I’ve been concentrating on electoral politics lately. There have been other stories that deserve attention as well. One of those is the Palestinian effort to be recognized as a legitimate nation at the U.N. This comes to the forefront of what the media has dubbed the “Arab Spring.” The narrative goes something like this: despotic rulers are being displaced by freedom-loving moderates throughout the Arab world, so we should rejoice over this encouraging development.
Unfortunately, I believe this is closer to the reality:
Those freedom-loving crowds are the same ones attacking the Israeli embassy in Egypt and calling for death for all non-Muslims. The centerpiece of this Middle Eastern religious and cultural clash is the promotion of a Palestinian state. That’s why Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas made his trek to the U.N. last week to press for statehood. He gave a speech to the General Assembly, arguing the merits of this move:
The problem is that both factions of Palestinians—the Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO] and Hamas—have, as their philosophical foundation, the destruction of the nation of Israel. The most fanatical of them seek to kill all Jews. Of course, Abbas didn’t say any such thing in his address, but the undercurrent is present nevertheless.
No, he didn’t wear the t-shirt, but that doesn’t negate the underlying premise.
The Obama administration’s response, so far, has been in line with American policy in all the decades since Israel’s birth in 1948. We’re told we will continue to stand with Israel by vetoing, in the Security Council, any attempt to recognize a Palestinian state. But please forgive me if I still have some concerns about that. We have a president who is so sympathetic to the Palestinian cause—remember his “church” back in Chicago that put statements from Hamas in its Sunday bulletins?—that I’m not sure he will remain steadfast with that veto.
The only real hope that he will keep his word is that he needs the Jewish vote again in 2012.