By Mark Dubinski – May, 2011
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Obama:
With all due respect, I just can’t understand how you concocted your current foreign policy positions with regard to Israel. Yes, we all know that the USA has a long tradition of offering Israel financial support and trying to broker peace between Israel and her Arab neighbors. Who can forget President Carter hosting the Camp David Accord in 1978 with Prime Minister Begin and President Sadat? Who can forget President Clinton brokering the Oslo Accords in 1993 with Prime Minister Rabin and PLO Chairman Arafat?
Yes, those American-driven peace initiatives were bold and brilliant in their day, but this is 33 and 18 years later, respectively. The overt hostility between Israel and her neighbors is now as tenuous as it ever was and the Palestinian homeland issue is as hotly debated today as it was in 1993.
Recently you announced that you would support a U.N. Security Council resolution that stipulates that the world body “does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity.” Talk about a 180-degree change in an American position! It is altogether apparent that you are sympathizing with the Palestinians as you chide Israel publically. As opposed to being a theoretically neutral facilitator, as Presidents Carter and Clinton were in their days, you have sided with the minority Palestinian population. This is a critical difference from your presidential predecessors. You have backtracked from our long-standing USA / Israeli alliance. Yes, your decidedly Anti-Israel / Pro-Palestinian position deeply concerns a great many Americans.
Mr. Obama, Israel has legitimate security concerns. Hostile Arab countries, some of which have boldly stated that they will stop at nothing short of driving Israel into the Sea, surround her. Strategically, Israel needs her current footprint to protect herself from her ever-threatening hostile neighbors.
Too, Israel earned all of her territory “fair and square.” Kindly indulge me as I offer you a highly abridged History of Israel: The Balfour Declaration of 1917 got the idea of modern Israel rolling. England controlled Palestine and granted “…the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people…” Let me fast-forward to the 1948 Arab – Israeli War that culminated with the new, independent State of Israel. In the 1967 Six Day War and in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, (both of which were unprovoked, incidentally) neighboring Arab countries attacked Israel. As victor in those two wars, Israel won and kept the Sinai Territory and the Golan Heights. So it is abundantly clear that the current footprint of Israel was acquired legitimately.
Now, let’s please examine your position with regard to the Palestinian People living in Israel. You are promoting the creation of a new Palestinian State within the current borders of Israel. You want to see a bifurcated Jerusalem and have that soon-to-be-divided Holy City serve as both of their respective capitals. Mr. President, that concept makes absolutely no sense to me and to many other Americans. Please allow me to clarify my position, by posing and then answering two questions:
Question 1: “How would the United States deal with an overtly hostile minority population that had divergent values from the majority population and that was trying to annex a separate country within the borders of the USA?”
Answer: We fought a war for similar causes in the 1860s. It was called The American Civil War. Our nation went to inconceivable lengths fighting the most horrific war imaginable to preserve our union and not allow the South to secede. Just as separation was not an option for the USA then, separation cannot be a viable option for The State of Israel, now.
Question 2: “How would you react if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel tried to tell you that the USA was treating its Native American population unfairly and that we must give up perhaps 30% of our continental land mass so that these oppressed people might create a new nation of their own?”
Answer: Of course, that notion would be preposterous! Further, I think you would have a few choice words for “Bibi”, which could not be printed in a newspaper or aired on CNN! I suspect your expletives would be both prickly and abundant.
I submit to you, Mr. Obama, that even if you wanted to give up a comparable portion of the US landmass to our Native American population, you would have no possible way to do it. You would have to abandon perhaps 10 of our Western States and half of Washington DC. I can just hear your address now:
“Sorry, citizens of Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico. Soarry Washington, DC populations south of the White House. All of you people have to abandon your houses, your jobs, everything you have ever known and worked for, because Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel says we were very mean and unfair to the Native Americans. We need to give them back some of their land so they can create a new country.”
Yes, that speech would play well to the American people, don’t you think? Oh, sorry, I suppose not. Presenting that speech to your citizens would be the fastest way I can imagine to get you impeached, if not permanently institutionalized!
In summary, you are asking Israel to do what it doesn’t want to do, due to legitimate security concerns, and what she could not do, even if she wanted to comply. Moreover, if the roles were reversed, it is clear that you wouldn’t and couldn’t do it for the very same reasons. Israel is our best friend in the Middle East. Our President should look for ways to support our key allies, not undermine them.
Oh, I have one last question, Mr. Obama: In devising your current policy on Israel were you listening to that old popular song, “You Always Hurt The One You Love?” Were you singing these famous lyrics to yourself?
“You always hurt the one you love,
The one you shouldn’t hurt at all.
You always take the sweetest rose,
And crush it till the petals fall.”
Mr. President, I urge you to please rethink your ill-conceived policy on Israel. You are asking her to do what she should not do and what she cannot do. Moreover, your policies endanger our one true friend in that tenuous and historically unstable region. Please stop hurting the one we love.
Very Truly Yours,
Mark A. Dubinsky
Mark Dubinsky is former CEO of his family’s Methuen, MA based network of Dunkin’ Donuts Franchises. Today, he develops commercial real estate and is a management consultant to “C” level executives and business owners. Mark can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org