Thursday, June 04, 2009

Amidst all the mindless chatter about Obama's rhetoric, the only important line in the whole speech has been missed. Forget the even-handed bromides. Forget the offensive equation of the Holocaust with Palestinian suffering. Forget the unhappy fact that Obama has essentially become a salesman for the Geneva "accords". The one line in the speech that should cause every Israeli to lose sleep is this:

"I understand those who protest that some countries have weapons that others do not. No single nation should pick and choose which nations hold nuclear weapons. That is why I strongly reaffirmed America's commitment to seek a world in which no nations hold nuclear weapons. And any nation – including Iran – should have the right to access peaceful nuclear power if it complies with its responsibilities under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. That commitment is at the core of the Treaty, and it must be kept for all who fully abide by it. And I am hopeful that all countries in the region can share in this goal."

What he is saying here is that a) he will allow Iran to develop nuclear power (which in their case is only a few weeks different than developing nuclear weapons) and b) he will demand that Israel sign the NPT.

(Article VI of the NPT reads as follows:
"Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a Treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.")

In short, it looks like on the nuclear weapons issue, he's not going after Iran, a signatory state of the NPT, even if a mendacious one. He's coming after us.

5 Comments:

Anonymous yoeli from kj said...

If i were to repeat this post to an american leftist they respond
"what do have against blacks"

8:31 PM  
Blogger ADDeRabbi said...

If BO is going to put his money where his mouth is, then he's going to have to start dismantling American nukes, too. I don't see that happening so fast. If there will be a world with no nukes, fine. Let someone else be declawed first.

1:19 AM  
Blogger Ben Bayit said...

Israel has faced worse pressure in the past regarding the NPT. Frankly, Israel has faced worse pressure in the past regarding transfer of terrotory (Roger's Plan ,etc.).

B. Hussein Obama is probably one of the best things to happen to the Israeli political system - and the Likud specifically - in a long time. Even the liberal left in Israel will not force Bibi to give in to this type of rhetoric.

5:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This speech as I'm sure you know, was written in order to reconcile the united states with the islamic world. The meaning and intention of the speech is clear for anyone to see. You're obviously an intelligent and educated person.
If you want to purposely misunderstand and misconstrue this speech so it jives with some anti-Semitic and villainous caricature of Obama, that's your business, just be aware of what you're doing.

11:13 PM  
Anonymous Terry N. said...

I presume, Moishe, you are well aware that this particular point does not mark a change in U.S. Policy.

The "concession" on Iranian nuclear policy also is not a change in formal policy - of course no one wanted Iran to obtain nuclear capability, but that is basically a fait accompli.

For those who wish the United States to have no formal "intermediary" role in the Mid-East and simply agree with (often incoherent and almost always inconsistent) Israeli policy, the speech was a disaster.

For those who believe it is in Israel's long-term interest for the United States to seek to have a mediating impact on the Arab world and its rejectionist trajectory - not for Israel's sake alone but also for the safety of the United States and its security, the speech produces some basis for rays of hope.

Obviously, if one has already concluded (and there is ample basis for such conclusion - not just from a religious "Eisav Soneh Et Ya'akov - but true political analysis) that it is a waste of time seeking to build "moderation" within the Arab world generally and/or the Palestinian body politic (for whatever it is) specifically, the speech is a naive effort and silly gesture - not really dangerous, but hey, you want dangerous, add it to the list.

Those will focus on nuance and phrasing, but the truth is, they (i.e., you) don't really care about the speech and the parsing of the phrases here or there at all.

It's not the speech - is the entire endeavor that offends you.

I again concede, that's a legitimate position. If I lived in Efrat and needed to bullet proof my buses and cars, instead of Teaneck, perhaps I would have shifted my views closer to yours. Call me "galuti" - I'm certainly deserving.

But, while I can respect the legitimacy of your overall political conclusion, one-sided attacks on the speech that don't even seek to analyze its impact against its objective - this and others - demonstrate that it is not the speech at all, but a lack of support or (not your case, but in others) even basic understanding, of the President's objective.

And, here's the irony - for me, a parsing of the flaws is actually relevant because I believe that the President is making an incredibly important gesture - and thus, unlike the realpolitik, I actually do and should care about nuance because I care about the details of policy as applied, and not as a rejectionist.

For those who are willing to reject any efforts by the President, and continually laud the Bush/Cheney support of Israel for the past 8 years as the best possible outcome for Israel, may I remind them (you?) that nothing - absolutely nothing - strengthened Iran and Saudi Arabia more than the failure of the United States to have an energy policy focused on reducing oil imports during the past decade. Okay, Bush kind of turned a blind eye to expansion and kind of turned a blind eye to intervention in Lebanon (yeah, that really worked to our advantage big time), but as they did all that, for 8 years the oil revenue in Teheran built up so much - so much, that they had billions to spend on ... nuclear development.

Go know.

2:08 AM  

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