"What’s At Loss By Testing It?"

In Blogs, Current Affairs by Chris KatulkaLeave a Comment


On the eve of Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu arriving in Washington, DC, President Obama dropped a few bombshells on Israel’s potential international isolation and internal demographic debacle if Netanyahu and his government don’t push the two-state solution forward. Every Israeli is aware of the demographics issue of their country, but hearing a U.S. President talk about international isolation probably raised a few eyebrows.

As I read through the entire transcript of the interview, I was struck by one particular word that President Obama used numerous times to describe some of his Middle East agenda. He used this word to describe his thoughts about the potential Israeli/Palestinian two-state solution, he used this word when talking about the reliability of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and he also used this word to elaborate on his feelings about the nuclear deal made with Iran. The word President Obama said repeatedly was “test.”

Six times President Obama used “test” as if he was showing us the grid through which he justifies his movements in the Middle East. For instance, Goldberg pressed President Obama as to whether Palestinian President Abbas is a trustworthy leader who is capable of leading a united Palestinian people into true peaceful negotiations with Israel, since Abbas has been known as a leader who is weak, corrupt, and a spokesman of a disenfranchised faction of the Palestinian people. President Obama responded, “Look, I think it has to be tested.”

The word “test” to me sounds a bit ambiguous when you’re attempting to establish long-term peace and stability between the Israelis and Palestinians. When I think of the word “test” I envision a pharmaceutical drug company that runs years of clinical trials and tests, spending millions of dollars on one drug before they launch the medication. They administer these tests to make sure death isn’t a side effect––only hallucinations.

The problem with President Obama’s use of the word “test” in Israeli security is that there really isn’t any time to test. You don’t get a test run when you establish a peace accord between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Why? Because once the accord has been signed, you can’t take it back. You have to live with it. His take on “test,” I believe, is more like, “Hey, let’s try this out!”

Let’s look back at Israel’s decision to move out of the Gaza in 2005 in exchange for peace. This was a test backed by the U.S. to see if the Palestinian people could live peacefully next to Israel. Well, from the way I see it, the test failed. And sadly, there are no takebacks. Now they have to live with the decision they tested, which has resulted in more than 15,000 rockets launched into southern Israel and two major wars.

Israel, the Palestinians, and the West Bank are not a petri dish to test ideas on to see if they’ll grow and stick. One wrong decision could cause a terminal domino effect, just like the Oslo Peace Accords have.

Maybe Israel’s hesitancy at establishing peace with the Palestinians today comes as a result of the previous “tests” that were tried on them and the Palestinians.

What do you think? Should President Obama be able to “test” some of his ideas out for peace between Israel and the Palestinians?


About the Author
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Chris Katulka

Chris Katulka is the director of North American Ministries for The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, the host of The Friends of Israel Today radio program, a Bible teacher, and writer for Israel My Glory magazine. He is also the author of Israel Always: Experiencing God’s Pursuit of You Through His Chosen People. If you would like to support Chris, please click here.

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