Become The New Sderot
Gerald A. Honigman
October 30, 2012
With the 2012 American elections just days away, this fall's presidential debates ended with a dull thud.
Disappointing is a generous description for the last debate which focused primarily on foreign policy -- despite the spins both parties put on the results.
Regardlesss, I'm a firm believer that, especially in a close race, if you're delivered a slow pitch, you should knock it out of the ball park. And despite the excuses I've heard for why this was not done, it indeed could have been accomplished in a civil, straightforward, and non-demeaning way.
While there were other examples which could be cited, I will focus on just one for now...
During that last debate, the subject of Israel came up repeatedly. The President received 78% of the Jewish vote in 2008. If such support can be significantly reduced (to about 60% or less), that alone may decide the election if this one is as tight as many claim it to be.
Responding to comments by Governor Romney about mistreating Israel, President Obama was quick to respond with a discussion about his pre-election visit to Israel's frequently-victimized southern town of Sderot, adjacent to Hamas' Gaza.
I indeed remember that much-publicized visit. Sderot, Ashkelon, and other southern Israeli civilian population areas have repeatedly been targeted by Arabs since Israel's unilateral withdrawal from Gaza years ago -- the Arabs' answer to the Jews' peace overtures. Thousands of rockets, mortars, and missiles have been launched -- continuing to this very day. This is a double war crime according to the Geneva Conventions: deliberately targeting civilians and using one's own civilian population areas as human shields to launch such attacks from (the Perfidy Clause, etc.).
As usual, Mr. Obama relies on either the innocent ignorance -- or worse -- of his audience when making such points.
Look, it is horrible enough that the folks in Israel's Negev and adacent southern region are constantly subjected to this terror -- and Israel, once again, will have to do something to stop it as best as possible. Of course, when it does, and Arab non-combatants are also killed because their own heros deliberately use them for cover, the same international community which remains silent when Jews are repeatedly victimized will be filled with condemnations after Israel is forced to act. Imagine, for one second, how any other nation would respond to such repeated cross-border attacks.
But now consider this as well...
Mr. Obama has placed non-stop pressure on Israel, since being elected in 2008, to return to the '49 armistice lines, which I and others have written about often.
The nastiness between the Obama Administration and any Jewish leaders refusing to cave in on this issue will long be remembered. That's what the settlement issue, building in East Jerusalem, and so forth are largely all about. And no, despite what the President claims, his position is not just like those of all American leaders who came before him. Be sure to read that carefully-researched article above if you have any doubts.
Indeed, the President has called Israel's refusal to accept the so-called Saudi Peace Plan--which demands such a return to Israel's pre-'67, nine to fifteen mile wide existence -- "crazy"...his own words, spoken since he was a senator. An entire chapter in my book further documents all of this extensively. The final draft of UNSC Resolution 242--the main tool for peacemaking since the '67 War--expressly did not call for such a return to the suicidal status quo ante.
So, here's where Governor Romney missed a chance to hit a grand slam...
As soon as Mr. Obama dared to bring up Sderot as his alleged answer to Mr. Romney's own assertions, the Governor simply needed to look him right in the eye and calmy, nicely -- but firmly -- state...
Mr. President, if Israel is forced to bow to your incessant pressure to return to the indefensible '49 armistice lines, Tel Aviv and Israel's other main population centers, packed in the central waist of that tiny nation,will very likely become the next Sderot.
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