Thursday, May 19, 2011

Two days: it's amazing Obama took even that long to reverse on Israel

May 17: Obama vows 'support' for Israel

May 19: Prodding Israel, Obama embraces Palestine borders

Two days after declaring support (which I should point out he had no right to make on my behalf or anyone else's), Obama tells Israel to give land back to the instigators of "Three Wars and an Intifada."

When the Jews began the modern exodus back to Israel in the 19th century, the Arabs in fact didn't care, so long as the Jews settled only on the worst land (after paying well for it, too). It was essentially desert, courtesy of centuries of Arab neglect. Once the Jews cultivated the land back to green, suddenly the Arabs wanted it back. That's it in a nutshell. Balfour as a method certainly didn't make Arabs happy, but it wouldn't have elicited a peep had it been half a century earlier.

My father had spent quite a bit of time in the Middle East. In the early 1960s, Cairo and Tehran were welcome to everyone, and the old man especially liked telling me what a jewel Beirut was. He passed on to me a story from one of his friends, an Arab Christian. This fellow was once on an airplane flight next to an Arab Muslim, who spent the entire time railing against Jews and Christians. Suddenly he turned to my father's friend. "You're not one of them, are you?" My father's friend calmly replied, "I am...Arab!"


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