Allen West seems to be in a bad mood this week. In his Weekly Wrap Up, he says that Barack Obama hates Israel and the Jewish people and means to hasten their destruction.
Jesus! I feel like a paranoiac for even typing that, but there it is in my inbox, beaming at my eyeballs in official Westian blue and white. Here's what it says, exactly:
America has a president who lacks moral courage and integrity when it comes to America's long-standing relationship with Israel... In reviewing history, I would say Sir Neville Chamberlain was naive in his negotiations with German Chancellor Adolph Hitler. However, when one examines the state of affairs in the Middle East, including the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation pact, increase of rocket/mortar attacks from Gaza, the definitive Hamas Charter statement vowing the destruction of Israel, and the Hamas condemnation of America for killing Osama bin Laden... I cannot attribute this incompetent statement to naivete, but rather to conscious, nefarious, and malicious intent.
This from a guy who doesn't know how to spell "Adolf Hitler."
So, the big problem with West is that he's constantly articulating ideas, like the one above, that from a certain perspective seem absolutely reasonable, at least as gut-level initial reactions to something, but that become ghastly when followed through to their logical conclusions. What could it possibly mean that Obama has "conscious, nefarious, and malicious intent" toward Israel except that he means to weaken that great state and hasten its destruction? Could it mean anything else?
(That's an honest question. If a reader has an alternate interpretation, I'd really like to hear. Please?)
As to the merit of West's statement, the precise meaning of Obama's speech last week on the situation in the Middle East was murky, and if West knows that the president means to pressure Israel into returning its conquered lands to the Palestinians, he should name his sources. But he probably knows no such thing. West doesn't even seem to know what President Obama said, never mind what he meant.
I was hoping that the President would clarify [his] statement at his AIPAC speech. However, the President did not rectify the unconscionable policy faux pas statement on "pre-1967" borders to resolve the Middle East peace process.
See those quotation marks around "pre-1967"? Quotation marks used in this context ought to indicate that somebody is quoting something. But that's not what's happening. Obama never once said Israel ought to withdraw to its "pre-1967" borders. He said that the division of land between Israel and a future Palestinian state would take the 1967 borders as a template and would be modified by land swaps. The words "pre-1967" never passed his lips. (In his speech, Obama also roundly decried Fatah's association with Hamas. West doesn't mention this, presumably because it would tarnish Obama's new image as the Jew Killer In Chief.)
How Obama's cautious, conservative stance on Israel is "unconscionable" is anyone's guess. It's precisely the approach advocated by every American president for a generation. The only way Obama's prescription is "unconscionable" is if a two-party solution is itself "unconscionable" -- which West firmly believes. Yet, like Obama's statements of unyielding support for Israel's security and his condemnation of Hamas, this goes unmentioned in his remarks.
But it does seem germane to the subject. Last year, West wrote: "I do not support the creation of a Palestnian state, to do so would be to create a terrorist state. There is already a state for the Arabic people residing in the region called Palestine, Jordan." If West is approaching Obama's speech from that perspective, then of course Obama's statements are "unconscionable." Any concession to Arabs would be unconscionable. Compromise with terrorists is not an option.
I would like to pose a question to any West fans who might take his perorations on Israel seriously. If West had his way in Palestine, how would the Palestinians be relocated to Jordan? What should be done with them if they don't want to relocate? When they go, should they should be sent in trains, planes, or buses?
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That sounds tongue-in-cheek, but I'm not really joking. Have you answered these questions already? If so, is there some obvious solution I'm somehow missing? Can you explain how such rhetoric is in any way compatible with a national ethos that prizes self-determination, liberty, and justice? If so, I'd really like to hear it, because I'm coming up with nothing. Thanks.