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“Experience Israel Before Obama Gives It Away”

Friday, May 20, 2011  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

That’s the amendment of the title of the DVD that the Israel Ministry of Tourism gives away I proposed to Mark Steyn in our weekly conversation yesterday (transcript here.)

The link to the real DVD is here.

Mark and I spent most of the segment discussing the president’s astonishing speech yesterday, and the key exchange is this one:

HH: Mark Steyn, today in Israel, the criticism is extraordinary of the President, because the 1967 borders include, of course, the Golan Heights.

MS: Right, right. I mean, this is what is ridiculous. At its narrowest point, the state of Israel is barely wider than my township in New Hampshire. And I think that’s a good way of looking at it for a lot of your listeners. You imagine living in a tiny, little sliver of land, barely wider than an American township, and you’re surrounded by people who want to kill you. In Syria, in the Palestinian Authority, and increasingly, in the new so-called Facebook revolution Egypt, where the government that is likely to come to power will almost certainly be far more hostile to the very idea of Israel’s existence than the Mubarak regime was.

HH: In this Experience Israel promotion over at, they give you the DVD. It also says the ultimate time travel. And I was struck by that today. Why does he want to go back to ’67? What ideological tick is making him travel back in time to prior to many wars ago?

MS: Yeah, because I think this is the war. If you have the Western faculty lounge attitude, which is the sewer that Obama has been marinated in, in his entire adult life, then 1967 matters far more than 1973 or 1948, or 1922, because 1967 is, as the faculty lounge left see it, the moment when the Israeli occupation began. Why, by the way, did it begin? It began because Israel’s neighbors launched another disastrous war on them. The enemy, Israel’s enemies are incompetent at fighting conventional war. And they discovered that actually instead of sending your troops into battle and keep losing their wars, why not instead play Western public opinion like a fiddle, and eventually the pressure, you start with the low hanging fruit, your average European foreign minister. But eventually if you keep the pressure up, you’ll land an American president who basically is not prepared to stand by the state of Israel. And that’s what they’ve got right now.

Mitt Romney was right to denounce the president’s speech. Tim Pawlenty was right to do so as well. So should all of the would-be GOP nominees. Along with Great Britain, Israel is America’s most dependable ally in the world. Our president should not be calling for the altering its borders in public while avoiding the explicit and repeated condemnation of Hamas’ and Iran’s demands for the extermination of the country.

A speech limited to denouncing the massacres in Syria and the extremism of Hamas would have been useful. Using the occasion to pressure Israel to negotiate with terrorists to their south and butchers to their north was an enormous error.

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