Sunday, November 16, 2014

Blaming Israel - Hal R. Crane

by Hal R. Crane

There are voices in the media blaming Israel's prime minister for the deteriorating relationship between the United States and Israel and for the failure of the “peace process.” These critics miss the mark completely. President Obama and other members of his administration have regularly insulted and vilified Israel and its leaders. They appear to treat Israel as an enemy of the United States, instead of a longstanding ally. From the suspect vote at the 2012 Democratic National Convention concerning Jerusalem to the support given to Israel's mortal adversaries, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, this administration has proven it can't be relied upon and must be viewed by Israel and other American allies with extreme circumspection. The Obama administration has established an abysmal foreign policy record. A few examples - the failed Russian "reset," turning Libya into a lawless disaster zone, abandoning Iraq to chaos and bloodshed, Obama's quickly surrendered Syrian "red line," canceling the planned missile defense system for Europe, and appeasing Iran. Obama’s pre- election promise to keep Jerusalem undivided lasted less than one day. There is little reason for any ally to trust this administration. Examining how Israel has been treated should make any sane Israeli leader wary of relying on this president.

The Obama administration's deplorable actions toward Israel reveal the true source of the problems in the U.S. –Israel relationship. Earlier this year Obama sought to cut funding for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system. During the most recent Gaza war while thousands of rockets were targeting Israeli civilians the Obama administration condemned Israel for the deaths of Arabs used by Hamas as human shields. It withheld shipments of Iron Dome replacement missiles and apparently instituted a full-fledged arms embargo against Israel at a time when it was fighting to protect its civilians from Hamas's terrorist attacks from the sky, land, and beneath the earth. 

Flights to Israel from the U.S. were halted and Israelis couldn't obtain visas to enter the U.S. Since then an Israeli professional basketball player was denied a routine visa extension while concurrently the president promised to unilaterally ignore our immigration laws for millions here illegally. Israeli cabinet members were denied meetings with their U.S. counterparts. Last week the State Department refused to consider an Arab American teen who threw a Molotov cocktail at Israelis a terrorist.

Mocking Israel for adhering to Obama's demands to refrain from taking action against Iran is hardly an act of friendship. The Obama administration repeatedly chastised Israel for defending itself against barbaric terrorists. While the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff praised Israel for its extraordinary efforts to avoid civilian casualties during the Gaza War and seeks advice from Israel on how the U.S. military can attempt to achieve Israel’s high standards, Obama's State Department continues to condemn Israel for the very same actions. The Obama administration seems to believe a Jewish house is a greater threat to world peace than is an Iranian nuclear bomb or a Hamas missile launched from a UN schoolyard.

The Egyptian cease-fire initiative during Operation Protective Edge was undermined when the Obama administration sought to utilize both Qatar and Turkey as supposed neutral mediators. While Obama considers Qatar as an ally of the U.S., it is hostile to Israel and a principal source of funds for both Hamas and ISIS. Turkey’s prime minister is an avowed and vocal anti-Semite, encouraged the Gaza flotilla against Israel, and has opened his country's borders to allow jihadis to travel to fight for ISIS. Israel should not have been expected to be beholden to these countries which openly support her enemies.

Furthermore, Obama continues to blame Israel for the failure to obtain a peace deal with President Abbas. Once again Abbas has reconciled with Hamas, a designated terrorist organization. Abbas and the PA’s controlled media outlets regularly incite violence against Israelis which resulted in tragic consequences for many Israelis and Americans who have been killed or wounded in response to these exhortations. Washington's' silence concerning Abbas's incitement for the killing and maiming of Jews tells us exactly where Obama stands. The PA indoctrinates its children to hate and destroy all Jews. It considers all of Israel, not just the West Bank, as part of the future Palestinian state. Murderers of Israelis are lauded by the PA as heroes and martyrs and it subsidizes terrorists and their families. Both Abbas's Fatah and Hamas are committed to Israel's destruction, yet Obama continues to blame Israel.

Congress blocked U.S. funding of the PA in 2012 but President Obama consistently waived the legal restrictions of the Palestinian Accountability Act prohibiting U.S. funding. Since then under Obama’s direction more than a billion U.S. tax dollars were transferred to the Palestinian Authority. Why won’t our president follow the law as it was intended? How is the security of the United States enhanced by providing U.S. funds to be used for Palestinian terrorism? 

The Netanyahu government is certainly cognizant that Obama will be president for two more years.  Netanyahu has vigorously challenged any deal with Iran that brings it even closer to building nuclear weapons. These weapons might even be used against what Iran calls the "Great Satan" -- the U.S., as well as Israel. Egypt's current leaders understand the threats Israel and some Arab countries face -- why doesn't the Obama administration?   Obama’s' actions raise serious questions about  whether the Democratic party is still a friend of Israel, given most of party's acquiescence in Obama's mistreatment of Israel. One notable exception is NJ's Senator Robert Menendez who has forcefully spoken out and proposed legislative steps against these injustices.

We should be praising Prime Minster Netanyahu for standing firm against Obama's unrelenting pressure against Israel; even more so in the upcoming months when Obama's policies will not face the voters again and his actions may very well reveal the full extent of his apparent antipathy towards Israel. Israel should not be forced to accede to Obama's oft-stated call that it return to the 1949 armistice lines (which Abba Eban described as "the Auschwitz borders") that have never been legally accepted international borders. Israel should have the United States' complete moral, diplomatic, military, and political support in the myriad of battles it faces. It should not be expected to meekly submit to Obama's risky propositions. Undoubtedly Prime Minister Netanyahu understands the immense power and reach of the U.S. Presidency and its implications for Israel during Obama's remaining time in office. Netanyahu should not be criticized for vigorously defending his country’s right to live in peace. Nor should he be blamed for refusing to cave into demands that could have catastrophic results for Israel.

Hal R. Crane


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

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