Home
In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

You ain't seen nothing yet

By Jonathan Rosenblum

Obama and the inevitable (?) state of Palestine


Actual snap (not photoshop-ed) of Obama and Abbas sitting under portrait of Arafat



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | A few months back, President Barack Obama told an interviewer that he would rather be a great one-term president than a mediocre two-term president. As a glimpse into the President's mind, that remark is entirely credible, and it should be very frightening to anyone who cares about the future of Israel.

Obama has always viewed himself as a world historical figure. Even the job of president of the United States does not fully comport with his ambitions, and many observers have remarked that he often seems bored by the humdrum demands of the job. The aspect of the presidency that has always appealed to him most is the adulation of large crowds, and that adulation has almost certainly peaked.

The first two years of the Obama presidency, it must be conceded by both friend and foe, have indeed been transformational. The huge increase in the national debt and the passage of Obamacare will affect every aspect of life in America for years, if not decades, to come. But as "great" as the first two years of presidency have been, there will be no such domestic triumphs in the two years to come: no cap-and-trade; no new major federal entitlements; none of the paybacks sought by unions for their huge manpower and financial support. The overwhelmingly Republican House ensures that.

The only frontier left for Obama's vaulting ambition is foreign policy. And here the most obvious candidates for his attention are Iran and the Arab-Israel conflict. Nothing will so determine history's verdict on the Obama presidency as whether Iran achieves nuclear weapon capacity. Yet there are few indications that President Obama would ever exercise the military option to prevent that outcome. He has never fully articulated to the American people how dangerous a nuclear Iran would be for America and Europe - not just Israel. It is far from clear that he is convinced that some form of Cold War-type nuclear containment is not possible with Iran. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has spoken of the United States spreading its nuclear umbrella over its allies, as if the United States were assuming the inevitability of a nuclear-armed Iran. The administration was slow in putting any sanctions regime in place, and failed to seize upon the widespread citizen unrest after the stolen elections in 2009 to increase pressure on the regime.

That leaves the Arab-Israel conflict as the most likely place for Obama to seek to make his mark in the international sphere. From day one, the Obama administration made the Arab-Israel conflict its number one foreign policy priority, something it would have only done if it felt that there is a real chance of reaching a resolution. At a March 2009 meeting, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel told the ADL's Abe Foxman that Israel's moment of truth had come. "This president is determined to make peace between Israel and the Arabs," he said.


FREE SUBSCRIPTION TO INFLUENTIAL NEWSLETTER

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". HUNDREDS of columnists and cartoonists regularly appear. Sign up for the daily update. It's free. Just click here.


At a July meeting of heads of 14 Jewish organizations with the President, Foxman expressed the view that only Israel was being pressured, and, according to him, the President acknowledged that was true. Later in the meeting, when one of those present argued that Israel cannot make concessions if it does not feel that it has a staunch friend in the White House, Obama disagreed: "For the past eight years, Israel had a friend in the United States and it didn't make peace." The implication that peace is Israel's alone to make was ominous, for it could only be based on a clear sense that the key to peace lies in Israel's return to the 1949 armistice lines.

That vision would be fully consistent with every aspect of the administration's approach to the conflict to date: its refusal to reaffirm President Bush's 2004 letter acknowledging new realities on the ground during the nearly half a century since 1967 and the likelihood that Israel would retain major population blocs beyond the 1949 armistice lines; the equation of Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem built since 1967 with settlements in Judea and Samaria; the President's obsession with settlements as the key to any resolution of the conflict.

Though the President has never said so, there is good reason to believe that he largely accepts the Palestinian view that Jews are usurpers of the land. The U.N. vote to create the State of Israel was, according to the Palestinians, a gesture of penance by Europe for the sins of the Nazis, but it was the Palestinians who paid the price. And President Obama fed into that narrative in his famous Cairo speech, when he spoke about Israel only as an outgrowth of the Holocaust. He has repeatedly referred to the post-1967 occupation, and thereby implicitly accepted the 1949 armistice lines as sacrosanct.

Are the Palestinians the victims of a massive historical injustice in President Obama's view? Well, at a farewell party for former PLO spokesman Rashid Khalid, when the latter left the University of Chicago to assume the Edward Said Chair at Columbia University, Obama told his friend that if he ever attained high office, he would seek to redress American foreign policy towards the Palestinians. Ali Abunimah, the Chicago-based founder of the Electronic Intifada and a leader in the boycott and sanctions movement against Israel, has detailed Obama's early expressions of deep aversion for Israeli policies towards Palestinians, but says that Obama later told him during his 2004 senatorial primary campaign that he would have to suppress any talk about Palestinian rights during the campaign. He assured Abunimah that when the campaign was behind him he would be more "up front" about his true feelings.

If Obama assumes that historic justice resides with the Palestinian people, then he has a chance to make another historical mark. The Palestinians are currently threatening to seek a U.N. Security Council resolution recognizing a state of Palestine in all areas captured by Israel in 1967. In the past, such a course of action would have been futile because of the assurance of an American veto.

The question today is whether that veto can still be assumed. For the Security Council to pass such a resolution, it would not be necessary for the United States to vote in favor, it would have to do no more than abstain. The president has the authority to order his U.N. representative to abstain, and Congress would have no power to reverse such a decision. Once passed, such a resolution would contribute immeasurably to the delegitimization of Israel and strengthen the hand of those seeking sanctions against Israel. In short, Obama could single-handedly reverse a massive historical "injustice."

Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton recently described precisely such a scenario in theWall Street Journal, and, in the same vein, Frank Gaffney, president of the Center for Security Policy, warned a week before the midterm elections that President Obama's treatment of Israel, as soon as the elections were no longer hanging over his head, "will make his previous treatment look like the good old days."

Certainly the recent bizarre behavior of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, including floating trial balloons about leasing parts of the West Bank and Jerusalem back from the Palestinian and, in general, refraining from saying a word about Israel's security needs or much of anything, suggest a man who feels himself to be in the cross-hairs.

So far the Obama administration has not publicly signaled support for the threatened Palestinian initiative, and has labeled all such unilateral steps as unhelpful. But the most powerful restraint on President Obama seeking an all-out confrontation with Israel or awarding the Palestinians a state without their having made a single concession or having shown themselves willing, ready and able to live in peace with Israel is surely the potential political fall-out of doing so.

The results of the 2010 midterm elections did not doom any chance of Obama being re-elected, though those states that went heavily Republican hold more far more than the number of electoral votes needed for victory. At the very least, the President knows he will have a very tough re-election battle in two years. In 2008, he won over 78% of the Jewish vote and received heavy Jewish financial support. In the midterm cycle, there is evidence that Jewish contributions to Democratic candidates were way down, particularly from the financial industry, And a McCaughlin poll from April found that nearly half of Jewish voters were prepared to contemplate voting for Obama's opponent. To win a close election, Obama cannot afford a large exodus of Jewish support. In addition, Israel remains popular among independent voter, whose shift from supporting Democrats in 2008 and Republicans in 2010 held the key to the midterms, and whom Obama must carry again if he is to win.

The greatest worry for Israel, then, is that President Obama might decide that his re-election chances are so poor that he need not be constrained by electoral politics or that he acts upon the determination to be a "great" one-term president.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes uplifting stories. Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

JWR contributor Jonathan Rosenblum is founder of Jewish Media Resources and a widely-read columnist for the Jerusalem Post's domestic and international editions and for the Hebrew daily Maariv. He is also a respected commentator on Israeli politics, society, culture and the Israeli legal system, who speaks frequently on these topics in the United States, Europe, and Israel. His articles appear regularly in numerous Jewish periodicals in the United States and Israel. Rosenblum is the author of seven biographies of major modern Jewish figures. He is a graduate of the University of Chicago and Yale Law School. Rosenblum lives in Jerusalem with his wife and eight children.






© 2010, Jonathan Rosenblum