Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Is the Obama Administration an Ally of Israel?

This past Sunday I had my say about the Obama administration’s policy toward Israel and the Middle East. I was dismayed, though not really surprised, to see that the administration, in the persons of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Ambassador to Belgium, Howard Gutman continues to see Israel as the problem, not the solution.

The anti-Israeli movement in American policy should surprise no one. A man who spent 20 years fawning over Jeremiah Wright is not going to be a friend of Israel. Anyone who thought otherwise should engage in some serious self criticism.

Today, Caroline Glick has her say in the Jerusalem Post. Arguing that Israel can no longer consider America an ally, Glick lays out her case.

In her words: “Until the US-supported overthrow of Hosni Mubarak, Egypt served as the anchor of the US alliance system in the Arab world. The Egyptian military is US-armed, US-trained and US-financed. The Suez Canal is among the most vital waterways in the world for the US Navy and the global economy. Due to Mubarak's commitment to stemming the tide of jihadist forces that threatened his regime, under his rule Egypt served as a major counter-terror hub in the US-led war against international jihad.

“Given Egypt’s singular importance to US strategic interests in the Arab world, the Obama administration's response to the calamitous election results has been shocking. Rather than sound the alarm bells, US President Barack Obama has celebrated the results as a victory for "democracy."

“Rather than warn Egypt that it will face severe consequences if it completes its Islamist transformation, the Obama administration has turned its guns on the first country that will pay a price for Egypt's Islamic revolution: Israel.”

And then there were the recent pronouncements by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. For reasons that escape me entirely, she is still largely admired by the American people, even by American Jews.

Glick calls out her moral blindness: “The same Secretary of State that has heralded negotiations with the violent, fanatical misogynists of the Taliban; who has extolled Saudi Arabia where women are given ten lashes for driving, and whose State Department trained female-hating Muslim Brotherhood operatives in the lead-up to the current elections in Egypt accused Israel of repressing women's rights. The only state in the region where women are given full rights and legal protections became the focus of Clinton's righteous feminist wrath.”

Glick continues: “In attacking Israel in the way she did, Clinton showed that she holds Israel to a unique standard of behavior. Whereas fellow Western democracies are within their rights when they undertake initiatives like banning Islamic headdresses from the public square, Israel is a criminal state for affording Jewish soldiers freedom of religion. Whereas the Taliban, who enslave women and girls in the most unspeakable fashion are worthy interlocutors, and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, which supports universal female genital mutilation is moderate, Israel is an enemy of democracy for seeking to preserve the government's ability to adopt policies that advance the country's interests.”

The mainstream media has not bothered itself with this major policy shift. Anyone who believed that the U. S. Ambassador to Belgium would be recalled has been disappointed. The Clinton State Department refused to hold him to account.

A State Department spokesperson declared that Gutman was speaking for himself. In truth, ambassadors do not speak for themselves. Giving a lecture in which you offer your own, and not your government’s, opinions is not part of the job description.

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