Sunday, March 28, 2010

Pesach Thoughts from Jan Gaines in Netanya

Here is the latest dispatch from our correspondent in Netanya, Jan Gaines.

Dear Friends,

As Pesach rapidly approaches and everyone is scurrying around cleaning, last minute shopping and planning their Pesach HoHamoed holidays, some of us are looking to Washington with dismay, wondering what the next "blow" will be coming from the Administration.

Yes, the stupid announcement of 1600 housing units in an existing Jerusalem neighborhood of 20,000 religious Jews, just on the day VP Biden was here, was a terrible blunder of Israeli bureaucracy, whose left hand often doesn't know what its right hand is doing. Never mind that it was only the 3rd stage in a 7 stage approval process and wouldn't happen for another 3 years at least.

But the resulting anger,scolding and threats coming from the Administration came as a real shock!!

Many of us can't understand what the whole crisis is about and why. We don't think of this as East Jerusalem. It isn't. Its part of Jerusalem, and as Bibi said, Jerusalem is NOT a settlement. And the construction freeze was never to include Jerusalem!!

So naturally we wonder what is behind this angry response and cold shoulder of the Administration, especially Obama. Our news here revealed that Obama walked out on Bibi after 2 hours of discussion, saying he had to attend a dinner, and left our Prime Minister standing there. Why is Obama behaving like this.

There is lots of speculation. Is Obama trying to curry favor with the Arabs and the Palestinians.? Why? It hasn't worked up to now. Iran is charging ahead with its nuclear program. Syria got our ambassador back. The Palestinians are making great progress in their delegitimization campaign world wide. The UN is more anti-Israel than ever before and pays no attention to US efforts to stop being one-sided.

Hamas and Hizbollah are re-arming at a rapid rate. The Kassams are back again, with 20 of them fired this last week alone. And Abbas still refuses to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. He doesn't need to do anything actually, except refuse and refuse over and over again to make a single move toward us of positive intent. Palestinian media and schools are more virulent than ever toward the "Zionist entity".

The Palestinian "street" rises up at the slightest excuse. For example, they rioted last week when Bibi announced inclusion of the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs, our forefather and mother, the Machpela, in a list of Heritage Sites to be rennovated. They claim the Machpela is on their land and belongs to them so we can't claim it. They say we are "judaizing" Palestinian land.

So we are really behind the eight ball already. Really, our only ally right now is the U.S. Does that mean that we are so vulnerable that Obama can push us in any direction he chooses? Does he want to topple the Netanyahu government as some claim? But that would probably backfire. The coalition right now is very solid, even if we don't like some of the partners.,

And added to our threats on the north and south boundaries, we may now face a potential threat right on our West Bank boundary. The Americans have been successfully training a Palestinian Police force to keep law and order. All they have to do is secure some heavy weaponry, turn west, and be a serious military threat to us. That would mean we would be surrounded on 3 sides by well trained and well armed fighters.

So why can't Obama just leave us alone and let us try to find a way out of this mess without being forced and threatened if we don't do what he wants? We aren't going to give away Jerusalem or the 3 big settlement blocs. The whole country is solid on that score. We have already offered very generous peace plans to both Arafat and Abbas, in just those terms. We've been turned down consistently for 65 years.

We know the Arabs have a great deal of patience, which we don't. We know they are waiting for the time when they can just take back the whole country.

So why does Obama need another foreign policy headache. And why does he keep waffling on Iran when we may be first on Iran's list but the U.S. is still in their sights.

This is what we are wondering on the eve of our "freedom" holiday. As we remember our exodus from Egypt, we wonder if we are facing another one, this time from our own land.

Hag Sameach

Jan Gaines

No comments: