Having had the good sense to almost withdraw from the upcoming “Durban II” UN conference to condemn Israel, Barack Obama seemed — for one brief, shining moment — to actually have some common sense on the question of Israel. But, alas, that moment is passed.
Now, expert diplomat Hillary Clinton has been visiting with those fine people who comprise the leadership of the Palestinians and neighboring nice peoples such as Syria and proclaimed the expense of $900 million in aid for the “reconstruction” of the Gaza Strip.
You can buy an awful lot of Qassam III and C-802 missiles for $900 million. Just how many, Hamas may shortly be demonstrating to quaking families across Israel. And all thanks to the generosity of the Palestinian terrorist organization’s latest useful idiot, Barack Hussein Obama.
Until quite recently when right-wing talk show hosts and comics made a point of emphasising that middle name, I’ve got to admit I felt uncomfortable. “Give the guy a break,” I used to think. “Attack him on what he has done. What he stands for politically. But don’t hold the poor schmuck responsible for what happened at his christening.”After all, I’m a Brit and bound to the Churchillian cannon: you cannot blame a man for how he is born.
But couldn’t he have changed his name even while attending Harvard? Barack Hussein Obama would be much more comfortably American were he “Barry O’Bama” or some such. But I digress.
At the root of my discomfort lay my belief that if there was one area his presidency couldn’t get wrong, it was America’s relationship with Israel. “Sure, he’s going to screw up the economy,” I thought. Though one has to admit the breadth of his screwing on the economic level. St. Timothy of Treasury, having been canonized despite his serial tax evasion, was going to lead us out of the land of Banking Bailout to the milk and honey of re-regulation and responsibility. And we wait, as the Dow sinks as surely as a Tiger Woods putt, for the Word to come out of Mount Treasury.
“Sure he’ll subscribe to all manner of Al-Gore-inspired Green craziness and pork-barrelling and welfarism and minority-grievance-mongering and fiscal irresponsibility and profligacy and Nanny Statism. He’s a left-liberal. It’s what They do.” And, alas, that’s what they’re fiddling at while Wall Street burns.
Israel, though, I fondly imagined, was simply too precious a commodity to be casually tossed on the trash heap of whacko leftist ideology. President Obama, a bright fellow by all accounts, would surely understand this. I mean,
- Which is the only stable democracy in the whole of the Middle East?
- Which is the most staunchly pro-Western?
- Which is the only truly anti-terrorist state in all the Middle East and Southwest Asia?
- Which is the only one that gives the merest smidgen of a hint of a damn about touchy-feely, liberal-friendly issues like gay rights and female equality?
- Which is the one that has received the most explicit death threats from its neighbors?
- Which is the U.S.’s most effective intelligence gathering arm in the region?
- Which country, when push comes to shove, is going to spare the U.S. the cost of a supremely bloody and expensive ground war by taking out the nuclear bomb facilities in Iran?
It’s a no brainer. Or, as Hamas might put it, not exactly rocket science.
None of that matters: it’s all about repairing America’s image in the Muslim world. By which President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton apparently mean surrendering to anyone who comes in their path.
The $900 million going to rebuild the terrorist strongholds in Gaza is a magic number, by which I mean it is small enough for Congress to pay no heed. Were it to rise to $1 trillion, someone might notice. Even Congress.
Apparently, though, I was wrong. True, President Obama hasn’t yet personally pressed any red buttons to unleash multiple strikes on Tel Aviv, Nazareth, Haifa and Beersheeba. But I’m not sure his current preferred death-by-a-thousand cuts policy towards Israel is any kinder. It’ll achieve pretty much the same result, only in agonizing slow motion that’s all.
Consider his administration’s serpentine, ever-shifting policy towards Durban II. You probably don’t remember Durban I because you weren’t invited, but it was a shindig called World Conference on Racism held in 2001 in a South African seaside town, mainly as an excuse for a motley assortment of third world basket cases, Islamofascist dictatorships, and banana republic tyrannies to gather together and feel better about themselves by dumping on the West generally and Israel in particular.
First time round, the U.S. pretty much boycotted it (sending a low level delegation which it withdrew in protest after four days) and quite rightly so. Not only did the delegates spout all the usual Jesse-Jackson-endorsed drivel demanding reparations for the slave trade, but it enabled such unlikely defenders of the moral high ground as Zimbabwe, Iran, Sudan and Libya, to indulge in an orgy of Jew-bashing. Zionism is racism, they shrieked. Israelis are Nazis. To the Durbanoids, the Holocaust that killed six million was but one of many holocausts, no less shameful, such as the one currently being meted out by the Zionist fascist state of Israel on the innocent people of Palestine. Etc. A few days later, 9/11 happened and the grievance-mongers shuffled reluctantly into the wings.
Durban II the rematch is scheduled for Geneva in April. This time, peace-loving Iran is setting the agenda, with calls for the following: the “right of return” for all Palestinians to Israel (ie the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state); the deletion of the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust on the grounds that it is “questionable”; and “the intellectual and ideological validation of Islamophobia” as “the most disturbing phenomenon” of our time. No mention is made, oddly enough, of the avowed declaration by certain countries formerly known as Persia to wipe Israel from the map just as soon as they get their atom bomb.
Naturally enough, the civilized world has chosen to boycott this hatefest. Civilized, that is, if you mean Israel, the Netherlands and Canada. But not, apparently, the U.S., which had initially taken a more — ahem — nuanced “New Realist” line. First, President Obama decided that the best way to show his disapproval of this nonsense was to engage with it by taking part in the planning process, then — as he did over the weekend — to semi-withdraw.
But then, bizarrely, this semi-principled gesture was completely undermined by applying to join the U.N.’s spectacularly ill-named Human Rights Council. This body — dominated by such human-rights-lovers as China, Saudi Arabia and most of the world’s Islamist terror states — exists largely to excuse human rights abuses by every country in the world that isn’t called Israel.
This isn’t global leadership. This is more like the perilous flirtation of a dimwitted coquette with a sinister Middle Eastern gentleman she has been warned will do her no good but who, darn it, she just can’t resist because he’s so dangerous and so mysterious and exciting and (maybe) misunderstood.
This same combination of reckless naivete and purblind wishful thinking is evident in the case of that $900 million I mentioned at the beginning. Sure, Obama isn’t giving it direct to Hamas to spend on missiles. He’s going to hand it over via UNRWA, instead. That’s the United Nations organization which allowed its ambulances — in strict breach of their supposed neutrality — to be used to ferry (unwounded, active) Hamas combatants round the battlefield in one recent Israel incursion; whose camps are used as Hamas bomb factories; which employs many Hamas members; which grossly and deliberately overestimated the number of innocent Palestinian victims of Israeli ordnance and, of course, ignored all those Fatah members conveniently murdered during by their Hamas rivals in the same period.
This “new realism” doesn’t look much like realism to me. It looks like appeasement, which history tells us is usually the very opposite of realism. It’s based on the weird assumption that the more ground you yield to your enemies — the Sudetenland, say — and the more you endeavour to feel their pain, the more likely they are to bend to your will. But they don’t. They think you’re a wimp. And they ask themselves: “If my enemies are prepared to concede so much under no pressure whatsoever, how much more will they surrender if I start being really difficult?”
Barack Hussein Obama, out in the big wide world they don’t give two hoots for the bridge-building symbolism of your middle name. Wuss-ein, maybe they call you. Or plain, old-fashioned Fool.
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