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Barack kisses the ring

By Michael J. Smith on Sunday March 4, 2007 07:52 PM

I predicted here a few days ago that Barack Obama would soon find a way to make his obeisance to the Israel lobby, and I was vindicated sooner than usual. Barack appeared before a regional conference of AIPAC and laid it on thick. He spoke with his usual facile lyricism of a trip to what he called the "Holy Land":
I flew on an [Israeli military] helicopter to the border zone. The helicopter took us over the most troubled and dangerous areas and that narrow strip between the West Bank and the Mediterranean Sea. At that height, I could see ... how close everything is and why peace through security is the only way for Israel.

Our helicopter landed in the town of Kiryat Shmona on the border. What struck me first about the village was how familiar it looked. The houses and streets looked like ones you might find in a suburb in America.... Then, I saw a house that had been hit with one of Hezbollah's Katyusha rockets.

Barack is very good with code words. Kiryat Shemona is a town on the Lebanese border -- a town built on the ruins of an Arab village named Halsa. The present town, whose name means "city of the Eight," refers to a group of Jabotinskyite adventurers, including the fairly well-known Josef Trumpeldor, who were killed in 1920 after attempting to take possession of another border town called Tel Hai. They seem to have believed that eight resolute Zionists would suffice against what Trumpledor's ideological comrades called the "Arab horde."

In this case, as in more recent ones in the same region, they were mistaken. Halsa, from which the "hordes" who overran Trumpeldor and his comrades came, conveniently became "abandoned" later, and Kiryat Shemona now stands above its buried ruins. It is a bit of a tourist destination for Israelis; there's a toboggan run, and a chairlift up into the nearby mountains.

Kiryat Shemona was a bloody shirt for the late Menachem Begin. "Nooooo more Katyushas over Kiryat Shemona," he used to declaim to the wild cheers of his followers. This oratory, of course, paved the way for the Lebanon invasion of 1982.

You've got to give Barack credit. "Kiryat Shemona" before an AIPAC audience is red meat indeed; it's like talking to Serbs about the Field of Blackbirds. Of course exoteric ears would not, perhaps, quite grasp what signal was being sent here. They would probably just think he'd picked some town at random. But Barack, I daresay, does nothing at random.

He went on to talk about Iran:

...we should take no option, including military action, off the table.... Iranian nuclear weapons would destabilize the region and could set off a new arms race. Some nations in the region, such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, could fall away from restraint and rush into a nuclear contest that could fuel greater instability in the region—that's not just bad for the Middle East, but bad for the world, making it a vastly more dangerous and unpredictable place. Other nations would feel great pressure to accommodate Iranian demands. Terrorist groups with Iran's backing would feel emboldened to act even more brazenly under an Iranian nuclear umbrella. And as the A.Q. Kahn network in Pakistan demonstrated, Iran could spread this technology around the world.
Here's his take on last summer's jolly little war:
... when Israel is attacked, we must stand up for Israel's legitimate right to defend itself. Last summer, Hezbollah attacked Israel. By using Lebanon as an outpost for terrorism, and innocent people as shields, Hezbollah has also engulfed that entire nation in violence and conflict....
Oh, and don't forget to send money:
...we must preserve our total commitment to our unique defense relationship with Israel by fully funding military assistance and continuing work on the Arrow and related missile defense programs. This would help Israel maintain its military edge and deter and repel attacks from as far as Tehran and as close as Gaza.
All in all, a more polished performance than John Edwards' recent pole-dance for the same outfit; but that's the difference between a high-class whore and a Tenth Avenue streetwalker.

Comments (5)

Jake Golden:

white-trash jew hater


I never fail to be fascinated by the real high class of argument that one gets when criticizing Israel. I have to say, though, that Jake here brings it to a whole 'notha level -- I'm certainly familiar with the whole "Jew hater," "anti-Semite" thing, but the "white trash" bit is new.

MJS, it appears that your knowledge of modern Israel's history is a red flag that you're an uneducated, blue-collar, red-nosed bubba. A honky, if you will. I don't know how I could have missed the connection.


Trash, of course, is in the eye of the beholder, but I wonder how JG has inferred that I must be white?

Tim D:

MJS - just wondering where you got the background info on Kiryat Shemona? (Not doubting you, but just wondering for reference's sake...) Great post by the way. Raimondo also had a pretty good article about the Obama speech over at antiwar.com...


Erm... erm... I think I read about KS in Benny Morris' book, The Birth Of The Palestinian Refugee Problem, but I don't have the book at hand. I remember Begin ranting about it. Wikipedi has a not-bad article, might make a good starting point.

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