Former US congressman Robert Wexler is a man worth listening to. Wexler served as then-senator Barack Obama's chief booster in the American Jewish community during the 2008 presidential campaign. He appeared everywhere and said anything to convince the American Jewish community that the same man who sat in the church pews listening to Rev. Jeremiah Wright's anti-Semitic vitriol for two decades, and listed among his closest friends and associates a host of Israel-haters as well as former terrorists, was the greatest friend Israel could ever have.
Once Obama was elected, Wexler continued to serve as his Jewish shill. Wexler traveled to Israel multiple times in the early months of Obama's presidency, to pressure Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to submit to Obama's demand and embrace the cause of Palestinian statehood. After Netanyahu finally announced his support for Palestinian statehood at his speech at Bar-Ilan University in September 2009, Wexler returned with a new demand - that Netanyahu enact a moratorium on Jewish property rights in Judea and Samaria.
In an interview with The Jerusalem Post at the time, Wexler promised that Israel would be richly rewarded if it took the unprecedented step of denying Jews the right to their property in Judea and Samaria simply because they were Jewish. Even if the moratorium were temporary, Obama would view the discriminatory measure as proof of Israel's good intentions.
Moreover, Obama would expect the Palestinians and the wider Arab world to respond to Israel's move by taking steps to normalize their relations with Israel.
For instance, Wexler claimed that Obama had demanded that the Arabs respond to an Israeli moratorium on Jewish property rights by among other things opening trade offices and direct economic ties; conducting cultural and economic exchanges; and permitting Israeli airplanes to overfly their territory.
And in the event that the Arabs refused to rise to the occasion, Wexler proclaimed, "You can rightly say that all bets are off."
Wexler continued, "I want to call their bluff. I want to see, if Israel makes substantial movement toward a credible peace process, whether they are willing to do it. And if they are not, better that we should find out five or six months into the process, before Israel is actually asked to compromise any significant position."
In the event, Netanyahu bowed to Obama's demand and enacted a temporary ban on the exercise of Jewish property rights in Judea and Samaria. And in the aftermath of his stunning move, the Arab world did nothing.
Amazingly, far from calling their bluff, Obama doubled down on his pressure on Israel.
Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, where this article first appeared.
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