Barack Obama has decided to revive a plot the Saudi crown prince hatched in 2002. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz had suggested Israel beat a retreat to the pre-1967 borders, in return for the recognition, whatever that means, of the Arab world.
Back then, Time magazine made the mustachioed monarch its "Man of the Week," for what it termed his "peace plan."
The Sunday Times now reports that:
Obama intends to throw his support behind a 2002 Saudi peace initiative endorsed by the Arab League and backed by Tzipi Livni, the Israeli foreign minister and leader of the ruling Kadima Party.
A loose paraphrasing of U.N. resolution 242, this "peace initiative" requires Israel to give the Golan Heights to Syria, which is tantamount to returning land to the aggressors, and "allow the Palestinians to establish a state capital in east Jerusalem."
For its concessions, the Arab League will doff a collective kafia to Israel. As will Israel be given "an effective veto" on the national suicide pact known as the right of return – the imperative to absorb millions of self-styled Palestinian "refugees" into Israel proper.
There is nothing Solomonic about splitting up Jerusalem, which was sacred to Jews for nearly 2,000 years before Muhammad and is not once mentioned in the Quran.
Did Gaza not set a sufficiently strong precedent against such folly? It was "returned" to the Palestinians, who promptly destroyed the hothouses Israelis had built there and planted Qassam rocket launchers in the ground instead. Gaza now hothouses Hamasniks.
(On the general wisdom of handing over territory – any territory – to voracious, vicious majorities, consider South Africa and its capital, Pretoria. Renamed Tshwane, Pretoria is now occupied by Saint Nelson Mandela's syndicate, the African National Congress. The difference is that more people worry about the Holy City going to hell in a hand cart than care about the decay of Pretoria.)
They say Obama reads a lot. But the Anointed One seems historically tone-deaf to the ongoing farce known as the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process. Under the wing of the American eagle, Israel has performs a perennial routine described by Middle East scholar Daniel Pipes:
The Israeli side makes "painful concessions," the Arab interlocutor imperiously disdains these even as terrorism and other forms of violence continue. Jerusalem responds with several more rounds of ever-more painful concessions until finally the Arab side grudgingly accepts them, offering airy promises of "peace" that promptly turn into just the opposite – greater levels of hostility and violence.
There is no pleasing some people. Yet, "on a visit to the Middle East last July," reports the Times, "the president-elect said privately it would be 'crazy' for Israel to refuse a deal that could 'give them peace with the Muslim world.'" Obama was touting the Abdullah plan.
As have Israeli leaders, some of whom consider it their patriotic duty to abandon the national interest. President Shimon Peres, "a leading Israeli dove," practically offered his Nobel peace prize to King Abdullah for resurrecting the initiative. Said Peres at a Saudi-sponsored United Nations conference in New York: "I wish that your voice will become the prevailing voice of the whole region, of all people."
Peres's wish is coming true.
On board with Abdullah, and advising Obama, are canonical foreign policy wonks such as Lee Hamilton and Brent Scowcroft of the Iraq-Study-Group fame. The two insisted then (and now) that the staunching of violence in the region depends on Israel yielding to the Palestinians.
Abdullah's 2002 efforts moved other members of the media to face Mecca, and fall to the floor, keisters in the air. At the time, an excitable Wolf Blitzer waffled, in his CNN column, about how "very concerned [Abdullah was] about the loss of innocent lives on both sides," and about "where the violence" might "take the region." Wolf was not a lone wolf. Thomas Friedman of the New York Times also offered uproarious applause.
The king was consistent then as well.
Speaking in Syria, nine months before initiating his "peace plan," the crown prince thundered: "The womb of every Arab woman carries retribution and every fallen martyr has left behind a loud roar, vibrating in the chest of every child who is looking toward martyrdom."
Cautions Robert Spencer, author of "Stealth Jihad: How Radical Islam Is Subverting America Without Guns Or Bombs":
Amid all the enthusiasm for this plan, … no one seems to have considered anything about the Islamic legal doctrine regarding treaties, which allows Muslims to conclude only temporary truces with the infidels, in order to allow the Muslims time to gather their strength and fight again more effectively sometime in the future.
And if Mr. Spencer cannot wizen Western conventional wisdom, consider a declaration made by the kingdom's mufti in 1995: "Peace with Israel is permissible only on condition that it is a temporary peace, until the Muslims build up the [military] strength needed to expel the Jews."