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Mitt in the Promised Land

So, it would appear to me that Mitt has breezed through “the promised land” without much trouble —  for now.  Unfortunately, there were some implied promises.  He let the Israelis know that, if elected, he will be Netanyahu’s puppy dog.  Israel can do whatever they want (steal more land on the west bank, bomb Iran) and the US will be a cheerleader for them.  If Mitt were running for prime minister of Israel, Netanyahu had best be afraid.  Unfortunately, that is not what is happening.

Mitt is running for President of the United States.  Israel is not a state in the union.  I don’t think that Mitt understood that.  In fairness that is an easy mistake to make.  He was probably briefed by Michelle Bachmann who might think that Israel IS a state in the union.  Israel has interests that often do not coincide with ours.  I believe that if Iran is going after the bomb, there is not much we can do about it.  Bombing might work (I have my doubts) in the short run, but the knowledge of how to build the bomb will still be there.  The cat is out of the bag.  There will be enough Iranian scientists to throw together another bomb or two in pretty short order.  Realistically, the world never should have stood by when India and then Pakistan built the bomb.  After that, it was simply too late.

What Mitt (or any US leader) needs to do is to show the Palestinians that, no matter what the political situation in the US is, he can be fair.  No one ever did that better than Bill Clinton.  In July 2000, when the Israelis and the Palestinians were negotiating in the US there almost was a deal.  Clinton seemed to know Jerusalem and the West Bank neighborhood by neighborhood.  I read that both sides were pretty impressed.  So, why wasn’t there a deal?  One thing that I read was that Arafat was afraid to sign simply because there were too many people in the Arab world that didn’t want a deal and might try to assassinate him.  Another thing that I had read was that Arafat was beginning to show signs of dementia and simply couldn’t make up his mind.

On the other side, the Prime Minister of Israel Ehud Barak was offering concessions that the Israeli parliament might not be willing to accept.  For a while, it was hopeful.  But at the end, the illusive Middle Eastern peace was not to be.  It was just a mirage.

During the Bush era — well, it makes me ill to talk about those wasted 8-years.

President Obama did seem to try to be fair but he doesn’t seem to have the ability to build a personal relationship with the Israeli and Arab leaders.  Certainly he seems to have tried, but when he gets double-crossed by the Israelis (they said they wouldn’t build on the west bank — and then they did) and he doesn’t slap them hard for that, he looks like a wimp in the Israeli eyes as well as the Arab eyes.

A defender of Obama can point out that with all the extremely right wing people that we have in congress, they could easily make Obama look even worse by appropriating more money for Israel no matter what Israel does — in order to humiliate the president.

I guess that all I can hope right now is that IF Israel tries to bomb Iran, we (1) stay out of it, (2)assure the Iranians that we are really not involved, and (3) the Iranians believe it.

To get a better understanding of the two Middle Eastern Leaders:

Mahmoud Abbas (age 77) is officially the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).  He is also the Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority.  He has a Phd. from Friendship University in Moscow.  His Thesis was, The Other Side: the Secret Relationship between Nazism and Zionism.  Parts of his book could be reasonably be described as Holocaust denial.  He claims that was not the intent.

Benjamin Netanyahu (age 62) has an engineering degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston.  He has written five books, mostly on the subject of counter-terrorism.  Like most Israelis, he served in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).  His time of service was from 1967 through 1973 — fighting in the “War of Attrition”, and the “Yom Kippur War”.  He left the IDF as a Captain in the Sayeret Matkal – hostage rescue and counter-terrorism.  They are one of Israel’s most elite military units.


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