Obama will back Saudi peace plan

posted at 10:24 am on November 16, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama has decided to base his diplomatic approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the Saudi peace plan, the Times of London reports today.  A “senior Obama adviser” tells the Times that Obama will back the plan that divides Jerusalem into two capitals and pulls Israel back to pre-1967 borders:

Barack Obama is to pursue an ambitious peace plan in the Middle East involving the recognition of Israel by the Arab world in exchange for its withdrawal to pre-1967 borders, according to sources close to America’s president-elect.

Obama intends to throw his support behind a 2002 Saudi peace initiative endorsed by the Arab League and backed by Tzipi Livni, the Israeli foreign minister and leader of the ruling Kadima party.

The proposal gives Israel an effective veto on the return of Arab refugees expelled in 1948 while requiring it to restore the Golan Heights to Syria and allow the Palestinians to establish a state capital in east Jerusalem.

On a visit to the Middle East last July, the president-elect said privately it would be “crazy” for Israel to refuse a deal that could “give them peace with the Muslim world”, according to a senior Obama adviser.

Apparently, Obama has changed his position from his speech at AIPAC.  In early June, he told the Israeli-supporting political action group that Jerusalem “must remain undivided,” drawing thunderous applause and roars of criticism later from Palestinian groups.  Within hours, Obama retreated to the Bush administration position — that Jerusalem should be left to the two sides to negotiate in the final settlement.

Welcome to Obama 3.0 on Jerusalem.  Now he has switched sides to the exact opposite of what he argued at AIPAC.  One has to wonder what all of those Jewish voters who supported Obama will think of this new position on Israel’s borders and security, but somehow I doubt it would get thunderous applause at AIPAC.

In Israel, the reception could be more mixed.  Tzipi Livni, the foreign minister and leading candidate for Prime Minister from Ariel Sharon’s Kadima party, backs the Saudi peace plan in concept, including the division of Jerusalem.  The Israeli Left supports it as well, with Shimon Peres and Ehud Olmert both endorsing the plan.  Likud candidate Benjamin Netanyahu opposes it entirely.

Obama reportedly told Mahmoud Abbas that “Israel would be crazy” not to accept the plan.  He concluded that the Saudi plan would give Israel peace with the entire Muslim world.  Really?  It might make it palatable for some states like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan to start diplomatic relations with Israel, and perhaps even Syria if they get back the Golan Heights.  But who believes that Iran, Yemen, Libya, Sudan, and the proxy armies of Hamas, Hezbollah, and Islamic Jihad will suddenly discover brotherly love with such a settlement?  They want Israel wiped off the map, literally in Iran’s case, and the Israelis driven into the Mediterranean.

Israel can decide on its own to take a risk and adopt the smaller borders in exchange for the promise of peace.  Obama should have stuck with his AIPAC speech, or the initial retreat from it.

Update: In the comments, Meryl Yourish notes that one of the article’s authors has credibility problems.


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The 1967 borders can not be defended.

unseen on November 16, 2008 at 11:07 AM

I tremble at the thought!! NOT!!!

ProfessorMiao on November 16, 2008 at 11:41 AM

Ok, I couldn’t stand not replying to Mr. Shipley. Who would believe it if an Iranian jumped up & announced Israel’s right to exist? Who would believe that statement?

kelley in virginia on November 16, 2008 at 11:42 AM

Ok, I couldn’t stand not replying to Mr. Shipley. Who would believe it if an Iranian jumped up & announced Israel’s right to exist? Who would believe that statement?

kelley in virginia on November 16, 2008 at 11:42 AM

well if you believe our world will be powered by unicorn manure and fairy farts instead of coal and oil then I guess you can believe anything.

unseen on November 16, 2008 at 11:44 AM

When the Arab world (including Hamas and Hezboullah) recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state in perpetuity within internationally guaranteed secure borders then we can talk about the 67 borders.

Ain’t gonna happen.

Another president, another pipe dream, another massive carbon footprint from aircraft shuttling back and forth to the Middle East in the annual circle jerk called the “Middle East Peace Process”.

Total war is the only thing that will ultimately resove this matter. Alas, conventional wars are out of fashion; nuclear wars will soon be all the rage.

mylegsareswollen on November 16, 2008 at 11:44 AM

If you could get a country like Iran to say Israel has a right to exist, would that not be great progress?

How naive could anyone be? Oh yeah, you voted for a corrupt minor league jesse jackson state senator who can’t string together three words without a script without getting tongue tied for president.

peacenprosperity on November 16, 2008 at 11:45 AM

So it would not be progress to get Iran to recognize the right of Israel to exist?

Tom_Shipley on November 16, 2008 at 11:39 AM

I don’t care, and Israel doesn’t care, if Iran thinks or says that Israel has the right to exist, or not. But it’s nice that you think you and your idiot messiah think you can carve up Israel to get meaningless words out of arabs and persians. You people are as dumb as rocks.

progressoverpeace on November 16, 2008 at 11:46 AM

Well its been fun buty debating a 3 year old is not my idea on how to spend Sunday afternoon. Time for Sunday Brunch.

unseen on November 16, 2008 at 11:46 AM

So what’s the answer, Ed? Not to push ANY peace plan that would get Arab nations to recognize Israel? Not push ANY plan? What’s your answer to the problem.

You can ask these same questions about ANY peace plan for Israel and Palestine. It doesn’t mean you don’t try. And it doesn’t mean anyone pushing this plan thinks it will magically make all the hatred in the Mideast disappear overnight. But, a plan like this could be a great step in that direction. If you could get a country like Iran to say Israel has a right to exist, would that not be great progress?

Tom_Shipley on November 16, 2008 at 11:35 AM

I would say that going back to borders the UN recognized as INDEFENSIBLE in the aftermath of the 1967 war is definitely not a recipe for peace. If Israel could not realistically defend itself before the emergence of Hezbollah and Hamas and an Iran that wishes it only extinction, and with growing rather than declining radicalization in Muslim countries – including at least one directly bordering Israel – this strikes me at best as a recipe for disaster. For Israel.

ProfessorMiao on November 16, 2008 at 11:47 AM

Katy,

I am not saying that Iran has not been incredibly hostile toward Israel. I know the world we live in. But, I’m just wondering what the downside is to backing a plan where the Arab countries band together to recognize the right of Israel to exist.

I’m not saying that recognition would erase all the tensions, hatred and even hostilities, but any lasting peace needs as its base the other Arab countries recognizing Israel’s right to exist. Even if Iran keeps up it’s rhetoric, to have their official stance be that Israel has a right to exist would be progress. It wouldn’t mean peace, but it would be progress for future generations of Iranians and Israelis to build upon. The people of Iran are not as radical as its leadership. It’s not out of the realm of possibility to bring peace between Israel and Iran in the future.

But, I’ll ask again, if you take it for granted that Iran wants Israel off the map, then what is your solution to the problem. work on no peace plans? Invade Iran? What’s your solution?

Tom_Shipley on November 16, 2008 at 11:47 AM

within internationally guaranteed secure borders

I think an international — including Arab states — guarantee of the border should and would probably need to be part of the plan.

Tom_Shipley on November 16, 2008 at 11:52 AM

Tom_Shipley,

Are you the same dude who co-wrote One toke over the line, and longs to meet with Fidel?

Buy Danish on November 16, 2008 at 11:53 AM

Buy Danish on November 16, 2008 at 11:53 AM

No.

Tom_Shipley on November 16, 2008 at 11:55 AM

No way in hell will the Israeli people agree to pulling back to the Green Line. The Purple Line (cease fire line of 1967) doesn’t accurately represent the ceasefire line in the Golan after 1973. Israel wound up having to return land they had in 1967 because of the later ceasefire agreement.

Israel is the only country which the world demands return territory captured after being attacked. I love this double standard.

Mooseman on November 16, 2008 at 11:56 AM

So it would not be progress to get Iran to recognize the right of Israel to exist?

Tom_Shipley on November 16, 2008 at 11:39 AM

Words, as Osama Obama’s successful campaign should remind us, have become as important as deeds in the minds of the stupefied masses.

But they guarantee nothing.

When we see deeds from the Israel-haters in the M.E., when the rockets stop falling and the suicide terrorists quit strapping on their explosives, when the Arab states scale back both their physical and rhetorical threats to Israel, then and only then will it be time for the kind of hopey-changey blather Obama is promoting to take place.

And none of this should be necessary, right? Didn’t Jimmuh (“Nobel Peace Prize”) Carter bring peace to the region long ago?

MrScribbler on November 16, 2008 at 12:01 PM

Tom_Shipley on November 16, 2008 at 11:47 AM

Number one. Study the history of Israel. Real History. Not liberal crap history. Go back 100 years and read. Study the core of the Jewish/Arab conflict. I don’t have time for this with you. It’s your responsibility to know what the hell you stand for, not some liberal crap that’s spoon fed through your local college professor. Number two. Learning the true conflict history will help you with number one! My answer to Iran is peace through strength. Arabs do not negotiate. It’s not in their blood, culture,religion or idealogy. They destroy, They demand submission! Got it?! Number three. If they don’t recognize Israel (which they never will and it’s all just a big freakin’ sno-job on the world) then a big fat preemptive strike should calm things down for a long time! Now go away and get facts. See you in a few months, Cause the whole Israel ignorance thing drives me up the freakin’ wall!!

katy on November 16, 2008 at 12:04 PM

then what is your solution to the problem. work on no peace plans? Invade Iran? What’s your solution?

Tom_Shipley on November 16, 2008 at 11:47 AM

Peace through Strength. MAD worked. Tell Iran any rocket strikes from Hezzbollah into Isreal will mean a rocket strike on Tehran. Tell Syria any rocket strike from Hamas means a rocket strike on Damascus. Right now there is not downside for Iran, Syria, etc to support the war on Isreal.
Make a downside. Do not keep giving them gifts for their actions. Cause and effect. Look it up.

unseen on November 16, 2008 at 12:08 PM

You know, I was starting to get concerned, and then I saw the byline.

Ed, it’s Uzi Mahnaimi. He’s the renowned author of the story that claimed Israel was building a “genetic weapon” that would target only Arabs. He’s the one that predicted Israel would invade Syria for, like, the last three summers in a row. He’s the one that said that Hamas was going to invade Israel from Gaza. He’s the one that said the U.S. was on the verge of attacking Iran.

Doesn’t matter that he has a byline with Sarah Baxter. He has no credence. None. I don’t believe this story, either.

Meryl Yourish on November 16, 2008 at 12:08 PM

Wow! The Dictators supporters are so blind. Guess they don’t read books very often. The One was funded by a lot of terrorists groups over seas. But, McCain will be audited, and The One escapes. Of all the people that he is friends with here in our Country. And how so many for years, have ignored the radical movements that has been going on. Islam is alive and well in our Country. The fools that don’t think so are in for a rude awakening. The ones that have peace on their minds with a hippy mindset. Talk themselves out of reality. If one doesn’t think that Israel is in danger of being wiped off this earth. Then they are mindless. After our so called Leader or Dictator takes office. You can bet there will be hell in the Middle East. The Jewish people here that voted for a tyrant, thinks their people will survive. Just think back when Hitler was in power. How The One went to Berlin and slapped us in the face. Was that coincidence? What was his action in doing that? Ah, I am sure that the Obamibots think that he was trying to make up for our Country. Good, think like that. Stay off guard and in your own world. When the time comes, you won’t be prepared. And you won’t have the courage or the will to fight. Cowards is what the Obamabots are. In the meantime, I like others that have not been fooled. Will be ready to fight to the Freedom that our Country once was. Until they let the filth move in. Anyone that thinks Israel isn’t in danger. Are kidding themselves!

sheebe on November 16, 2008 at 12:09 PM

agree with vashta, the loss of Golan Heights will leave Israsel too vulnerable to invasion, what is Livni thinking with this?

ginaswo on November 16, 2008 at 12:10 PM

God himself has given Israel the lands described in the Bible. Any nitwit idea to carve out different borders is beyond foolish.

God’s plan is to return Israel to its biblical borders. Anybody wanna argue?

Mojave Mark on November 16, 2008 at 12:11 PM

and if this is the Unones plan I dont want Hill to take SoS, I was hoping her appt was a signal to Israel not to worry since Hill is so hawkish on defending them..and us!!

ginaswo on November 16, 2008 at 12:12 PM

I always believed that secular Jews here regard Israel as a Manhattanite would regard Alabama- that it’s part of the country but losing it and it’s rednecks to a foreign power would be “no big deal”.
Israel should tell the Messiah and his Arab stooges in the administration to shove it.

jjshaka on November 16, 2008 at 12:15 PM

ginaswo on November 16, 2008 at 12:12 PM

Israel is totally on its own, now, no matter who becomes SecState.

progressoverpeace on November 16, 2008 at 12:17 PM

On a visit to the Middle East last July, the president-elect said privately it would be “crazy” for Israel to refuse a deal that could “give them peace with the Muslim world”, according to a senior Obama adviser.

What’s crazy is that Obama actually said that out loud. Does he really believe it? If he does than that means that little old me knows more about the muslim ideology concerning Israel than he does.

4shoes on November 16, 2008 at 12:23 PM

Tom_Shipley on November 16, 2008 at 11:47 AM
Number one. Study the history of Israel. Real History. Not liberal crap history. Go back 100 years and read. Study the core of the Jewish/Arab conflict. I don’t have time for this with you. It’s your responsibility to know what the hell you stand for, not some liberal crap that’s spoon fed through your local college professor. Number two. Learning the true conflict history will help you with number one! My answer to Iran is peace through strength. Arabs do not negotiate. It’s not in their blood, culture,religion or idealogy. They destroy, They demand submission! Got it?! Number three. If they don’t recognize Israel (which they never will and it’s all just a big freakin’ sno-job on the world) then a big fat preemptive strike should calm things down for a long time! Now go away and get facts. See you in a few months, Cause the whole Israel ignorance thing drives me up the freakin’ wall!!

katy on November 16, 2008 at 12:04 PM

Well stated Katy. I can’t type as fast as I used to due to arthritis. I usually wait for some other like minded soul to air my thoughts and cheer, others like this morning I yell at the maroons until someone strikes just the right note.

thomasaur on November 16, 2008 at 12:23 PM

and if this is the Unones plan I dont want Hill to take SoS, I was hoping her appt was a signal to Israel not to worry since Hill is so hawkish on defending them..and us!!

ginaswo on November 16, 2008 at 12:12 PM

Two words: Suja Arafat

thomasaur on November 16, 2008 at 12:26 PM

God himself has given Israel the lands described in the Bible. Any nitwit idea to carve out different borders is beyond foolish.

God’s plan is to return Israel to its biblical borders. Anybody wanna argue?

Mojave Mark on November 16, 2008 at 12:11 PM

I strongly support Israel defending itself, even if given how the muslims act it were to require the occasional massacre. It’s surely no crime to shot a rabid dog that is coming to bite you. But I cannot support Israel embarking on a war of conquest for any reason.

thuja on November 16, 2008 at 12:32 PM

katy on November 16, 2008 at 12:04 PM

Beautiful Post! I would have said that. But, so many even friends of mine. Don’t know the true History. Sadly they don’t even care. I care!

sheebe on November 16, 2008 at 12:34 PM

thuja on November 16, 2008 at 12:32 PM

Giving the arabs a state (or any sort of autonomy that they would take to the UN and have declared a state) on the West Bank would be the end of Israel. That’s how it is.

The only solution, to start, is for the pals to leave the West Bank. It’s Israel’s job to say that.

progressoverpeace on November 16, 2008 at 12:35 PM

But I cannot support Israel embarking on a war of conquest for any reason.

thuja on November 16, 2008 at 12:32 PM

Show me when in Israels history has it ever gone to war for conquest? That’s right! It hasn’t. Every time it has gone to war it was to protect itself from a preemtive strike from a surrounding country and rightfully took the land for strategic survival!

katy on November 16, 2008 at 12:38 PM

Giving the arabs a state (or any sort of autonomy that they would take to the UN and have declared a state) on the West Bank would be the end of Israel. That’s how it is.

The only solution, to start, is for the pals to leave the West Bank. It’s Israel’s job to say that.

progressoverpeace on November 16, 2008 at 12:35 PM

While I would like to get rid of the Palestinians on the West Bank, I don’t see how it can be achieved in any way that wouldn’t horrify too many people to be politically feasible. Tell me how you think it could be done.

thuja on November 16, 2008 at 12:41 PM

But I cannot support Israel embarking on a war of conquest for any reason.

thuja on November 16, 2008 at 12:32 PM

The definition of conquest is something conquered. Holding barbarians at bay is not conquest.

thomasaur on November 16, 2008 at 12:43 PM

If you could get a country like Iran to say Israel has a right to exist, would that not be great progress?

Tom_Shipley on November 16, 2008 at 11:35 AM

There is not logical or defendable position that can argue that Israel needs to concede something to be recognize by Iran. The United Nations made that decision at it’s birth. Iran should be pressured by the UN, not the other way around.

Spirit of 1776 on November 16, 2008 at 12:45 PM

Beware of smiling faces….

DL13 on November 16, 2008 at 12:47 PM

I am not saying that Iran has not been incredibly hostile toward Israel. I know the world we live in. But, I’m just wondering what the downside is to backing a plan where the Arab countries band together to recognize the right of Israel to exist.

OK, for the sake of argument let’s say this is agreed to and peace is declared. What’s the penalty and what’s the U.S. response if Palestine or Iran or Syria then renege and attack Israel overtly, or covertly, or continue to engage in terrorism within Israel’s borders? Because that is exactly what they have done before, every single time Israel has given up land for “peace.” Why do you believe that this time it will be different?

rockmom on November 16, 2008 at 12:49 PM

While I would like to get rid of the Palestinians on the West Bank, I don’t see how it can be achieved in any way that wouldn’t horrify too many people to be politically feasible.

Politically feasible for whom? For Israel? Israel has to worry about existentially feasible before politically feasible.

Tell me how you think it could be done.

thuja on November 16, 2008 at 12:41 PM

Transfers. They happen all the time and the UN, the US and the rest of the world have never had any problem with forcibly transferring huge numbers of people – except for the one case of Israel. For instance, after the first Gulf War, Israel expelled 212 Hamas people to Lebanon (only temporarily!). If you recall, the world’s media sat on the border with the Hamas scum and spent every day reporting how sad it was that these murderers, lunatics and homicidal maniacs were kicked out of the West Bank. At the same time, 400,000 Palestinians were just booted out of Kuwait for the Pals having backed Saddam Hussein. No one made a peep about the Kuwaiti transfers.

Israel needs to do what they need to do, otherwise the state will die and, worse than that, the arabs could come to be in control of Israel’s nuclear arsenal.

Politically feasible is not something that ought to get any traction in assessing this problem. The world wants Israel dad, and now, with the coming reign of the idiot messiah in the US, the US wants Israel dead, too. This is a time for sober action, not political posturing.

In the end, the answer is arab transfer out of the West Bank – voluntary or forcible, whichever it takes. If the world doesn’t accept it, then they’ll hate Israel as much as they hate Israel today. No big deal. Things are as they are.

progressoverpeace on November 16, 2008 at 12:50 PM

Story as far as saying Livni is for this is totally wrong. She’s running against Netanyahu for the PM slot and to say that would be political suicide and she never said it. Labor, under Barak, are the appeasers and they are going to come a distant third this time. The confusion might be that Olmert, as he is given the bum’s rush out the door and into jail, is suddenly talking like his wife, an extremist leftist, but the guy has lost his marbles. Pressure on Obama according to the Hebrew press is coming from Hamilton, Scowcroft, and Brzezinski, aka the Three Stooges, who have always take a hard line in favor of Arab interests.

ivrydov on November 16, 2008 at 12:54 PM

Wait, wait, wait…. I’m pretty sure I heard a speech where Obama said Jerusalem must not be divided, is that scrapped now?

El_Terrible on November 16, 2008 at 12:54 PM

Someone please tell me why the Middle East’s future depends on Iran “recognizing” anything! The world has repeated this lie, this crap so long that it is actually making policy around it. Iran is nothing! Iran holds no power to declare the existence of anything except that the world has given it to them. Think about this. it’s the same lie as a “Palestinian” there is no such people. They are Jordanians. The name palestinian was a name Arafat came up with. But….. we repeated it long enough and behold. 40 years later, there is now a nation of people called Palestinians! Stop the madness!

katy on November 16, 2008 at 12:57 PM

God himself has given Israel the lands described in the Bible. Any nitwit idea to carve out different borders is beyond foolish.

God’s plan is to return Israel to its biblical borders. Anybody wanna argue?

Mojave Mark on November 16, 2008 at 12:11 PM

SPOT ON!!!

Ozark_sky on November 16, 2008 at 1:07 PM

progressoverpeace on November 16, 2008 at 12:50 PM

You may have persuaded me. Give me a week to think about it.

thuja on November 16, 2008 at 1:10 PM

Maybe the rumours about Obama being half Arab are true.

davod on November 16, 2008 at 1:11 PM

katy on November 16, 2008 at 12:04 PM
Study the world history of Israel. Real History. Not liberal crap history. Go back 100 years and read.

The only thing that I would change in your statement when it comes to Liberals and their take on the history of the world. History does have a tendency to repeat itself. And the repetition is not the utopian and its ‘all the rights fault’ crap that the Libs believe. History is ugly. History is bloody. History is war and conquest with the winner taking the spoils.
As well, History is full of ‘men of change’ – Hitler, Stalin, Castro, Ayatollah Khomeini, etc. The scary part is that all of these men were seen as a ‘saviour’ of the people. Yep, History sure does have a way of repeating itself…

pcbedamned on November 16, 2008 at 1:12 PM

Islam needs to be exposed as an expansionistic, militaristic and imperialistic form of intolerant theocratic terrorism, at heart, and debunked as a horror for humanity.

Otherwise this is a futile dance with a religio-fascistic group of militant despots seeking nothing but global domination, as ordained in their Koran, and an end to any secular rule of law.

Bargaining with it, whether Saudi or Iranian, Sunni or Shi’ite, is folly.

It needs to be undermined, countered, and defeated.

profitsbeard on November 16, 2008 at 1:14 PM

Maybe the rumours about Obama being half Arab are true.

davod on November 16, 2008 at 1:11 PM

The fact that he geneolically Arab cannot be disputed anymore than my Native American heritage. You can change your religion but not your bloodline.

thomasaur on November 16, 2008 at 1:17 PM

Caroline Glick’s March 12, 2007 column in Jpost explaining the Saudi plan:

At Sunday’s cabinet meeting Olmert repeated his praise for the so-called “Saudi plan,” or, alternatively, the “Arab peace initiative.”

That initiative calls for Israeli surrender of Judea, Samaria, the Golan Heights and Jerusalem; Israeli acceptance of blame for the Arab world’s refusal to accept the right of the Jewish people to national sovereignty; and Israeli acceptance of millions of foreign-born, hostile Arabs within its truncated borders. After Israel makes these suicidal concessions the Arab peace initiative states that the Arab world will be willing to recognize a defunct and defenseless Arab-majority State of Israel.

tikvah on November 16, 2008 at 1:21 PM

I am almost positive that there is a Book with other examples of other Israelite men selling out their nation.

thomasaur on November 16, 2008 at 1:25 PM

thuja on November 16, 2008 at 1:10 PM

Take your time, thuja. We’ve still got a couple of months until the inauguration here, and it’ll be interesting to see what happens in Israel’s elections. Israelis are absolutely scared sh!tless about the situation that they are in, and it’s not a fear of being destroyed so much as a fear of having to do what they think they will have to do to survive. Many Israelis have even chosen self-destruction over survival because of this – the line I used to get a lot when I lived in Israel was, “You might be correct, but I don’t want to be around when it happens,” and that was from Meretz and Labor supporters! It goes back to an idea expressed in Golda Meir’s famous quote, “I can forgive the arabs for killing our children, but I can never forgive them for making us kill theirs,” (paraphrased) but supercharged with the intense feelings of illusory guilt and self-loathing that so many suffer from, today.

progressoverpeace on November 16, 2008 at 1:33 PM

Islam needs to be exposed as an expansionistic, militaristic and imperialistic form of intolerant theocratic terrorism, at heart, and debunked as a horror for humanity.

Otherwise this is a futile dance with a religio-fascistic group of militant despots seeking nothing but global domination, as ordained in their Koran, and an end to any secular rule of law.

profitsbeard on November 16, 2008 at 1:14 PM

I think that Churchill put it perfectly in his description of 1899 “The River War” (for those who haven’t read this):

How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries.

Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity.

The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either as a child, a wife, or a concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen; all know how to die; but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it.

No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science (the science against which it had vainly struggled) the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome.

progressoverpeace on November 16, 2008 at 1:40 PM

I do not understand how Condi Rice and others think that there is any way a political settlement or land for peace deal can be struck with terrorist groups. They raise their children on hate and murder of improper thinking opponents of all races / backgrounds.
***
The AK-47, grenade, rocket, suicide bomber, stone, and knife are their gods. Negotiations are stalling tactics only–like Hitler did on his way to Armaggedon. Yassar Arafat showed this most clearly when he refused to take Bill Clinton’s deal–it was a sham negotiation all along.
***
The divided Jerusalem will be a very convenient launching pad for short range Kassam rockets–maybe one with a nuke on it. No quarter will be given.
***
The first King Hussein of Jordan understood his enemies very well when Israel drove them into Jordan. They started plotting to take over his country–he sent in his army to kill them all–the “Black September” refugee camp massacre. He knew that someone’s head would be on a pike soon–his or theirs. Israel will come to this realization soon–I don’t think the O’Bummer has a clue on this one.

John Bibb

rocketman on November 16, 2008 at 1:47 PM

I am not saying that Iran has not been incredibly hostile toward Israel. I know the world we live in. But, I’m just wondering what the downside is to backing a plan where the Arab countries band together to recognize the right of Israel to exist.

I’m not saying that recognition would erase all the tensions, hatred and even hostilities, but any lasting peace needs as its base the other Arab countries recognizing Israel’s right to exist. Even if Iran keeps up it’s rhetoric, to have their official stance be that Israel has a right to exist would be progress. It wouldn’t mean peace, but it would be progress for future generations of Iranians and Israelis to build upon.

Tom_Shipley on November 16, 2008 at 11:47 AM

I’m just wondering what the downside is to hooking your cat to a polygraph every morning before breakfast, and administering it an oath of loyalty.

lacerta on November 16, 2008 at 1:48 PM

Update: In the comments, Meryl Yourish notes that one of the article’s authors has credibility problems.

Over the next four years we are going to see alot of articles like this released. Policy changes will hit the newspapers before they are even talked about by the administration. They’ll use it to gauge piblic opinion prior to announcing anything officially about the policy. If the policy change is unpopular the Obama administration has nothing to answer for and will most likely do nothing. If the policy is popular it will be implemented.

I wonder if the press will ever catch on?

Theworldisnotenough on November 16, 2008 at 1:51 PM

OK, back from cooking. This whole issue about Israel/Arab world is a parallel to all the other good v. evil issues in world politics. Will Obummer say that it is OK to “give” Taiwan to China if China promises to stop sending sub-standard toys to America? Will The One say to Russia that they can have Georgia if they stop building missiles?

Doesn’t he get it? But maybe he does. And maybe this is what he wants. A dumb president is one thing; but one bent on the destruction of all free places on this planet is quite another.

kelley in virginia on November 16, 2008 at 1:58 PM

“Peace proposals unaccompanied by a sworn covenant indicate a plot.” — Sun Tzu

CP on November 16, 2008 at 2:03 PM

Hope the 77% of the Jews who voted for Obama are happy with their choice. It’s not as though everyone didn’t see this coming. Obama sides with those who vocally call for the destruction of Isarel. Great choice.

katieanne on November 16, 2008 at 10:49 AM

This time there is no excuse, like the Christian world stood back and let them be exterminated. We voted for a President who would decisively stand with Israel. They wanted Hope and Change and had 35 rockets from Hamas launched their way when the election was called. Suckers.

chunderroad on November 16, 2008 at 2:15 PM

As long as any religion has a basis in revenge (for some of its followers) and not forgiveness there will never be peace.

Sweetness0726 on November 16, 2008 at 2:41 PM

Most Israelis would give up the West Banks and Golan in a second, if it meant real, lasting peace. But most Israelis realize that the day after they have up the land, there would be an invasion from those lands.

Obama is not a stupid person. He too knows that land for peace is a pipe dream that will never happen. And the fact he is advancing it means only one thing: he wants the destruction of Israel.

I’ll give him credit though, a world sans Israel is indeed CHANGE.

angryed on November 16, 2008 at 2:51 PM

Arabs do not negotiate. It’s not in their blood, culture,religion or idealogy. They destroy, They demand submission! Got it?! Number three. If they don’t recognize Israel (which they never will and it’s all just a big freakin’ sno-job on the world) then a big fat preemptive strike should calm things down for a long time! Now go away and get facts. See you in a few months, Cause the whole Israel ignorance thing drives me up the freakin’ wall!!

katy on November 16, 2008 at 12:04 PM

Actually Katy you need to open up a history book. The largest Arab nation does recognize Israel and they have a long standing peace treaty together that was brokered by the US and involved trading occupied land for security. Israelis themselves hold a wide variety of opinions on the way forward and the debate there is pretty lively.

agree with vashta, the loss of Golan Heights will leave Israsel too vulnerable to invasion, what is Livni thinking with this?

ginaswo on November 16, 2008 at 12:10 PM

No. The Golan is not nearly as strategic as it was since technology has moved on since the 60′s. This is the view of the IDF and it is why the Israelis are seriously considering ceding the territory at all. They aren’t stupid.

lexhamfox on November 16, 2008 at 3:07 PM

I’m reminded of a certain videotape that was never released by the LA Times. BTW, why are Obama insiders leaking to international papers (Times of London)? Shouldn’t you announce globally but leak locally?

Dee2008 on November 16, 2008 at 3:07 PM

It might make it palatable for some states like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan to start diplomatic relations with Israel, and perhaps even Syria if they get back the Golan Heights. But who believes that Iran, Yemen, Libya, Sudan, and the proxy armies of Hamas, Hezbollah, and Islamic Jihad will suddenly discover brotherly love with such a settlement?

The first part of your statement negates the second. Saudia Arabia and Pakistan, along with egypt and syria, represent the only bloc of the Arab street worth a damn…and they all know it. Iran bleeds millions every day oil prices go down…they are in their weakest position in years. Now is the time to pull a fast one, and out muscle Iranian interests in the region by bringing that first core block together under the agreement arafat walked away from. It makes sense…you’re descending into alarm-ism with Iran these days…

ernesto on November 16, 2008 at 3:09 PM

As long as any religion has a basis in revenge (for some of its followers) and not forgiveness there will never be peace.

Sweetness0726 on November 16, 2008 at 2:41 PM

You are correct, though I bring it down to the cultural (rather than religious) level, understanding that islam is mainly a political ideology that is the formalization of desert, arab culture – with an attendant mythology. What we currently call, “The War on Terror” is more accurately described by the fundamental differences in the underlying cultures, “Individualism/Guilt/Atonement versus Tribalism/Shame/Revenge”. Many in the West cannot handle the very powerful and useful tool of guilt (just as many kids cannot watch horror movies without having endless nightmares) and they turn into suicidal self-haters. On the islamic side, they have no problem with self-haters, because they don’t really do guilt. They do shame, which generates homicidal maniacs out for illusory ‘revenge’. The only suicides they have are those who are attempting to exact revenge and kill others in the process.

The Western left holds dreams of dying in order to save some nameless, faceless non-Western baby who will grow up to kill Westerners. The islamic dream is one of dying in the process of killing tons of nameless, faceless Western babies until there are no more Westerners. A perfect storm. And the election of BHO shows that we are in the eye, right now. It’s going to be very, very ugly.

progressoverpeace on November 16, 2008 at 3:19 PM

Actually Katy you need to open up a history book. The largest Arab nation does recognize Israel and they have a long standing peace treaty together that was brokered by the US and involved trading occupied land for security.

lexhamfox on November 16, 2008 at 3:07 PM

That is a total joke. Israel has had less problems with the Syrian border than with the Egyptian border. The Camp David accords with Egypt were a bust and a fool’s game.

Remind me where the Karin-A was captured … and where most of the smuggled weapons in Gaza and the West Bank come from. How many weapons have been smuggled across the Syrian border?

I get really sick and tired of hearing people promote the “peace” with Egypt as if it benefitted Israel at all. That is a stupid lie that continues to be propagated by people who don’t bother to spend any time thinking about what they are saying. Israel would have been much better served holding on to Sinai.

progressoverpeace on November 16, 2008 at 3:25 PM

We really need to get Sarah Silverman’s point of view on this issue don’t you think?

mindhacker on November 16, 2008 at 3:27 PM

progressoverpeace on November 16, 2008 at 3:25 PM

I would add that the only real benefit of the Camp David accords with Egypt was that Egypt became a pariah among arabs for a while. That minor benefit has long since disappeared.

progressoverpeace on November 16, 2008 at 3:32 PM

If Israel pulls back to the 1967 borders, it’s not our problem any more.

If memory serves, if Israel gives up the Golan Heights, that means the dominant military terrain in northern Israel will be in Syrian hands.

A country that will not defend itself is beyond our help.

I, for one, am tired of being taken for granted by America’s Jewish community. Many in that community look to Republicans and conservatives to be Israel’s last-ditch friends—and then they vote for Democrats because, hey, Harry Truman recognized Israel SIXTY years ago!

For that portion of the American Jewish community that values the safety of Israel AND voted for Barack—well, you have some work to do.

Don’t come to us for help. You’re on your own. You convince him to keep Israel safe.

smagar on November 16, 2008 at 4:34 PM

In early June, he told the Israeli-supporting political action group that Jerusalem “must remain undivided,”

Which was the correct biblical view. The land of Israel is God’s land, given to the Jewish people by God. Jerusalem is the Jews capital, not the Arabs.

“I (God) will give you (Jews) the land of Israel.” Ezekiel 11:17

Within hours, Obama retreated to the Bush administration position — that Jerusalem should be left to the two sides to negotiate in the final settlement.

Which is not the biblical view. Barack Obama has made a terrible mistake, and America will suffer because of it.

“The land (Israel) shall not be sold for ever: for the land is mine (God’s), for ye (YOU) are strangers and sojourners (temporary residents) with me.” Leviticus 25:23

apacalyps on November 16, 2008 at 5:27 PM

The only thing that a retreat to the pre 67 border will accomplish is another 67 war. The only question is will it be sooner rather than later, ie. will it be at a time in which a nuclear armed Iran has proliferated WMDs across its terrorist network or before such an inevitability.

EconomicPirate on November 16, 2008 at 5:38 PM

Well, Well, Well!!!! certainly did not take long for the BHO to change course….
I am in disbelief that (we the people) can not recognize how much of a phony retoric the libs preach.

hawkman on November 16, 2008 at 5:41 PM

Israel can decide on its own to take a risk and adopt the smaller borders in exchange for the promise of peace. Obama should have stuck with his AIPAC speech, or the initial retreat from it.

The Jews shouldn’t give one inch of the land the the Arabs. God has promised to protect Israel. He said “they shall no more be pulled up out of their land” (Amos 9:14-15). Friend, now is the time to have faith in the LORD. Don’t just believe in Him, but believe Him!

apacalyps on November 16, 2008 at 5:44 PM

The Jews shouldn’t give one inch of the land the to the Arabs. See Amos 9:14-15.

apacalyps on November 16, 2008 at 5:44 PM

Typo. Thank you.

apacalyps on November 16, 2008 at 5:46 PM

Bibi is a man.

Bambi is a gelded jackass and is showing it already. He’s going to be totally out maneuvered by the foreigners.

Can we impeach Bambi now and avoid the rush?

NoDonkey on November 16, 2008 at 8:22 PM

When and if catastrophe strikes Israel, the MSM will paint it as the outcome of years of Bush bungling in the Middle East, thereby allowing the majority of American Jews to continue to vote reliably Democratic in good conscience. Which they will do.

ddrintn on November 16, 2008 at 9:09 PM

God’s plan is to return Israel to its biblical borders. Anybody wanna argue?

Mojave Mark on November 16, 2008 at 12:11 PM

I will.

unclesmrgol on November 16, 2008 at 11:39 PM

This man will be my husband’s “Commander in Chief”. Do you have any idea how terrifying that is to me? His current deployment is almost over. He recently shared the joyous (sarc) news that National Guard troops no longer are guarenteed 3 years between deployments. Now it’s only 13 months. He has 5 years until he can retire. It literally makes me sick to wonder what messes this asshat is going to make that are going to directly involve my husband’s safety. Ugh. Well…in other news…buy stock in pharmacutical companies – anti-depressant rx’s are going to be through the roof.

FinallyRight on November 17, 2008 at 1:27 AM

I will.

unclesmrgol on November 16, 2008 at 11:39 PM

Your links argument is a half-truth.

It doesn’t explain that such future borders are likely to only come about when the nation of Israel is redeemed, judgement is passed by G-d (not humans) on His enemies and perpetual peace reigns throughout the world.

If you disagree with that, well, place your money down.

Shy Guy on November 17, 2008 at 8:33 AM

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