Revolutionary Springs, Freezing Winters and Four (more) Years of Failed Attempts

Am I scared to be living for the next four years in a world where President Barack Obama and his top advisors are its leaders?


Chuck Hagel doesn’t scare me. John Kerry doesn’t scare me. Even the ever-lovely Mike Harris doesn’t scare me

Maybe it’s my naïveté and my youth or maybe it’s the fact that I cannot picture a world without Israel. Nevertheless, I’m not scared of the president and his counterparts not being friendly to Israel and creating a dawn between the nations.

I draw on this confidence from the example of past-President Jimmy Carter. Carter was far from Israel’s best friend back in the late seventies. But he too started his presidency boasting of his impending solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. His biggest accomplishment was the publicity stunt of the Camp David Accords, which became a death sentence for the two Arab and Israeli leaders involved.

When one looks further into the Accords, however, one can see the beginning of the outline of the two-state solution, one of the first mentions of it by an American president. Carter neglected to acknowledge the fact that the Accords were between Israel and Egypt, though, not calling upon the Palestinian leaders to take part. This angered the Palestinians, and put the two-state solution at a complete halt, to be brought up only haphazardly by few future United States presidents.

Until 2010, that is, when Barack Obama gave his speech in Cairo encouraging the Arab Spring in Egypt. Again, a U.S. president gave false hope to the wrong nation, not even consulting with Israel this time, while calling for a complete recession of Israel’s borders to the 1948 lines to make way for a Palestinian state.

However, this time the Palestinians weren’t in an uproar. The Jews were. How could a country that had been such a friend of Israel for so long call upon it to recede to such indefensible borders?

But, really, it had been in the background of a U.S. plan all along. The words were there in the Camp David Accords, waiting for another president to be ready to suggest them again, and maybe even make this imaginary plan a reality. Obama saw this and the Arab Spring provided for him a springboard to capitulate the plans into actions. However, again, he forgot one key part.

Speaking to a nation who isn’t as closely involved with the conflict is easy. Words are empty. But once the parties involved must be spoken to, and, better yet, once they are forced to speak to each other, words start to get complicated. In order for any two-state solution to be enacted, the Palestinians must present a united front, either through the Palestinian Authority or Hamas. Once that is settled, which isn’t very likely since the truce between the two parties barely lasted a few months in 2007, then the representing party must agree to speak with and negotiate with Israel. This too, is no easy task.

Even if all this can be accomplished, there are still months if not years of negotiations that must take place in order for Israel and the Palestinians to be relatively happy and live peacefully alongside one another. This too, seems relatively unrealistic, since any agreement between the two countries has always been broken by the Palestinians and Islamic extremism preaches war on Israel until every inch of land is back under a Muslim tyranny.

And Obama only has four more years to accomplish this. Luckily, for even the most experienced politician, this presents a daunting task for the next four years, one bordering on the impossible. Which, thankfully, means Israel has four more years to settle the disputes within its own government on what to do within Judea and Samaria, and to better represent a united front to the general public.

About the Author
Melanie Goldberg is a current student at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. She also serves as the research assistant for Versa: The Israeli Supreme Court English Language Repository, and founded a chapter of The Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights on her campus. Most recently, she was one of the recipients of The Jewish Week's "36 under 36" award.