Posts Tagged ‘Caroline Glick’


Caroline GlickBy Caroline B. Glick
CarolineGlick.com

Over the past week, Israel has been criticized for being insufficiently supportive of democratic change in Egypt. While Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been careful to praise the cause of democracy while warning against the dangers of an Islamic takeover of the most populous Arab state, many Israelis have not been so diplomatic.

To understand why, it is necessary to take a little tour of the Arab world.

In the midst of Tunisia’s revolution last month, the Jewish Agency mobilized to evacuate any members of the country’s Jewish community who wished to leave. Until the end of French colonial rule in 1956, Tunisia’s Jewish community numbered 100,000 members. But like for all Jewish communities in the Arab world, the advent of Arab nationalism in the mid-20th century forced the overwhelming majority of Tunisia’s Jews to leave the country. Today, with between 1,500 and 3,000 members, Tunisia’s tiny Jewish community is among the largest in the Arab world.

So far, six families have left for Israel. Many more may follow. Two weeks ago, Daniel Cohen from Tunis’s Jewish community told Haaretz, “If the situation continues as it is now, we will definitely have to leave or immigrate to Israel.”

Since then, Rached Ghannouchi, the leader of Tunisia’s Islamist party Ennahda, has returned to Tunisia after 22 years living in exile in London. He was sentenced to life in prison in absentia on terrorism charges by the regime of ousted president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Then on Monday night, unidentified assailants set fire to a synagogue in the town of Ghabes and burned the Torah scrolls. In an interview with AFP, Trabelsi Perez, president of the Ghriba synagogue, said the crime was made all the more shocking by the fact that it occurred as police were stationed close by.

The day after the attack, Roger Bismuth, president of Tunisia’s Jewish community, disputed the view that the scorching of Torah scrolls had anything to do with anti-Semitism. The man responsible for representing Tunisia’s Jewish community before the evolving new regime told The Jerusalem Post that the attack was the fault of the Jews themselves, “because they left [the synagogue] open… This is not an attack on the Jewish community.”

The fear now gripping the Jews of Tunisia is not surprising. The same fear gripped the much smaller Iraqi Jewish community after the US and Britain toppled Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003. The Iraqi community was the oldest, and arguably the most successful, Jewish community in the Arab world until World War II. Its 150,000 members were leading businessmen and civil servants during the period of British rule.

Following the establishment of Israel, the Iraqi government revoked the citizenship of the country’s Jews, forced them to flee and stole their property down to their wedding rings. The expropriated property of Iraqi Jewry is valued today at more than $4 billion.

Only 7,000 Jews remained in Iraq after the mass aliya of 1951. By the time Saddam was toppled in 2003, only 32 Jews remained. They were mainly elderly, and impoverished. And owing to al-Qaida threats and government harassment, they were all forced to flee.

Shortly after they overthrew Saddam, US forces found the archives of the Jewish community submerged in a flooded basement of a secret police building in Baghdad. The archive was dried and frozen and sent to the US for preservation. Last year, despite the fact that Saddam’s secret police only had the archive because they stole it from the Jews, the Iraqi government demanded its return as a national treasure.

As embattled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak began his counteroffensive against the anti-regime protesters, his mouthpieces began alleging that the protesters were incited by the Mossad.

For their part, the anti-regime protesters claim that Mubarak is an Israeli puppet. The protesters brandish placards with Mubarak’s image plastered with Stars of David. A photo of an effigy of newly appointed vice president, and intelligence chief, Omar Suleiman burned in Tahrir Square showed him portrayed as a Jew.

On Wednesday night, Channel 10’s Arab affairs commentator Zvi Yehezkeli ran a depressing report on the status of the graves of Jewish sages buried in the Muslim world. The report chronicled the travels of Rabbi Yisrael Gabbai, an ultra-Orthodox rabbi who has taken upon himself to travel to save these important shrines. As Yehezkeli reported, last week Gabbai traveled to Iran and visited the graves of Purim heroes Queen Esther and Mordechai the Jew, and the prophets Daniel and Habbakuk.

He was moved to travel to Iran after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ordered Esther and Mordechai’s tomb destroyed. The Iranian media followed up Ahmadinejad’s edict with a campaign claiming that Esther and Mordechai were responsible for the murder of 170,000 Iranians.

Gabbai’s travels have brought him to Iran, Gaza, Yemen, Syria, Lebanon and beyond. And throughout the Arab and Muslim world, like the dwindling Jewish communities, Jewish cemeteries are targets for anti-Semitic attacks. “We’re talking about thousands of cemeteries throughout the Arab world. It’s the same problem everywhere,” he said.

Israelis have been overwhelmingly outspoken in our criticism of Western support for the antiregime forces in Egypt due to our deep-seated concern that the current regime will be replaced by one dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood. Representing a minimum of 30 percent of Egyptians, the Muslim Brotherhood is the only well organized political force in the country outside the regime.

The Muslim Brothers’ organizational prowess and willingness to use violence to achieve their aims was likely demonstrated within hours of the start of the unrest. Shortly after the demonstrations began, operatives from the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood branch in Gaza – that is Hamas – knew to cross the border into Sinai. And last Thursday, a police station in Suez was attacked with rocket-propelled grenades and firebombs.

Hamas has a long history of operations in Sinai. It also has close ties with Beduin gangs in the area that were reportedly involved in attacking another police station in northern Sinai.

Western – and particularly American – willingness to pretend that the Muslim Brotherhood is anything other than a totalitarian movement has been greeted by disbelief and astonishment by Israelis from across the political spectrum.

It is the likelihood that the Muslim Brotherhood will rise to power, not an aversion to Arab democracy, that has caused Israel to fear the popular revolt against Mubarak’s regime. If the Muslim Brotherhood were not a factor in Egypt, then Israel would probably have simply been indifferent to events there, as it has been to the development of democracy in Iraq and to the popular revolt in Tunisia.

Israel’s indifference to democratization of the Arab world has been a cause of consternation for some of its traditional supporters in conservative circles in the US and Europe. Israelis are accused of provincialism. As citizens of the only democracy in the Middle East, we are admonished for not supporting democracy among our neighbors.

The fact is that Israeli indifference to democratic currents in Arab societies is not due to provincialism. Israelis are indifferent because we realize that whether under authoritarian rule or democracy, anti-Semitism is the unifying sentiment of the Arab world. Fractured along socioeconomic, tribal, religious, political, ethnic and other lines, the glue that binds Arab societies is hatred of Jews.

A Pew Research Center opinion survey of Arab attitudes towards Jews from June 2009 makes this clear. Ninety-five percent of Egyptians, 97% of Jordanians and Palestinians and 98% of Lebanese expressed unfavorable opinions of Jews. Threequarters of Turks, Pakistanis and Indonesians also expressed hostile views of Jews.

Throughout the Arab and Muslim world, genocidal anti-Semitic propaganda is all-pervasive. And as Prof. Robert Wistrich has written,

“The ubiquity of the hate and prejudice exemplified by this hard-core anti-Semitism undoubtedly exceeds the demonization of earlier historical periods – whether the Christian Middle Ages, the Spanish Inquisition, the Dreyfus Affair in France, or the Judeophobia of Tsarist Russia. The only comparable example would be that of Nazi Germany in which we can also speak of an ‘eliminationist anti-Semitism’ of genocidal dimensions, which ultimately culminated in the Holocaust.”

That is why for most Israelis, the issue of how Arabs are governed is as irrelevant as the results of the 1852 US presidential elections were for American blacks. Since both parties excluded them, they were indifferent to who was in power.

What these numbers, and the anti-Semitic behavior of Arabs, show Israelis is that it makes no difference which regime rules where. As long as the Arab peoples hate Jews, there will be no peace between their countries and Israel. No one will be better for Israel than Mubarak. They can only be the same or worse.

This is why no one expected for the democratically elected Iraqi government to sign a peace treaty with Israel or even end Iraq’s official state of war with the Jewish state. Indeed, Iraq remains in an official state of war with Israel. And after independent lawmaker Mithal al-Alusi visited Israel in 2008, two of his sons were murdered. Alusi’s life remains under constant threat.

One of the more troubling aspects of the Western media coverage of the tumult in Egypt over the past two weeks has been the media’s move to airbrush out all evidence of the protesters’ anti-Semitism.

As John Rosenthal pointed out this week at The Weekly Standard, Germany’s Die Welt ran a frontpage photo that featured a poster of Mubarak with a Star of David across his forehead in the background. The photo caption made no mention of the anti-Semitic image. And its online edition did not run the picture.

And as author Bruce Bawer noted at the Pajamas Media website, Jeanne Moos of CNN scanned the protesters’ signs, noting how authentic and heartwarming their misspelled English messages were, yet failed to mention that one of the signs she showed portrayed Mubarak as a Jew.

Given the Western media’s obsessive coverage of the Arab-Israel conflict, at first blush it seems odd that they would ignore the prevalence of anti-Semitism among the presumably prodemocracy protesters. But on second thought, it isn’t that surprising.

If the media reported on the overwhelming Jew hatred in the Arab world generally and in Egypt specifically, it would ruin the narrative of the Arab conflict with Israel. That narrative explains the roots of the conflict as frustrated Arab-Palestinian nationalism. It steadfastly denies any more deeply seated antipathy of Jews that is projected onto the Jewish state. The fact that the one Jewish state stands alone against 23 Arab states and 57 Muslim states whose populations are united in their hatred of Jews necessarily requires a revision of the narrative. And so their hatred is ignored.

But Israelis don’t need CNN to tell us how our neighbors feel about us. We know already. And because we know, while we wish them the best of luck with their democracy movements, and would welcome the advent of a tolerant society in Egypt, we recognize that that tolerance will end when it comes to the Jews. And so whether they are democrats or autocrats, we fully expect they will continue to hate us.

Related Links


Die Welt Sees No Anti-Semitism – The Weekly Standard
The Source of Anti-Semitism – SpiritandTruth.org (Andy Woods)
Israel’s government raises alarm at events in Egypt – The Guardian
Hundreds march against government in Jordan – AP
Rand Paul Repeats Calls to End Aid to Israel – Commentary Magazine

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Caroline GlickBy Caroline B. Glick
CarolineGlick.com

The Egyptian multitudes on the streets of Cairo are a stunning sight. With their banners calling for freedom and an end to the reign of President Hosni Mubarak the story these images tell is a simple one as old as time.

On the one hand we have the young, dispossessed and weak protesters. And on the other we have the old, corrupt and tyrannical Mubarak. Hans Christian Andersen taught us who to support when we were wee tots.

But does his wisdom apply in this case?

Certainly it is true that the regime is populated by old men. Mubarak is 82 years old. It is also true that his regime is corrupt and tyrannical. Since the Muslim Brotherhood spinoff Islamic Jihad terror group murdered Mubarak’s predecessor president Anwar Sadat in 1981, Egypt has been governed by emergency laws that ban democratic freedoms. Mubarak has consistently rejected US pressure to ease regime repression and enact liberal reforms in governance.

This reality has led many American commentators across the political spectrum to side enthusiastically with the rioters. A prestigious working group on Egypt formed in recent months by Middle East experts from Left and Right issued a statement over the weekend calling for the Obama administration to dump Mubarak and withdraw its support for the Egyptian regime. It recommended further that the administration force Mubarak to abdicate and his regime to fall by suspending all economic and military assistance to Egypt for the duration.

The blue ribbon panel’s recommendations were applauded by its members’ many friends across the political spectrum. For instance, the conservative Weekly Standard‘s editor William Kristol praised the panel on Sunday and wrote,

“It’s time for the US government to take an active role… to bring about a South Korea/Philippines/Chile-like transition in Egypt, from an American-supported dictatorship to an American-supported and popularly legitimate liberal democracy.”

The problem with this recommendation is that it is based entirely on the nature of Mubarak’s regime. If the regime was the biggest problem, then certainly removing US support for it would make sense. However, the character of the protesters is not liberal.

Indeed, their character is a bigger problem than the character of the regime they seek to overthrow.

According to a Pew opinion survey of Egyptians from June 2010, 59 percent said they back Islamists. Only 27% said they back modernizers. Half of Egyptians support Hamas. Thirty percent support Hizbullah and 20% support al Qaida. Moreover, 95% of them would welcome Islamic influence over their politics. When this preference is translated into actual government policy, it is clear that the Islam they support is the al Qaida Salafist version.

Eighty two percent of Egyptians support executing adulterers by stoning, 77% support whipping and cutting the hands off thieves. 84% support executing any Muslim who changes his religion.

When given the opportunity, the crowds on the street are not shy about showing what motivates them. They attack Mubarak and his new Vice President Omar Suleiman as American puppets and Zionist agents. The US, protesters told CNN‘s Nick Robertson, is controlled by Israel. They hate and want to destroy Israel. That is why they hate Mubarak and Suleiman.

What all of this makes clear is that if the regime falls, the successor regime will not be a liberal democracy. Mubarak’s military authoritarianism will be replaced by Islamic totalitarianism. The US’s greatest Arab ally will become its greatest enemy. Israel’s peace partner will again become its gravest foe.

Understanding this, Israeli officials and commentators have been nearly unanimous in their negative responses to what is happening in Egypt. The IDF, the national security council, all intelligence agencies and the government as well as the media have all agreed that Israel’s entire regional approach will have to change dramatically in the event that Egypt’s regime is overthrown.

None of the scenarios under discussion are positive.

What has most confounded Israeli officials and commentators alike has not been the strength of the anti-regime protests, but the American response to them. Outside the far Left, commentators from all major newspapers, radio and television stations have variously characterized the US response to events in Egypt as irrational, irresponsible, catastrophic, stupid, blind, treacherous, and terrifying.

They have pointed out that the Obama administration’s behavior – as well as that of many of its prominent conservative critics – is liable to have disastrous consequences for the US’s other authoritarian Arab allies, for Israel and for the US itself.

The question most Israelis are asking is why are the Americans behaving so destructively? Why are President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton charting a course that will necessarily lead to the transformation of Egypt into the first Salafist Islamic theocracy? And why are conservative commentators and Republican politicians urging them to be even more outspoken in their support for the rioters in the streets?

Does the US not understand what will happen in the region as a result of its actions? Does the US really fail to understand what will happen to its strategic interests in the Middle East if the Muslim Brotherhood either forms the next regime or is the power behind the throne of the next regime in Cairo?

Distressingly, the answer is that indeed, the US has no idea what it is doing. The reason the world’s only (quickly declining) superpower is riding blind is because its leaders are trapped between two irrational, narcissistic policy paradigms and they can’t see their way past them.

The first paradigm is former president George W. Bush’s democracy agenda and its concomitant support for open elections.

Bush supporters and former administration officials have spent the last month since the riots began in Tunisia crowing that events prove Bush’s push for democratization in the Arab world is the correct approach.

The problem is that while Bush’s diagnosis of the dangers of the democracy deficit in the Arab world was correct, his antidote for solving this problem was completely wrong.

Bush was right that tyranny breeds radicalism and instability and is therefore dangerous for the US.

But his belief that free elections would solve the problem of Arab radicalism and instability was completely wrong. At base, Bush’s belief was based on a narcissistic view of Western values as universal.

When, due to US pressure, the Palestinians were given the opportunity to vote in open and free elections in 2006, they voted for Hamas and its totalitarian agenda. When due to US pressure, the Egyptians were given limited freedom to choose their legislators in 2005, where they could they elected the totalitarian Muslim Brotherhood to lead them.

The failure of his elections policy convinced Bush to end his support for elections in his last two years in office.

Frustratingly, Bush’s push for elections was rarely criticized on its merits. Under the spell of the other policy paradigm captivating American foreign policy elites – anti-colonialism – Bush’s leftist opponents never argued that the problem with his policy is that it falsely assumes that Western values are universal values. Blinded by their anti-Western dogma, they claimed that his bid for freedom was nothing more than a modern-day version of Christian missionary imperialism.

It is this anti-colonialist paradigm, with its foundational assumption that the US has no right to criticize non-Westerners that has informed the Obama administration’s foreign policy. It was the anti-colonialist paradigm that caused Obama not to support the pro-Western protesters seeking the overthrow of the Iranian regime in the wake of the stolen 2009 presidential elections.

As Obama put it at the time,

“It’s not productive, given the history of US-Iranian relations, to be seen as meddling, the US president meddling in the Iranian elections.”

And it is this anti-colonialist paradigm that has guided Obama’s courtship of the Syrian, Turkish and Iranian regimes and his unwillingness to lift a hand to help the March 14 movement in Lebanon.

Moreover, since the paradigm claims that the non-Western world’s grievances towards the West are legitimate, Obama’s Middle East policy is based on the view that the best way to impact the Arab world is by joining its campaign against Israel. This was the central theme of Obama’s speech before an audience dominated by Muslim Brotherhood members in Cairo in June 2009.

Like the pro-democracy paradigm, the anti-colonialist paradigm is narcissistic. Whereas Western democracy champions believe that all people are born with the same Western liberal democratic values, post-colonialists believe that non-Westerners are nothing more than victims of the West. They are not responsible for any of their own pathologies because they are not actors. Only Westerners (and Israelis) are actors. Non-Westerners are objects. And like all objects, they cannot be held responsible for anything they do because they are wholly controlled by forces beyond their control.

Anti-colonialists by definition must always support the most anti-Western forces as “authentic.” In light of Mubarak’s 30-year alliance with the US, it makes sense that Obama’s instincts would place the US president on the side of the protesters.

So there we have it. The US policy towards Egypt is dictated by the irrational narcissism of two opposing sides to a policy debate that has nothing to do with reality.

Add to that Obama’s electoral concern about looking like he is on the right side of justice and we have a US policy that is wholly antithetical to US interests.

This presents a daunting, perhaps insurmountable challenge for the US’s remaining authoritarian Arab allies. In Jordan and Saudi Arabia, until now restive publics have been fearful of opposing their leaders because the US supports them. Now that the US is abandoning its most important ally and siding with its worst enemies, the Hashemites and the Sauds don’t look so powerful to their Arab streets. The same can be said for the Kuwaiti leadership and the pro-American political forces in Iraq.

As for Israel, America’s behavior towards Egypt should put to rest the notion that Israel can make further territorial sacrifices in places like the Golan Heights and the Jordan Valley in exchange for US security guarantees. US behavior today – and the across-the-board nature of American rejection of Mubarak – is as clear a sign as one can find that US guarantees are not credible.

As Prof. Barry Rubin wrote this week,

“There is no good policy for the United States regarding the uprising in Egypt but the Obama administration may be adopting something close to the worst option.”

Unfortunately, given the cluelessness of the US foreign policy debate, this situation is only likely to grow worse.

Related Links


Muslim Brotherhood; not quite the YMCA – Bill Randles Blog
WHO IS MOHAMED ELBARADEI? – Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog
Protest Snowball Knocks Over Jordanian Government – Arutz Sheva
Egyptians fill Tahrir Square in massive rally – USA Today
Bolton: If Mubarak falls in Egypt, Israel should bomb Iran – Raw Story


Caroline GlickBy Caroline B. Glick
CarolineGlick.com

Over the past week, two writers published columns in foreign newspapers. One received wall to wall coverage in Israel. The other was completely ignored. The contrasting fortunes of the articles are a key to understanding the central challenges to Israel’s democratic order.

Last Friday, Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian Authority’s chief peace negotiator with Israel published an op-ed in Britain’s Guardian newspaper in which he declared eternal war on the Jewish state. This he did by asserting that any peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians that does not permit the immigration of some 7 million foreign Arabs to Israel will be “completely untenable.”

So as far as the supposedly moderate chief Palestinian negotiator is concerned, a peace deal in which Israel cedes Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem to the Palestinians as the Israeli Left desires will not be sufficient for the Palestinians. Unless Israel also agrees to commit national suicide by accepting 7 million foreign Arabs as citizens, the Palestinians will continue to wage their war. With or without a Palestinian state, as long as Israel exists, the Palestinians will continue to seek its destruction.

The second article was Tom Friedman’s latest column in the New York Times. Throughout his interminable career, Friedman has identified with Israel’s radical Left and so been the bane of all non-leftist governments. In his latest screed, he compared Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to someone in the throes of an LSD trip. Friedman harangued Netanyahu for failing to convince his cabinet to agree to the Obama administration’s demand to abrogate Jewish property rights in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem for another 90 days. He argued that by doing so, Israel – with some help from the Palestinians – is destroying all chance of peace.

So on the one hand, the chief Palestinian negotiator declared eternal war. And on the other hand, Friedman condemned Netanyahu – for the gazillionth time.

And characteristically, the Israeli media ignored Erekat’s article and gave Friedman’s screed around-the-clock coverage.

Despite its hysteria, the media has not fooled the public. The Israeli people don’t need to hear about Erekat’s declaration of war to know that the supposedly moderate Fatah party is just as committed to Israel’s destruction as Hamas. Israelis know that the majority of terrorist attacks carried out by the Palestinians since 2000 have been conducted by Fatah. They know that the US- and EU-financed and trained Palestinian security services commanded the Palestinian jihad that began in 2000. They know that Fatah is behind much of the political warfare being carried out today against Israel throughout the world.

The disparity between the pubic and the media comes across very clearly in a poll released last week by the Brookings Institute. A mere eight percent of Israelis believe that Israel and the Palestinians will achieve a lasting peace in the next five years. 91 percent of Israeli Jews and 88 percent of Israeli Arabs think either that more time is needed or that there will never be peace.

Despite the sentiments of the public, there is a class of Israeli leaders that acts as though peace is just around the corner and that the public expects them to deliver it. Not unlike Friedman, for the most part these politicians argue that the Israeli government bears either sole responsibility or the lion’s share of responsibility for the absence of peace.

Consequently, they argue that all that is required to achieve peace is an Israeli leader willing to do what it takes to make it happen.

Over the weekend, opposition leader Tzipi Livni and Defense Minister and Labor Party leader Ehud Barak were in Washington for the annual Middle East peace process conclave at the Brookings Institute’s Saban Forum. In their addresses to the forum and in media interviews, both politicians followed the Israeli media’s lead by ignoring Erekat and parroting Friedman.

Barak brazenly rejected the policies of the government he serves by calling for the division of Jerusalem in the framework of a final peace accord with the Palesstinians.

As for Livni, she eschewed every semblance of propriety during her stay in the US capital. During a joint appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” with the unelected Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad, Livni viciously attacked the Netanyahu government. Livni criticized Netanyahu for not accepting the Obama administration’s call to abrogate Jewish property rights. She attacked him for not forming a leftist government with Kadima and Labor. She made it clear that she doesn’t believe that Netanyahu is interested in peace.

Echoing Barak’s assertion at the Saban Forum that being a Zionist means supporting a Palestinian state, Livni argued that by surrendering to the Palestinians, and agreeing to every US demand, Israel is advancing its own existential interests.

On the so-called Palestinian refugee issue, while stipulating that Israel could not accept immigration of foreign Arabs to its truncated borders, she said nothing about Erekat’s Guardian article. And she voiced no objection when Fayyad intimated that a Palestinian compromise on this issue is not in the offing.

From Livni’s perspective, the only one acting in bad faith is Netanyahu.

Barak and Livni’s behavior was not wrong simply because it is classless to attack your country’s elected leadership while visiting in foreign lands. It was wrong because in behaving as they did, they showed extraordinary disrespect for the 92 percent of Israelis who do not share their professed belief that peace is just around the corner.

So what were they after in Washington? Why did they embrace the views of a mere 8 percent of the electorate while treating 92 percent of their countrymen with contempt? And why did they choose to launch their assault on the government from Washington?

In truth Barak and Livni were simply following what has become the standard operating procedure for leftist politicians over the past twenty years. They were playing to two constituencies that they prize more than they prize the public.

They were playing to the US administration and the Israeli media.

Barak is an old hand at this game. During Netanyahu’s first tenure as prime minister, Barak used then president Bill Clinton to bring down Netanyahu’s government and get himself elected in his place. After Barak made clear that he would be far more accommodating towards Yassir Arafat than Netanyahu was, Clinton went out of his way to demonize and isolate Netanyahu. He pressured Netanyahu’s coalition partners to abandon his government. And when Netanyahu’s government finally fell, Clinton dispatched his senior political strategists James Carville, Stanley Greenberg and Robert Schrum to run Barak’s campaign.

Since Netanyahu appointed him Defense Minister, Barak has been racking up frequent flier miles on the Tel-Aviv-Washington line. Barak travels to Washington at least once a month. Amazingly, he always happens to come home with recommendations consonant with the administration’s whims.

Livni was similarly richly rewarded for her willingness to attack Netanyahu while sitting next to Fayyad on American television. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton treated Livni like the most esteemed politician in Israel. Clinton steadfastly ignored the fact that 91 percent of Israelis think Livni’s views are utter nonsense. And after accusing Netanyahu of lacking the courage to embrace the cause of peace, Clinton ostentatiously hosted Livni for an hour-long private meeting.

Livni’s party Kadima is a media creation. Whereas every other political party in Israel was formed by citizens who felt they needed to organize politically to empower their voices, Kadima was the brainchild of the media. The media colluded with Likud leaders who were disenchanted with their voters. The likes of Ha’aretz, Yediot Ahronot and Channel Two convinced these Likud politicians to join forces with breakaways from the Labor party, who also held their voters in contempt.

As Barak’s rise to power in 1999 makes clear, the media’s bid to demonize the Right and undermine Israel’s alliance with the US in the hopes of restoring the Left to power is nothing new. But this week, a leading media siren was kind enough to expose the media’s entire strategy for disenfranchising the public. Ha’aretz‘s veteran columnist Akiva Eldar performed this service in a pair of articles published Tuesday in the Guardian and Ha’aretz.

Eldar co-authored his Guardian article with his comrade Carlo Strenger. It was their response to Erekat’s declaration of eternal war.

Eldar’s main message to Erekat was that he should keep his plans to himself. Certainly he shouldn’t be blabbing about them in a place the Israeli public was liable to see them. It could wreck the media’s entire plan to discredit the government.

Eldar and Strenger scolded,

“Erekat’s article is disappointing. He is not just a private citizen, but the Palestinian Authority’s chief negotiator, and he knows Israel and its internal dynamics very well. He knows that raising the right of return at this moment plays into the hands of Israel’s right wing: they will be able to say: ‘We always told you so: the two-state solution is just a Palestinian plot to incorporate the Jewish state into the Greater State of Palestine.'”

But then again, as Eldar showed in his article in Ha’aretz, Erekat doesn’t really have anything to worry about. Eldar and his comrades will keep the Israeli public in the dark about Erekat’s determination to destroy Israel.

Ignoring completely what Erekat wrote, Eldar’s column in Ha’aretz started where Friedman’s ended. He placed all the blame for the absence of a peace process on Netanyahu’s shoulders. He accused Netanyahu of destroying Israel’s alliance with the US by not embracing Obama’s latest request to abrogate Jewish property rights in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. He then claimed that due to Netanyahu’s behavior, the Obama administration has decided to follow in the Clinton administration’s footsteps and overthrow his government.

As Eldar put it,

“When Clinton recently invited Kadima leader Tzipi Livni to a private meeting, this signified an unofficial announcement that Netanyahu’s account in Washington has been closed.”

He continued,

“Twelve years ago, when Hillary Clinton’s husband realized that… [Netanyahu] had no intention of honoring his signature (on the Wye River Accord with Yasser Arafat), that was Netanyahu’s last stop before being sent back to his villa in Caesarea.”

So this is the game. The media and the US administration are again colluding with the Israeli Left’s political leadership to overthrow the Netanyahu government. They are willfully ignoring both the will of Israel’s voters and the declared commitment of their favorite “moderate” Palestinians to fight Israel until it is destroyed in order to blame the absence of peace on Netanyahu.

This game can stop. But two things must happen first.

The Obama administration and the US foreign policy establishment that supports it must pay a price for seeking to undermine the elected government of the US’s most important strategic ally in the region. And Israeli voters – who gave Kadima more mandates in the Knesset than any other party in the last elections – must abandon Livni and her Astroturf party.

Until these things begin to happen we can expect our media to continue to collude with their American partners, and with Livni and Barak to undermine the will of the public.

Related Links


Likud: Livni ‘ganged up’ on PM with PA’s Fayyad – The Jerusalem Post
Palestinians ‘regret’ US House move – AFP
Cyprus, Israel sign deal demarcating sea borders – Bloomberg
Hizballah shops for defense council in London, caves in on UN tribunal – DEBKAfile
US Senate calls for diplomatic campaign against recognition of a Palestinian state – Middle East Monitor
Shackled Warrior: Israel and the Global Jihad – Caroline B. Glick (Book)

Caroline GlickBy Caroline B. Glick
CarolineGlick.com

Make no mistake about it, the ongoing WikiLeaks operation against the US is an act of war. It is not merely a criminal offense to publish hundreds of thousands of classified US government documents with malice aforethought. It is an act of sabotage.

Like acts of kinetic warfare on military battlefields, WikiLeaks’ information warfare against the US aims to weaken the US. By exposing US government secrets, it seeks to embarrass and discredit America in a manner that makes it well neigh impossible for the US to carry out either routine diplomacy or build battlefield coalitions to defeat its enemies.

So far WikiLeaks has published more than 800,000 classified US documents. It has exposed classified information about US operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and it has divulged 250,000 diplomatic cables.

One of the most distressing aspects of the WikiLeaks operation is the impotent US response to it. This operation has been going on since April. And the US had foreknowledge of the attack in the weeks and months before it began. And yet, the US has taken no effective steps to defend itself. Pathetically, the most it has been able to muster to date is the issuance of an international arrest warrant against WikiLeaks spokesman Julian Assange on rape charges in Sweden.

The US has not taken down the website. Aside from the US Army soldier Pfc Bradley Manning who leaked most of the documents to the website, no one has been arrested. And the US appears impotent to prevent the website from carrying through on its latest threat to publish new documents aimed at weakening the US economy next month.

Neither US President Barack Obama nor any of his top advisers has had anything relevant or useful to say about this onslaught. Defense Secretary Robert Gates assured journalists that the damage caused by publishing US operations on the battlefield, classified reports of meetings with and assessments of foreign heads of state and other highly sensitive information will have no long lasting impact on US power or status.

Ignoring the fact that the operation is aimed specifically against America, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said it was “an attack on the international community.”

While the expressed aim of the attackers is to weaken the US, Obama’s spokesman Robert Gibbs called them “criminals, first and foremost.” And US Attorney-General Eric Holder said he’s checking the law books to figure out how to prosecute WikiLeaks personnel.

The leaked documents themselves expose a profound irony. To wit: The US is unwilling to lift a finger to defend itself against an act of information warfare which exposed to the world that the US is unwilling to lift a finger to protect itself and its allies from the most profound military threats endangering international security today.

In spite of the unanimity of the US’s closest Arab allies that Iran’s nuclear installations must be destroyed militarily – a unanimity confirmed by the documents revealed by WikiLeaks – the US has refused to take action. Instead it clings to a dual strategy of sanctions and engagement that everyone recognizes has failed repeatedly and has no chance of future success.

In spite of proof that North Korea is transferring advanced ballistic missiles to Iran through China, again confirmed by the illegally released documents, the US continues to push a policy of engagement based on a belief that there is value to China’s vote for sanctions against Iran in the UN Security Council. It continues to push a policy predicated on its unfounded faith that China is interested in restraining North Korea.

In spite of the fact that US leaders including Gates recognize that Turkey is not a credible ally and that its leaders are radical Islamists, as documented in the classified documents, the US has agreed to sell Turkey a hundred F-35s. The US continues to support Turkish membership in the EU and of course embraces Turkey as a major NATO ally.

The publication of the US’s true feelings about Turkey has not made a dent in its leaders’ unwillingness to contend with reality. On the heels of the WikiLeaks exposure of thousands of documents from the US Embassy in Ankara discussing Turkish animosity towards America, Clinton flew to Turkey for the first leg of what The New York Times referred to as an “international contrition tour.”

There she sucked up to the likes of Turkish Foreign Minister and Islamist ideologue Ahmet Davutoglu, who was kind enough to agree with Clinton’s assertion that the publication of the State Department cables was “the 9/11 of diplomacy.”

The most important question that arises from the entire WikiLeaks disaster is why the US refuses to defend itself and its interests. What is wrong with Washington? Why is it allowing WikiLeaks to destroy its international reputation, credibility and ability to conduct international relations and military operations? And why has it refused to contend with the dangers it faces from the likes of Iran and North Korea, Turkey, Venezuela and the rest of the members of the axis of evil that even State Department officers recognize are colluding to undermine and destroy US superpower status?

The answer appears to be twofold. First, there is an issue of cowardice.

American leaders are afraid to fight their enemies. They don’t want a confrontation with Iran or North Korea, or Venezuela or Turkey for that matter, because they don’t want to deal with difficult situations with no easy answers or silver bullets to make problems disappear.

WikiLeaks showed that there is no Israel lobby plotting to bring the US into a war to serve Jewish interests. There is something approaching an international consensus that Iran is the head of the snake that must be cut off, as the Saudi potentate described it.

Yet that consensus opinion has fallen on deaf American ears for the past seven years. This despite the fact that both the Bush administration and the Obama administration certainly recognized that if the US were to attack Iran’s nuclear installations or help Israel do so, despite all the theater of public handwringing and finger-wagging at Israel, the Arabs and the Europeans and Asians would celebrate the operation.

The second explanation for this behavior is ideological. The Obama administration will not take concerted action against WikiLeaks because doing so will compromise its adherence to leftist politically correct nostrums.

Those views assert that there is something fundamentally wrong with the assertion of US power and therefore the US has no right to defend itself. Moreover, nothing the Arabs or any other non-Western governments do is a function of their will. Rather it is a function of their response to US or Israeli aggression.

So it is that in the wake of the WikiLeaks disclosures that put paid the fiction that Israel is behind the fuss over Iran’s nuclear weapons program, Juan Cole, the anti-Israel ideologue and conspiracy theorist favored by the Obama administration, published an article in The Guardian proclaiming that Israel is to blame for Saudis’ fear of Iran. If the Arab masses weren’t so worked up over Israeli aggression in Gaza, he claimed, the Saudi leadership wouldn’t have been upset about Iran.

It is this sort of non sequitur that allows the Obama administration to continue pretending that the world is not a hard place and that there are no problems that cannot be solved by pressuring Israel.

So too, Fred Kaplan at Slate online magazine claimed that the leaks showed that the Obama administration’s foreign policy is successful because it succeeded in getting China on board with UN sanctions against Iran. But of course, what the documents show is that China is breaching those sanctions, rendering the entire exercise at the UN worthless.

And the Left’s voice of “reason,” the New York Times editorial page, lauded the Obama administration for its courage in rejecting the pleas of Arab states and Israel and fiddling while Iranian centrifuges spin. According to the Times, true courage consists of defying reality, strategic necessity and allies to defend the dogmas of political correctness.

Perhaps the best way to demonstrate how fecklessly the US is behaving is by comparing its actions to those of Israel, which suffered a similar, if far smaller case of data theft earlier this year.

In April, the public learned that towards the end of her IDF service, a secretary in the office of the commander of Central Command named Anat Kamm copied some 2,000 highly secret documents onto her zip drive. After leaving the army she was hired as a reporter by the far-left Walla news portal, which was then partially owned by the far-left Haaretz newspaper. Kamm gave the documents she stole to Haaretz reporter Uri Blau, who began publishing them in November 2008.

Haaretz used its considerable power to discredit the investigation of Kamm and Blau by falsely telling foreign reporters that the story was an issue of press freedom and that Kamm was being persecuted as a journalist rather than investigated for treason she committed while serving in the military.

In the face of the predictable international outcry, Israel stuck to its guns. Kamm is on trial for stealing state secrets with the intent of harming state security and Blau, who fled to London, returned to Israel with the stolen documents.

While there is much to criticize in Israel’s handling of the case, there is no doubt that despite its international weakness, Israeli authorities did not shirk their duty to defend state secrets.

The final irony of the WikiLeaks scandal is the cowardice of WikiLeaks that stands at the foundation of the story. Founded in 2006, Wikileaks was supposed to serve the cause of freedom. It claimed that it would defend dissidents in China, the former Soviet Union and other places where human rights remains an empty term. But then China made life difficult for WikiLeaks and so four years later, Assange and his colleagues declared war on the US, rightly assuming that unlike China, the US would take their attacks lying down. Why take risks to defend dissidents in a police state when it’s so much easier and so much more rewarding to attempt to destroy free societies?

Assange and company are hardly the first to take this course. Human Rights Watch, created to fight for those crushed under the Soviet jackboot, now spends its millions of George Soros dollars to help terrorists in their war against the US and Israel. Amnesty International forgot long ago that it was founded to help prisoners of police states and instead devotes itself to attacking the imaginary evils of the Jewish state and Western democracies.

And that brings us to the real question raised by the WikiLeaks assault on America. Can democracies today protect themselves? In the era of leftist political correctness with its founding principle that Western power is evil and that the freedom to harm democracies is inviolate, can democracies defend their security and national interests?

Related Links


WikiLeaks: A “staged” crime scene – Northeast Intelligence Network (Douglas J. Hagmann)
WikiLeaks diverts to European websites amid U.S. fury – Reuters
Senators unveil anti-WikiLeaks bill – The Hill
Wikileaks – Secret cable, memo fuel tensions in Lebanon – Ya Libnan
Shackled Warrior: Israel and the Global Jihad – Caroline B. Glick (Book)

Caroline GlickBy Caroline B. Glick
CarolineGlick.com

Crises are exploding throughout the world. And the leader of the free world is making things worse.

On the Korean peninsula, North Korea just upended eight years of State Department obfuscation by showing a team of US nuclear scientists its collection of thousands of state-of-the-art centrifuges installed in its Yongbyon nuclear reactor.

And just to top off the show, as Stephen Bosworth, US President Barack Obama’s point man on North Korea, was busily arguing that this revelation is not a crisis, the North fired an unprovoked artillery barrage at South Korea, demonstrating that actually, it is a crisis.

But the Obama administration remains unmoved. On Tuesday Defense Secretary Robert Gates thanked his South Korean counterpart, Kim Tae-young, for showing “restraint.”

On Thursday, Kim resigned in disgrace for that restraint.

The US has spoken strongly of not allowing North Korea’s aggression to go unanswered. But in practice, its only answer is to try to tempt North Korea back to feckless multilateral disarmament talks that will go nowhere because China supports North Korean armament. Contrary to what Obama and his advisers claim, China does not share the US’s interest in denuclearizing North Korea. Consequently, Beijing will not lift a finger to achieve that goal.

Then there is Iran. The now inarguable fact that Pyongyang is developing nuclear weapons with enriched uranium makes it all but certain that the hyperactive proliferators in Pyongyang are involved in Iran’s uranium-based nuclear weapons program. Obviously the North Koreans don’t care that the UN Security Council placed sanctions on Iran. And their presumptive role in Iran’s nuclear weapons program exposes the idiocy of the concept that these sanctions can block Iran’s path to a nuclear arsenal.

Every day as the regimes in Pyongyang and Teheran escalate their aggression and confrontational stances, it becomes more and more clear that the only way to neutralize the threats they pose to international security is to overthrow them. At least in the case of Iran, it is also clear that the prospects for regime change have never been better.

Iran’s regime is in trouble. Since the fraudulent presidential elections 17 months ago the regime has moved ferociously against its domestic foes.

But dissent has only grown. And as popular resentment towards the regime has grown, the likes of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, supreme dictator Ali Khamenei and their Revolutionary Guards have become terrified of their own people. They have imprisoned rappers and outlawed Western music. They have purged their schoolbooks of Persian history. Everything that smacks of anything non-Islamic is viewed as a threat.

Members of the regime are so frightened by the public that this week several members of parliament tried to begin impeachment proceedings against Ahmadinejad. Apparently they hope that ousting him will be sufficient to end the public’s call for revolutionary change.

But Khamenei is standing by his man. And the impeachment proceedings have ended as quickly as they began.

The policy implications of all of this are clear.

The US should destroy Iran’s nuclear installations and help the Iranian people overthrow the regime. But the Obama administration will have none of it.

Earlier this month, Gates said, “If it’s a military solution, as far as I’m concerned, it will bring together a divided nation.”

So in his view, the Iranian people who risk death to defy the regime every day, the Iranian people who revile Ahmadinejad as “the chimpanzee,” and call for Khamenei’s death from their rooftops every evening, will rally around the chimp and the dictator if the US or Israel attacks Iran’s nuclear installations.

Due to this thinking, as far as the Obama administration is concerned the US should stick to its failed sanctions policy and continue its failed attempts to cut a nuclear deal with the mullahs.

As Michael Ledeen noted last week at Pajamas Media, this boilerplate assertion, backed by no evidence whatsoever, is what passes for strategic wisdom in Washington as Iran completes its nuclear project. And this US refusal to understand the policy implications of popular rejection of the regime is what brings State Department wise men and women to the conclusion that the US has no dog in this fight. As State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told The Wall Street Journal this week, the parliament’s bid to impeach Ahmadinejad was nothing more than the product of “rivalries within the Iranian government.”

Then there is Lebanon. Since Ahmadinejad’s visit last month, it is obvious that Iran is now the ruler of Lebanon and that it exerts its authority over the country through its Hizbullah proxy.

Hizbullah’s open threats to overthrow Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s government if Hizbullah’s role in assassinating his father in 2005 is officially acknowledged just make this tragic reality more undeniable. And yet, the Obama administration continues to deny that Iran controls Lebanon.

A month after Ahmadinejad’s visit, Obama convinced the lame duck Congress to lift its hold on $100 million in US military assistance to the Hizbullah-dominated Lebanese military. And the US convinced Israel to relinquish the northern half of the border town of Ghajar to UN forces despite the fact that the UN forces are at Hizbullah’s mercy.

In the midst of all these crises, Obama has maintained faith with his two central foreign policy goals: forcing Israel to withdraw to the indefensible 1949 armistice lines and scaling back the US nuclear arsenal with an eye towards unilateral disarmament. That is, as the forces of mayhem and war escalate their threats and aggression, Obama’s central goals remain weakening the US’s most powerful regional ally in the Middle East and rendering the US incompetent to deter or defeat rapidly proliferating rogue states that are at war with the US and its allies.

Having said that, the truth is that in advancing these goals, Obama is not out of step with his predecessors. George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton both enacted drastic cuts in the US conventional and nonconventional arsenals. Clinton and George W. Bush adopted appeasement policies towards North Korea. Indeed, Pyongyang owes its nuclear arsenal to both presidents’ desire to be deceived and do nothing.

Moreover, North Korea’s ability to proliferate nuclear weapons to the likes of Iran, Syria and Venezuela owes in large part to then-secretary of state Condoleezza Rice’s insistence that Israel say nothing about North Korea’s nuclear ties to Iran and Syria in the wake of Israel’s destruction of the North Korean-built and Iranian-financed nuclear reactor in Syria in September 2007.

As for Iran, Obama’s attempt to appease the regime is little different from his predecessors’ policies. The Bush administration refused to confront the fact that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are to a large degree Iranian proxy wars.

The Bush administration refused to acknowledge that Syria and Hizbullah are run by Teheran and that the 2006 war against Israel was nothing more than an expansion of the proxy wars Iran is running in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Obama’s failed “reset” policy towards Russia is also little different from his predecessors’ policies.

Bush did nothing but squawk after Russia invaded US ally Georgia. The Clinton administration set the stage for Vladimir Putin’s KGB state by squandering the US’s massive influence over post-Soviet Russia and allowing Boris Yeltsin and his cronies to transform the country into an impoverished kleptocracy.

Finally, Obama’s obsession with Israeli land giveaways to the PLO was shared by Clinton and by the younger Bush, particularly after 2006. Rice – who compared Israel to the Jim Crow South – was arguably as hostile towards Israel as Obama.

So is Obama really worse than everyone else or is he just the latest in a line of US presidents who have no idea how to run an effective foreign policy? The short answer is that he is far worse than his predecessors.

A US president’s maneuver room in foreign affairs is always very small. The foreign policy establishment in Washington is entrenched and uniformly opposed to bending to the will of elected leaders. The elites in the State Department and the CIA and their cronies in academia and policy circles in Washington are also consistently unmoved by reality, which as a rule exposes their policies as ruinous.

The president has two ways to shift the ship of state. First, he can use his bully pulpit. Second, he can appoint people to key positions in the foreign policy bureaucracy.

Since entering office, Obama has used both these powers to ill effect. He has traveled across the world condemning and apologizing for US world leadership. In so doing he has convinced ally and adversary alike that he is not a credible leader; that no one can depend on US security guarantees during his watch; and that it is possible to attack the US, its allies and interests with impunity.

Obama’s call for a nuclear-free world combined with his aggressive stance towards Israel’s purported nuclear arsenal, his bid to disarm the US nuclear arsenal, and his ineffective response to North Korea’s nuclear brinksmanship and Iran’s nuclear project have served to convince nations from the Persian Gulf to South America to the Pacific Rim that they should begin developing nuclear weapons. By calling for nuclear disarmament, he has provoked the greatest wave of nuclear armament in history.

Given his own convictions, it is no surprise that all his key foreign policy appointments share his dangerous views. The State Department’s Legal Adviser Harold Koh believes the US should subordinate its laws to an abstract and largely unfounded notion of international law. Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Michele Flournoy believes terrorists become radicalized because they are poor. She is advised by leftist extremist Rosa Brooks. Attorney-General Eric Holder has decided to open criminal investigations against CIA operatives who interrogated terrorists and to try illegal enemy combatants in civilian courts.

In all these cases and countless others, Obama’s senior appointees are implementing policies that are even more radical and dangerous than the radical and dangerous policies of the Washington policy establishment. Not only are they weakening the US and its allies, they are demoralizing public servants who are dedicated to defending their country by signaling clearly that the Obama administration will leave them high and dry in a crisis.

When a Republican occupies the White House, his foreign policies are routinely criticized and constrained by the liberal media. Radical Democratic presidents like Woodrow Wilson have seen their foreign policies reined in by Republican Congresses.

Given the threats Obama’s radical policies are provoking, it can only be hoped that through hearings and other means, the Republicans in the Senate and the House of Representatives will take an active role in curbing his policies. If they are successful, the American people and the international community will owe them a debt of gratitude.

Related Links


China sends officials to Seoul over North Korea – Reuters
Mystery Surrounds Cyber Missile That Crippled Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Ambitions – FOX News
Hariri walks into the Iranian web abandoned by US, Israel, Saudi Arabia – DEBKAfile
John Bolton on North Korean Threats: Whatever – FOX Nation
Shackled Warrior: Israel and the Global Jihad – Caroline B. Glick (Book)

Caroline GlickBy Caroline B. Glick
CarolineGlick.com

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton must have given Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu quite a reception. Otherwise it is hard to understand what possessed him to accept the deal he accepted when he met with her last week.

Under the deal, Netanyahu agreed to retroactively extend the Jewish construction ban ended on September 26 and to carry it forward an additional 90 days.

Clinton’s demand was “Not one more brick” for Jews, meaning, no Jew will be allowed to lay even one more brick on a home he is lawfully building even as the US funds massive Palestinian construction projects. The magnitude of this discriminatory infringement on the property rights of law abiding citizens is breathtaking.

The 90-day freeze is supposed to usher in a period of intense negotiations between Israel and Fatah. But those negotiations will not get off the ground because PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas has no interest in talking, and will never accept any peace offer made by Israel.

But the Americans don’t care. They aren’t worried about the Palestinians accepting a deal.

What they want are more Israeli land surrenders.

And Clinton convinced Netanyahu to agree that the next round of negotiations will be devoted strictly to a discussion of the breadth and depth of Israeli land surrenders.

The Palestinians won’t have to recognize that Israel has a right to exist. They won’t have to dismantle terrorist organizations. They won’t have to stop teaching their children to aspire to become suicide bombers. They won’t even have to stop their negotiations towards reconciling with Hamas.

Netanyahu claims that the Americans agreed to continue respecting Jewish property rights in Jerusalem. The Obama administration has refused to confirm this claim. Yet rather than use the US demurral as a justification for walking away from a bad deal, reports indicate that Netanyahu told his lawyers to figure out fancy wording to hide the American refusal.

Netanyahu boasts that he received three major payoffs from Obama in exchange for his agreement to ban Jewish construction and discuss land surrenders with a negotiating partner that refuses to peacefully coexist with the Jewish state.

First, he claims that Obama agreed not to renew his demand that Jews be denied their property rights. Second, he says the administration agreed to send Israel 20 more F-35s. Finally, he says Obama agreed to wait a year before signing onto anti-Israel resolutions in the UN Security Council.

The first payoff is nothing more than the foreign policy equivalent of buying the same dead horse twice. Obama led Netanyahu to believe he had set aside his demand that Jews be denied property rights last November, when Netanyahu announced the first construction freeze. Yet Obama repeated his demands even before the last freeze ended. Obama has no credibility on this issue. Demonstrating this, Obama is now refusing to put this pledge in writing.

The F-35 deal is simply bizarre. Israel needs the F-35 to defend against enemies like Iran.

Yet the administration claims that its agreement to send Israel the F-35s is contingent on Israel signing a peace deal with the Palestinians. In other words, the Obama administration is now giving the PLO power to veto American military assistance to Israel by continuing to say no to peace.

More than anything, the F-35 payoff exposes the degree to which Obama holds Israel in contempt.

This is a president who is fighting Congress tooth and nail to pass a $60 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia. The administration argues that the arms are necessary to enable Saudi Arabia to deter Iran from attacking it.

That would be the same Saudi Arabia that despite its massive arsenal, has never had the courage or the competence to fight its own battles.

On the other hand there is Israel – the US’s most reliable, courageous and competent strategic ally in the region, and even more a target of Iranian aggression than Saudi Arabia.

Rather than arm Israel with all the means it requires to fight Iran, the Obama administration is downgrading military assistance by conditioning its transfer of the F-35s on an Israeli agreement to commit strategic suicide by surrendering its defensible borders and capital city to its sworn enemies.

Finally there is the administration’s pledge to support Israel at the UN for a year. What this pledge actually means is that a year from now, the Obama administration will present the deal as an excuse to abandon what has been the policy of every US administration since Lyndon Johnson and stop blocking anti-Israel resolutions at the UN Security Council.

According to sources close to Netanyahu, it is his fear of US abandonment at the Security Council that has convinced him to capitulate so profoundly to an administration so weak that it couldn’t even get South Korea to sign a free trade agreement with it. What most concerns Netanyahu these days is that the US will fail to block a Palestinian bid to have the Security Council recognize a Palestinian state in all of Judea and Samaria and in large swathes of Jerusalem even if the Palestinians refuse to sign a peace treaty with Israel.

Since this is what Netanyahu fears the most, it is important to consider what is at stake. While harsh, the truth is not as bad as he thinks it is.

If the Security Council recognizes a Palestinian state in all of Judea and Samaria, in Jerusalem and Gaza, it would be a diplomatic blow to Israel. But it would only be a symbolic step. The situation on the ground would remain unchanged.

What is more problematic is what might happen in the wake of such a resolution. The worst case scenario would be for the Security Council to pass a subsequent resolution deploying forces to Judea and Samaria to fight the IDF.

Given the political maelstrom such an effective US declaration of war against Israel would cause him domestically, it is very unlikely that Obama would support such a resolution. He would have to veto it despite the fact that Samantha Power, who holds the UN portfolio on Obama’s National Security Council, called in the past for US forces to be deployed to Judea and Samaria to fight the IDF.

The other two possibilities are that Israel will become the target of economic sanctions and that Israeli citizens who live beyond the 1949 armistice lines or who have served in the IDF will risk arrest on war crimes charges if we travel abroad. The purpose of such sanctions would be to strangle Israel slowly, in a manner reminiscent of the economic and political warfare that brought down the apartheid regime in South Africa.

In both these cases as well, it is unlikely that Obama will risk the domestic outcry that administration support for such resolutions would provoke. And even if he enabled such resolutions to pass, Congress would likely block US participation in enforcing them. This is not to say that Israel should ignore the threat. But such hostile action is best deterred by working quietly with Israel’s allies in the US to point out the dangers of a runaway UN campaign against a fellow democracy.

At the same time, these threats of economic and legal warfare should sound familiar, because they are already being implemented against Israel. The Palestinians do not need a new UN Security Council resolution to advance their political and economic war against Israel.

They just need the EU. And they have the EU.

The PLO has already convinced several EU member states to establish unofficial trade boycotts as well as military and academic boycotts of Israel. Israel has been required to remove goods produced beyond the 1949 armistice lines from its free trade agreements with Europe.

The legal war is also well under way. Today no senior military commander or politician is able to travel to Britain, for fear of arrest under trumped up war crimes allegations. Israeli officials have been similarly threatened in Spain and elsewhere.

The Palestinian Authority has filed war crimes complaints against Israeli leaders with the International Criminal Court at The Hague. It has done this despite the fact that the Rome Statute which governs the ICC only applies to states, and the PA is not a state. Europe’s love for international institutions, and readiness to endorse nearly any diplomatic assault on Israel, has blunted European criticism of this perversion of law just is it has convinced the Europeans to support various UN bodies’ unlawful campaigns against the Jewish state.

Clearly, a Security Council resolution is not required for the Palestinians to engage in the sort of activities that Netanyahu has just capitulated to the Obama administration to block.

What all this shows is not that Netanyahu is wrong to fear such a resolution, but that a resolution will be a symptom of an already existing problem and blocking it will not end the problem.

Pathetically, despite the fact that this campaign has been building for more than a decade, to date Netanyahu’s only strategy for dealing with it is to beg Obama for short-term protection. Obviously, this is not constructive.

An alternative strategy would be based on a three-pronged approach. First, Israel must attack the source of the problem – Europe.

Israel should begin making European nations pay a price for engaging in political and economic warfare against it. For instance, Israel should suspend the issuance of diplomatic visas to British officials while it “studies” the British universal jurisdiction statute. It should also pass a law permitting the filing of universal jurisdiction claims in Israel against citizens of states that allow Israelis to be sued, and quietly encourage its supporters to file war crimes complaints for the kinds of acts claimed to be criminal when done by Israel, such as Indian support for Indian settlements in Goa and Russian support for Russian settlements in the Kuril Islands. This would not only point out the double standard applied to Israeli communities, it would compel the British to amend their obnoxious law.

The second thing Israel should do is empower its supporters abroad by actively discrediting the UN, the International Criminal Court and advocates of boycotts and divestiture from Israel. There is ample grassroots support in the US for actions against the ICC whose statute places US servicemen and political leaders in its crosshairs and against the UN whose members seek to curtail US sovereignty and power.

Finally, Israel must actively pursue deeper economic and diplomatic ties with Asian nations like India, China, Japan and South Korea.

Enhancing relations with these states should be a top Israeli priority. Such a project would diminish Europe’s capacity to harm Israel’s economy and reduce Israeli reliance on the US at the Security Council.

Netanyahu made a horrible deal with Clinton.

Leaders like Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya’alon have acted as patriots by actively opposing it. It is true that the Obama administration could help us if it wanted to. But it doesn’t want to. Happily, Israel has the power to help itself, if it dares.

Related Links


Israel turns Nablus over to Palestinian security – World Tribune
Abbas: We are not involved in US-Israel freeze deal – Jerusalem Post
US: Building freeze must cover Jerusalem, no F-35 warplanes for free – DEBKAfile
Israel and U.S. struggle to conclude settlement pact – Reuters
Shackled Warrior: Israel and the Global Jihad – Caroline B. Glick (Book)