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Netanyahu and Obama

Posted By Obadiah Shoher On May 16, 2009 @ 8:33 pm In relations with Israel | 7 Comments

“They have healed also the hurt of My people lightly, saying: ‘Peace, peace’, when there is no peace.” Jeremiah 6:14

I’ve never bought the hypothesis that individuals shape the history. They can produce ripples, to be sure, but little more. If not Stalin, Trotsky would have sent Russians into Gulag to form a “labor army” for large-scale industrialization. Ernst Rohm would be even more determined to create Holocaust than Hitler who vacillated and tried his most to expel the Jews rather than murdering them. Nor can Obama make any difference.

Huge countries such as the United States have immense inertia which the democratic rulers cannot overcome during their short office span. A single man just cannot re-orient a country of tens of thousands diplomats, hundreds of thousands intelligence personnel, millions military men, and tens of millions bureaucrats and government employees. A closed system of the world reality strives to overcome disturbances and re-balance itself.

Obama’s case is even simpler. If he is a reformer, how come his entire staff consists of old-time political crooks? Predictably, Obama failed on every issue. In economy, his government increased pork barrel spending. In military affairs, Obama abides by Bush’s estimates of Iraqi withdrawal. In politics, he failed to improve relations with Russia and Iran; his only foreign friend is Hugo Chavez.

And neither can Netanyahu change anything. Jews are too frightful to hold Jerusalem which they think belongs to much more numerous and powerful Christians and Muslims. Jewish control of the city was never wholehearted: essentially, Israel only established her jurisdiction over the Jewish Quarter, which is just that, a quarter of the Old City. The Temple Mount was always in Muslim hands, and Jews backed off from establishing jurisdiction even over their ruins: the tunnels are mostly closed and underground sites not excavated.

Prediction is a thankless business in the short term; too many factors affect the issues. Still, we can assume a few outcomes with good probability.

Obama’s policy on Iran will fail. He has nothing on the bargain table for the ayatollahs. They deal not in the economic development but grandeur, in this life and the next. Curiously, Obama’s approach is similar though he presents himself as a rationalist. Obama cannot offer ayatollahs anything which would enhance their grandeur as much as nuclear bombs; the nuclear club used to be a very exclusive establishment. Obama’s offer of recognizing Iran’s regional dominance is a no-starter: with nukes, Iran would attain the dominance regardless of Obama’s position. Without nukes, Obama cannot make Sunni Egypt and Saudi Arabia cede regional dominance to Shiite Iran. Especially Saudi Arabia cannot accept Iran’s rising power as it spells unrest in the Saudi oilfield region settled by Shiites. Under the Sunni pressure, American acquiescence to Israeli strike on Iran is highly likely.

Obama’s policy on Palestinians will fail, too. Hamas will either become a ruling party or at least receive veto power in the upcoming elections, and block any concessions to Israel. Following Iran’s line on fanning the conflict and being basically honest to its Islamic nationalist principles, Hamas will insist on the right of return, dismantling all Israeli towns beyond the 1948 border, and a truce rather than peace [1]. Like Bill Clinton, Obama will come to hating the Palestinians who torpedoed his best efforts.

Israeli strike on Iran will not change much. Iran has already removed much of its weapon-grade uranium into mountain tunnels and dispersed the final-stage enrichment facilities through residential neighborhoods. North Korea supplied Iran with additional quantities of enriched uranium and probably plutonium. Between North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, and its own secret locations, Iran has plenty of space to quietly develop the bomb.

Israeli government might not sign a treaty with Palestinians, but the facts are already established on the ground: Israel does not rule over Palestinian areas which have de facto statehood. The de facto capitulation will continue with piecemeal, non-reciprocal concessions to Arabs culminating in reestablishing the natural Christian-Muslim control over Jerusalem.

Nineteen centuries ago, Jews were not expelled from Judea. Faced with economic troubles, the encroaching of pagan settlers, and external threats, our country faded into insignificance and was finally depopulated through emigration. In the worst case, the history would repeat itself.

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[1] peace: http://samsonblinded.org/blog/we-need-a-respite-from-peace.htm