Foreign Policy
Foreign Policy

Troubling: U.S. Changing Sides on Israel

| by FRC

During a radio interview a couple of months ago I was talking about the Obama Administration and its deeply worrying policies with respect to Israel.  I commented that if the Administration continued down this path the wolves would soon be circling Israel.  Unfortunately, as recent events have shown that prediction has turned out to be far truer than I could ever have imagined.

I now feel that it is quite possible that Israel will have to fight an existential war during President Obama’s tenure because the Arab and rising Islamist powers (i.e., Iran, Turkey) know that the period until January 2013 will probably present their best window to destroy the Jewish state.  The fact of the matter is that under President Obama the United States is moving from a position of strong support of Israel to weak support or neutrality – at best.  Israel’s enemies know this and are preparing to act accordingly – it seems.

Here are some pieces of evidence for this shift – much becoming evident in the last week.

First, the newswire headline from Breitbart / AFP read, “Israel Recoils as U.S. Backs Nuclear Move.”  See the article. The first paragraphs reads:

Washington’s unprecedented backing for a UN resolution for a nuclear-free Middle East that singles out Israel has both angered and deeply worried the Jewish state although officials are cagey about openly criticizing their biggest ally.

The resolution adopted by the United Nations on Friday calls on Israel to join the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and urges it to open its facilities to inspection.

Iran was not identified in the resolution approved last Friday in the last session of a month-long U.N. review conference on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Second, the American response to the contrived blockade-busting attempt to enter Gaza by a Turkish Islamist organization bordered on condemnation of Israel.  Why did the U.S. do this?  As Elliot Abrams correctly observed in the Weekly Standard (you can read it here.):

The White House did not wish to stand with Israel against this mob because it does not have a policy of solidarity with Israel.  Rather, its policy is one of distancing and pressure.

Third, a New York Times article (Wednesday, June 2nd) contained this revealing paragraph about our government’s policy toward Israel’s security policies:  “The Obama administration considers Israel’s blockade of Gaza to be untenable and plans to press for another approach to ensure Israel’s security while allowing more supplies into the impoverished Palestinian area, senior American officials said Wednesday.”

This was just weakness and capitulation on the part of the United States.  The blockade is used primarily by Israel and Egypt to keep missiles and other dangerous weapons from entering Gaza.  So, is Israel not allowed to defend itself according to this American government?

In one week it was no longer possible to fool’s oneself about the Obama Administration and Israel.  Again, in a lengthy paragraph, Abrams captures the ugly reality:

Israelis see clearly the problems they face when the United States is calling for another international investigation and will not defend Israel. They understand that no one is going to investigate Turkey and its role, nor investigate the pro-terror groups on board those ships—not if the United States fails to insist on it. They realize that, thanks to the Obama policies, it is now open season on Israel in Europe and at the UN.  They speak candidly (Israelis of the left, center, and right, not just Likud supporters) in private about all these problems, but they cannot speak openly about them, not when they may have the Obama administration to deal with for six and a half more years. They wonder most about whether their friends see their predicament, and will speak up for them even when they must—to retain a working relationship with the White House—remain silent or speak very carefully. So this crisis is not only a test for Israel, which faces difficult weeks ahead, and for the Obama administration, which in fact has already failed. It is a test for Israel’s supporters, facing the combined onslaught of the news media (from BBC coverage to New York Times editorials), scores of governments, UN bureaucrats, and a White House that views excessive solidarity with Israel as a diplomatic inconvenience.  The United States abandoned Israel in the United Nations and in the NPT Conference in the course of one week.  Israel’s friends in the United States should say so, say it was shameful, and gear up for a long fight.

And, this leads to another obvious reality.  Where is the Republican Party while the radicalization of Turkey, the Administration’s acquiescence in the ostracism of Israel at the U.N., and the attempt to strip Israel of its nuclear protection proceeds?  The truth seems to be that, at present, the GOP is so focused on President Obama’s domestic policy agenda that it has not kept its eye on this growing crisis.  The GOP leadership needs to get its head in the game before a war erupts in the Middle East.  Perhaps, their efforts could pressure President Obama to be more supportive of Israel and aggressive in deterring bellicose actions against it.  If not, at least some part of the American political leadership will have told the American people that our current policies are dangerous and unacceptable.