07 December '15..
Nearly seven years have passed since President Barack Obama took office and, with much fanfare, introduced a new U.S. Middle East policy. What has been achieved during that time? What remains of the vision Obama laid out in his Cairo speech? What is left of the Middle East that existed when Obama came to power (a Middle East which with Secretary of State John Kerry was very familiar)? Very little.
Only one country in the Middle East remains stable -- Israel, thank God. The truth must be told: Israel has remained stable precisely because it has not accepted the advice of the White House, even though this advice was based on a genuine concern for Israel's future as a "Jewish and democratic state."
Islamic terrorism reared its ugly head in San Bernardino last week, but Kerry refused to be distracted from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
"There will always be a reason not to act," he said on Saturday. In Kerry's view, Israel must "act" now. Why? Have the Arabs in our region changed for the better? No. Syria and Iraq have collapsed into civil wars. Lebanon is a tinderbox set to be ignited by an Iranian-Shiite flame. Egypt went through two revolutions in three years, and Jordan survives only due to Israeli and American assistance. The Islamic State group is spreading across the world. And Turkey is flirting with visions of a new Ottoman empire, which directly clash with Russian President Vladimir Putin's visions of a new Czarist empire. That is not enough craziness? If there was ever a "reason not to act," the current global geopolitical reality provides one.
The Left in Israel and the U.S. speaks about "hope," which actually is despair. Leftists in both countries prefer wishful thinking over a correct reading of reality. Israel has had enough leaders who believed they could change the course of history. "They forgot to be modest," as Albert Camus wrote in his book, "The Plague."
The binary thinking to which we have become accustomed -- "two states" or "one state" -- is simplistic and disastrous. As things stand now, the Arabs who live in what the Romans called "Palestina" are divided between four distinct political entities -- Israel, Jordan, the Gaza Strip and the Palestinian Authority. Does anyone really think Hamas will give up power in Gaza? And will the Hashemite monarchy in Jordan always be able to keep the country's majority Palestinian population under control? Geographic "geniuses" in Washington (and the Israeli media) draw maps at will, assuming that reality will fall in line. But our sages taught us that we are not required to finish our work, even if we are not permitted to desist from it.
The "peace dialogue" of recent decades has created a psychological fixation that is hard to free ourselves from, even if it has nothing to do with reality. Kerry is worried about Israel's demographics? We are too. But the Jewish birthrate in Israel is perhaps the only one in the Western world on a continual upward trend. And we expect that a million new Jewish immigrants will arrive in Israel in the coming years. The historical irony is that our enemies are unwittingly aiding this process of the Jewish people's return to Zion.
Kerry called on us to "see beyond the politics and the pressures of the moment and to look to the future." Exactly right. That is the essence of the return to Zion -- looking past the politics of the moment.
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