Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Netanyahu speaks as America’s patriarch. Sarah Palin prepares to enter.

By Bernie Quigley

For The Hill on 5/25/11

The century ahead could be seen to have taken shape this past week with President Obama’s stunning claim – a wish really – that Israel repeal 50 years of history and return to its indefensible 1967 borders. It was followed by an address yesterday by Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that shook the halls of Congress. Obama then, travelling in Europe, where he feels most comfortable, brought forth an op ed in The Times of London with England’s Prime Minister David Cameron, calling the “Arab Spring” a situation similar to the fall of the Soviet Union, and comparing themselves to be the modern day Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. Possibly this helped Netanyahu. His speech was greeted with roaring applause and dozens of standing ovations. For the first time in my memory, and Israeli leader appeared as an authentic American patriarch; a strong and ancient Father Abraham here to speak – to intervene, perhaps – on our behalf.

This administration, which clearly takes its initiatives from Bono and pop culture mavens like Bob Geldof of The Boomtown Rats, should understand: We are not the world. We are Americans. We play football. They play soccer. In one way Cameron’s and Obama’s comparing the Arab uprisings to the fall of the Soviet Union two decades ago is correct. With the fall of the Soviet Union, the cat died of natural causes and the mice declared a revolution to have occurred. The same might be said of the movements in the Arab desert today. In fact these movements are the final degeneration of states which flourished in marriages on harmony and contention hundreds of years ago but began to die around 1914, compartmentalized and crated today as new states with new ideas like The Boomtown Rats, but as writer Robert Christopher has quotes Japanese views on post-war Europe, they may merely be a bunch of restaurants.

America is a rising arc and today, it is clear, so is Israel. As we inherently feel England to be our ancestor, so we feel today about Israel in a way we have not felt before. Possibly because 9/11 has finally sunk in and we understand that we share a common enemy.

Two items related to that:

The Boston Globe reports the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston will vote on whether J Street, a fledging Jewish advocacy group that promotes vigorous US actions to help create a Palestinian state, should be stripped of its membership. J Street is widely expected to be allowed to remain one of the 42 organizations represented on the council. But the discussion over J Street’s membership — and whether the group is truly “pro-Israel’’ — reflects a passionate debate among American Jews over the meaning of the term.

And Sarah Palin: Because Palin understands that we are not the world. But we are Israel. And Real Clear Politics reports that the Palins have in hand a two-hour-long, sweeping epic, a rough cut extolling Palin's governorship and laying to rest lingering questions about her controversial decision to resign from office with a year-and-a-half left in her first term. It was screened privately for Sarah and Todd Palin last Wednesday in Arizona, “where Alaska's most famous couple has been rumored to have purchased a new home. When it premieres in Iowa next month, the film is poised to serve as a galvanizing prelude to Palin's prospective presidential campaign -- an unconventional reintroduction to the nation that she and her political team have spent months eagerly anticipating, even as Beltway Republicans have largely concluded that she won't run.”

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