NEW YORK, March 22, 2013 - That could have been Theodor Herzl addressing those enthusiastic young Israelis this Thursday in Jerusalem, or perhaps Moses himself. Instead, the man who proclaimed himself so Zionistic was our very own president, Barack Obama. He invoked the Bible itself to verify Israel’s sovereignty and legitimacy, and then in a blink – holy switcheroo! – he turned everything around in favor of the Palestinians.
You had to be quick on the draw to notice the change, and how smoothly and artfully it was done.
Carl Foreman, who wrote the screenplay for Gary Cooper’s High Noon, could have written Obama’s script hands down. The classic film has sheriff Cooper desperately but fruitlessly seeking the small town’s help from an outlaw gang that’s out to get him. Cooper finally gives it one last try in the church, packed with congregants – and here we come to the famous church scene.
Thomas Mitchell (playing the mayor) hushes the heated debate going back and forth as to whether to support Cooper or not; that is, should Cooper stay and fight or leave town. Mitchell begins his oratory by recounting how helpful Copper has been all these years, how the town could not have survived without him, and how absolutely wrong it would be to deny Cooper in his hour of need.
End of scene, right?
Not quite. Without missing a beat and in the same reasonable tones, Mitchell declares that if (however) Cooper stays in town and fights it out, the gunplay will cost the town its reputation as peaceful and prosperous. Business will suffer. So helping Cooper will do nothing except bring harm.
Just like that – and Cooper is on his own. One line, actually one word from Cooper, says it all about the sting of deception and betrayal: “Thanks.”
That pretty much says it for Israel as well. Thanks.
Here’s a moment from Obama’s opening remarks:
“You know, over the last two days I’ve reaffirmed the bonds between our countries with Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Peres. I’ve borne witness to the ancient history of the Jewish people at the Shrine of the Book, and I’ve seen Israel’s shining future in your scientists and your entrepreneurs.
“This is a nation of museums and patents, timeless holy sites, groundbreaking innovation.
“Only in Israel could you see the Dead Sea Scrolls and the place where the technology onboard the Mars rover originated at the same time.”
Thanks again. That is, until Obama turned his attention to the people who have sworn, from Yasser Arafat onward, to put an end to Israel.
“Israel has a true peace partner in Mahmoud Abbas,” Obama told the cheering star-struck Israeli kids.
Does Abbas know this? Somebody ought to tell him.
For that would be a surprise to the man who leads the terrorist group once known as the PLO and which got itself whitewashed into the Palestinian Authority.
Abbas continues to glorify his men who do the killing, continues to demand the right of return that would serve to swamp the Jewish State out of existence, continues to allow school books to portray Christians and Jews as dogs and pigs – and never said word one about being partners with Israel.
He wants it all, and neither he, nor his true partner in Gaza, Hamas, has ever said anything about sharing anything.
To be fair, Obama is not the first president to buy the business of a “two-state-solution” that would cut Israel into pieces.
Obama in Jerusalem plainly asked for more concessions from Israel even as rockets rained in from Hamas in Gaza. Oh well, another day in the neighborhood. The president gladly noted that over the past year not a single Israeli died from a terrorist attack coming in from the Palestinian-occupied West Bank.
He forgot to mention that Israel had it safe for a while not because Israel relied on the tender mercies of its sworn enemies, but because a barrier had to be hastily built to keep murderers fenced in. Prior to that, Israelis were on the run and were dying into the thousands.
“Put yourselves in their shoes,” Obama urged the Israelis.
General Moshe Dayan was once asked the same question, soon after a war in which Israel found itself outgunned and outnumbered 200 to 1.
“Why can’t you see the other side?” Dayan was asked.
“Because we can’t afford to,” Dayan responded.
Golda Meir put it like this, Mr. Obama: “Peace will come when the Arabs love their children more than they hate us.”
That is the only thanks Israel has desired for generations.
Jack Engelhard, a novelist for such moral dilemma bestsellers as The Bathsheba Deadline, The Girls of Cincinnati, and the classic Indecent Proposal, his memoir Escape From Mount Moriah, and Slot Attendant – A Novel About A Novelist, Engelhard’s partly autobiographical expose about the trials of making it as a writer, brings his words to the Communities page covering all topics, with special focus on the absurdity of human behavior and reaches around the globe.
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