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March 17, 2010: Weathering the Crisis

July 6, 2010

I do believe that’s what we’re doing.  And that we’re stronger for it.

Yesterday we were hearing that Hillary Clinton had said (with breathtaking chutzpah) that Israel has to “prove it is committed to peace.” 

There were essentially choices as to how to respond to that.  One choice was feeling rage sufficient to send the blood pressure to the ceiling. The other — better for health — was finding it so ludicrous that you laughed your head off, thereby keeping blood pressure safely down.

Now, today, the Post is speaking of a “Softer tone coming from Washington.”  At a press conference, Hillary declared, “We have an absolute commitment to Israel’s security. We have a close, unshakable bond between the United States and Israel…” 

Also extremely funny, of course.  She has demonstrated how “committed” she is to our security.  (She seems to be inordinately attached to that word: committed.)  But she’s backing off.

Why?  Because tough and ugly strong-arm techniques didn’t work.  In fact, they backfired.

All of this does not mean that everything will be sweetness and light from this point on.  Hardly. The US will still be pushing and shoving to achieve its goals.  But a bit more carefully.


This is the statement that came from Prime Minister Netanyahu’s office, regarding this brouhaha:

“The State of Israel appreciates and esteems US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s warm remarks regarding the deep bond between the United States and Israel and the US commitment to Israel’s security.

“Regarding the commitment to peace – In the past year, the Government of Israel has proven its commitment to peace in both word and deed, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s 14.6.09 Bar-Ilan University speech, the dismantling of hundreds of checkpoints and roadblocks in Judea and Samaria, and the decision to suspend new construction starts in Judea and Samaria for ten months, which Secy. of State Clinton defined as, “unprecedented.”

“By contrast, the Palestinians have raised preconditions for the resumption of the diplomatic process, such as they have not done in the past 16 years. They are waging an assault to delegitimize Israel in international institutions via the Goldstone report. They are also continuing to incite towards hatred and violence; included in this is the decision to dedicate a square in Ramallah after the woman terrorist responsible for murdering 38 Israelis.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu again calls on the Palestinians to enter into the tent of peace without preconditions because this is the only way to reach an agreement that will ensure peace, security and prosperity for both peoples.”


Diplomatic niceties aside, he’s telling it like it is and refusing to make concessions of any sort to “prove” our position.  He insists, as well, that there will be no preconditions — no promises upfront — with regard to negotiations.


There are other reasons Hillary is backing off.  Her words were not well received in certain quarters within the States.  In particular there was a highly negative reaction from some in Congress.  Thus would she and Obama, who is pulling the strings, have seen that a political liability was being created.

Congressmen Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Christopher Carney (D-PA), for example, wrote a letter to Obama, which said in part, “We urge your administration to refrain from further public criticism of Israel…

“A zoning dispute over 143 acres of Jewish land in Israel’s capital city should not eclipse the growing threat we face from Iran.”

Nicely put.


With regard to this, I would like to make a comment.  I’ve been reading that we here in Israel must understand that we stand alone in the world.  And I think, well….yes, and also no.

Yes.  We must do what is good for ourselves, and protect ourselves, no matter what.  We cannot rely on other nations to be there for us.  Nor should we damage ourselves in order to please other nations.


Years ago, I heard a talk by a magnificent non-Jewish man (very old by then) who had come from Europe and fought to bring the plight of the Jews during the Holocaust to the attention of the Roosevelt government.  It didn’t work.  Roosevelt turned a deaf ear. 

This man said to his Jewish audience, “You think the world deserted you then. But it isn’t true. The governments of the world deserted you. But many people were with you.”

This deeply important learning, which I have never forgotten, applies here.  Within the United States we have many good and loyal friends.


Lastly, I believe that the behavior of the Palestinian Arabs has, even if subliminally, helped to make a fiasco of the Obama-Clinton stance. While this administration, courting the Arab world, would never admit it, the only way to make us look like the “intransigent bad guys” is if the other side, at least superficially, seems to embrace “peace.”  But the Arabs have sabotaged this pretense, for their behavior has been over the top with regard to incitement and violence. This is something that serves us well as their true nature is exposed.

The “Day of Rage” that led to riots in Jerusalem yesterday was instigated in part by our “peace partner” the Palestinian Authority, which was putting out the word that Israel was going to destroy the mosques on the Temple Mount.

Of particular interest were reports that the PA security forces were prohibiting violence in PA controlled areas and encouraging it in Israeli controlled areas instead.


From Palestinian Media Watch, there is this:

“A new children’s show on official Palestinian Authority television is using a map of ‘Palestine’ that teaches kids that Israel doesn’t exist.

“The program, Chicks, includes a regular segment that introduces viewers to a particular area of ‘Palestine.’ The map that PA TV has chosen for this educational program includes all of Israel, yet is labeled ‘Palestine.’ A second heading in English and Arabic next to the map reads, ‘Explore Your Country.'”


My message is one of reassurance and lessons about our strength.  But I am not in any way indicating that we should slow down in our fight on behalf of Israel.  That would be a mistake. 

Continue, please, to praise Netanyahu, and to encourage him to stay strong.

Continue to contact your elected representatives in Congress with regard to the administration’s excesses, and to protest to the administration.

Continue to tell the truth of the matter at every opportunity — in social interactions, letters to the editor, etc.


The Council of the Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza (YESHA) sent a letter to Secretary of State Clinton.  In part it said:

“We Jews are the descendants of King David, and 100 generations of Jews who built and glorified Jerusalem as our capital, beginning over 3,000 years ago.

“We Israelis believe in the integrity of a strong, unified and undivided capital for our nation – Jerusalem, the Holy City… From time immemorial the Jews have worshipped Jerusalem and the Temple – and prayed for Jerusalem since the dawn of our civilization.

“Neither Romans nor Greeks, Crusaders nor Arabs, Ottomans nor British ever succeeded in shaking our bonds to Jerusalem…

“We will not negotiate on the issue of Jerusalem. We will never divide Jerusalem. The Jewish people worldwide support Prime Minister Netanyahu’s action, and stand firmly behind him on this important issue of Israel’s right to defend itself as a sovereign nation.

“We deeply appreciate America’s friendship, but it must be clearly understood: We are a free and sovereign people, and we have the right to determine our destiny.”


Telling like it is, with pride, resolve and dignity.


I share this last piece with a bit of hesitation, because I don’t have confirmation of this one report.

According to YNet, a Scottish newspaper, The Herald, is reporting that, “Hundreds of powerful US ‘bunker-buster’ bombs are being shipped from California to the British island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean ahead of a possible attack on Iran.”


If in no other way, this has credibility from the perspective of Obama’s falling approval ratings.  It has been suggested by some analysts that this might be the only way in which he can redeem himself — with the American public, and with the Arab nations that are angry about his appeasement of Iran, which puts them in greater danger.

Who knows?





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