During his speech at the State Department on Thursday, President Obama began his remarks about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by recounting America’s historical alliance with Israel .
He talked about America’s “unshakeable” commitment to Israel’s security, and about how the “friendship” between the two countries is “rooted deeply in a shared history and shared values.”
Then Obama threw Israel under the proverbial bus.
By endorsing the Palestinians’ demand for their own state based on the borders that existed before the 1967 Six-Day War, which included a divided Jerusalem, Obama has helped Israel’s enemies take another step toward the achievement of their ultimate goal: the end of the Jewish state.
How ironic that in the same speech in which Obama lauded the citizens across the Middle East fighting for democracy, he also announced a new policy that will undermine the existence of the region’s most legitimate democracy.
This is only the latest Obama broadside against Israel. For two years, the Obama administration has publicly demanded that the Israeli government stop building homes for Jews in the eastern half of their capital city, Jerusalem. This was a demand that, until Obama raised it, the Palestinians had never made a central condition to further talks.
But once Obama started demanding a freeze on new housing, the Palestinian leader eagerly embraced the cause. And for two years, Palestinian National Authority and Fatah party head Mahmoud Abbas has used this issue as an excuse not to go anywhere near a negotiating table.
Obama gave his speech only days after thousands of Palestinian refugees from the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon and Syria stormed Israel’s borders asserting their “right of return.”
And it came less than a month after the two main Palestinian groups, Fatah and the terrorist group Hamas, announced a power-sharing deal. The merger formally links the West Bank, held by Fatah, with the Gaza Strip, controlled by Hamas.
Hamas has governed Gaza since winning a majority of seats in the 2006 Palestinian parliamentary elections. But its main purpose, elaborated in its 1988 charter, is the eradication of the Jewish state and the establishment of an Islamic state in its place.
Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh has said that Hamas will never recognize the “usurper Zionist government” and will continue “jihad-like movement until the liberation of Jerusalem.”
If Haniyeh’s name looks familiar, it’s because he made news for being one of the few world figures to condemn the killing of Osama bin Laden, whom he called a “Muslim warrior.”
Hamas has launched thousands of rockets into Israel over the last decade, killing more than a dozen Israeli civilians, injuring hundreds of others and placing the nearly 1 million Israeli citizens who live within range of the rockets under constant threat.
Reacting to Obama’s speech, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected a full withdrawal from the West Bank, calling the 1967 lines “indefensible.”
In the days before Obama’s speech, Abbas had repeatedly made it clear that there would never be a scenario under which the Palestinians would ditch their demand for the “right of return” of Palestinian refugees. President Obama appears not to understand that the Palestinians not only want a state but also the right to demographically drown the people of Israel so that Israel becomes a Palestinian state.
There is one thing we know for certain: Instead of satisfying the Palestinians, the Iranians and other jihadists, the division of Jerusalem will only stimulate their appetite for the other half of the Holy City.
The people storming Israel’s borders last weekend were not calling for a return to the 1967 borders or Israel’s 1948 borders. They were commemorating the Nakba, or “the day of catastrophe,” when the modern state of Israel came into existence in 1948.
By attempting to charge over Israel’s borders, they were signaling their desire to erase Israel’s sovereign territory. A week later, Obama signaled that the U.S. has adopted the same objective.
The Palestinians’ goal is not to live next to or coexist with the “catastrophe.” They want to end it. They want to completely erase Israel. In his 2009 speech in Cairo, Egypt, Obama said of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: “America will align our policies with those who pursue peace …”
Two years later, Obama has achieved the opposite. He has aligned his administration’s policies with those pursuing war and Israel’s ultimate demise.