Obama is dividing Jerusalem
Obama has a strategy: To thaw relations with Islam. It is clear what will be demanded in return.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's enemies have gotten together to promote a few sacred causes: to bring Israel to its knees, to force a Pax Americana on Israel (the "Obama plan") and to grind the prime minister's status to dust.
If the media in his own country is trying to grind Netanyahu down, why shouldn't the American administration - which has mobilized the enthusiastic Israeli media for its own needs - take advantage of the latter's disparaging attitude to attain its goals? (Although it is repelled by such an attitude. In American culture, with its code of honor and restraint, this type of behavior would not pass.)
They have not managed to bring Netanyahu to his knees, but they have managed to fan a foreign fire of Biblical proportions ("Please, with might," Gideon Levy begs Barack Obama in a piece on May 17). This fire persuaded whomever it persuaded that an American presidential initiative can be presented, without any preparatory dialogue with the government in power, that is unacceptable to the vast majority of Israeli Jews.
Besides the demand to exert powerful pressure on Israel, the peacemakers demanded that Obama also end the "special relationship" between the United States and Israel. These relations, the Israeli patriots explained, are damaging to U.S. interests.
Here, too, their labors bore fruit. The speech on a vision of peace for the Middle East, slated for June 4, will not be given at the White House, not even at a joint session of Congress. Only by delivering the speech in Cairo, intentionally skipping a visit to Jerusalem (and even to Tel Aviv!), will the spirit of peace alight on the lips of the American messiah.
Obama has little knowledge of the history, ideology and psychology of the Arab opposition to the Jewish state's existence. But he has a strategy: to thaw relations with Islam. It is clear what will be demanded in return.
But those who built his program, which purely by coincidence conforms entirely to the ideas of the extreme left in Israel (whose wheeler-dealers are in close touch with Rahm Emanuel and his ilk), are showing an ambition and arrogance that will leave them cooked.
No Arab leader, political or religious, has yet been found who agrees to give up the right of return, which is a central pillar in the Obama plan. The idea to internationalize the Old City and its governance by the United Nations is a futile idea. Only assimilated Jews - and one can be so in Israel, too - could garner support for this idea from a neophyte president, who has no idea how deep the Jewish bond is to its capital, especially to the area containing its most sacred sites.
Obama has tossed a lot of balls into the air, maybe too many. Even a magician like him cannot catch them all. The last ball, the especially heavy one of the Obama plan, might land on his foot, but also on the feet of everyone in the region, who will pay the price imposed on them by the person who wants (by force) to change the order of things. That will also be the case if he does not set aside his disconnected initiatives and quickly connect to reality in other places in the world, as well as at home.
Today, Jerusalem Day, a state ceremony will be held marking 42 years since the liberation of Israel's capital. In his speech, Netanyahu can somewhat cool down Obama's messianic fervor and (politely) make clear to whom - exclusively - Jerusalem belongs. He can pledge that after the Paratroopers liberated the city in 1967, no foreign power will ever again pass through its gates.