President Obama’s mission to degrade and destroy Islamic State (ISIL) in Syria and Iraq has been seriously undermined by these poor political judgement calls….
- Claiming that ISIL is not “Islamic”
- Arguing that ISIL is not a State because no other Government recognises it
- Intruding upon Syrian sovereign territory in breach of international law before first procuring the passage of a Chapter VII Security Council Resolution authorising military action
- Threatening to use his intervention in Syria as an excuse to also remove Syria’s President Assad
- Grossly underestimating the ISIL threat
His latest gaffe involves a dispute with Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu – who told the United Nations this week:
… everywhere we look, militant Islam is on the march. It’s not militants. It’s not Islam. It’s militant Islam.
Typically, its first victims are other Muslims, but it spares no one. Christians, Jews, Yazidis, Kurds – no creed, no faith, no ethnic group is beyond its sights. And it’s rapidly spreading in every part of the world.”
Netanyahu further warned:
“To protect the peace and security of the world, we must remove this cancer before it’s too late. Last week, many of the countries represented here rightly applauded President Obama for leading the effort to confront ISIS. And yet weeks before, some of these same countries, the same countries that now support confronting ISIS, opposed Israel for confronting Hamas. They evidently don’t understand that ISIS and Hamas are branches of the same poisonous tree. ISIS and Hamas share a fanatical creed, which they both seek to impose well beyond the territory under their control.”
State Department spokesperson – Jen Psaki – chose to take issue with Netanyahu – claiming:
“Obviously, we’ve designated both as terrorist organizations, but ISIL poses a different threat to Western interests and to the United States,”
However ISIL and Hamas – and the PLO – all pose identical threats to western interests and the United States – as they attempt to unscramble the three Mandates for Syria / Lebanon, Iraq and Palestine legally sanctioned by the League of Nations more than 90 years ago after the territories comprised in these Mandates were liberated from 400 years of Ottoman Empire rule following Turkey’s defeat in World War I.
The independent Arab and Jewish States that subsequently emerged from these Mandates are now being directly threatened with elimination.
ISIL has already declared an Islamic State in large parts of Syria and Iraq exceeding the area of Great Britain – – expelling or butchering Christian and other religious communities who have lived there for centuries. ISIL has been repelled in Lebanon and also threatens Jordan.
Hamas – pursuant to Article 11 of its 1988 Charter – militarily seeks to reverse the Jewish National Home objectives of the Mandate for Palestine:
“The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. Neither a single Arab country nor all Arab countries, neither any king or president, nor all the kings and presidents, neither any organization nor all of them, be they Palestinian or Arab, possess the right to do that. Palestine is an Islamic Waqf land consecrated for Moslem generations until Judgement Day.”
The PLO – pursuant to Article 20 of its 1968 Covenant – has never accepted the legal validity of the Mandate for Palestine – nor Great Britain’s 1923 decision that ultimately created today’s independent Arab state of Jordan in 78% of Mandatory Palestine:
“The Balfour Declaration, the Mandate for Palestine, and everything that has been based upon them, are deemed null and void.”
Obama has wasted his political energy and Presidential prestige fruitlessly promoting negotiations designed to create a second Arab State in Mandatory Palestine – in addition to Jordan – for the first time ever in recorded history.
The Mandates system created the legal foundations for both Arabs and Jews to gain self-determination and political independence.
Obama needs to focus on this bigger picture – so eloquently elaborated by David Ben-Gurion to the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine in July 1947:
“It is wrong to regard the problem of Jewish-Arab relations only in the framework of this little country. The statesmen who were responsible for the Balfour Declaration did not envisage merely the restoration of the Jewish nation alone. At the same time they provided for the liberation of the Arab people and they achieved this on a much larger scale and in a more effective way. The Arabs gained their freedom in an area of 1,250,000 square miles, 125 times as large as the area of Western Palestine with a population of some 15 to 16 million Arabs-about the number of Jews living then in the world…
… This was the real twofold arrangement made with the Arabs and the Jews. The freedom of the Arab people in their countries the restoration of Palestine to the Jewish people…
Netanyahu’s address pointed Obama in Ben-Gurion’s direction:
“ … a broader rapprochement between Israel and the Arab world may help facilitate an Israeli-Palestinian peace. And therefore, to achieve that peace, we must look not only to Jerusalem and Ramallah, but also to Cairo, to Amman, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh and elsewhere.”
Allowing any unscrambling of the three Mandates omelette is assuredly going to leave Obama with even more egg on his face.
David Singer is a Sydney Lawyer and Foundation Member of the International Analysts Network.