For those who are home, and for those who are on the way. For those who support the historic and just return of the land of Israel to its people, forever loyal to their inheritance, and its restoration.
Monday, December 5, 2011
Kushner - From Israel: The Outrage Compounded
Arlene from Israel
04 December '11
Last week I responded to the ludicrous statement of Obama, that "this administration has done more in terms of the security of the state of Israel than any previous administration..."
But I missed the last line: "And that’s not just our opinion, that’s the opinion of the Israeli government."
But it ain't so. Not by a long shot. While Obama is talking about joint military exercises, sale of weaponry, and the like, he's willfully neglecting the larger context of the ways in which the US position has weakened Israel -- a context that the Israeli government is keenly aware of.
Commentator Charles Krauthammer says that Obama is "delusional" if he imagines that the Israeli government thinks he has done for the most for Israeli security, because the fact is that "Obama has done more to delegitimize and undermine Israel’s position in the world than any other president."
In a brief video clip, he alludes to Obama's undermining of the negotiation process by virtue of his unprecedented demands and his failure to support revolutionary forces inside of Iran:
I would add, once again, Obama' courting of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, which has done us great damage.
But all of this is just for starters, folks. Defense Secretary Panetta -- who is either as delusional as his boss, or intelligence-challenged when it comes to analyzing the situation in the Middle East -- addressed the Brookings Institution's Saban Center for Middle East Policy on Friday night. And he did everything he could to place the onus for growing chaos in this part of the world on Israel. You know what they say: With friends like these....
First, Israel has to do more to get negotiations going again. We need to take risks, and we should "get to the damned table." In order to get there, we should "lean forward" towards the PA, strengthening it and pursuing avenues of cooperation. Let's forget about the fact that Abbas's current unyielding position was stimulated by Obama's unprecedented demands on Israel. Let's forget Abbas's courting of Hamas, and the fact that the PA still venerates terrorists.
And then, Panetta expressed concern about Israel's growing isolation in the world. Now, he conceded, there is an international campaign to isolate Israel (and I'll back to that in a minute). However, Israel should "reach out and mend fences with those who share an interest in regional stability." Countries such as Turkey and Egypt and Jordan.
How difficult it is, my friends, at moments such as this, to maintain my professional demeanor. But I will try.
Turkey has been tilting increasingly towards an Islamist position and has exhibited considerable hostility to Israel.
And Egypt? Even delusional and intelligence-challenged as he may be, is it possible that Panetta truly believes that those winning the election in Egypt are interested in "regional stability"??? The Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, which seeks to defeat the West and establish a world-wide caliphate? And the even more radical Salafists, which make the Brotherhood seem moderate?
Panetta says Israel should address concerns about Egypt's political revolution through increased communication and cooperation with Egyptian authorities, and "not by stepping away from them." Heaven help us, that this man is US Secretary of Defense. His position, of course, echoes Obama's policy of "engagement." You have undoubtedly observed how successful the president was in getting Iran to abandon its nuclear development, utilizing this policy.
What the US -- whose president claims he is concerned about Israeli security! -- is asking is that we scrape and bow, and make concessions, and thoroughly weaken ourselves in the process. Just, I will note, as the US has been weakened. Except we know better.
Apparently, Panetta also mentioned Jordan, but why is unclear to me. Didn't Jordan's King Abdullah just host Israel's president in Amman, in what was a public gesture of readiness to maintain a peaceful relationship with Israel? And didn't I just write about the fact that communication between the governments of Jordan and Israel were good?
As to Israel's isolation, I just wrote, as well, about all of the new ties that are being forged between Israel and other nations with similar concerns regarding a growing Islamic threat. I had quoted a piece by Herb Keinon, worth repeating here. The new ties involve:
"[Nations] in the eastern Mediterranean circle, made up of Greece, Cyprus, Romania and Bulgaria. These countries, historic rivals of Turkey, are concerned about Ankara’s widening reach and intentions, and this has brought them into a much closer relationship with Israel than existed in the past.
"The second cluster is a number of countries in sub- Saharan Africa – Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Nigeria and South Sudan – whose concern about Islamic terrorism at home has led to growing political and security cooperation with Israel. This cooperation was evident in South Sudan’s opening diplomatic ties with Israel soon after it gained independence earlier this year, and the leaders of both Kenya and Uganda visiting here last month.
"The third cluster includes countries in the region – as yet unnamed – that government officials say are in contact with Israel on issues regarding Iran and the sweeping changes in the region.
"Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu recently made a couple of opaque references to ties with these countries, believed to be Persian Gulf countries."
So much for our isolation. But there is one other Panetta statement in this regard that I cannot let pass. The US, he said, has "stood steadfastly in the way of that effort [to isolate Israel], especially in the United Nations."
Poppycock! Double poppycock! The Obama administration has given the Israel-bashing UN Human Rights Council increased credibility by joining it. And as to the declared readiness of the US to veto PA unilateral efforts in the Security Council, that was not a gesture designed to protect Israel, but rather Obama's own policy with regard to negotiations. Let's tell it like it is.
Panetta also reiterated his opposition to an Israeli attack on Iran.
In a TV interview yesterday, Defense Secretary Barak responded that, "It would be excellent if we could stop their nuclear program through diplomacy. But all options are on the table. [Israel] cannot free herself from the obligation to make sovereign decisions." (Emphasis added)
Lastly, Panetta suggested that Israel has a responsibility, as an ally of the US, to build regional support for the allies' regional objectives. But Israel's responsibility is to stay strong and protect her people. Panetta be damned.
Literally, as I was writing these words, Barry Rubin's assessment of Panetta's talk, which was a major policy speech, came through. I invite you to see his full analysis here:
"U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta gave us a clear picture of the Obama Administration’s view of the region. When taken along with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s recent speech on the same subject, we now know the following regarding Obama’s policy:
"It is dangerously and absurdly wrong. This administration totally and completely, dangerously and disastrously for U.S. interests misunderstands the Middle East. They are 180 degrees off course, that is heading in the opposite direction of safety.
"Despite the satisfactory state of relations on a purely military level, the Obama Administration is not a friend of Israel, even to the extent that it was arguably so in the first two years of this presidency.
"It is now an enemy; it is on the other side. Again, the issue is not mainly bilateral relations but the administration’s help and encouragement to those forces that are Israel’s biggest enemies, that want to rekindle war, and that are 100 percent against a two-state solution. And I don’t mean the Palestinian Authority, I mean the Islamists.
"And the Obama Administration is also a strategic enemy of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Morocco, and Jordan. It is also a strategic enemy to the democratic opposition forces in Iran, Syria, Turkey, Tunisia, and Egypt.
"Having analyzed and studied the Middle East for almost four decades I say none of this lightly. And these conclusions arise simply from watching what the administration says and does...."
Rubin ends with this:
"These are harsh words about the Obama Administration and for those who don’t understand the current situation in the Middle East they will no doubt seem partisan, extreme, and alarmist.
"This is the worst tragedy of all: sadly and regrettably they are quite true."
And this is not the end of it:
Howard Gutman, the US Ambassador to Belgium, a major Obama fund-raiser and Obama appointee, spoke at a conference on anti-Semitism last week, sponsored by the European Jewish Union.
And he said, "A distinction should be made between traditional anti-Semitism, which should be condemned and Muslim hatred for Jews, which stems from the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians."
His position was that anti-Semitism is not increasing, and that if Israel were to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinian Authority it would reduce what appears to be anti-Semitism.
Gutman, who -- I am ashamed to say -- is a Jew, showed a short video of himself being warmly received at a Muslim school in Brussels. At one point he said that the Arab world appreciates Obama -- which happens to not be the case, as the Arab Muslim world laughs at him and has distain for him. His implication seemed to be that a Jew who represents Obama's policies can receive a warm reception, so it's a question of politics and not real anti-Semitism.
The man makes me sick to my stomach.
I will return in another posting to the issues of political anti-Semitism and Jew-hatred by Arabs that predates the Palestinian Authority and issues of a Palestinian state.
Here I simply want to urge everyone to share this material very broadly. Every American Jew, at a bare minimum, needs to see this -- although I know, and mourn the fact, that not every American Jew will be ready to grapple with this information.
America must wake up before it's too late. Obama needs to be soundly defeated the second time around.
I visited Hevron in November 2000 after the outbreak of the Rosh Hashanah War to see what could be done to assist in the face of the growing daily attacks on the community. After returning to work for the community in the summer of 2001, a bond and a love was forged that grows to this day. My wife Melody and I merited to be married at Ma'arat HaMachpela and now host visitors from throughout the world every Shabbat as well as during the week. Our goal, "Time to come Home!"