Israel is at war. Hamas provoked the violent confrontation by killing three Israeli teenagers. One suspects that Hamas was goaded by Tehran.
The Israeli Defense Forces have attacked the Hamas redoubt in Gaza and Hamas has responded by firing hundreds of rockets into Israel.
What, you may ask does the Obama administration have to say about all of this? What contribution did an administration run by Jeremiah Wright’s protégé make?
Yesterday, President Obama sent his special assistant for Middle Eastern affairs, Philip Gordon to a peace conference convoked by the liberal Israeli newspaper, Haaretz.
After paying lip service to America’s commitment to Israel, Gordon pretended to apportion blame equally. In the end he blamed it all on the Israeli occupation. By his lights, the Israelis are depriving the Palestinians, even the terrorists, of their dignity.
With friends like that, who needs enemies?
The Times of Israel reported:
Israel’s ongoing occupation of the West Bank is wrong and leads to regional instability and dehumanization of Palestinians, a top American government official said Tuesday in Tel Aviv, hinting that the current Israeli government is not committed to peace.
In an unusually harsh major foreign policy address, Philip Gordon, a special assistant to US President Barack Obama and the White House coordinator for the Middle East, appealed to Israeli and Palestinian leaders to make the compromises needed to reach a permanent peace agreement. Jerusalem “should not take for granted the opportunity to negotiate” such a treaty with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who has proven to be a reliable partner, Gordon said.
“Israel confronts an undeniable reality: It cannot maintain military control of another people indefinitely. Doing so is not only wrong but a recipe for resentment and recurring instability,” Gordon said. “It will embolden extremists on both sides, tear at Israel’s democratic fabric and feed mutual dehumanization.”
Specifically, Gordon went on: “How will Israel remain democratic and Jewish if it attempts to govern the millions of Palestinian Arabs who live in the West Bank? How will it have peace if it’s unwilling to delineate a border, end the occupation and allow for Palestinian sovereignty, security and dignity? How will we prevent other states from supporting Palestinian efforts in international bodies, if Israel is not seen as committed to peace?”
Of course, Israel’s supposedly reliable partner, Abbas, has allied himself with Hamas in a unified Palestinian government.
Happily for the Palestinians they do not need to argue their point of view. The Obama administration is doing it for them. Happily for the Palestinians they do not need to negotiate with Israel. The Obama administration considers that that fault lies primarily with the recalcitrant Israelis.
Jeremiah Wright’s protégé is telling the Israelis that they need to compromise. He never seems to expect the other side to comprise. Since it’s all the fault of the Jews, if only they would institute a policy of appeasement and retreat, all would be well.
The radical left has always been happy to defend the Palestinian cause against a free enterprise, liberal democratic state like Israel.
It has not figured out that, for Palestinians who want to rid the Middle East of both Jews and Christians, Israel is an illegitimate state that is occupying lands that belong—by divine right—to the Arabs.
Were Israel to offer more and more concessions, concessions that are met with defiance and contempt, it would be supporting a position that the Palestinian authority and Hamas hold to be the ultimate truth: that all of Israel is an occupying state and that its elimination will bring peace to the region.
Because, we all know, Muslims never kill other Muslims.