"Abu Hussain! Palestine loves you!!!"Obama's Mideast policy will inevitably fail (like everything else he touches) since he and his State Department refuse to acknowledge that those who are declaring their love for him want nothing more than the destruction of Israel. Why would they not be emboldened when the "leader of the free world" criticizes Israel while pandering in front of an audience in the most populous Muslim nation on earth?
This slogan, in English, appears on a poster and other products produced by the Palestinian Hamas movement and put on sale in Gaza. Yesterday, it adorned the front pages of several leading Arab dailies.
The "Abu Hussain" is President Obama. The poster pictures him wearing the signature Arab headgear, the kaffiyeh.
That the most radical Palestinian faction has declared its love for the president may be bad news for the stalled Middle East peace talks, which Obama has promised to help restart before the end of the year.
According to its charter, Hamas wants to eliminate Israel and to replace it with a single Palestinian state covering the territory of the Jewish state and the territories it occupied in 1967.
Iran, Libya and a range of radical Islamist movements, including al Qaeda, support Hamas' policy, sometimes known as the "one-state solution." But Obama has said he supports President George W. Bush's two-state policy.
If Hamas' declaration of love for Obama is based on a misunderstanding, the problem may lie in Obama's ambiguous approach to the Arab-Israeli conflict.
When Bush said he wanted a two-state solution, he saw the realities on the ground as the starting point. Obama and his special emissary, George Mitchell, however, have talked about a return to the pre-1967 "borders" as demanded by several UN resolutions.
But there were no borders in 1967 -- only cease-fire lines drawn at the end of the 1948 war. And there was no Palestine to have any borders -- the cease-fire lines separated Israel on the one hand from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria on the other. Indeed, a return to those cease-fire lines would be tantamount to recreating a situation that had already led to two wars.
Obama also drops hints that he means to be tough with Israel. To advertise his toughness, he makes occasional statements about Jewish settlements. Yet this puts the whole exercise on a different trajectory, with talks focused on the settlements rather than the core issue -- the creation of a Palestinian state.
Pressuring Israel may look good to "Abu Hussain" and his Hamas admirers. But it may reduce the chances of agreement on the creation of a Palestinian state.
On the upside, at least Obama finally recognizes a great country and the sacrifices their soldiers have made.
Not that Obama doesn't appreciate the sacrifices of veterans. He absolutely does. Just ask the Indonesians.Maybe he was having a seance with that guy over his shoulder in the Hamas poster.
He was in Jakarta for their Heroes Day this week to honor their veterans "who have sacrificed on behalf of this great country."
"This great country," of course, being Indonesia.
"When my stepfather was a boy, he watched his own father and older brother leave home to fight and die in the struggle for Indonesian independence," Obama told the audience.
And the White House wonders why so many people think there is something foreign about this guy.
In the same speech, Obama gave voice to a harsh criticism he has heard about freely elected governments.
"Today, we sometimes hear that democracy stands in the way of economic progress," he said.
The shocking statement raises the question: Where has Obama heard this fatuous claim and with whom has he been talking politics?
We leave with this this clip from last night's Hannity. Says it all (via GWP).