Op-Ed: Watch Out When Someone Says They Have Your Back
Gerald A. HonigmanThe author is an educator who has done extensive doctoral studies in Mid-East...
Someone says they know what’s best for you. Or, that you don’t know what’s best for yourself.
Too often it really means that they know what’s best for themselves, and that they want you to play ball in order to make it happen.
I’ve learned a few other things also over the years–like to often be wary when someone says that they have your back. Best to then ask how long the blade is that you’ll be stuck with.
I’m sorry to have to say what comes next, but for some reason–after close observation of both events and deep personal associations over the decades–the name Barack Hussein Obama comes to mind followed by “Israel.” Yes, some will be upset over my saying this–but will stumble when hit between the eyes with overwhelming solid documentation and other evidence.
The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg–rival to Thomas Friedman of The New York Times for the Arabs’ dhimmi kelbi yahudi (Jew dog) man of the year award–recently wrote a widely-reported piece for the Bloomberg View . Among other things, he seems to have quoted President Obama stating that Israel simply doesn’t know what its own best interests are.
Understand that, like his powerful good friend in High Places, Goldberg also sees Jews–wishing to live in a state larger than the nine to fifteen-mile wide virtual sardine can that Israel was left as as a result of the U.N.-imposed armistice lines in 1949–as expecting too much and behaving like provocative, expansionist, right wing zealots.
The problem of the relationship between the current two American and Israel leaders is well known. There is no need to rehash all of the fine details yet again. The open microphone conversation between Obama and his French counterpart was revealing enough, not to mention the episode at the White House where Netanyahu was left stewing for hours by himself while Obama took off to dine with his family.
It’s one thing for an American president to claim, after Israel’s destructive and deadly experience in the wake of its unilateral withdrawal from Gaza years ago, that he has that nation’s best interests in mind when he demands that it forsake the promise of the final draft of UNSC Resolution 242 in the wake of the Arabs’ renewed attempt on its life in 1967. American-supplied F-16s (the same ones given to Israel’s assorted Arab enemies) won’t stop Arabs from allegedly “moderate” Fatahland (let alone from Jihadi Islamist Hamastan) from once again slitting the throats of Jewish families and decapitating their infants if more sane borders are not created.
But for Jews to parrot such claims is worthy of theֲ Kapo experience.
There is no way, regardless of anything else, that you can claim that you are concerned about Israel’s security and next demand that it return to those ’49 Auschwitz/armistice lines. No way.
Michelle Obama likely travels farther to shop at Target than the width of Israel by that travesty.
While much has been made of the animosity Obama feels towards Netanyahu, despite the real or imagined flaws in the latter’s personality, the fault really does not lie in that leader’s person.
If Arafat’s supreme pal, Shimon Peres, or runner-up, Ehud Olmert, did not cave into Obama’s demand that Israel abandon 242′s promise of more secure, defensible, and real borders to replace the suicidal ’49 armistice lines, they too would have become persona non grata.
At least since the days that he was still Senator Obama, the President has repeatedly stated that Israel would be crazy–exact words–to not accept the alleged Saudi Peace Plan, which remains the basis for the non-negotiation negotiations he envisions.
One of the key provisions of that plan demands a total withdrawal of Israel back to the Auschwitz lines. The latter were never meant to be final political borders and merely marked the points where the combined invasion by a half dozen Arab countries of a re-born Israel in 1948 was stopped. They did nothing but invite subsequent Arab attempts on Israel’s life long before Israel changed that reality in the aftermath of its being blockaded (a casus belli) in 1967–one of the main origins of the Six Day War.
As some of us have constantly stressed, the major heat generated over the settlement issue and things like Jews building in the environs of Jerusalem or in the rest of Judea (as in Jew) and Samaria (aka, only since the 20th century, as the “West Bank”)–where Jews have been committing that same alleged crime long before most other peoples ever became known in history–is all about whether Israel gets the territorial compromise promised to it by 242 or not.
Despite Obama’s claims to the contrary, his demands do not mesh with what all other important folks (with the main exceptions being President Clinton and the forever hostile State Department) have stated over the years. The following examples cannot be cited too often in light of the hostility Israel now faces over this crucial issue.
Here are excerpts from Great Britain’s Lord Caradon, the chief architect of the final, accepted draft of 242:
It would have been wrong to demand Israel return to positions of June 4, 1967. Those positions were artificial, just places where soldiers of each side happened to be on the day fighting stopped in 1948, just armistice lines. That’s why we didn’t demand Israelis return to them.
Furthermore, earlier American leaders supported Lord Caradon’s position and the need for Israel to get a meaningful territorial compromise–not a mere return to the status quo ante–as an end result of any peacemaking deals with Arabs who repeatedly sought its destruction.
Note President Lyndon Johnson on June 19, 1967, soon after the war ended:
A return to the situation on June 4 (the day before the actual shooting began) was not a prescription for peace but for renewed hostilities.
Johnson next called for “new recognized boundaries that would provide security against terror, destruction, and war.”
President Ronald Reagan stated the following on Sept. 1, 1982:
In the pre-1967 borders (sic), Israel was barely 10-miles wide–the bulk of Israel’s population within artillery range of hostile armies. I’m not about to ask Israel to live that way again.
Andֲ much more recently, the man Hebrews like Jeffrey Goldberg love to despise, President George W. Bush, gave Israel an official letter upon its withdrawal from Gaza which also promised that it would not be expected to return to the 1949 armistice lines–and he called them just that, not borders.
Unlike the current occupant of the White House, the gentlemen above truly had both America’s and Israel’s best interests in mind–and had the latter’s “back” as well. At the same time, they were seeking justice for all parties involved. Opposing the Arab demand for Israel’s destruction or suicide did not make them anti-Arab.
Please keep all of this in mind as the increasing nastiness of the next four years gets underway.