US President Barack Obama’s visit to Israel was widely seen as a success, given that the primary goal was to win over the hearts of an Israeli public that had been, at best, suspicious of the American leader.
But behind all the praise and admiration Obama heaped upon Israel, there was a gentle chiding that showed he still views the lack of peace in the region as primarily the fault of the Jewish state.
Zionism is great and is the unprecedented culmination of a millennia-old dream, but Israel must surrender part of the vision for the sake of peace and justice. That was the thrust of Obama’s overall message to Israelis.
Obama’s approach revealed three important truths:
- It demonstrated that despite being a “Christian” nation, the government of the US doesn’t see the biblical significance of Israel’s rebirth.
- It showed a clear lack on Obama’s part to take even recent history into account. The Jews have in fact surrendered part of the Zionist vision, numerous times. The Jews did not protest when in 1922 the British lopped off two-thirds of their promised homeland to create Jordan, or in 1947 when the UN partitioned what was left of that homeland. In 1993, the Jews agreed to again relinquish those lands, and in 2005, tired of waiting for an agreement to be signed, Israel unilaterally surrendered Gaza.
- Lastly, Obama showed that 10 serious misconceptions continue to undergird the international community’s approach to the peace process.
But brighter minds have elaborated on these 10 misconceptions better than I could. The following video produced by the Jerusalem Institute of Justice (JIJ) doesn’t mention Obama by name, but it was no accident the clip was published while Obama was in the Land.