Viewing a moving presentation on Israel and Psalm 83:
Israelis are feeling uneasy these days as their leaders continue to negotiate away the land their sons and fathers and brothers fought so courageously to defend from enemies in four major wars and several minor ones.
Jews around the world are wondering if their tiny state can possibly survive the onslaught of endless terrorism and continuing threats from neighboring states arming themselves with weapons of mass destruction.
Friends of Israel, especially evangelical Christians in the U.S., are perplexed by the insistence of their leaders that Israel should accommodate its sworn enemies states and terrorist organizations determined to finish the job Adolf Hitler started.
Sixty-one years after the birth of the State of Israel, the Jewish state continues to be assailed by its enemies. From the halls of the United Nations to the classrooms of major universities and in the pressrooms of major newspapers and magazines, attacks on the legitimacy of every move by Israel -- and even of the state's existence itself -- continue to be made.
As US President Barack Obama presses ahead with his Middle East peace intiatives, America's new tone and new modesty are going down well in the region. Even Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is finding it hard to resist the pressure to compromise on the Palestinian question.
What I dubbed the Obama administration's "<a href="http://www.danielpipes.org/6389/rapid-and-harsh-turn-against-israel">rapid and harsh turn against Israel</a>" has had three quick, predictable, and counter-productive results. These point to further difficulties ahead.
First result: Barack Obama's decision to get tough with Israel translates into escalating Palestinian demands on Israel. In early July, Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas and Saeb Erekat, his top negotiator, insisted on five unilateral concessions by Israel:
In a reference to the upcoming nine days which culminate in Tisha B'Av, the rabbis tell US Pres. Obama that during these days, in which the Jewish people mourn the destruction of Jerusalem and mark the disgraceful memory of its destroyers, we are certain that you, Mr. Barack Obama, do not want to enter that disreputable list of those who raise their hand to strike Jerusalem and those who live in it.
The rabbinical letter ends with a clear request: If you, Mr. Obama, wish to leave any chance at all for peace and quiet in the Middle East, take your hands off the Holy City of Jerusalem right now!
Two hundred and fifty rabbis have signed the appeal, and efforts are being made to collect the signatures of every rabbi in Israel before the letter is sent to Washington. (Source: A7News)
Israel's enemies around the world have poisoned the debate with their smoke and mirrors.
If a Martian were suddenly to land on earth and start listening to and reading the mainstream media, he would form the impression that the entire Middle East conflict were due to Israel building some settlements in land that much of the world thinks should become a Palestinian state. A near-consensus exists among the governments of the world and among media writers that peace has yet to break out in the Middle East because of three principle reasons. The first is that the Jews and the Arabs have been unable to agree about whether there should be a Palestinian state. The second is because Israel has obstinately refused to withdraw its troops from (so-called) "occupied Arab" lands. The third is because Israel behaves cruelly towards the Palestinians.
The Martian could easily carry these beliefs back to its home planet, as long as it did not bother to learn the background and the history of the Middle East conflict. Those three reasons cannot survive an antibiotic of familiarity with Middle East history.