Shimon Schiffer reported in Friday’s Yediot Ahronot that Obama will be meeting with “heads of the American Jewish community” on Monday (that’s tomorrow) “and will ask them to put pressure on Netanyahu.”
Obama reportedly will tell them that he is “determined to reach a permanent settlement between Israel and the Palestinians during his term” and that Israel has to do its part, “including a freeze on construction in the settlements.”
That this enemy of Israel would attempt these vile strong-arm tactics is hardly surprising.
What is of concern to me is that I am totally lacking in confidence with regard to how these unnamed American Jewish leaders will respond. It’s possible that he is restricting himself to left wing organizations, I suppose, but it sounds as if the group he will be meeting with is more broad-based than this.
If I felt sure that at least a majority of them would tell the president where to get off, I would be able to brush Obama aside. But what we know is that a majority of American Jews have lost it: They still think — in the face of everything — Obama is one great president. And they may be inclined to do his bidding.
Thus do I now call on each of you who belongs to a major Jewish organization in the US, or, even more importantly, donates to one, to make your voices heard loud and clear.
Please utilize this link to the website of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations:
On this site you will find links to the sites of 50 major organizations, and on those sites you will find contact information. In this instance being in touch with a national office is the most effective way to go, although you should also contact local officers whom you know. Please, when you make contact, make certain that you clarify that you are a member/donate to the group.
Some organizations — Americans for Peace Now, most notably, but there are others — are totally a lost cause. A handful of the 50 — JINSA, ZOA, Young Israel, CAMERA, etc. — are solidly with us already, but would be pleased to hear from you with an expression of appreciation. The majority of mainstream Jewish organizations in the US — B’nai Brith, American Jewish Committee, American Jewish Congress, ORT, United Synagogue, Na’amat, and the list goes on — need to hear from you.
Arguments to use (you don’t need to, you shouldn’t, use them all, just know them all):
 It is inappropriate for the American president to seek the assistance of American Jewish organizations in pressuring Israel and that request should be rejected. The meddling of American Jewish organizations would be wrong.
 Israel, a sovereign state, has a right to make her own decisions in terms of her rights and security needs, without outside interference.
 A freeze in the settlements has been made the focus of “progress in advancing peace,” but this is unreasonable and a phony issue, to boot. Building inside existing lines in settlements in no way jeopardizes negotiations.
 What is more, there has not been parallel pressure for the PA to take immediate action with regard to such things as eliminating the incitement that still exists in its textbooks, which praise jihad and deny the legitimacy of Israel.
 Israel has rights to build in Judea and Samaria — legal rights going back to the Mandate for Palestine of 1922, and moral rights based on the fact that the heart of ancient Jewish heritage exists in this area.
 Obama’s administration has lied: claiming that there was no agreement between Israel and the US under the Bush administration with regard to Israel’s right to continue this building. The existence of such an agreement has been attested to by Elliot Abrams and others involved from the US side. Obama shouldn’t be permitted to proceed blithely, having denied the existence of this agreement.
As always, I ask you to also put this out for others to receive, so that many will contact the Jewish organizations to which they belong.
Additionally, I implore you — wherever in the US you are located and whether you are Jewish or Christian — to write letters to the editor to your local papers addressing this issue of settlements. Obama has made this a “cause,” and he must be taken on with a counter-campaign. Letters must be short (no more than perhaps 250 words), factual and not emotional, clear and to the point. The word must go out broadly so Americans don’t swallow the notion that Israel is the “obstacle” to peace. Need help? Contact me.
Here in Israel, we must, once again, communicate with Netanyahu to help stiffen his spine in the face of the incredible barrage of pressure he is facing.
Fax: 02-670-5369 (From the US: 011-972-2-670-5369)
Phone: 03-610-9898 (From the US: 011-972-3-610-9898)
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (underscore after pm)
The message to Netanyahu is simple (please put this in your own words):
Obama is an international bully who is pushing us for ends that are not in our interest — the nation will not benefit from acceding to his demands. There is no trade-off and one concession will only encourage Obama to make more demands. We will be increasingly weakened.
The proper way to respond to a bully is by standing strong. As long as Netanyahu does this, he will find that we stand with him. We need him now to be the leader he was elected to be.
Right now we implore him — for the sake of Israel — not to agree to a settlement building freeze.
At a ceremony this evening, marking the 105th anniversary of the death of Theodore Herzl, Netanyahu said:
“They [the Palestinians] must abandon their demand to settle the descendents of Palestinian refugees in Israel and gradually ‘eat away’ at the State of Israel after a peace agreement is signed.
“…The Jewish state is the key to our existence and the key to achieving peace with our neighbors.”
This is good. Let us not concede on any issue that would weaken us.
For the record, the rumors have it that we’re close to a deal with the US — which (ha!) is supposed to make every one feel like a winner. The US would allow us to continue building settlement housing units that are already under contract or partially completed — in recognition of the fact that it may not even be legal here to terminate building that has been contracted — and we would then agree to a total building freeze with nothing else to be built after these contracted or partially constructed units are done. This would apply to all of Jerusalem that is beyond the Green Line (the Old City and neighborhoods such as French Hill), as well. In theory this freeze would be temporary, perhaps for six months. But watch and see what would happen if we tried to begin construction again after we agreed to this.
There is no official announcement on this, and there have been some denials — particularly by the US with regard to permitting the completion of started or contracted units.
Another article about US pressure on Israel with regard to the settlement freeze appeared first in the Lebanese paper, an-Nahar, yesterday, and then was picked up by AP, Haaretz, Israel Radio, and The Jerusalem Post.
According to this report, in the course of an official visit he made to Lebanon, French Foreign Minister Bernard Koucher told officials that the US has given Israel a six month deadline for freezing all settlement construction. While Washington might extend this deadline, it “will not provide sponsorship to a renewed peace process if Jerusalem continues settlement construction.”
According to the Lebanese paper, Koucher was expressing the fear that Israel’s “stubbornness, intentional foot-dragging and acquiescence to the Israel lobby” would convince the Americans to pull out of peace discussions altogether.
The comment by Aaron Lerner, who put this item up on IMRA, says it all:
“OK. Let’s understand this threat. President Obama wants Israel to withdraw to fundamentally indefensible borders and that includes an end to Israeli control of the Old City and other areas in
Jerusalem. But if we refuse to halt settlement construction he threatens that he won’t sponsor the talks where he will pressure us to agree to do this.”
There is no outside verification of this that I’ve seen. And a spokesman for Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said that Israel has no information on a six-month deadline.
Could be a garbled report, as there is talk of a six-month freeze on settlements and here Israel is given that same six months to begin a freeze. Whatever the case, hurray for our stubbornness — let it not diminish by an iota.
This report is concrete, and it’s disturbing:
The police — announcing that 11 “unauthorized” buildings in Samaria are to be taken down — have sent a letter to Samaria council head Gershon Mesika. They identified the buildings that had to go, and advised Mesika that if this wasn’t done by the community today, they (the police) would do it.
These buildings are in a variety of settlements and outposts. Some are residences, reports Arutz Sheva, but some are simply things like a pool or a mikvah (ritual bath). That the police are going to take down a mikvah sends the blood pressure soaring a bit more.
Activists, cited by Arutz Sheva, say that a new police unit — consisting of Border Guard police, regular police officers, elite police forces, and mounted units — has been formed to deal with evacuations in Judea and Samaria. This force recently trained for evacuation scenarios.
Said Akiva HaCohen, a Samaria activist. “This new unit has nothing to do with defense and nothing to do with terror. It was created exclusively to destroy Jewish sites in Judea and Samaria.”
The weekly Cabinet meeting this morning was held in Beersheva, “the capital of the Negev,” to emphasize government commitment to developing the Negev. And from that locale, PM Netanyahu issued an invitation to Abbas to meet with him, “anywhere — even here in Beersheva.”
Abbas’s response: “The PA cannot negotiate unless all Jewish West Bank construction is halted.”
This is how Obama has promoted the “peace process”: By focusing so adamantly and so arbitrarily on this one issue of settlements, that he provides space for this response by Abbas.
On the one hand, we can say that Abbas figures he can get more from Israel in advance of negotiations because Obama is behind him. On the other hand, there is a solid case for saying that Abbas doesn’t want negotiations and Obama has provided the out. And what an “out” it is: He declines to meet with the Netanyahu and somehow it’s Netanyahu’s fault.
Just last week, Danny Ayalon observed that “Israel has taken major steps to help spur the Palestinian West Bank economy….We have removed two-thirds of the checkpoints: out of 41, only 14 remain in operation….All checkpoints surrounding major cities in the West Bank are now removed.”
But none of this seems to be acknowledged or to count. We should put the checkpoints back.
We are surrounded by enemies and this one makes my stomach flip:
The EU’s foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, suggested, in a lecture given yesterday in London, that the UN Security Council should recognize a Palestinian state by a certain date even if issues haven’t been resolved between the parties.
“After a fixed deadline, a UN Security Council resolution should proclaim the adoption of the two-state solution.” This would address issues of borders, refugees, Jerusalem and security.
“It [the UNSC] would accept the Palestinian state as a full member of the UN, and set a calendar for implementation. It would mandate the resolution of other remaining territorial disputes and legitimize the end of claims.”
I don’t think Solana’s suggestion is going to be implemented, but what a colossal fool he is for suggesting this — with Obama right there beside him for pushing the creation of a Palestinian state within his term of office.
What these people ignore is the fact that the Palestinians are not ready to establish a state. The corruption remains enormous within the PA, which depends on international hand-outs. The incitement is rife, so that the population is not prepared psychologically for peace. PA “security forces” are not ready to assume the terrorism-pursuing tasks that are currently undertaken by the IDF. Across the board the PA is weak and lacks popularity in the street; Hamas is waiting to take it down. There is insufficient civil infrastructure in place.
Have I left anything out? A Palestinian state, indeed!
Then we have the news that Egyptian officials have thrown up their hands with regard to attempting to forge a unity government. For now, they say, there are essentially two governments — one in Judea and Samaria and one in Gaza. (Actually the situation is more complicated than this — with some levels of cooperation between the PA and Hamas– but never mind here.) A two-state solution? What in hell is Solana talking about? It’s more like a “three-state solution.”
But why let reality get in the way of “feel-good” political goals?
Please, see Khaled Abu Toameh on this very subject:
“As the row between the Obama administration and the Israeli government over the settlements continues, Hamas is gradually turning the Gaza Strip into a Taliban-style Islamic entity that poses a threat not only to Israel, but also to the Americans, Europeans, and moderate Arabs and Muslims.
“Both Hamas and its rivals in the Palestinian Authority appear to be satisfied with the fact that the Obama administration has turned the issue of settlements into the major problem, shifting attention from the incompetence and corruption in the West Bank and the emergence of the new Islamic state in the Gaza Strip.
“The high profile controversy over Israel’s policy of building new homes in Jewish settlements has in fact facilitated Hamas’s mission. (emphasis added)
“…A Palestinian journalist in the Gaza Strip remarked: ‘The Americans and Europeans are fighting against Taliban and al-Qaida in Afghanistan and Pakistan while Hamas is building a new fundamentalist entity here. The settlements may be an obstacle to peace but Hamastan will soon become a major threat to stability in the region.'”
Dear friends, such is the unbelievable stupidity of Obama. Is he THAT eager to take us down? THAT eager to court the good will of Muslims, even those who are radical?
Please! — as I ask you to help in fighting the good fight, I make one more request for today:
Share the link to this piece, and the brief segments I’ve provided above, with your Senators and Representatives. Express your alarm and fury politely (you lose them when you’re not polite) but in unmistakable terms: What is going on? How can the US sanction a policy that is so obviously in conflict with the best interests of America??
For your Congresspersons:
For your Senators:
Your house is on fire. Do not sit still.
(You might want to use facts from Abu Toameh’s article for letters to the editor, as well.)
If you are eager to stay informed on the radical Islamic threat, I strongly recommend Jihad Watch: