Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Is Israel a Sovereign State?

{Originally published at the Times of Israel.}

In a piece entitled, Sovereign State or Colony?, the well-respected American analyst and blogger, FresnoZionist, wonders about the meaning of Netanyahu's recent apology to Turkey for the nine dead aboard the Mavi Marmara.
Among the things that many of us also wonder about is the purpose of Obama's recent trip to Israel and to the city of Ramallah and just what the actual consequences of this trip might be?  One of the few direct consequences that we see, so far, has been The Netanyahu Apology... which to my ear sounds something like a Robert Ludlum spy-novel title.
I don't know if Obama actually twisted Netanyahu's arm, as the New York Times put it, but it is certain that the apology is the one direct result we can know, as of this moment, due to Obama's visit.  Were there no visit there would have been no apology.
Many Israelis, probably most, and many Jews throughout the diaspora, including me, are somewhat less than pleased that Netanyahu decided to take this step, which is seen as humiliating to the Jewish State of Israel, as well as entirely unjust.
The FresnoZionist writes:
There is good reason to believe that top levels of the Turkish government planned this incident with the intention of provoking violence. The performance succeeded spectacularly, the final incident in an escalating series of dramas orchestrated by Turkish PM Erdoğan with the intention of weakening and ultimately destroying the formerly good relationship between Israel and Turkey (and especially the Turkish armed forces).

US pressure following the incident caused Israel to significantly loosen the blockade, rendering it ineffective as economic warfare against Hamas, and providing a propaganda victory to Hamas supporters, including Erdoğan.
I find it fascinating that just as me and one of our commenters at Israel Thrives discussed whether or not the Obama administration sought to diminish or stifle Israeli efforts at self-defense in both Gaza and Iran, right at that moment Netanyahu apologized for Israeli self-defense to the Prime Minister of a country that attacked it and who just recently called Zionism a crime against humanity.  Furthermore he did so, perhaps to his shame, merely because Obama was in town.
If there was a quid pro quo we do not know what it is.
In his interpretation of what the Obama visit meant, the FresnoZionist suggests that it was mainly about Obama, himself, in his desire to score the following points:
Points with Muslims around the world, by affirming that a Jew is never justified in killing a Muslim.
There is no question but that Israel had no reason to apologize to Turkey for Turkey's attack upon her.   The vessel contained actual Jihadis seeking martyrdom in an effort to kill Jews.  To apologize is to do precisely what the FresnoZionist suggests.  It affirms that a Jew is never, under any circumstances, justified in killing a Muslim, even in self-defense.
Whatever Obama's intentions, and I am sure that they are of the very purest, this is the direct implication.
Points with his “outstanding partner and … outstanding friend,” Erdoğan.
Here is a question:
Everyone who follows the Middle East knows that Obama has made great claims of friendship to the anti-Semitic and Islamist-leaning Turkish Prime Minister.  Why is it that diaspora Jews are not supposed to care about such a thing?  Why is it that we give Obama a total pass on this?
Why are progressive-left diaspora Jews often so weak in their defense of the Jewish people and the tiny Jewish State of Israel?  The American president seems a little over-friendly to openly anti-Semitic leaders of certain Muslim countries and, yet, American Jews are supposed to jump up and down and clap like monkeys.
It's just disgraceful and diaspora Jewish leadership needs to stand the hell up, as they failed to do during the recent Hagel nomination for Secretary of Defense.
To prove that an Israeli leader has to do whatever the US President tells him, no matter how wrong or degrading.
To suggest that Israel has no right of self-defense.
This episode is, in fact, degrading.  To apologize for self-defense couldn't be more pathetic.  Nonetheless, as Dr. Barry Rubin points out, the apology wasn't technically an apology to the government of Turkey, but merely to the people of Turkey
While the word “apology” appears in Netanyahu’s statement, it is notably directed at the Turkish people, not the government and is of the sorry if your feelings were hurt variety.

Moreover, Israel denied that it killed the Turkish citizens intentionally, a situation quite different from what Erdogan wanted, and offered to pay humanitarian assistance to families.
While Rubin is correct, it doesn't much matter.  The press is spreading the idea that Israel apologized for its behavior during the Turkish flotilla attack and this will justify in people's minds the idea that Israel was not only wrong in its behavior, but brutal and murderous, when in fact it was a matter of Jews defending Jews.  It will therefore do precisely what the FresnoZionist suggests.  It will convey the message to the vast and generally hostile Arab-Muslim majority that Jewish life is cheap and that we have no real rights to self-defense.
To show that Israel is not a sovereign nation, but rather a colony of the US, which can decide what its borders are, where its capital isn’t, and when it can or cannot use force.
Much of the media and much of the progressive-left is hailing Obama's recent visit to Israel as a success.
I have been waiting and thinking and looking and so far I see very little consequences of this trip that are positive.
Barack Obama and John Kerry are, for political reasons of their own, seeking to breath new life... yet again... into the Oslo Delusion.
Some of us, however, are no longer buying the Big Lie that what the Palestinian-Arabs want is a state for themselves in peace next to Israel.

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