President Obama has come out in favor of a return to pre-1967 broders for Israel and an independent Palestinian Arab state on the West bank, as if the indefensibility of the pre-1967 borders had nothing to do with Israel's pre-emptive strike against Egypt, Syria, and Jordan in the Six-Day War. Snippets heard on WTOP suggest a wide range of misconceptions, including the belief that the upsurges in the Arab world are really democratic, and that the Hamas-PLO alliance is truly willing to recognize Israel's right to exist.
Again, the onus is placed mostly on Israel, demanding a return to indefensible borders, and criticizing its "permanent occupation" of "Palestinian" lands. But the president ignores the persistent insistence by several Arab and other Muslim states that Israel be dismantled, and the cynical use of demonstrators on the border earlier this month by both Syria and the PA. The alliance between Hamas, Hizbollah, and hard-line Iran is also ignored.
The Peace Process has been dead for quite some time. The frequent rocket attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip, Hamas' persistent rejection of Israel's right to exist, and the alliance with Hizbollah to put simultaneous pressure on Israel's northern and southwestern borders suggests that Palestinian Arab noises about peace are less than sincere.
Certainly, the plight of the Palestinian "refugees"--resident in various Arab states without citizenship for four generations now--will also be raised. Again, a US administration absolutely refuses to ask the Arab states to naturalize their refugee populationsl when America itself has given passport-holding, voting rights citizenship to more Palesintian Arab refugees and their descendants than any ten Arabic-speaking states together, excluding Jordan, the PA, and Israel itself. At this point, where all other refugees of 1947-48 vintage have been absorbed into host societies, there is simply no excuse for the Palestinian refugee problem to exist.
All and sundry ignore that Israel itself has a slight majority descended from Jews from Muslim lands, especially the Arabic-speaking countries; and that ancient Jewish communities that pre-dated Arab settlement in Mesopotamia and North Africa were uprooted in the aftermath of an-Nakba. Yet these victims and their offspring are now no-questions-asked Israelis, when Palestinian Arabs--again, four generations removed from Yafo, Haifa, and the Judaean corridor--remain stateless.
Finally, our president ignores the role of the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists in the supposed "Arab Spring". These not only struggle against the relative liberalism of the Ba'ath regime in Syria and the former Mubarak regime in Egypt, but have unleashed further assaults against minorities and women in the lands where they have or are coming to power. In Tunisia, the last functioning synagogues in that country have been attacked. In Egypt, attacks on the Christian minority, 10% of the population, have grown in number and intensity since Mubarak stepped down (admittedly, the role of Mubarak's own security organs in creating an anti-Christian climate in Egypt was also great). Tomorrow, as the Sunnite, Muslim Brotherhood-inspired revolt grows, further pressures will certainly be exerted on Syria's dwindling Christian minority, too.
The US has few stakes in an "Arab Spring" in which anti-democratic forces masquerade as the voice of democracy. Indeed, the US will probably face a multiplication of Iranian debacles rather than see the democratization of the region. We would have been better advised to have taken a wait and see approach.