You can’t blame President Obama for making a beeline to a convention hall filled with students during his Israel trip. If there is any group that has shown a particular susceptibility to his snake oil, it is the soft, impressionable minds of those at the cusp of adulthood.
We can only hope that Israeli students are less gullible than their American counterparts.
The president’s wish is for Israelis to lose their resolve against Palestinian terrorism, to shrug and just let a Palestinian state sprout in their midst.
For the record, there are plenty of Israelis willing to do just that, which has confounded me for years.
How is it that I, an American Christian, am more vigilant about the security of Israel than some Israeli jews?
Polls show that many young Israelis are more skeptical of the “two-state solution” than their parents. I hope so, but I wonder if Israel has the time for these youngsters to grow up, achieve power, and spread the kind of clarity currently offered by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Meanwhile, I hope Netanyahu is eating right and hitting the treadmill often. At 63, he needs to be around a very long time to awaken some of his own people and educate current and perhaps future American presidents.
To be bipartisan about this, the Bush administration bought into this two-state nonsense, willingly marching Israel toward shared space with a freshly-created country that would surely be peppered with leadership flavored by Hezbollah and Hamas.
This is, as they say in international affairs, crazy.
I know it is hard to tell long-suffering Palestinians that their propensity to elevate leaders of a terrorist bent is a deal-breaker for any group looking for its own country.
It is even harder to deliver the ultimate clarity-- that there is in fact no basis in logic or history for a new nation called Palestine, carved from the soil of Israel.
There is already a Palestinian state in the region. It’s called Jordan. If geography is a sticking point, any Palestinian seeking to remain on Israeli soil can be assured of a life far more promising under Israeli governance than the violent third-world lives they lead in the West Bank and Gaza, lands handed over to them in the most recent phony offer of land for peace.
It’s never enough. if Israel, a tiny slice of land surrounded by millions of square miles of people longing for its extinction, will just give up a little more territory, then, finally, there will supposedly be peace.
So goes the scam. How many times will people fall for this? How many times will Israelis listen to leaders, from America and among their own ranks, who recommend such a suicidal march?
The president’s Thursday remarks to the Israeli students were vintage Obama. “It is not fair,” he said, invoking his favorite conceit, “that a Palestinian child cannot grow up in a state of her own, and lives with the presence of a foreign army that controls the movements of her parents every single day.”
Putting aside the reference to Israeli troops on technically Israeli land as “foreign,” I suppose this belongs on the “unfairness” list with the Cherokee child who is not growing up in an America where the white man was chased into submission, or the Alabama child who is not growing up under a confederate flag. History does not provide what every faction wants.
In the recent history of the Middle East, the Arab attempt to subjugate Israel was shut down in 1967. There has been no intervening war in which Palestinians have militarily seized Israeli land.
They have not had to. It has been given to them by politicians deluded into thinking “peace” can be achieved by concession after concession after concession.
So how is that working out? Rockets are sailing over the heads of Israelis even as an American president visits, pushing coexistence with the people launching them.
Obama is right-- the younger generation of any nation can make a difference. He has succeeded in prodding American kids toward the culture of dependency he seeks to establish at all levels in his own country.
Now he aims to infuse Israeli youth with his brand of appeasement and acquiescence.
Just as millions of Americans are blind to the financial ruin just around the bend if we ignore our spending crisis, far too many Israelis are insufficiently alarmed by the dangers of a further walk down the hazardous road leading to a cobbled-together Palestinian state.
Things do change on the world scene. if the Palestinians show a penchant for electing leadership without blood on its hands, if the rockets fall silent and if the Palestinian coziness with Iran can subside for, let’s say, five years, that might be a signal that maybe-- maybe-- we can begin to think about a Palestinian state if that passion still exists.
But to harbor that notion prematurely, to press for such a state today with a blindness to its disastrous prospects for Israeli and thus American security, is to ignore history and invite its long, bloody repetition.
We should hope that this is grasped by future generations of Israelis-- and future American presidents.