Thursday, March 18, 2010
Breaking with Israel
By RALPH PETERS New York Post If the Obama administration continues to betray Israel, will any ally ever trust us again? We've been viewed as a fickle (if mighty) partner at least since the 1970s, when we abruptly dumped allies from Saigon to Tehran. Now the White House not only delights in insulting our closest traditional ally, Britain, but has intensified its diplomatic pogrom against Israel -- our only respectable ally in the Middle East. President George W. Bush was mocked for shooting from the hip, but this administration fires with its eyes closed. Obama's unbalanced actions shrivel confidence among allies around the globe -- partners we need. Policy differences are one thing, but gratuitous attacks by the White House are quite another. Has Obama's vaunted intellect been so easily seduced by the myth that Arab extremists long to be our pals -- if only Israel would go away? Yes, we spend diplomatic capital -- and Yankee dollars -- on Israel. Would it really be wiser to spend it on the wretchedly corrupt Palestinian Authority and Hamas? Anyway, we've spent a hell of a lot more on Iraq, which Obama's anxious to abandon. No Palestinian leader has offered up a fraction of the compromises made by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. But Obama demands that the Israelis make all the compromises, giving their mortal enemies a free pass for their transgressions. (If releasing terrorist prisoners is a helpful confidence-building measure, he could release Khalid Sheik Mohammed . . .) It's surreal to watch our president act as if terrorist organizations, autocracies and outright dictatorships are morally superior to Israel's rule-of-law democracy. The aura of unreality extends to the assumption that Israel, faced with threats to its very existence, can be bullied by a White House aligned with its enemies. The Israeli government's capable of doing stupid, counterproductive things. Israel's raucous democracy sometimes falls hostage to nasty splinter groups. But it remains the only country in the neighborhood where an irate electorate can vote offenders out. Does Obama honestly believe that tilting against Israel will have any positive effect on the Arab world's moral incompetence and ingrained anti-Americanism? Apparently he does. The roots of this month's diplomatic debacle lie in Cairo -- where Obama preened and pandered a year ago, sugar-coating the Arab world's self-made problems, groveling before Islamist bigotry and fatally encouraging Palestinians and their manipulators to believe that the US had turned away from Israel. The result has been the collapse of the fragile peace process, which tumbled from direct negotiations back to grudging proximity talks (that have yet to occur). Israel's on guard. Arabs are intransigent. And progress is dead. All thanks to Obama's arrogant refusal to do his homework before his Cairo apologia. ("No-Drama Obama?" Check out the riots in Jerusalem). And all this seems fueled by emotion, not sober analysis. The president's glee in humiliating the Brits stems from his ties to Kenya at an impressionable age, back when liberation rhetoric was in vogue. He behaves as if the Brits still rule in Nairobi, whipping servants and potting lions from the veranda. (This freeze-dried activist world-view also nudges Obama into emotional sympathy with the likes of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and imbues him with a rosy picture of Russia.) Regarding Israel, a lifetime of extremist associations has infected Obama with an emotional loathing for the Jewish state and a romantic vision of Palestinian terrorists as freedom fighters. (Anti-Israeli and naked anti-Jewish rhetoric is endemic within left-wing hate-church congregations, such as that led by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.) Obama's Cairo diatribe was hailed by the left as the greatest speech given by an American president (as were all of Obama's speeches back then). It may, indeed, prove great in its effects -- but the results all look negative for America, Israel and freedom. Sorry, Mr. President: The Palestinians, Syrians, Iranians, Hezbollah, Hamas, Russians, Chinese, Chavistas and all those enemies you've rushed to embrace are not going to love us -- or you. Cease your mad affairs. Come back to our marriage with our proven allies. Betraying Israel may give you emotional satisfaction, sir, but it will bring us no lasting benefits. Israel is, literally, flesh of our flesh. Don't stick a knife in it.