Mideast Politics and Midwest Storms
Vol: 116 Issue: 25 Wednesday, May 25, 2011
There are two related stories in today’s headlines. The first is the Israeli Prime Minister’s address to Congress. The second is the incredibly destructive series of storms decimating the American Midwest.
It is hard to comprehend just how badly the city of Joplin, Missouri was hit. The death toll stands this morning at an incredible 124 — but the real shocker is the number of missing. At least fifteen hundred people are missing and unaccounted for.
The Sunday tornado was classified an EF-5 with winds exceeding 200 mph and is the deadliest storm to hit the country in nearly sixty years. The series of twisters that swept through the South late last month killed more than 300 people.
Adding this week’s tally so far, the storm season has this year already killed 480 people.
That doesn’t really sound like that many, given the HUGE numbers we’ve become accustomed to in the 21st century where we’ve had serial disasters with death tolls in the hundreds of thousands.
Try and imagine a group of 480 Americans. Picture them in your mind. It’s quite a crowd. If you were in an auditorium with 480 people, it would take quite a while to fight the crowd to get out. Imagine how many cars are necessary to transport 480 people.
You couldn’t get them all into ten buses. You couldn’t pack them all into two jumbo jets. Imagine having to feed 480 people?
It doesn’t sound like much when compared to the victims of the Great Japanese Tsunami or the Haiti earthquake but 480 people is a big chunk of humanity.
And of that number, 127 victims are from the same storm — in the same town. I heard one local newscaster say that there isn’t anyone in Joplin that didn’t lose somebody.
That was on Sunday. On Tuesday, a new series of tornadoes touched down in Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas.
The Oklahoma storms killed at least five in one county, injured dozens and destroyed much of Piedmont, OK. Another storm killed at least two in Arkansas. At least seven twisters touched down in Kansas – killing two more.
The governor of Oklahoma, Mary Fallin summed up what many people were thinking during an interview with CNN:
“I’ve been in (public) office for 20 years. I’ve been through a lot of these natural disasters, but I’ve never seen this many in a short period of time.”
According to Al Gore, it is because of man-made global warming. According to Joe Bastardi, formerly Accuweather’s chief meteorologist, solar inactivity has caused the Pacific to cool slightly, creating the weather patterns that spawn tornadoes in the American Midwest.
But Al Gore is a professional politician who got a “D” in Natural Sciences in college and barely passed both physics and chemistry. Joe Bastardi is a professional meteorologist with a degree in meteorology whose predictions earned him the undying hatred of the Al Gore Chorus.
Given their relative credentials, I’m inclined to trust the smarter Bastardi.
As Joplin was beginning to dig itself out, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the US Congress to plead with the American people not to get behind President Obama’s revised US policy stating that the starting point for negotiations should be the 1967 lines.
The “1967 lines” refers to the Israeli borders as they existed prior to the Six Day’s War. Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban used to call them the “Auschwitz borders” because they left Israel defenseless.
Prior to 1967, the Golan Heights was part of Syria. From 1948 to 1967 the Syrians used the Golan Heights to rain down artillery shells on the Galilee region with impunity.
After Israel captured it in the Six Days War, Israel annexed the Golan to prevent it from being used against them by Syria in some future attack.
Prior to 1967, the Gaza Strip was part of Egypt. Egypt used the Gaza Strip as a staging area for its attacks on Israel during the 1948-49 War of Independence, the 1956 Sinai campaign and the 1967 War.
After Israel captured the Gaza Strip in 1967 it annexed it to prevent it from being used against them by Egypt in some future attack.
Prior to 1967 what is called “the West Bank” was part of Jordan, including East Jerusalem. In 1967 — when the Jordanians began their assault on the Jewish State — they were already in Jerusalem.
After Israel captured it in 1967, they annexed it to prevent it from being used against them by Jordan in some future attack.
Prior to 1967 the residents of the Golan were Syrians. The residents of Gaza were Egyptian. The residents of the West Bank were Jordanian.
After 1967 they reinvented themselves as “Palestinians” and claimed they were under Israeli “occupation.”
The existence of a ‘Palestinian people’ is one of the most easily disproved historical fictions in the history of mankind. The ‘Palestinian’ people are Arabs that were abandoned by their own countries after Israel’s 1967 victory.
Because it is so easily disproved, Obama’s call for a Palestinian state as ‘a matter of right’ is disingenuous, to say the least. He knows better.
If Obama’s position is the right one, then it would be equally right for us to adopt a domestic policy of negotiating immigration issues with Mexico using the 1844 borders as a starting point.
Or re-negotiating our western borders based on the 1802 borders — before the Lousiana Purchase. What about the Union’s borders as of July, 1861?
But even stretching the point that far, it is still nowhere near as a far as this newly-articulated Obama Doctrine stretches Israel.
Because even if America’s borders were redefined to those historic extremes, what remained would not render the rest of the country indefensible. And we’d still be in possession of our national capital.
Moreover, Mexico doesn’t deny America’s right to exist. We might miss Texas, New Mexico and California, but our continued existence would be no more at risk than would our capital in Washington, DC.
Imagine if the starting point for negotiations with Mexico was similar to the stated Arab position with Israel. . . . “give us back the Southwest FIRST – and then, MAYBE, we’ll consider not attacking you – for now. . . maybe.”
Even if Israel withdrew to the 1967 borders, there is no credible guarantee that any peace deal would outlast the Arab leader that signs it.
Israel already made major territorial concessions with Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak in exchange for peace. It lasted only as long as Hosni Mubarak did. Now Egypt is threatening war if Israel “invades” Gaza.
It met almost all of Arafat’s demands – then Arafat changed his mind and started a new intifada.
In 2005, Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza and turned it over to the Arabs to govern as they saw fit. The newly “freed” Palestinian population saw fit to immediately elect terrorists dedicated to Israel’s destruction as their representative government.
In the event that Obama got his way and Israel withdrew to within the 1967 borders, does anybody really believe that next Arab demand won’t be a return to the pre-1948 borders?
The Palestinians responded to Netanyahu’s speech to the Congress by declaring it “full of lies” while Israeli cabinet minister Zvi Hauser pointed out that if the Palestinians simply accepted Israel as a Jewish state, (which they do not) the conflict would be 90% resolved.
The United States has undertaken a foreign policy position that calls for the Land of Israel to be divided and given to the sworn enemies of the Jewish State, whether Israel agrees or not.
During the same week that Obama articulated America’s new position — a position so anti-Israeli that it prompted Israel’s Prime Minister to throw caution to the winds and directly criticize the policy from the well of the US Congress – America suffered the deadliest tornado outbreak in sixty years.
“And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” (Genesis 12:3)
Which is itself a Biblically correct position.