- The Washington Times - Monday, March 22, 2010

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

On March 14, Obama adviser David Axelrod had the effrontery to say Israel’s announcement that it is building 1,600 housing units in East Jerusalem is an “affront” and an “insult” (“Mrs. Clinton’s hissy fit,” Comment & Analysis, Wednesday). Is that so? Let’s look at the insults and affronts President Obama has visited upon the Jewish state.

On his way to Cairo last year, Mr. Obama managed to make a detour to Saudi Arabia, but he did not choose to stop over in Israel, Egypt’s next-door neighbor. It happens that it was Tel Aviv’s 100th birthday. Surely, one would have expected a friend to stop off while in the neighborhood to extend good wishes. But no. The president said he was “proud” to call the king of Saudi Arabia a “friend,” and he received advice from the monarch, a pal whose nation is a world leader in the denial of human rights and engages in the worldwide spread of Wahhabism, a form of Islam that preaches hatred of the infidel. I guess Mr. Obama did not want to commit a colossal “insult” and “affront” upon the Saudi king by visiting Israel.

President Obama wept over the “plight” of the Palestinians but insulted Israel by not mentioning that at Camp David in 2000, then-President Clinton and then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered the Palestinians a state in all of Gaza and more than 90 percent of the West Bank, as well as a capital in East Jerusalem. The response of the Palestinians was to launch the second intifada, which killed 4,000 Palestinians and 1,000 Israelis. Thus, our president, to Israel’s detriment, neglected to note that the Palestinians are responsible for their own plight.

Mr. Obama’s administration has lavished praise on the 2002 Saudi “peace” initiative, a measure that hardly warrants praise. Instead of negotiated withdrawal to secure and recognized borders, as called for by U.N. Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, it called for complete Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and the West Bank. It also demanded the Palestinian “right of return,” which would have meant the end of the Jewish state. The Obama administration has praised this nonstarter while acting as if the Clinton-Barak proposal never took place.

Although the president wept copious tears over the fact that there are Palestinian refugees, he callously ignored the forced exodus of hundreds of thousands of Jews from Arab lands. Such is the way of Mr. Obama’s empathy.

Mr. Axelrod should think twice before again accusing Israel of “affront” and “injury” to the United States. And then he should hold his tongue.

NATHAN DODELL

Rockville, Md.

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