Mistakes by President Obama
by Shira Sorko-Ram
Error #1: Demanding building freeze of “settlements” including East Jerusalem.
President Obama’s first mistake was to believe that by cozying up to the Islamic nations, he would be considered a respected and appreciated world leader, especially among Muslims.
His strategy included throwing a carrot to the Palestinians during his Cairo speech by demanding serious concessions from Israel and nothing from the Palestinians:
“The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop,” he demanded.
Obama received no political capital from that speech. The opposite! Whatever pressure the West exerts on Israel becomes a promise cut in stone to the Palestinians. Pressure exerted on the Palestinians is completely ignored by them.
So here was a “promise” that PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas was overjoyed to embrace. The PLO and Israel had been negotiating for years while both Arabs and Jews were building in Judea and Samaria (West Bank). From the moment that Obama made his declaration, however, Abbas announced he would no longer negotiate with Israel unless all settlement building was frozen.
Under tremendous pressure Israel did freeze new construction for 10 months, but refused to stop building in Jerusalem, as Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “We do not put any restrictions [for building] in our sovereign capital.”
Even with the freeze, the Palestinians spent only a few weeks out of those 10 months talking to the Israelis, and when the time was up, Netanyahu declined to extend the freeze. Since then, Abbas has refused to participate in any peace talks with Israel.
Abbas has publicly repeated many times, “If President Obama said that Israel must enact a settlement freeze, who am I to demand less than Obama?”
Since Obama’s speech in Cairo, virtually all negotiations between Israel and Palestinians ceased.
Error #2: “Dreaming” of a Palestinian state in one year.
At Obama’s annual UN speech of 2010, he implored, “This time, we should draw upon the teachings of tolerance that lie at the heart of three great religions that see Jerusalem’s soil as sacred. This time we should reach for what’s best within ourselves. If we do, when we come back here next year, we can have an agreement that will lead to a new member of the United Nations – an independent, sovereign state of Palestine, living in peace with Israel." (NYTimes, 23Sept10)
Bingo! Another promise! Abbas has explained many times that since Obama proclaimed last year at the UN the Palestinians should have their own sovereign state within a year, he was back to ask the UN to grant them that statehood.
But here lies a major problem for Israel. In all of Obama’s speeches, he has not once required of the Palestinians to confront the key issue threatening Israel’s existence. He has not demanded that in return for a sovereign Palestinian state, the Palestinian government must recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.
Think of the irony of this issue.
The Arab Islamic states are exactly that: Arab. Islamic. (With little or no freedom of religion or human rights.)
However, these same Islamic Arab leaders say that Israel’s claim to be a homeland for the Jews – a Jewish state – is a racist concept.
Now here is the bottom line to why the Palestinians are determined they will never ever recognize Israel’s right to be a homeland for the Jews. The Palestinian leadership, including Hamas in Gaza, plan on continuing their war against Israel until they destroy her.
Recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, they say, would mean that Arabs are giving up their goal to “return” nearly five million Palestinians to Israel proper. Millions of new Arabs moving into the State of Israel would of course destroy the democratic Jewish state. Where would they live, I ask myself? Where? No place, unless all the present residents were removed.
The Ayatollah Ali Khamenei spoke for all Muslim nations in a “Palestinian Intifada” conference last month in Iran: “Our claim is freedom of Palestine, not part of Palestine. Any plan that partitions Palestine is totally rejected.” (Haaretz.com, 1Oct2011)
At the same conference, Hamas leader Khaled Meshal summed it up: “Palestinians must resort to resistance no matter how costly it is, until Palestine is free and Israel is destroyed.” (Ibid.)
Because the Western nations do not demand that the Arab nations give up their plan to destroy Israel, the Islamists will continue to work towards that goal with every tool at their disposal. The UN, controlled by the Islamic block along with its totalitarian friends, has now became their most potent weapon.
Mistake #3: Demanding Israel must return to the negotiation table with a precondition that Israel accept the pre-1967 armistice lines as borders.
Last May, a few days before the arrival in Washington of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Mr. Obama declared that Israel and the Palestinians must return to the negotiating table.
The preconditions that he fashioned would (as always) only be for Israel’s side. She must agree to return, Obama said, to the “1967 borders” with some land swaps between the two sides.
Knowing that the Palestinians would be fixated on the words “1967 borders” including the Western Wall and the entire eastern half of Jerusalem, the Israeli government immediately protested, saying that for Israel to return to its pre-1967 borders would leave it “indefensible.”
Mr. Netanyahu held an angry phone conversation with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton hours before the speech in which he demanded that the president’s reference to 1967 borders be cut.
The pre-1967 borders (more accurately is really the 1949 armistice lines) left Israel vulnerable to constant deadly attacks from surrounding Arab countries from the day Israel was born.
President Obama’s speech recommending that negotiations start with this precondition, made the current Palestinians position stronger – meaning the 1949 armistice lines became the BEGINNING of negotiations.
Again, Obama did not feel it necessary to call on the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a homeland for the Jews nor did he think it necessary to mention that by the Palestinians having their own country, they would no longer need to claim the right for five million Arabs to “return” to Israel.
Obviously, Israel did not agree to the lopsided demands. This demand has only hardened the positions of both sides.
Mistake #4: The U.S. and Europe failing to demand a cessation of Arab genocidal hate propaganda against Israel.
Another fatal mistake made by President Obama and all of the democratic countries is the fact they do not demand that Palestinians cease their devastating torrent of hate propaganda against Israel on TV, in school from kindergarten up, and goverment-controlled media outlets.
Their countless anti-Semitic tools include printing millions of “Elders of Zion” books throughout the Arab world which “prove” that the Jews are planning to take over the world. Their movies dwell on dramas which graphically portray Jews killing non-Jewish children to use their blood in baking matzah for Passover.
The hatred and misinformation that has permeated the Muslim nations is beyond anything Westerners can fathom. It equals the Nazi propaganda that was disseminated in order to delegitimize, isolate and destroy the Jewish people. Arab children and adults are regularly taught there was never an ancient Israelite people in the Holy Land. There was never a David nor Solomon nor a Temple, nor an Elijah. Jesus himself was not a Jew, but he too was a Palestinian. Thus, the Jews are impostors who have stolen and occupied ancient Muslim land.
This propaganda is preposterous to Western ears (maybe not so much anymore as the West moves farther and farther from its Biblical roots), but Arabs sincerely believe what they are taught.
That is why the “Arab Spring” is such fertile ground for extremist Islamists who are working to take over the countries that have rid themselves of Arab dictators. All of these nations will very likely follow in the footsteps of Iran – who threw their dictator King out and gained an Islamic totalitarianism that now threatens the whole earth with nuclear weapons.
What the world doesn’t know or comprehend is that the people of Israel would do just about anything – except commit suicide – to give the Palestinian people part of the land of Israel if only they knew that the Palestinians would give up their goal of destroying Israel.
Because God is still on His throne and will still accomplish His Will – to return the people of Israel to the land of Israel and to the God of Israel, and to bring revival to the ends of the earth – I wonder if God has not blinded the Palestinian people and hardened their hearts to such an extent that there will never be a Palestinian state.
Thank you for your fervent prayers,
Ari and Shira Sorko-Ram
Ari and Shira Sorko-Ram are the founders of Maoz Israel Ministries. The mission of MAOZ is: 1) To declare the Message of Messiah and make disciples in the city of Tel Aviv and throughout Israel. 2) To raise up Israeli leaders to prepare for the coming spiritual awakening among the people of Israel. 3) To educate and inform Christians world-wide of the strategic importance of Israel and the Jewish people in God's plan for world revival. The MAOZ web site is http://www.maozisrael.org/.