Archive for Friday, March 7, 2014

Opinion: U.S. toughness misdirected

March 7, 2014

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The Obama administration is showing it can be tough on foreign policy. Unfortunately, that toughness is not directed at Russia and its incursion into Crimea, but at Israel, America’s ally.

In an interview with President Obama, prior to the Washington arrival of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, Jeffrey Goldberg of Bloomberg.com writes that the president planned to tell Netanyahu “that his country could face a bleak future — one of international isolation and demographic disaster — if he refuses to endorse a U.S.-drafted framework agreement for peace with the Palestinians.” Goldberg adds, “Obama will warn Netanyahu that time is running out for Israel as a Jewish-majority democracy.”

“There is an existential threat to Israel,” Secretary of State John Kerry told the Saban Forum in December, “...that makes it impossible for Israel to preserve its future as a democratic, Jewish state without resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a two-state solution.” Scare tactic, or no?

There are two obvious flaws in this approach toward Israel. One is that the proposed peace plan cannot work without Palestinian-Israeli reciprocity. For decades, anti-Semitic pronouncements and propaganda have dominated radical Muslim thinking. Wars and terrorist attacks have been launched against Israel in hopes of ridding the region of any Jewish presence. In some Arab textbooks, in videos, in the Arab press and in fundamentalist Muslim sermons, the aim of radical Islamists is to wipe Israel off the map by whatever means necessary.

No entity that believes it has direct orders from God to kill those who do not believe as they do is going to anger God by making agreements with people they regard as infidels. The former president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, articulated the thinking of many Arabs and Muslims when he said in 2005 that Israel is a “tumor” and that a Palestinian state is just the “first step” toward Israel’s annihilation.

The other flaw in the administration’s thinking is the “demographic disaster” it claims Israel faces if it does not work to establish a Palestinian state.

According to data compiled by former Israeli diplomat Yoram Ettinger, drawn from the 2013 CIA World Factbook and other sources, the idea that Israel is being overwhelmed by an Arab population with a higher birth rate is incorrect.

Ettinger points to an article written by Rasha Abou Jalal, a Gaza journalist, who wrote: “While Islam calls for believers to bear many children and prohibits the use of birth control, new Palestinian generations are defying tradition and leaning toward limiting the number of children they have.” Jalal credits, or blames, a desire among Palestinians to improve their lives.

A June 2012 study by the Washington-based Population Reference Bureau (PRB) supports Ettinger’s position. It found that “Seventy-two percent of 15- to 49-year-old Palestinian married women prefer to avoid pregnancy, as do 78 percent in Morocco, 71 percent in Jordan, 69 percent in Egypt and Libya, 68 percent in Syria, 63 percent in Iraq and 61 percent in Yemen.”

Meanwhile, the birth rate among Israeli women has increased markedly. Ettinger writes of a “robust 66 percent Jewish majority in the combined area of Judea, Samaria and pre-1967 Israel.” By contrast, Jews were in the minority in earlier eras, comprising only 9 percent of that region’s population in 1900 and 39 percent in 1947.Since 2010, five nuclear scientists have been assassinated in Iran. Some believe Israel is somehow responsible, which, according to CBS News.com, prompted the Obama administration to send “strong signals” that the U.S. “did not want Israel to continue the assassinations.” Yet, the president has not taken sufficient action to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, which then could be used against Israel. Which deadly outcome is the most egregious?

When it comes to Israel and Crimea, this administration has it backward.

— Cal Thomas is a columnist for Tribune Content Agency.

Comments

Ron Holzwarth 1 year, 1 month ago

Everything that goes wrong in the world is Israel's fault. I thought everyone "knew" that.

A February 2014 SOHR estimate was that 200,041 people were killed in Syria. More than four million Syrians have been displaced, and more than three million Syrians fled the country.

That is a total of 7.2004 million people, and the population of Israel is only 7.908 million as of 2012.

And in Africa, in South Sudan alone, more than 200,000 people have been displaced, including about 60,000 taking shelter at United Nations compounds. More than 30,000 refugees have fled to neighboring countries like Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia and Sudan. The number that were killed is unknown, but it is certainly far in excess of 10,000.

Many other African nations are in the same situation.

Since Israel can't be logically blamed for any of that, it's totally off the radar screen, and is generally ignored by the West. One of the reasons that Israel is singled out is because the United States and other nations need the crude oil that the Middle Eastern nations produce, so in order to placate them, the United States generally goes along with their rhetoric.

Only recently have Canada, and to a lesser extent Australia, begun to issue calls at the United Nations to discuss the plight of the Jewish refugees during the war of 1948. They were approximately equal to the number of Palestinian refugees, and were murdered and driven out of the surrounding Arab nations, after having their property confiscated. In fact, the amount of Jewish property that was confiscated by the Arab nations is greater than the land area of Israel itself.

But, since Israel was created by the League of Nations as a homeland for the Jewish people, they weren't really refugees, since they had a place to go to and call home, but without their land, personal property, or bank accounts. The world has remained silent about that for far too long, instead considering the Palestinians to be the victims, and giving them foreign aid that is many times per capita more what has been given to any other refugee group in history.

Interestingly, the Arab nations that call the loudest for Israel's destruction contribute very little towards the Palestinian's support. That reminds me of a quote:

"The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them."
- Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

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