At Front Page Mag, Kevin Levin delivers a blistering indictment on Obama’s chief foreign policy advisor, Daniel C. Kurtzer’s, new book, co-authored with Scott B. Lasensky, titled: “Negotiating Arab-Israeli Peace”.
“The breathtaking muddy-mindedness of the volume’s assertions regarding the conflict provides yet more grist for the foreign policy establishment’s critics. It also provides more grounds for concern, particularly as Kurtzer and Lasensky’s warped perspective on the path to “peace” and “security” is not offered simply as an academic exercise, nor even as a prediction of how Israeli-Arab relations will likely unfold. Rather, it is presented as a blueprint for definitive positions that the U.S. ought to adopt and, in effect, impose on Israel. The authors assert, for example, “Washington needs to formalize and add permanence to U.S. positions on the core endgame issues of Jerusalem, refugees, security, and territory…”
The authors imply that, in fact, public opinion does impede Arab leaders from drawing closer to the U.S., and that assuaging this hostility by brokering a settlement would serve American interests. They fault past administrations for not paying more attention to the role of domestic opinion in shaping Arab policies. For example, “The Bush 43 administration… tend[ed] to turn a blind eye toward domestic constraints on the Arab side.”
But anti-U.S. opinion in countries such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt stems in no small measure from America’s support for those governments, not simply from American support for Israel. In addition, rabid anti-Israel sentiment is something which Arab governments – both American “allies” and enemies – stoke, not least to distract their populations from domestic ills. Anti-Israel vitriol and anti-Semitic canards are a staple of the media, mosques and schools in virtually every Arab country. This is true even in states with which Israel is formally at peace.
There is no reason to believe that regimes which find promotion of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish rhetoric so useful are prepared to give it up, even in the context of a “peace” agreement. The authors indirectly acknowledge this when they declare that a settlement would deprive such regimes of their ability to “exploit” the issue. But, of course, there is no way to stop their exploiting the issue. Even if an agreement were reached between Israel and a Palestinian government, those regimes that find demonization of Israel and the Jews useful would simply condemn Israel’s Palestinian partners for betraying the Arab or Muslim cause and continue their anti-Israel propaganda as before.
But, Kurtzer and Lasensky assure their readers, there is currently a “broader regional acceptance of Israel.” They reference Saudi Arabia’s 2002 plan regarding the conflict, and its endorsement by other Arab states, as evidence of this.
One would think that Saudi Arabia’s continued purveying of media, educational and religious materials calling for the mass murder of Jews and annihilation of Israel would give the authors some pause in their bald declaration of Saudi “acceptance” of the Jewish state. Most observers attribute the 2002 Saudi move as prompted by a wish to counter anti-Saudi opinion in the U.S. in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and Saudis accounting for 15 of the 19 perpetrators. In any case, the Saudi initiative insists on Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 lines and acquiescence to other Palestinian demands as a prelude to Arab states offering a vaguely defined “recognition.”
See the mindset we are up against? On both sides? Who, besides a lone blogger like me, is going to take this guy to task for denying the unrefutable existence of Islamic antisemitism? We need Western leaders who are willing and able to hold accountable the “Ishanoglus of our day”, as well as other Muslims who demand more and more from the West, while they expect the West to placate their intolerable demands and warped values.
In an Obama administration with a Daniel C.Kurtzer giving him advice, we will see more of the same failed policies that drove the Clinton administration to back the Oslo non-peace agreement, which was nothing more than a Trojan horse full of terrorists delivered straight to the back yard of Israel.
I say to Obama and his supporters….KEEP THE CHANGE. KGS