To My Fellow Jews-You Can Vote For Mitt Romney, Or You Can Commit Jew-i-cide.
There are many domestic reasons to vote for Mitt Romney on election day, most of which have been covered on these pages over since he became the apparent GOP
nominee in the spring.
There are also foreign policy issues, the one most relevant to the Jewish community is the future of Israel. This particular column focuses on the issue of Israel.
There is no other way to put it. Any Jew who believes in the State of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish State and still votes for Barack Obama next week is committing Jew-i-cide.
Obama’s positions on Israel and terrorism during his first term will only worsen in a second when he would not need financial support from major Jewish donors and electoral support from Jewish voters for reelection, or (as he told Russian President Mevedev) he will have more flexibility in a second term.
Lets take a look at Obama’s first term (note I am concentrating on the major issues, if I wrote about all of the anti-Israel or pro-terrorist policies of the Obama administration this post wouldn't be ready till after election day).
Obama is the reason there are no negotiations with the Palestinians
The reason there is no progress toward Israel/Palestinian peace can be explained in three words, President Barack Obama.
While the Palestinian's have never accepted Israeli settlements, secession of settlements all settlement building has never been a precondition to talks. Israel had long ago agreed not to build new "settlements" in Judea and Samaria but would continue to add housing units to existing communities. They have never agreed to restrictions on building Jerusalem.
During the government of PM Ehud Barak (and the Bush Administration), there were direct talks and construction continued as outlined above.
It was the Obama administration's naiveté that made the settlements an issue. Hillary Clinton first demanded the freeze in 2009 and was quickly backed up by Obama. What the President and his advisers perceived as a minor concession (a settlement freeze including no new housing units in existing communities) was for Israel a grave sacrifice. From the Israeli point of view he was telling parents that their children that they could no longer live near them.
This was a major error by the Obama administration and it was compounded by their inclusion of Jerusalem in the mix and their constant public berating of the Jewish State. On top of all that was the revelation that his demand for a freeze of natural community growth broke a US/Israel agreement made during the Bush administration. An agreement confirmed by former Assistant Secretary of State Elliot Abrams many times .
Obama refused to call on the Palestinians to make the most basic of concessions; recognize Israel as the Jewish State.
Obama has said Israel is the Jewish State and has called on the Palestinians to recognize Israel but has never called on the Palestinians to recognize Israel as the Jewish state—never (the UN partition which created Israel called it a Jewish State).
The real issue is where the Palestinian refugees go. While the number of Palestinian refugees in 1949 was somewhere between 800,000-900,000, today the number is over 4 million. This group of refugees is the only example in history where the number has grown without a population shift (the UN counts the original refugees, their children, grandchildren, first cousin twice removed on their mother's side, friends etc. as refugees (The Jewish refugees from Arab countries, 900,000+ were absorbed by Israel and other countries).
One of the stated goals of the Palestinians is to flood Israel (within the green lines) with Palestinians. Being a democracy Israel would be voted out of being Jewish.
The previous president, George Bush said that any resettlement of Palestinian refugees must take place in a future Palestinian State.
The 2008 Democratic Party platform agreed, saying ..should resolve the issue of Palestinian refugees by allowing them to settle there, rather than in Israel. This was removed from the 2012 platform by the President’s people along with Jerusalem, refusal to recognize Hamas and the need for changes to the 1949 Armistice lines. The only one added back was Jerusalem (and that was over the votes and boos of the convention attendees).
In August 2009 Prime Minister Netanyahu announced a ten-month settlement freeze. It was approved and implemented on November 25, 2009 and ran till September 25, 2010. Despite pressure from the United States, the Palestinians wasted the first 9+ months of the freeze and would not come to the negotiation table till September 2010, three weeks before the freeze ended.
A fact lost on the Obama administration that put the onus on Israel to extend the freeze. Still Israel tried to find a way out of this Obama-created logjam and give the Palestinians a way "out."
In early October of 2010 he made a very simple offer to the PA. If you were to recognize Israel as the Jewish State, we will extend the freeze. As reported by Al Jazeera the answer was a resounding no:
Netanyahu's proposal met with swift rejection from senior Palestinian officials.
"The whole world holds Netanyahu responsible for what is happening in the region, after he chose to push ahead with the settlement project at the expense of an advance in the peace process. Settlement freeze is a commitment Netanyahu should respect," Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, told Al Jazeera.
Yasser Abed Rabbo, a senior official of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, described the settlement issue as "an aggression on Palestinian rights and land".
"What Israel calls itself is an Israeli matter that does not concern us. The two issues are not related," he told Al Jazeera in reference to Netanyahu's condition that Palestinians recognise Israel as a Jewish state.
Nabil Abu Rudainah, the spokesman for Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, said a return to peace talks required a freeze on settlement building by Israel.
"The issue of the Jewishness of the state has nothing to do with the matter," he told the Reuters news agency.
If Obama truly backed Israel as the Jewish State he would have publicly endorsed this Israeli offer that would have rid the Palestinians of the Obama-created excuse not to negotiate.
Jerusalem Israel's Capital
Jerusalem, wrote historian Martin Gilbert, is not a ‘mere’ city. “It holds the central spiritual and physical place in the history of the Jews as a people.”
The Obama policy is different from that of the Bush administration. The Bush administration recognized Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel, but delayed the moving of the embassy till the borders of Jerusalem were determined through negotiations. Obama refuses to recognize any part of Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel.
During a press briefing at the end of July, Jay Carney refused to outline the President’s position on Jerusalem. Eventually the administration released a statement that Obama's position remains unchanged, Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel because its final status has not yet been negotiated.
In 1995 Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act endorsing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and requiring the US Embassy to move to Jerusalem. But Congress gave the executive branch an out, every six months the State Department/President can request and receive an automatic waiver. A waiver that President Bill Clinton issued to congress every six months as required.
President Bush continued the policy every six months, but in Bush’s case, he inserted into the legal jargon a sentence stating, “My Administration remains committed to beginning the process of moving our embassy to Jerusalem.” The phrase appeared in all 16 Bush waiver notifications. The Obama administration removed that phrase from their waiver requests.
The 1949 armistice lines.
Another section removed from the 2012 Democratic platform and not replaced was ... All understand that it is unrealistic to expect the outcome of final status negotiations to be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949. Obama walked away from that big time last May when he called for Israel to begin negotiations by agreeing to return to the 1949 lines. At the time the Democrats said it was no change from previous policy—which is a lie.
The truth is final borders of a Israel and a Palestinian state was to be negotiated and not to be an Israeli concession before negotiation. It was Bush’s position and it was the way Bill Clinton handled negotiations at during his term.
Obama’s position is a big change from previous administrations and it undercut Israel’s negotiation position.
Iranian Nuclear Weapons.
There is a wide space between Israel and the Obama administration on the issue of Iran.
During a recent interview, Long Island Congressman and Chairman of the House Intelligence committee told me Obama's failed foreign policy was hurting Israel and strengthening the will of her enemies.
The congressman added Israel doesn’t trust Obama on Iran, and rightfully so. On one hand Obama says the US will protect Israel should Iran get on the precipice of nuclear weapons; on the other he ties Israel’s hands. The President wants Israel to give time for the sanctions to work, but opposed Congressional action to strengthen those sanctions. King pointed out the issue of a nuclear Iran is one that should not only concern Israel, but the entire Western world.
He closed with a quote, which concisely described what makes Obama's relationship with Israel particularly disturbing:
“We have had disagreements with Israel before, but they have always been on subjects such as settlements or boarders. This is the first time in our history where an administration disagreed with Israel on an issue of basic survivability.”
Governor Romney's position on Israel is clear:
Over the past three years, President Obama has instead chastened Israel. In his inaugural address to the United Nations, the President chastised Israel, but said little about the thousands of Hamas rockets raining into its skies. He’s publicly proposed that Israel adopt indefensible borders. He’s insulted its Prime Minister. And he’s been timid and weak in the face of the existential threat of a nuclear Iran.
These actions have emboldened Palestinian hard-liners who now are poised to form a unity government with terrorist Hamas and feel they can bypass Israel at the bargaining table. President Obama has immeasurably set back the prospect of peace in the Middle East.
As President, my policies will be very different. I will travel to Israel on my first foreign trip. I will reaffirm as a vital national interest Israel’s existence as a Jewish state. I want the world to know that the bonds between Israel and the United States are unshakable. I want every country in the region that harbors aggressive designs against Israel to understand that their ambition is futile and that pursuing it will cost them dearly.
The choice for Jews on November 6th is clear—you can vote for Mitt Romney, or you can commit Jew-i-cide.
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