AND WE TREAT A FRIEND THIS WAY?
August 2, 2009
The current Middle East foreign policy in Washington is turning our national priorities into a tail spin. It is troubling to see how President Obama is determined to end sixty-one years of support for our good friend and ally... Israel. And Obama's trip this spring to the Middle East appears to have been the start of this determined downward tail spin.
The President's visit to the Middle East and not having gone to Israel can only be interpreted as a deliberate slap in the face of Jerusalem. Likewise, it is a statement to the Arab world that America's pro-Israel policy is changing. Obama has appeared outraged at "those horrible Israel settlements...they have to go." He gives the impression that they are the major threat to Mid-East peace. From the President's statements, it appears that it is not the Iranian development of nuclear weapons, and not the slaughter of men, women and children, which has recently taken place in Iran. Nor is it the subsidization of Hamas and Hezbollah or the Saudi royal subsidies for these terror organizations or welfare payments to families of suicide bombers who have slaughtered American personnel. But it does appear that "it is those terrible Israeli settlements." Now THAT is highly questionable priority thinking. It is painful to see this happening as part of American foreign policy.
When Barack Obama was running for President, he reassured voters of his firm commitment to America's special relationship with Israel. But since the time that Obama became President he appeared determined to appease Iran, Saudi Arabia, the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, and all of the extremists while slighting Israel and turning his back on Israeli democracy. Just seven months into his administration, it is becoming increasingly apparent that those who felt suspicious about Obama's approach to the Middle East had good reason to feel that way. There are a number of confluent factors to consider several of which are...the Administration's undue pressure on Israel, the conciliatory apologetic approach to authoritarian Muslim regimes apologizing for American exceptionalism, and the linkage of the failed engagement process to the curtailment of the Iranian nuclear program.
The shift in American foreign policy began when the administration signaled that it would make the cessation of Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank the centerpiece of its policy in the region. Among the degradations in the Middle East, from the treatment of women in nations such as Saudi Arabia, to Syrian-backed assassinations of politicians for democracy in Lebanon, to the arrest and imprisonment of gay men in Egypt...President Obama singled out America's one reliable democratic ally Israel for retribution. Now that clearly sends a deafening message to such a reliable ally and our other allies around the world.
Through the years, the American public has given strong support to Israel and rightly so. George Will said it well when he stated "in the 61 years since Israel was founded on one-sixth of one percent of land in that area described as land of the Arab world, there has not been a moment of peace for Israel, not as peace is properly understood. How many Americans understand that when Israel was founded in 1948, no Palestinian state was invaded, no Palestinian state was destroyed?" It is highly disturbing to see the current Administration's rhetoric and diplomacy render Israel as the obstinate actor and to portray the Jewish State as the recalcitrant one and the main obstacle to peace in the Middle East. How many of us would not protect and defend our own family in the same spirit as has Israel?
Everyone is aware that Iran has stated openly that the destruction of Israel is their goal. Further, a nuclear armed Iran is a dangerous Iran. They will act with greater impunity than it already does, causing more trouble for coalition forces in Iraq, and ordering Hamas and Hezbollah to ram up attacks on Israel and stir chaos in Lebanon, and support radical elements throughout the region. And yet the current Administration in Washington is turning America against Israel with the false hope of improved relations with Arab nations and a nuclear-equipped Iran.
Americans need to wake up and see what is happening to a sixty-one year old friendship. Israel is no solution to Palestinians' problems and it is childish to think so. Clearly, our friend Israel deserves far better treatment than what we have seen these past six months. A friend such as Israel is a treasure and should be highly valued: "chaverim y’karim". And that is how we see if FROM OUR PERSPECTIVE.