This morning the New York Times ran a story about the dramatic change in the relationship between the United States and Israel. It seemed to point out how the people who are advising the President on Middle East issues, most of whom have long histories of anti-Israel leanings (Jim Jones, Samantha Powers, Robert Mally, Zbigniew Brzezinski, among others), have succeeded in getting the United States to step back from its vital alliance with the Jewish State. Not that the President needed much convincing as his track record against Israel is problematic also.
When Mr. Obama declared that resolving the long-running Middle East dispute was a “vital national security interest of the United States,” he was highlighting a change that has resulted from a lengthy debate among his top officials over how best to balance support for Israel against other American interests.
Those other interests are his desire to cuddle up to the Muslim states while abandoning long term allies, not just Israel, but Britain, France, Germany, and India,etc. Israel is the most problematic for Obama as she is a specific target of the dictatorships he wants to appease.
This shift, described by administration officials who did not want to be quoted by name when discussing internal discussions, is driving the White House’s urgency to help broker a Middle East peace deal. It increases the likelihood that Mr. Obama, frustrated by the inability of the Israelis and the Palestinians to come to terms, will offer his own proposed parameters for an eventual Palestinian state. Mr. Obama said conflicts like the one in the Middle East ended up “costing us significantly in terms of both blood and treasure” — drawing an explicit link between the Israeli-Palestinian strife and the safety of American soldiers as they battle Islamic extremism and terrorism in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
Obama and his crew of Arabists are subscribers to the invalid theory that everything in the Middle East stems from the Israel/Palestinian conflict. What that theory is really attempting is to shift the blame for the Arab-Muslim dysfunction and placing it on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and on Israeli in particular. This theory plays into the hands of all the Muslim dictators, autocrats and mullahs who use the term “Zionist” as a scapegoat to justify their refusal to embrace modernization, democratization and economic reform.
As soon as the Times article spread its way through Congress, Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va) let the President have it right between the eyes:
Israel is a democracy that has always made the sacrifices necessary for peace despite living under constant threats to their very existence. The true barrier to ending the Mideast conflict is the widespread Palestinian refusal to accept and to live alongside Israel as a Jewish state. While Israel continues its search for a reliable partner in peace, Palestinian terrorism is still celebrated in the West Bank and Gaza. Despite this reality, since day one the White House has applied a severe double standard that refuses to hold the Palestinians accountable for their many provocations. It makes one wonder where the responsible adults are in the administration?
The administration’s troubling policy of manufacturing fights with Israel to ingratiate itself with some in the Arab world is no way to advance the cause of Mideast peace. What kind of message is sent to the world when our country appears to turn its back on key strategic allies who share our values?
The list of grievances supposedly stoking the hatred of Islamic terrorists is endless and evolving. Before Al Qaeda used our support for Israel against us, Bin Laden’s main grievance was the presence of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia and sanctions against Saddam’s Iraq – both of which no longer exist. The suggestion that terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan will lay down their weapons if we distance ourselves from Israel is blindingly naïve. We know this because it’s been tried before. For example, Russia has sided with Israel’s Arab enemies since the days of the Cold War, and today it condemns Israel at the U.N., sells arms to Israel’s arch-enemies Syria and Iran, and is attempting to block meaningful international sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program. Did this stop Islamist suicide bombers from murdering 38 in an attack on two Moscow subway stations last month?
“With each passing day, more Americans are becoming increasingly concerned about the deteriorating state of U.S.-Israel relations. This concern was expressed succinctly by a letter today from World Jewish Congress President Ron Lauder to President Obama, who wrote, ‘Our great country and the tiny State of Israel have long shared the core values of freedom and democracy. It is a bond much treasured by the Jewish people. In that spirit I submit, most respectfully, that it is time to end our public feud with Israel and to confront the real challenges that we face together.’ I couldn’t agree more.
“The American people understand that Israel is a key strategic ally in the Middle East, one that we should stand with in our mutual struggle to prevent the spread of Islamic extremism and a nuclear Iran.”
After receiving this press release in the early afternoon, it was held in order to include possible statements coming from the Democratic side. I was sure that Chuck Schumer would say something just as powerful as Cantor, or Congressman Gary Ackerman, both of whom have been supportive of Israel their entire careers. If not those Reps, maybe Jerrold Nadler, or one of the other pro-Israel members of the Democratic Party. The strange part was there was no voice coming out of the Democrats in Congress disagreeing with the President’s misdirected policy on Israel. Instead of doing the right thing, Members of Congress decided to sell their souls to advance their political careers by keeping quiet about the Anti-Israel policies of a President from their own party. Shame, Shame on them.
Some people will point to the AIPAC-directed letter signed by over 360 congressman admonishing the President over the one sided pressure on Israel and the lack of pressure on Iran. Its easy to be one of 360+ names on a letter (Congressman Cantor signed the letter also) its another thing to stand up and be counted. Unlike Cantor, the Democrats in Congress don’t have the guts to stand up and be counted.