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Why Does Barack Obama Want Gazans to Live in Poverty?

Posted on June 19 2010 8:00 am
Mike Lumish is a teacher, a recent PhD in American History, a resident of San Francisco, a liberal, and until recently a Democrat, who is thoroughly disgusted with the anti-Zionism and Israel Hatred promoted by the Left... He also tends to smoke too much.
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Throughout the left-liberal blogs they scream to the heavens that the West Bank settlements are the major impediment to a peaceful resolution of the I-P problem. If only those pain-in-the-neck Jews would get the hell out of the place where Jews originally came from, everything would be fine. This is essentially what we hear from the Left on a daily basis. Crazed, violent, Haredim have “stolen the land” of perfectly innocent Palestinians and now stand in the way of peace.

The problem is not so much that Iran-allied Hamas is a vicious, genocidal organization intent on the slaughter of my brothers and sisters wherever they may be found, as they tell us in their charter. Nor is the problem that the Palestinians have refused offer after offer for statehood. (The word “intransigent” comes to mind, for some reason.) The problem is that a couple of hundred thousand Jews, some of whom dare to wear funny clothing and actually practice their religion, are living in the wrong place.

Throughout history one finds that Jews are continually living in the wrong places. Wherever we live people keep telling us to get the hell out and go back to somewhere else. (Right, Helen?) Even Barack Obama, the man that I voted for… what?… feels perfectly comfortable telling Jews where they may or may not live in the ancient capital of the Jewish people.

The problem is not that the Palestinians refuse direct negotiations, nor even that Radical Jihad, a concept that the Left has yet to accept, likes to blow people up… when they’re not wielding pipes against IDF commandos aboard Turkish vessels in the Mediterranean, that is.  The problem is the Israelis. Whatever it is, it’s always Israel’s fault.

It turns out, however, that a majority of West Bank Palestinians actually disagree with that assessment and find that the Jewish settlements are not the end of the world, after all. According to recent polling by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, 60 percent of Palestinians oppose a ban preventing Palestinian laborers from working in the settlements.

According to the western Left, the Palestinians really, really cannot abide the presence of Jews in the West Bank and therefore Jews need to leave. There can only ever be peace after Jews move from here to there. While it’s perfectly fine for Arabs to live in Israel, it is simply unconscionable for Jews to live… in Judea. And, yet, the Palestinians, themselves, want to work in those Jewish settlements.

How is this possible, you may ask yourself, aloud?

Evelyn Gordon, over at Commentary, has a thought on this puzzlement. She writes:

Why? Because most Palestinians’ actual prime concern is supporting their families (something that really shouldn’t surprise those liberals who believe all people want the same things), and the settlements are a major employer. It will be years before the Palestinian economy is capable of providing an alternative. Thus by demanding a freeze on settlement construction now, Barack Obama and his European counterparts are merely generating massive Palestinian unemployment. It turns out that Palestinians would rather they didn’t.

What’s this? I’m shocked!

Does Evelyn mean to suggest that most Palestinians are not violent lunatics who want nothing more than to murder Jews? What Evelyn is saying, and I’m afraid that she may have a point, is that most Palestinians want pretty much what most Israelis want, to build a decent life for themselves and their kids.

Who knew?

And, yet, Barack Obama demanded “total settlement freeze,” thus screwing up any possibility for a negotiated resolution… whatever little possibility there may have been to begin with… because Bibi Netanyahu either would not, or could not, deliver on this ridiculous demand and Mahmoud Abbas, who cannot afford to be seen as softer on Israel than the American president, could thus require nothing less.

You’ll please excuse me, now, because I have to go bang my head against the wall.

{Cross-Posted at Lord of the Karmafishes.}

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