I’ve been sitting on quite a few stories on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, trying to find just the right opportunity to bring them up. And they’ve finally piled up enough to justify a good roundup.
First up, there’s a story from the head of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas. He recently made a statement that President Obama had promised him a Palestinian state by September.
This, of course, ties in quite nicely with the whole “Obama is a secret Muslim” and “Obama is against Israel and pro-Arab” and whatnot.
But it’s a load of crap. I’d wager pretty much anything that Obama said no such thing. And this isn’t the first time Abbas has spun this kind of BS — he also claimed that President Bush had said something even more resolute:
“God told me to strike at al Qaida and I struck them, and then he
instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined
to solve the problem in the Middle East. If you help me I will act, and
if not, the elections will come and I will have to focus on them.”
That was absurd on its face, and only slightly less absurd is that Obama would make such a promise. The only thing that gives it any credibility is Obama’s promises all coming with expiration dates — it’s possible (extremely remotely so) that he would make such a pledge, knowing that he wouldn’t keep it. But again, I’d bet heavily against it.
Next, we had the recent Passover holiday. This is of the holiest days to Jews, commemorating their flight from slavery in Egypt and, eventually, founding the nation of Israel. And to properly observe that, a couple of Palestinian Authority policemen killed one Jew and wounded four others going to pay their respects at Joseph’s Tomb.
And here’s a story that’s been clogging up my browser windows for a couple of months. Back in January, Israel opened up a site very near the Al Aqsa Mosque, the third-holiest site in Islam, for Jews to pray.
And as you read the story, you ask yourself — why the hell would Israel do something so provocative, so insulting, so arrogant to the Palestinians, and the Muslim world as a whole? Why would they intrude on such a sacred Islamic place?
Well, for that answer, you have to turn to an Israeli news source — and that’s where you learn that the site, before it was conquered by the Muslims about a thousand years ago, it was known for a couple thousand years as the Temple Mount, where the First and Second Jewish Temples were built. And the area in question is one of the walls that supports the Western Wall, the last remaining portion of the Second Temple and the first holiest site to Jews.
For years, the Palestinians on the Temple Mount have been trying to erase all signs that it was ever occupied by Jews, that there were ever any temples there before the two mosques that now occupy it. And they’ve used that commanding height to routinely attack Jews who are forced to settle for the tiniest portion of the land for their worship. These two stories are just another example of that trend.
There’s also an unconfirmed report that officials recently seized an Iranian ship loaded with poison gas. It’s unclear where it was heading for, if the story is even true — there’s been no followup — but I don’t think it’s too great a stretch that the final destination for the gas was Israel.
And that’s not even touching on Hamas recently using a laser-guided anti-tank missile to blow up a school bus. In that case, the bus was mostly empty, but they did manage to kill one child and wound the driver.
Remember, these are the people that Obama says should be “partners in peace,” to whom Israel should make concessions in the interest of finding a true, lasting, sustained peaceful arrangement.