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Opinion

Opinion

Israel’s future more urgent than Obama’s

March 10, 2012

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— It’s Lucy and the football, Iran-style. After ostensibly tough talk about preventing Iran from going nuclear, the Obama administration acquiesced to yet another round of talks with the mullahs.

This, 14 months after the last group-of-six negotiations collapsed in Istanbul because of blatant Iranian stalling and unseriousness. Nonetheless, the new negotiations will be both without precondition and preceded by yet more talks to decide such trivialities as venue.

These negotiations don’t just gain time for a nuclear program about whose military intent the IAEA is issuing alarming warnings. They make it extremely difficult for Israel to do anything about it (while it still can), lest Israel be universally condemned for having aborted a diplomatic solution.

If the administration were serious about achievement rather than appearance, it would have warned that this was the last chance for Iran to come clean and would have demanded a short timeline. After all, President Obama insisted on deadlines for the Iraq withdrawal, the Afghan surge and Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. Why leave these crucial talks open-ended when the nuclear clock is ticking?

This re-engagement comes immediately after Obama’s campaign-year posturing about Iran’s nukes. Sunday in front of AIPAC, he warned that “Iran’s leaders should have no doubt about the resolve of the United States.” This just two days after he’d said (to the Atlantic) of possible U.S. military action, “I don’t bluff.” Yet on Tuesday he returns to the very engagement policy that he admits had previously failed.

Won’t sanctions make a difference this time, however? Sanctions are indeed hurting Iran economically. But when Obama’s own director of national intelligence was asked by the Senate intelligence committee whether sanctions had any effect on the course of Iran’s nuclear program, the answer was simple: No. None whatsoever. Obama garnered much AIPAC applause by saying that his is not a containment policy but a prevention policy. But what has he prevented? Keeping a coalition of six together is not success. Holding talks is not success. Imposing sanctions is not success.

Success is halting and reversing the program. Yet Iran is tripling its uranium output, moving enrichment facilities deep under a mountain near Qom and impeding IAEA inspections of weaponization facilities.

So what is Obama’s real objective? “We’re trying to make the decision to attack as hard as possible for Israel,” an administration official told the Washington Post in the most revealing White House admission since “leading from behind.”

Revealing and shocking. The world’s greatest exporter of terror (according to the State Department), the systematic killer of Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan, the self-declared enemy that invented “Death to America Day” is approaching nuclear capability — and the focus of U.S. policy is to prevent a democratic ally threatened with annihilation from pre-empting the threat?

Indeed it is. The new open-ended negotiations with Iran fit well with this strategy of tying Israel down. As does Obama’s “I have Israel’s back” reassurance, designed to persuade Israel and its supporters to pull back and outsource to Obama what for Israel are life-and-death decisions.

Yet 48 hours later, Obama tells a news conference that this phrase is just a historical reference to supporting such allies as Britain and Japan — contradicting the intended impression he’d given AIPAC that he was offering special protection to an ally under threat of physical annihilation.

To AIPAC he declares that “no Israeli government can tolerate a nuclear weapon in the hands of a regime that denies the Holocaust, threatens to wipe Israel off the map, and sponsors terrorist groups committed to Israel’s destruction” and affirms “Israel’s sovereign right to make its own decisions ... to meet its security needs.”

And then he pursues policies — open-ended negotiations, deceptive promises of tough U.S. backing for Israel, boasts about the efficacy of sanctions, grave warnings about “war talk” — meant, as his own official admitted, to stop Israel from exercising precisely that sovereign right to self-protection.

Yet beyond these obvious contradictions and walk-backs lies a transcendent logic: As with the Keystone pipeline postponement, as with the debt-ceiling extension, as with the Afghan withdrawal schedule, Obama wants to get past Nov. 6 without any untoward action that might threaten his re-election.

For Israel, however, the stakes are somewhat higher: the very existence of a vibrant nation and its 6 million Jews. The asymmetry is stark. A fair-minded observer might judge that Israel’s desire to not go gently into the darkness carries higher moral urgency than the political future of one man, even if he is president of the United States.

— Charles Krauthammer is a columnist for Washington Post Writers Group.

Comments

love2fish_ks 2 years, 1 month ago

Why have we gave up on gettong China Russia, and Pakistan joining us in sanctions? We have a huge lever over all three, i.e. imports. Jiust check the shelves of the local retailer and you will find most of the goods from China, and clothing from Pakistan and China. Russia would dry up without Western investments and tourism. It is time for our beloved Prez to quit begging and to start leading. If Hillary would have beat Barack, we would not be facing this mess. Leading from behind is no leadership. What a joke. And why, pray tell, will he not support Hillarys initiatives to try and force Russia, China, and Pakistan (those that buy Iranian oil) to teh table. I guess he is just skert she will show him up, people will wake up, and draft Hillary for President. Heck, I would rather have ole stuff shirt Romney than this clown.

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juma 2 years, 1 month ago

Ron -- it is obvious you are Jewish (or some born-again) and you will say/do anything to support your religious view of the world. I would not expect less; like asking the Pope for condoms. It just ain't going to happen. Nor is your view of "reality" going to change. My only problem with Israel is; Why does my tax money have to pay for this hypocrisy?????????" Enough is enough!!

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Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 1 month ago

This is a good website to read if you're actually interested in solutions, instead of just complaining about it:

http://freemuslims.org/

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Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 1 month ago

Actually, there is a big difference between most of the Palestinians of today and my family. We were never kept in refugee camps in neighboring countries, we were free to travel where ever we wanted to.

None of the "refugee camps" that you hear about are in Israel, they are all in the surrounding Arab nations, because they don't want the Palestinians to be citizens of their own countries. A notable exception is Jordan, whose population is 75% Palestinian.

I've been told that the Palestinians are the N-words of the Arab world. No one wants them to be citizens, because they are so useful for propaganda purposes.

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Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 1 month ago

World War 1 ended in 1918, and the beginning of World War 2 was in 1939, when Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia.

That is only 21 years.

It has been 67 years since there has been any conflict approaching the magnitude of World War 2, although there have been many minor skirmishes over ideological differences that appear to be quite pointless today.

Something is going right. Now, if we only had a statesman among us to explain exactly what that is, we would be in a much better position than we are in today.

I can't help but draw analogies to my own family. We have been refugees twice, once from the German Principalities in about 1820, and later from Russia in the years between 1882 and 1917. None of us ever looked back, and we left with only what we could carry.

But, Arabs are not capable of doing the same. I wonder why.

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Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 1 month ago

Artificially Created States Eli E. Hertz

Fifty-one member countries - the entire League of Nations - unanimously declared on July 24, 1922:

"Whereas recognition has been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country."

Unlike nation-states in Europe, modern Lebanese, Jordanian, Syrian, and Iraqi nationalities did not evolve. They were arbitrarily created by colonial powers.

In 1919, in the wake of World War I, England and France as Mandatories (e.g., official administrators and mentors) carved up the former Ottoman Empire, which had collapsed a year earlier, into geographic spheres of influence. This divided the Mideast into new political entities with new names and frontiers.

Territory was divided along map meridians without regard for traditional frontiers (i.e., geographic logic and sustainability) or the ethnic composition of indigenous populations.

The prevailing rationale behind these artificially created states was how they served the imperial and commercial needs of their colonial masters. Iraq and Jordan, for instance, were created as emirates to reward the noble Hashemite family from Saudi Arabia for its loyalty to the British against the Ottoman Turks during World War I, under the leadership of Lawrence of Arabia. Iraq was given to Faisal bin Hussein, son of the sheriff of Mecca, in 1918. To reward his younger brother Abdullah with an emirate, Britain cut away 77 percent of its mandate over Palestine earmarked for the Jews and gave it to Abdullah in 1922, creating the new country of Trans-Jordan or Jordan, as it was later named.

The Arabs' hatred of the Jewish State has never been strong enough to prevent the bloody rivalries that repeatedly rocked the Middle East. These conflicts were evident in the civil wars in Yemen and Lebanon, as well as in the war between Iraq and Iran, in the gassing of countless Kurds in Iraq, and in the killing of Iraqis by Iraqis, Syrians by Syrians as well as the killing of Egyptians by Egyptians.

The manner in which European colonial powers carved out political entities with little regard to their ethnic composition not only led to this inter-ethnic violence, but it also encouraged dictatorial rule as the only force capable of holding such entities together.

The exception was Palestine, or Eretz-Israel - the territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, where:

"The Mandatory shall be responsible for placing the country [Palestine] under such political, administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish National Home, as laid down in the preamble, and the development of self-governing institutions, and also for safeguarding the civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants of Palestine, irrespective of race and religion."

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juma 2 years, 1 month ago

There is no logical reason for Israel to exist. It is wholly and only religious fanaticism. With friends like Israel America needs no enemies. What is very sad is the level of propaganda that the American public has been fed over the last decades about the 'importance' of Israel. Important for what?? It has only caused America endless problems with the rest of the Middle East. One important fact is that Islam recognizes Judaism as a 'sister' religion. Tehran lets Jews have synagogues, practice openly, etc.. The problem is not Jews the problem is Zionism. Once America wakes up to this fact then the Israel fiasco can be dealt with.

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verity 2 years, 1 month ago

I think this hit piece would be more accurately titled "Israel’s future more urgent than the United States."

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verity 2 years, 1 month ago

I did a quick Google search and couldn't find out for sure, but it seemed to be accepted that Mr Krauthammer, along with William Krystle and a number of other Zionists, hold dual citizenship (Israel and the United States). This appears to be somewhat of a conflict of interest.

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its_just_math 2 years, 1 month ago

Obama is a complete joke. That's all CK would've needed to say, but I realize he has to say something more.

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FalseHopeNoChange 2 years, 1 month ago

If the hegemonic "Nobel Peace Prize Laureate" can't handle the Shia in Iran like they handle the Sufi and Sunnis, he better tell Bebe to do it after Nov 2.

Besides, The Obama's Big Oil Crony "Sepeculators" need the "war" scuttlebutt to keep their pockets lined with "skyrocketing" petrol dollars.

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jafs 2 years, 1 month ago

I wonder what Krauthammer thinks we should do exactly?

Nuke Iran?

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 1 month ago

Chuck's bloodlust is really getting out of hand.

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observant 2 years, 1 month ago

As expected from this columnist. Obama is a lot more important to us than the survival of the main terrorist organization in the middle east. Problem is, they will start a war and then wait for us to bail them out.

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FalseHopeNoChange 2 years, 1 month ago

so....if The Obama doesn't keep an eye on Iran he could get exterminated of the face of the planet?

As a precautionary measure, at the moment of "extermination" he could leap behind his wife.

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Abdu Omar 2 years, 1 month ago

So you want to go to war, Ron? You want to start World War III over foolish threats by Iran? Why should Israel have security when they threaten the security of others? How do Palestinian men, women and children sleep at night knowing that if Israel wants their home they will take it? Any future that might have been is being taken away by the building of more and more settlements on Palestinian land and there is no stop. What will stop this aggression? Why does keeping Israel safe trump keeping the Palestinians or anyone else safe? The rest of the world is has always thought that the aggressor must be stopped and except for a few countries, the rest think Israel is the aggressor. Just because the American media fails to report Israeli atrocities done on others, the worldwide media isn't afraid to report these truths. Some day their cover will be blown and Israel will be exposed.

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its_just_math 2 years, 1 month ago

Obama is already a hero for raiding the OBL compound (a project that had been in the works for years) and for taking out Somali pirates. He's being thoughtful and careful. He's won the Nobel Peace Prize. The nerve of Krauthammer! And Obama can't blow a billion bucks for nothing over some li'l ol' Jewish settlement. The media would fix it all up for him though wouldn't they---if he took action on Iran that is? Wouldn't the majority of the media give him three cheers for waging a war? How could anything Obama does really hurt him? How dare Krauthammer question his resolve regarding war. Why is Krauthammer such a warmonger?

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Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 1 month ago

Clipped from Facebook:

Southern Israel under fire; rockets shot down www.ynetnews.com News: Palestinians fire incessant rocket barrages at southern Israeli communities, one man hurt; Iron Dome intercepts at least two rockets fired at Ashdod; earlier, IDF killed four terrorists in Gaza

News: Palestinians fire incessant rocket barrages at southern Israeli communities, one man hurt; Iron Dome intercepts at least two rockets fired at Ashdod; earlier, IDF killed four terrorists in Gaza

Facebook User 1: Tell me about it :-/

Facebook User 2: Line Singer Be safe, Facebook User 1!

Facebook User 3: Dislike

Facebook User 4: two more right now

Facebook User 1: Where are you Yoav? I am in Ashdod

Facebook User 5: One of them was a terrorist freed in the Shalit swap. You can dress a pig in silk clothing, but it's still A PIG. Cannibals, demons from hell terrorists.

Facebook User 6: I heard/felt explosions 5-7 times here in Ashdod.

Facebook User 7: Too bad there's not technology to turn them around and have them hit where they came from.... boomerang bombs.

Facebook User 8: Shlomit Cevy done....]

Facebook User 9: Too good to be true !

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Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 1 month ago

There have been 80 rockets fired at Israel since Friday. I wonder what this means. Is someone itching for a war?

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4200794,00.html

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cato_the_elder 2 years, 1 month ago

The headline to this column says it all, but the campaigner-in-chief isn't listening.

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Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 1 month ago

“We possess several hundred atomic warheads and rockets and can launch them at targets in all directions, perhaps even at Rome. Most European capitals are targets for our air force…. We have the capability to take the world down with us. And I can assure you that this will happen before Israel goes under.” - Martin Van Creveld, one of Israel’s most respected military historians (Google that phrase, there are 97,200 results)

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Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 1 month ago

I tend to think that if Israel is wiped off the map, Iran will be eliminated. It is quite obvious that the total destruction of Tehran would be no problem at all, since it is surrounded by mountains that will reflect the nuclear blast towards the city, instead of the shock wave of the nuclear blast simply blowing off to the side, as was the case with Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Plus, the bombs used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were only tiny firecrackers, compared with the weapons that are available today.

That is well within the bounds of possibility. I wonder how many Iranians are aware of that.

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