Tuesday, March 26, 2013
The Good News from Obama: Israeli Public has a Say
by Dr. Aaron Lerner
25 March 2013
As we approach the Passover seder I am not going to write about the chutzpah of President Obama to lecture us about dignity, justice, etc. as he continues to refuse to sign the piece of paper that would set Jonathan Pollard free. Nor am I going to detail his troubling double standard - with an automatic pass for Mahmoud Abbas and not a word about the profoundly disturbing Palestinian demand that literally every terrorist be released regardless of either the crime or the timing (if a terrorist were to slaughter the mothers in a maternity ward with their babies this afternoon and they were captured alive, their release would be included in the blanket demand). Nor am I going to relate how frustrating it is that we are not given credit for the tremendous risks we have been willing to take in easing various restrictions to improve the daily lives of the Palestinians. And of course, I am not going to write now about the painfully naive assertion that a sovereign Palestinian state would actually be a good thing for the neighborhood.
Instead I want to focus on a very encouraging element of President Obama's 21 March address to the pro-retreat crowd of Israelis vetted by the American Embassy for a photo op.
Here is the encouraging line: " I can promise you this, political leaders will never take risks if the people do not push them to take some risks. You must create the change that you want to see. Ordinary people can accomplish extraordinary things."
National Security Adviser Yaakov Amidror has been advocating a building freeze and other measures out of fear of the risk of losing American support.
In the coming days, weeks and months Prime Minister Netanyahu will face tremendous pressure to give in to American demands out of this fear of the risk of losing American support.
I agree with President Obama. "Political leaders will never take risks if the people do not push them to take some risks."
It will not be an easy task. But it is a task that can be achieved.
The Israeli "street", along with the MK's from the national camp who are willing to take a stand, can most certainly convince Prime Minister Netanyahu to take the risk of standing firm and not folding to American demands.
Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA