Thursday, May 19, 2011

Can I Fill Out My 2012 Absentee Ballot Now?

I never thought I would miss him but I do.

The fact that President Obama made a speech today is not surprising. The man likes to talk. In fact, he talks a little too much for my taste and, for some reason, can’t keep to a schedule. But I can deal with that.

However, what I can’t stand for, support, or endorse is his ridiculously misguided stance that Israel should return to the 1949 “Auschwitz Borders”. His statements today bring up the same question in my mind… how can he effectively talk about, let alone declare an insane policy, when he hasn’t been to Israel since before the 2008 elections nakba? It is one thing to visit the Kotel as a candidate seeking Jewish votes; it is something completely different when you are the President of the United States who can influence international policy.

Below is the section of Obama’s speech that should be read (and reread so you can fully understand the absurdity of his stance):

So while the core issues of the conflict must be negotiated, the basis of those negotiations is clear: a viable Palestine, and a secure Israel. The United States believes that negotiations should result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine. The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states. The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state.

As for security, every state has the right to self-defense, and Israel must be able to defend itself – by itself – against any threat.  Provisions must also be robust enough to prevent a resurgence of terrorism; to stop the infiltration of weapons; and to provide effective border security. The full and phased withdrawal of Israeli military forces should be coordinated with the assumption of Palestinian security responsibility in a sovereign, non-militarized state. The duration of this transition period must be agreed, and the effectiveness of security arrangements must be demonstrated.

These principles provide a foundation for negotiations.  Palestinians should know the territorial outlines of their state; Israelis should know that their basic security concerns will be met. I know that these steps alone will not resolve this conflict. Two wrenching and emotional issues remain: the future of Jerusalem, and the fate of Palestinian refugees. But moving forward now on the basis of territory and security provides a foundation to resolve those two issues in a way that is just and fair, and that respects the rights and aspirations of Israelis and Palestinians.

Throughout his presidency, Obama has consistently harassed Israel and prevented the Jewish State from taking appropriate actions to protect its borders and its people. This, of course, is in addition to his frequent statements of condemnation (actually he sends his staff most of the time) and times of silence.

Generally speaking, I like to give people a second chance, to give people the benefit of the doubt. I want to believe that those in power (in a “democratic” state) will, more often than not, do the right thing. I have given President Obama numerous chances, I have given him the benefit of the doubt, I really wanted to believe that he would do the right thing and stand by Israel.

His speech today at the State Department was simply too much. I have run out of patience. I have run out of hope that he would finally do the right thing. Today’s speech was the final confirmation that the Obama administration will not support Israel and will continue to ignore the dangers that Israel faces every day from all parts of the region.  

When the United States takes positions like this it makes me wonder if anyone can still take pride in calling themselves a Jewish American? What once was easy to say I now find difficult as my confidence wavers when the “A” becomes audible.

This fact further reinforces my decision to make Aliyah. I stand with Israel and I look forward to being able to proudly call myself an Israeli.

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