Americans remember the Bible story of King Solomon. Two women came to
him with a baby. They were disputing whose child it was. "Cut the child
in half," the wise king ordered. The mother of the child cried out: Give
the baby to her. She would give up her child rather than let it be
President Obama is playing Solomon now. He has decided to cut the baby
in half. In this case, the child is Israel. Although he has not said so
directly, that is the burden of his argument, that's what just one word
in his speech means. That word is 'contiguous.'
Mr. Obama delivered a major address calling for Israel to return to its
pre-1967 borders. That would mean the West Bank and East Jerusalem are to be evacuated and
handed over to Israel's mortal enemies. They would become, under Arab
pressure, Jew-free zones. The German word for that is Judenrein.
But I want to focus on that one word, 'contiguous,' that Mr. Obama said
should define the new Palestinian state he wants to create. That means
that Palestinian Arabs on the West Bank of the Jordan River should have
direct access to their brethren in the Gaza Strip, an area ruled with
bloody force by the terrorist group Hamas.
It's not that terrorists have any trouble accessing West Bank towns like
Jericho and Nablus now. But giving them a Hamas corridor would bisect
Israel, cutting the Jewish state in two. Cutting Israel in half will be
When the town of Vicksburg fell in 1863, President Lincoln knew it was
the death knell of the Confederacy. "The father of waters flows unvexed
to the sea," Lincoln said, poetically describing the Union's new control
over the length of the Mississippi River.
Contiguous, or contiguity, the noun. That's what the Confederates lost
at Vicksburg. Their new nation was cut in two. It withered and died.
Dictators, it seems, understand these principles better than our latter
day presidents do.
Hitler understood it when he ordered his Wehrmacht to wipe out the
Polish Corridor in 1939. That strip of land had been given to the infant
Polish state in order to give it access to the sea. From Germany, and
from his territory in East Prussia, Hitler caught the unhappy Poles in a
pincer movement and wiped out their armed forces. Soon, Poland fell
under his boot.
Soviet Communist dictator Josef Stalin understood contiguity, too.
That's why he tried to seal off West Berlin. He blockaded the access
routes in 1948 that led from West Germany to West Berlin. He was hoping
not only to swallow up the free city of West Berlin, he wanted the rump
state of West Germany to die, as well.
By promising contiguity to the Palestinians, Obama is rewarding a group
of people whose only political expression has been terrorism. Just weeks
after the supposedly "moderate" Fatah faction concluded an agreement and
formed an axis with the openly terrorist Hamas, President Obama decided
not to cut off U.S. aid to the so-called Palestinian Authority formed by
Fatah. Instead, he is rewarding them with, what? Contiguity.
What to call the new access route that will be paved with American
dollars and Israeli blood? The Hamas Corridor? Or should it be called
the Obama Freeway? Whatever we call it, it will not be found anywhere on
the Mideast's Roadmap to Peace.
Ken Blackwell is co-author of the newly released, Resurgent: How Constitutional Conservativism Can
Save America, published by Simon and Schuster (Threshold Editions).