Abraham Foxman to Jews: Stay on the Reservation

Retailing soothing falsehoods about Obama’s speech.

Seventy-eight percent of American Jews voted for Barack Obama, and in the wake of Obama’s betrayal of Israel, Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League is trying to keep them on the reservation.

One wonders why Foxman even bothers with this dangerous fool’s errand. Obama has associated with antisemites and Palestinian jihad sympathizers throughout his political career, such that the Jews and supporters of Israel who voted for him in 2008 should be in full backpedal mode by now, apologizing for their earlier support for this clear enemy of Israel and dedicating themselves to defeating him in 2012.

But apparently Foxman’s pride is more important to him than the survival of Israel as the Jewish homeland and the sole bulwark of freedom and human rights in the Middle East. And so instead of renouncing his earlier support for Obama and taking a stand for Israel when that embattled country needs it the most, he has opted to pretend that Obama’s statement really wasn’t all that bad, and that Jews and all supporters of Israel should relax and keep on loving Barack Hussein Obama.

“I don’t see this as the president throwing Israel under the bus,” Foxman told Greg Sargent of the Washington Post. “He’s saying with `swaps.’ It’s not 1967 borders in the abstract. It’s not an edict. It’s a recommendation of a structure for negotiations.”

Foxman was referring to Obama’s statement that “the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states.”

Foxman apparently believes that Obama’s statement about “the 1967 lines” is the core of the problem that those who are appalled by Obama’s speech have with it – thus his emphasis that “it’s not an edict,” but simply a “recommendation.” He added that “there is a danger that the 1967 marker, which was always there but has never been stated so directly, may become this year’s settlements issue.” But, he repeated, “it’s not an edict — it’s not what he did with settlements.”

In this Foxman overlooked what most mainstream media reports about Obama’s speech also overlooked: that he wasn’t calling for a return to the pre-Six Day War borders at all, but to new borders “based on the 1967 lines,” and creating “two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine.”

This would be even worse for Israel than a return to the 1967 lines. A Palestinian state that bordered on Israel, Jordan and Egypt while Israel bordered only on Palestine would mean a substantially reduced Israel, having been forced to cede much of its core territory to the Palestinian Arabs in exchange for the chimera of peace with what are in fact implacable and unappeasable jihadis. Abraham Foxman should have learned from the disastrous aftermath of Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza that territorial concessions to the Palestinian jihadis do not bring peace and never will bring peace. Instead, Foxman declared Friday that Obama’s speech “indicated to me that this administration has come a long way in better understanding and appreciating the difficulties facing both parties, but especially Israel in trying to make peace with the Palestinians.”

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu disagreed. Meeting with Obama at the White House on Friday, he emphasized that “while Israel is prepared to make generous compromises for peace … it cannot go back to 1967 lines, because these lines are indefensible.” Netanyahu didn’t say it, but clearly he was not going to accept anything worse than the 1967 lines, either.

Apparently sensing that Obama was also preparing to back the spurious “right of return” for the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Palestinian Arab refugees (who were not offered citizenship by any of the neighboring Arab states except Jordan), Netanyahu declared: “The Palestinian refugee problem will have to be resolved within the context of a Palestinian state but certainly not within the borders of Israel. That’s not gonna happen. Everybody knows it’s not gonna happen. And I think it’s time to tell the Palestinians it’s not gonna happen.”

It’s noteworthy that Netanyahu thought it necessary to say this even though Obama did not mention the refugee problem in his Thursday speech. Netanyahu, unlike Foxman, can tell which way the wind is blowing in the White House, and has no illusions. But Foxman’s persistent self-delusions showed through again in the statement he issued through the ADL, along with Robert G. Sugarman, the ADL’s National Chair. Foxman and Sugarman declared: “We welcome President Obama’s compelling speech on the priorities for American policy in the Middle East.  We applaud his strong outlining of the principles which motivate that policy, including supporting the universal rights of free speech, equality and religious freedom, opposing the use of force and political repression, and promoting political and economic reforms.  These are a reflection of American values and promote American interests.”

There is, however, no indication that the revolutions in the Middle East, which Obama spent quite some time hailing, will lead to regimes that will have any interest in protecting free speech; the freedom of peaceful assembly; freedom of religion; or equality for men and women under the rule of law. Instead, in country after country pro-Sharia Islamic supremacists seem to be gaining the upper hand, just as I predicted.

With similar blinkered vision and naivete, Foxman and Sugarman stated: “We support the President’s vision of a negotiated Israeli-Palestinian settlement with strong security provisions for Israel, and a non-militarized Palestinian state.  We appreciate his direct rejection of a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state and his understanding that the Hamas-Fatah agreement poses major problems for Israel.”

They didn’t seem to notice or care that Obama had not made the dissection of Israel or the creation of a Palestinian state contingent upon the dissolution of the new ties between Hamas and Fatah, or their acceptance of a “non-militarized” state. His statement about their need to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist was ambiguous enough to satisfy (or enrage) both sides.

And so if the aftermath of this speech follows the pattern of earlier attempts to bring peace to the Middle East, the Israelis will be forced to make genuine concessions in exchange for Palestinian promises that will quickly be broken – although no one will be holding them accountable for that.

So it goes, and so it will go, until the jihadis destroy Israel utterly, or someone in Washington gets a clue. Whichever comes first.

Abe Foxman should have noticed the pattern of Israeli concessions and Palestinian broken promises years ago, and started alerting the Jewish people and all friends of Israel to it. Then he would never have issued his statement of support for Obama Friday. Indeed, he never would have supported Obama in the first place.