Obama's Israel policy
Even if no settlement had ever been built, we would be not one with closer to peace in the Middle East and in fact we would probably be further from peace because the settlements have given the Palestinians an incentive to do a deal or lose even more potential real estate.
YOU'VE sacrificed all your family had to build your modest dream home by a lake. Now a wildfire races toward you.
A former friend phones from his mansion across the water, ordering you not to call the fire brigade -- he's sending a servant to discuss things with the flames. Meanwhile, your rich buddy insists you tear down the tree-house you built for your kids: It annoys the local thugs he wants to befriend.
That's Israel's position today. Iran blazes with nuclear ambitions. Key leaders in Tehran have called, without cease, for the "Zionist entity's destruction." And Israel's former ally, the United States, implies that the situation isn't that serious.
No, what's most important to the Obama team is a total freeze on Jewish settlements on anything the State Department's Bureau of Politically Correct Geography decides is Arab land. Preventing a long-established settler from building a new room for a growing family is more important than halting Iran's weapons program.
It's true: Iran might not use the nukes it intends to acquire. But if you were raising your children in Tel Aviv, how would you like your chances?
Pick an arbitrary number. Say the odds are only one in five that Iran would actually launch nukes at Israel. In Washington, that might seem like a reasonable calculation. In Jerusalem, the "only" part would sound like pure irony.
President Obama's position may evolve as he comes to grips with reality (his views on Russia are already maturing, if Joe Biden can be believed). But he appears to have come to the Oval Office with an anti-Israel chip on his shoulder -- put there by left-wing associates over the decades.
What our president presents as even-handedness toward the Palestinians not only ignores countless facts and the lessons of history but also encourages Arab intransigence. Why compromise, when Washington's backing away from Israel?
The road to peace -- if there is one -- doesn't lead through tolerance of those who want every Jew dead.
Clinton test-marketed the administration's willingness to accept a nuclear-armed Iran. Instead of trying to prevent Tehran's acquisition of such weapons, she told our regional allies (real or imagined) that we'd respond by extending a "defense umbrella" to negate the effects of Iranian nukes.
Except that it wouldn't. What good would such a defense umbrella be to Israel after its destruction?
And one suspects that, with Tel Aviv a wasteland, "cooler heads would prevail" and there would be no response in kind, that we'd all just "deplore" what happened and hold conferences to insure it "never happens again."
Apart from its bewildering reluctance to try to understand Iran's leaders on their own terms, this administration clearly doesn't grasp the dynamics of nuclear proliferation among rogue regimes.
This administration must stop living in a fantasy world in which monstrous fanatics will do what we want because we're suddenly nice to them. You don't deter butchers who believe they're on a mission from their god by complimenting them on their rich history.
What we really need to workout with Israel is coordination of any attacks on Iran. When Iran lashes out after it is attacked we need to be ready to deal with that. That to me was the importance of the Secretary of Defense's visit to Israel. He was also probably buying time for the September event at the UN, which is to be Iran's last chance to stop its nuclear program.