Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Great Schlep II - Obama & Jewish grandparents / J. Rosenbloom

Jerusalem Post:

The Obama campaign is encouraging Jewish kids to fly Florida to visit their grandparents over Columbus Day weekend. The Web site for the initiative features comedienne Sarah Silverman instructing Jewish youth in Lysistrata tactics: Threaten to withhold future visits unless granny agrees to vote for Barack Obama. Here's another suggestion: Tell them that if they don't vote for Obama, "the goodest person we've ever had as a presidential choice," it can only be because they are racists.

My guess is that bubbie and zaidie will not be too impressed by such bullying; nor should they be. The grandchildren will seek to prove that Obama is good for Israel, but their identification with Israel bears no relationship to that of their grandparents. For them the Holocaust is the stuff of history books, not a living memory. Ditto the UN vote on Israel's creation. They did not huddle around TV sets listening to the UN debates leading up to the 1967 war. Nor do they remember the 10,000 graves dug in Tel Aviv in anticipation of war casualties. Many have never heard of Entebbe. [...]

THE GRANDCHILDREN will cite Obama's high rating from AIPAC as proof of his pro-Israel bona fides. Irrelevant. Every senator with national ambitions has such a high rating, which is based on nothing more than voting for appropriation resolutions. Far more crucial to determining a candidate's likely relationship with Israel as president is his worldview.

Obama views talk as a universal solvent, and seems to believe that most conflicts can be solved by sitting people down around a conference table to air their grievances. That makes him remarkably sanguine about resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict, which he says would be a high priority from day one of his administration. The last time an American president made solving the conflict a high priority, Israel ended up with the Aksa intifada and open warfare.

If Obama thinks there is an easy solution to the conflict, it can only come in one form: Israel's return to its 1967 "Auschwitz borders." He basically confirmed that in a June interview with Jerusalem Post editor David Horovitz, in which he allowed that Israel might justify "67 plus" in terms of a security buffer, "but they've got to consider whether getting that buffer is worth the antagonism of the other party."

Yet an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank would almost surely result in a third Iranian-armed and financed adversary confronting Israel, just as previous withdrawals from southern Lebanon and Gaza led to the takeover of heavily armed Iranian proxies in the form of Hizbullah and Hamas. Israeli security officials estimate that absent an Israeli presence in the West Bank, Hamas would take over there almost as quickly as it seized Gaza.

Not that the Palestinian Authority is much better. Its leader Mahmoud Abbas made a special trip to personally congratulate child-murderer Samir Kuntar on his release from Israeli jail, and the PA recently honored Dalai Mughrabi, the mastermind of the 1978 Coastal Road massacre that killed 37 Israelis.

OBAMA'S FAITH in the power of words is equally dangerous with respect to the Iranian threat. In June, Obama told the AIPAC convention that face-to-face negotiations with Iran would be necessary before any military response could be justified. In the last presidential debate, he dropped any reference to military action and said negotiations must precede any strong sanctions, and must include the Russians and Chinese.

But the Europeans have been engaged in futile, unconditional negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program for six years. If Obama has a better offer to make than they have, he should at least say what it is. As for the Russians and Chinese, they have made clear that their economic interests lie in supporting Iran. Negotiations will do nothing more than provide Iran with more crucial time to perfect its nuclear technology and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with greater internal legitimacy.

So an Obama presidency would likely result in an Israel living within indefensible borders and in the crosshairs of a nuclear Iran. Bubbie and zaidie should tell their progeny that in Jewish tradition wisdom flows from the elders to young, not vice versa.

1 comment :

  1. For my take on it:

    Bottom line: the drandkids can threaten to withhold visits. The grandparents, on the other hand, can change their wills. Who will suffer more?


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