says, in full Obama-suckup-mode: "Obama did not back down." Oh. Gag. Me.
Obviously one of the big issues that Netanyahu is trying to deal with is coming this September, when the U.N. General Assembly is set to vote on Palestinian statehood. Netanyahu is counting on Mr. Obama, says the NYT article not only to veto the vote in the Security Council, but also to lean on America's European allies to get them to reject the vote as well.
There's some background in the NYT article about why Obama chose Thursday for his Middle East address. According to this article, Netanyahu heard about Obama's plans for the Middle East address, so he alerted Republican leaders that he would like to address a joint meeting of Congress, which he will do on Monday. So the White House timed Obama's speech on Thursday to make sure he went first.
An article in The Jerusalem Post, PM slams Obama call for 'Palestine' based on '67 lines, called Netanyahu's repsonse to Obama's speech "quick and bitter."
Here's columnist Linda Chavez at the Washington Examiner, Obama abandons Israel, saying that Obama's Middle East speech on Thursday will come back to haunt him. Her take on the issue is that Obama wants unilateral territorial concessions from Israel in return for empty promises. I think I heard Charles Krauthammer say the same thing, something like, Israel is asked to give up land in return for promises--not a good bargain. Chavez's last line: "Obama has abandoned Israel. Now it's time that Israel's supporters in the U.S. abandon him.
Here's a radio interview with Melanie Phillips, saying that the Obama administration believes Israel is "expendable." Phillips is the author of a fascinating book, Londonistan.
HotAir makes an interesting point this morning. This seems like a WTF? moment in Obama's speech yesterday that went little noted: "As for security, every state has the right to self-defense, and Israel must be able to defend itself--by itself--against any threat."
So did Obama just say that the U.S. won't defend Israel if attacked?
Obama is making Glenn Beck look like a visionary as he focuses these days on Israel and his "restoring courage" event this summer.