Glick in the Philadelphia Inquirer – Washington has abandoned its obligations

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Last Sunday, the head of Israel's military intelligence reported that Iran has mastered the nuclear fuel cycle and can rapidly move from low-grade uranium enrichment to weapons-grade uranium enrichment. He also said that the next 18 months will be "critical" for preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

There is a national consensus in Israel that preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons is the most important and urgent national-security challenge facing the country. Even if Iran refrains from using the weapons directly against Israel, a nuclear-armed Iran will accelerate its efforts to destabilize and destroy the Jewish state by using its proxies in the Palestinian Authority, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq to wage constant, unrelenting terror, guerrilla and conventional warfare.

A nuclear arsenal will likewise help Iran to expand its sphere of influence by empowering it to escalate its efforts to overthrow the Jordanian and Egyptian regimes, and accelerate Hamas' takeover of the Palestinian Authority, scuttling peace negotiations and peace treaties with Israel. Other Arab states – including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Morocco, and Kuwait – will also see their regimes threatened or overthrown by radical forces operating under Iran's nuclear umbrella.

And this is the best-case scenario.

It is no wonder, then, that Israelis of all political stripes are deeply disturbed by the Obama administration's Middle East policies. Since taking office, President Obama has made it clear that preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons is not a major concern for him. Rather, he strives to open diplomatic relations with Iran in the inexplicable hope that Iran can be appeased out of a nuclear program that has already brought it to the cusp of regional hegemony.

Over the last several weeks, as part of the buildup to tomorrow's meeting between Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the administration has ratcheted up its rhetoric against Israel. Vice President Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, national security adviser James Jones, and White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel are among those who have stated that Israel cannot expect the United States to support its aim of preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons unless Israel first makes concessions to the Palestinians. That is, if Iran acquires nuclear weapons, Israel will be to blame.

Israelis are mystified by this position. With Iran's proxy Hamas in charge of Gaza, and ascendant in the West Bank, it is clear that any Palestinian state that is established in the near future will be an Iranian-aligned terror state at war with Israel. That is, while administration officials claim "the only solution is a two-state solution," Israelis recognize that the rapid establishment of a Palestinian state will only cause more war, terror, and regional instability.

Moreover, statements by Biden and Defense Secretary Robert Gates expressing the administration's opposition to an Israeli military strike against Iran's nuclear installations, together with Assistant Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller's recent call for Israel to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, have led many Israelis to perceive a strategic and moral blindness informing the administration's views about Israel and Iran. Apparently, for the administration, there is no difference between Israel, a stalwart U.S. ally and fellow democracy, and Iran – a terror-supporting, human-rights-violating, self-declared enemy of the United States that has been attacking U.S. citizens, interests, and allies since the 1979 Islamic revolution, and has repeatedly called for Israel to be eradicated.

A poll taken earlier this month by Bar Ilan University showed that only 38 percent of Israelis view Obama as friendly toward Israel. Moreover, 66 percent of Israelis support a military strike on Iran's nuclear installations, and only 15 percent say they believe Israel should cancel an attack on Iran if the United States opposes the operation.

These data are important for understanding how Israelis are responding to the Obama administration's apparent hostility toward Israel and its perceived preference for a nuclear-armed Iran over any concerted action by the United States or Israel to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power. What the administration is signaling Israelis – and their government – is that Washington is no longer Israel's trusted ally. Indeed, it is becoming clear to the Israeli public that, for the administration, it doesn't matter what Israel does or what its enemies do. As far as Obama and his advisers are concerned, Israel's refusal to make further concessions to the Palestinians will be the cause for whatever transpires.

In this state of affairs, on the eve of the Obama-Netanyahu meeting, more and more Israelis have come to the conclusion that there is little point in taking Washington's views into consideration. If Washington is going to blame Israel anyway, we are better off being blamed for preemptively removing the threat of a new Holocaust than for allowing that threat to become a fact of life.

Originally published in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

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10 Comments

  • Yael 05/17/2009 at 11:19

    Absolute clarity and brilliance, as usual, Caroline. Anyone who is able should attend the vigil to keep Israel intact – tomorrow in Lafayette Park across from the White House 10AM – 2PM. Netanyahu embodies all that stands between us and the pitchforks of a Jew-hating world. May Hashem guide and protect him.

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  • Yuval Brandstetter MD 05/17/2009 at 11:25

    Again you neglect to mention the most cogent explanation for Obama’s irrational behaviour and that is his own Islamic belief system. In his Islamic view, the idea of the Jewish Nation somehow overpowering an Islamic nation is utter blasphemy. As a Muslim he is obliged to help his Muslim Umma tp prevent such a catastrophe to islam’s goals: World domination under Sharia. The omission of the Islamic angle is what makes the Obama administration’s policies “inexplicable.

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  • Bill 05/17/2009 at 12:53

    I don’t know why Israelis should be surprized at the “strategic and moral blindness” of the Americans. These are the same Israelis that negotiated Oslo, that submit to their leftist supreme court, that tolerate Arab traitors in the Knesset, that adopted the two-state solution (the sovereign enemy neighbor solution), and that gave Gaza to Hamas to use as a rocket platform, to mention only the items that immediately come to the mind of a distant observer. Do Israelis expect other countries to value their safety more highly than they do themselves? (This is why View from the Right host Lawrence Auster has “given up on Israel” even though he believes Israel has every right to defend itself: the Israelis seem determined to destroy themselves.) Possibly Israeli liberals are hitting the Wall of Reality ahead of their American counterparts, but it will probably not cure them of their liberalism. Instead, they will just make an “unprincipled exception” to their liberalism in favor of the non-liberal principle of national survival. In general, I fear liberals would rather die than give up their liberalism–or at least let lots of other people die.

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  • Rhonda 05/17/2009 at 13:13

    Israel would do well to realize that allegiance with the US is no longer to be depended on. Sadly, our government has turned away. Throughout history, Israel has had to stand alone in a world hostile to the Jewish people. It is not comfortable or comforting to stand alone. However, once the Jewish people realize there are no alliances to help them but their God – as proven throughout the centuries, Israel can turn to the only One who has kept them and will keep them for all time. I pray for the peace of Jerusalem; I am grieved by the forces in the “Christian” community that would turn to anti-Semitism; I am heartened by the promises of God that Israel is the apple of His eye.

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  • Ron Grandinetti, USA 05/17/2009 at 14:01

    Caroline as you well know I was against PM Netanyahu meeting with Obama.
    We already know what this administrations policies are with respects to Iran and Israel.
    We have a president with a background of a community organizer with strong ties to Acorn (that’s the very corrupt organization being investigated around the country) who wants to throw our only trusted ally and democracy under the bus because he believes in the tooth fairy and he will be able to persuade Iran to behave.
    This administration needs to keep its nose out of Israeli affairs. With respects to a two state solution, forget it, it won’t work and it isn’t in the best interest of Israel and her people.
    First of all friends don’t tell friends what to do. They usually ask if they can help.
    On top of that Assistant Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller’ suggest Israel join the NNPT.
    Thanks but no thanks.
    Israel doesn’t intend to be sacrificed for a US relationship with Iran and little Hitler.
    Israel needs to wean herself from the US, she has enough enemies.
    If necessary, Israel will handle Iran.
    Apparently this administration doesn’t have the stomach to fight terrorism.

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  • Marcel Cousineau 05/17/2009 at 14:08

    You mentioned the strategic and moral blindness now guiding Israel’s closest ally.
    I beg to disagree,it’s much worse than that. Evil forces have united on all fronts to kill the Israel which God gave birth to.
    The pressure has always been one sided against Israel to make concessions for a non existant peace.No pressure has ever been applied on the Ismaic terrorist side of this equation.
    This alone should have caused Israel to drop out of the rigged game.
    Israel went nuts for a sham peace.
    The game has gone well for Israel’s enemies,surprised at how stupid Israel became for the counterfeit they packaged and sold.
    Israel’s enemies know that eventually they will have squeezed the last drop of concessions from the naive Jews and this will signal time for war,their checkmate move on Israel ,so they think.
    The strategdy of threats against Israel by every Arab leader,every European leader and Obama to heel or else is now in play.
    Abdulah of Jordan made it clear with a threat of war unless Israel capitulates to their demands.
    The threats worked against P.M. Sharon but they are even greater against Netanyahu.
    Will he fold like fearful Sharon or will he learn the bold faith of a young Melek David who stood up against the giant from Gaza, Goliath while all Israel and her army hid in fear ?
    What was unique about David is that He knew and believe in the god of Israel and was not impressed or dependent on U.S. power or supremacy ,he didn’t need this false crutch which has been a snare to Israel.
    God and a few smooth stones were more than enough for him.
    That is the kind of Jew needed today.
    Is there such a Jew alive today who really puts his or her trust in Him more than in the worthless nations which all betray Israel now ?Iran is the deal breaker as Israel now sees that the peace process was really all about weakening and destroying Israel,squeezing her while building up her destroyers,the Islamic hordes and the front line Palestinians.

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  • Anna 05/17/2009 at 18:03

    Always glad to see Ms. Glick being published in major U.S. newspapers. I hope this piece will open the eyes of some who remain dangerously naive about the realities of the threats that encircle the globe, including those specifically directed toward Israel and Jews, in particular.
    Forget Washington. Obama and his administration have made their views clear. Sadly, either Americans refuse to wake up and understand the devastating implications of those views or they agree with them. Either way, it’s a disaster.
    Thank you, as always, Ms. Glick, for your strong and clear voice. I would urge all readers here to speak out, as well. We must all do what we can to make our voices heard, whether by contacting our elected officials, contacting the media, contacting prominent Jewish organizations and talking with family and friends. No one can afford not to speak out, strongly and often.

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  • Marc Handelsman, USA 05/17/2009 at 18:13

    The fear of radical Islamist retaliation against the US to an IAF attack on Iranian nuclear sites is what might be driving American appeasement toward Iran. No matter what Israel does, the Obama Administration’s fear of jihadists is causing it to make foolish foreign policy initiatives with adversaries. That probably explains the inexplicable way the Obama Administration is unfairly pressuring Israel to make unwise concessions with the PLO. In US policy planner’s eyes, protecting overseas alliances, bases, and the home front trumps Israel’s need to defend itself against Islamic aggression.

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  • DaveP 05/21/2009 at 5:26

    Marc
    It is not just Israel, but the Obama adminstration wants India to be “sympathetic” to Pakistan over Kashmir. What the Obama administration does not realise (or maybe Obama does), that feeding the crocodile does not make it go away. The fear of Islam, particularly the growing Muslim population within, is what is scaring the USA. The same situation holds in Europe as well.
    There is a persistent misconception that Israel is completely dependent on the USA. There is another way to look at this. For the Arabs, the only way they can get any concessions from Israel is via the USA. Thus the USA must be careful not to make Israel so weak that the Arabs do not need the US in their goal to destroy Israel.
    The USA should view Israel as a kind of reserve asset. The more of it they give away, the less they have to make themselves attractive to others. Thus if Isreal is destroyed, the USA will have no influence in the ME. So Isreal and the USA need each other, and must be careful not to place each other in a parlous position.

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