Op-ed: President Obama’s recent speeches highlighted his affinity for the Palestinian cause
Shoula Romano Horing
While Hamas adopted the position of destroying Israel in one step through constant armed struggle, the PLO, led by Fatah adopted in 1974 a new political method of achieving that goal through two steps. According to the plan, the first step is the establishment of a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders; the second step is the liberation of all of Palestine by destroying the Jewish state through armed struggle or through the “the right of return” of millions of Palestinians to Israel, thus demographically and democratically causing Israel to lose its Jewish majority and character.
In his Middle East speech, Obama divided the core issues of the negotiations into two phases. According to the order set by the president, he in effect demanded of Israel to give up its only bargaining chip of land, based on the 1967 lines with “mutually agreed swaps” in the first phase, before negotiating t other substantive questions such as the “right of return,” the Hamas-Fatah alliance, and recognition of Israel as the Jewish state.
Obama argued that by mentioning “land swaps,” he did not actually call for Israel to withdraw to the indefensible ‘67 lines, as Israel can trade off other land to avoid the ‘67 lines. But in reality the president handed the Palestinians a tremendous victory by embracing their assertion that they somehow have the implicit right to every square inch beyond the Green Line and thus must be compensated on a 1:1 basis for any adjustment. This means that if Israel wishes to keep the Western Wall or the Jewish Quarter in east Jerusalem, the Palestinians would have to agree first and then in return Israel would have to compensate them with a land swap from inside tiny Israel.
Furthermore, when the president mentioned in his speech “the fate of the Palestinian refugees”, he did not say that there will be no “right of return” to Israel proper and that the Palestinian refugees and their descendants will have to find their home in a future state of Palestine.
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Moreover, Obama did not take any firm stand concerning the issue of Hamas and Fatah reconciliation. He did not say that the US will not recognize or support a Palestinian state as long as Hamas, which is recognized as a terrorist organization by US law, is in the government or unless Hamas recognizes Israel‘s right to exist and stops terrorist acts against Israel. Thus, Israel is called on by Obama to agree to risk the possibility that Palestine will be ruled by Hamas with its rocket arsenal firing daily at the Jewish state’s main population centers from the West Bank as it does from Gaza.Prime Minister Netanyahu came to Washington hoping to get Obama’s help in derailing the upcoming vote in the UN in September recognizing a Palestinian state. But Obama’s decision to publicly confront Israel again, with only few hours warning on the eve of Netanyahu’s visit, further weakens and isolates Israel internationally, which in turn will help fast forward the vote at the UN General Assembly.
But Israel is not alone. It has the support of the majority of the American people and the overwhelming support of a Bi-Partisan Congress as we saw from the numerous standing ovations given to Netanyahu during his address. Israel’s only solution is to bypass President Obama and to appeal directly to Congress to pressure Obama to veto the UN decision.
According to the UN charter, an American veto at the Security Council would effectively derail any attempt by the General Assembly to grant full membership to a Palestinian state. Such a vote by the General Assembly would merely be a symbolic victory without any legal leverage to harm Israel. Moreover, Israel can persuade Congress to cut its aid to the PA because of its alliance with Hamas which violates US laws.
By now, most objective observers would agree that Obama‘s heart and sympathy lie with the Palestinian cause and if elected to a second term he will work hard to be the “father” of the Palestinian state at Israel’s expense. Israel’s friends, Jews and non-Jews alike, need to work very hard during the next 17 months to help elect a Republican president who will be Pro-Israel first.
Shoula Romano Horing was born and raised in Israel. She is an attorney in Kansas City and a national speaker. Her blog: www.shoularomanohoring.com