Wednesday, January 22, 2014

  • Wednesday, January 22, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
In a New Yorker interview, Barack Obama gave his 50,000 foot view of the Arab Israeli conflict. And he gets it very, very wrong.

“With respect to Israel, the interests of Israel in stability and security are actually very closely aligned with the interests of the Sunni states.” As Saudi and Israeli diplomats berate Obama in unison, his reaction is, essentially, Use that. “What’s preventing them from entering into even an informal alliance with at least normalized diplomatic relations is not that their interests are profoundly in conflict but the Palestinian issue, as well as a long history of anti-Semitism that’s developed over the course of decades there, and anti-Arab sentiment that’s increased inside of Israel based on seeing buses being blown up,” Obama said. “If you can start unwinding some of that, that creates a new equilibrium. And so I think each individual piece of the puzzle is meant to paint a picture in which conflicts and competition still exist in the region but that it is contained, it is expressed in ways that don’t exact such an enormous toll on the countries involved, and that allow us to work with functioning states to prevent extremists from emerging there.”

First of all, as I have documented many, many times, Muslim antisemitism is not merely "decades" old. Obama seems to be saying that it is a reaction to Israel's existence, not something that has been part of Islam and the Arab world since Islam began. I've shown books and other proof from eyewitnesses in the Islamic and Arab world who saw how badly Jews were treated in Arab countries for centuries.

If Obama cannot understand that Muslim antisemitism is independent of Israel's existence, he doesn't know the basics. If Obama's conception of history doesn't go beyond the twentieth century, then he is shallow indeed.

But more outrageous is his attempt to say that there is a symmetry between Muslim/Arab hate of Jews and Israel's opinion of Arabs.

Yes, Israelis fear terrorism. But they are not Islamophobic nor are they bigoted in general. Arabs in Israel do not live in fear of being attacked as they walk down a street with Jewish residents, but a Jew walking through certain Arab neighborhoods is literally risking his life.  In Israel.

There is some bigotry, as there is in every country on the planet, but anti-Muslim sentiment in Europe is much, much worse than it is in Israel. There are no burqa bans in Israel. There are no laws outlawing minarets.

But symmetry between Arab bigotry and Israeli bigotry? The idea is not only ridiculous, but insulting.

Israel's Ministry of Justice just put out a commercial to fight bigotry in Israeli society. It is very powerful.



This commercial shows the vast gulf between how Israeli Jews think about Arabs and how Arabs think about Jews. It is inconceivable that any Arab country would release a commercial like this.

In Israel, bigotry might exist - but it is looked down upon and shamed. In the Arab world, antisemitism is in the daily newspapers and taught to schoolchildren.

Comparing the two is obscene.

Israel has dozens of organizations dedicated to building bridges with the Arab world, to mutual understanding, to fighting bigotry. How many Palestinian Arab organizations exist to understand Jews or Israelis? How many Arabs even want to understand Israel's viewpoint?

There is no equivalence. The Israeli reticence towards a peace agreement has nothing to do with anti-Arab attitudes - it has everything to do with Israelis wanting to live in peace and security in their own country and being skeptical about whether Palestinian Arabs want the same thing. Those exploding buses were a signal that Palestinian Arabs were not to be trusted after they promised to abandon terror in 1993. Given the daily anti-Israel incitement in Palestinian Arab media today, during "peace" talks, Israelis have every reason to be concerned.

Obama is dismissing Israel's very real concerns about how much Abbas and his gang want peace and instead pushing a theory of Israeli bigotry that is stopping the peace process. This is an outrageous lie, and it reveals how little the leader of the free world - who has dedicated countless hours on this very topic - truly understands.

If Obama thinks that this interview would make him seem more sympathetic to Israel, he's clueless. He doesn't even realize how insulting and patronizing his words are.

(h/t Ian via MtTB via Daily Caller)

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