It’s such a privilege to get to share my thoughts each week in Standing With Israel for Charisma Media.
Throughout the week, I think about what I want to share, and it’s always my hope to write something thoughtful and uplifting. My preference is to pen comments that celebrate God and encourage readers in their faith.
But all too often, the reality of life here in Israel compels me to use this “bully pulpit” to shine the light on other subjects that may have escaped the attention of readers who love and care about Israel.
Such is the case again this week.
Learn Your History
I celebrated my birthday a few days ago. I can hardly believe it has now been 20 years since I graduated high school. As I rapidly approach that dreaded age of 40, it finally hit me: I’m getting old.
But with age comes wisdom—hopefully—and the ability to put the news in some historical context.
Yesterday, as I watched President Obama drone on and on about his thoughts on “the war on terror” winding down, this “age” thing of mine kicked in. I knew, instinctively, that nothing he was saying was of any real consequence. It wouldn’t result in any new policies or set any new agenda. It was sort of a “placeholder” speech that I’ve seen many presidents deliver over the years, only to be forgotten by the time they exit the stage.
President Obama once again said he’s pushing for peace between Israelis and Palestinians because it could “help reshape attitudes in the region.” Clearly his “age” thing isn’t working as well as mine. Clearly he has forgotten his Middle East history.
Israel made peace with Egypt; that didn’t change the hatred of Israel in this region. Israel made peace with Jordan; that didn’t change the hatred of Israel in this region. Israel signed the Oslo Peace Accords with the Palestinians; that didn’t change the hatred of Israel in this region.
So, What’s He Talking About?
As President Obama was speaking in Washington, his secretary of state, John Kerry, was in Israel again, also showing his lack of historical perspective.
Kerry once again called on Israel to “compromise” in order to restart peace talks with the Palestinians. “Compromise”? What does that mean?
We compromised when we pulled out of Gaza; that got us nowhere. We compromised when we pulled out of Southern Lebanon; that got us nowhere.
So, what kind of compromise does he want?
While he was calling on us to “compromise” with the Palestinians, their leader, Mahmoud Abbas, was more detailed about just what he wants from the Israelis. He wants us to stop any building in disputed territories and … wait for it … he wants us to free Palestinian terrorists from Israeli prisons!
Oh, and those are just his pre-conditions before he’ll agree to sit down for new peace talks. Is that the kind of compromise that Kerry is talking about?
Kerry wasn’t the only visiting diplomat putting his foot in his mouth in Jerusalem yesterday. The British foreign secretary, William Hague, also graced us with his presence.
Hague used his visit as an opportunity to lecture Israel about why attitudes toward the Jewish state are souring in the U.K. He says it’s because we keep building “settlements.”
It was tragically ironic that Hague made those statements only 24 hours after a British soldier was hacked to death with a machete, in London, as the killers chanted “Allahu akbar.”
Clearly Hague was not fazed by this latest jihadi attack on his own soil. Clearly, the British remain in denial that Muslim terrorists don’t need excuses like “settlements” to carry out their murderous rampages. Was the British army base in London a settlement? If not, then what could have motivated these killers?
Hague’s ignorance isn’t surprising, but it is chilling. As his own country is being overrun by fanatical, violent Muslims, he has the audacity to come to Israel to tell us how to run our own nation? Even the liberal commentator Bob Beckel said yesterday that what’s happening in Europe is akin to the Ottoman Empire’s attempt to conquer the continent.
And yet Hague, Kerry and Obama want Israel to “compromise” to give up more land, to sign more meaningless treaties. There’s a war raging all around them, and they think "compromising" is the way to handle it.
During his “terrorism opus” Thursday, President Obama, the so-called “leader of the free world,” actually said, “Neither I, nor any president, can promise the total defeat of terror.”
Well, isn’t that just what you want to hear from the commander-in-chief? Conceding defeat in the midst of the battle—how encouraging!
And this is the guy giving advice to Israel!
Well, Mr. President, Mr. Secretary of State, Mr. Foreign Secretary, with all due respect … you get your own houses in order, you figure out how to stop your own soldiers from being butchered on your own streets—and then perhaps we’ll listen to your advice.
Until then, we’ll be fighting this war in the only way we Israelis know how—to win it!
Chaim Goldberg is the director of media for Maoz Israel and is a weekly columnist for Charisma Media’s Standing With Israel site on charismamag.com.