Why is anyone surprised by President Obama’s dramatic reversal of American policy on Israel? How can we be surprised by his throwing Israel under the bus after he has been throwing American national interests under the bus for two years?
Any honest observer can see that Obama’s May 19 speech is a radical departure from 60 years of bipartisan support for Israel and that nation’s right to secure, defensible borders. A return to pre-1967 borders would put Israel in an untenable position at a time when Egypt is likely to repudiate its peace treaty, Hamas is still lobbing deadly rockets into Israel from Gaza, and Iran is making daily threats to “wipe Israel off the map” with a nuclear bomb.
Does Obama know any history? Does he remember that Israel did not start the 1967 war that led to its conquest of the West Bank, the Golan Heights and Gaza? When he suggests returning all of that territory to its Arab neighbors, is he offering Israel an iron-clad guarantee of American assistance when Israel is attacked again from those same territories?
Obama’s radical negation of past American policies is shown not only in his speech but by his actions as well. Obama could have conditioned new American aid to Egypt on that nation not abandoning its peace treaty with Israel. But he did not. Obama could have asked Hamas and the Palestine Liberation Organization to formally abandon its official goal of annihilating Israel. But he did not. Thus, Obama’s ignorance of history is matched only by his arrogance in asking for one-sided concessions.
But should we be surprised by this radically new policy toward Israel? Not really. Obama has now made explicit what has long been implicit in his foreign policy, not only in the Middle East, but at the U.N. and elsewhere. Obama is disdainful of America’s traditional allies but generous and forgiving toward our enemies.
I do not think this anti-Israel tilt is rooted in anti-Semitism, but it is based on something similar. Obama has a deep animosity toward Western civilization as such, and since Israel is the West’s outpost in the Middle East, its interests must yield to the region’s new Islamist agenda.
What Obama’s American Jewish supporters do not yet understand is that Obama is not worried about the prospect of another Arab-Israeli war. He is not worried that his policies may embolden Hamas and Hezbollah and their Iranian puppet-masters to launch a military assault against Israel. Here is the cold reality that American Jews must confront.
Obama is not worried about these dangers because he does not care if Israel is destroyed. For Obama, the destruction of Israel, while not an avowed goal of American policy, in the last analysis is an acceptable price to pay for more peaceful relations with the Islamic world. In this worldview, Israel can exist only if it comes to terms with Arab demands, and America will assist this “peace process” by supporting most of those Arab demands.
The president and his State Department minions appear to agree with the official al-Qaida line that radical Muslims are anti-American only because the United States has supported Israel for 60 years. Never mind that for 50 years the U.S. has tried to play the role of an honest broker in bringing the two sides to the bargaining table. Never mind that we have pressured Israel on a half-dozen sensitive issues like West Bank settlements and autonomy for the Gaza Strip. And never mind that the Muslim Brotherhood was founded 20 years before Israel came into existence with the express goal of driving the West out of the Middle East and re-establishing the Islamic Caliphate.
Where is Obama going with this new policy? The prospects are not good.
Obama’s internationalist political ideology is propelling the United States into a no-win scenario in the Middle East in which defeat will be called victory and appeasement will be called bold leadership. In this warped framework, no concession to Arab interests is ever enough because imagined and alleged sins and crimes can never be completely expatiated, and Islamist concerns are always presumed to be legitimate and amendable to new concessions.
Israeli leaders have basically two choices. They can accept Obama’s new principles and prepare to surrender not only their present borders but their security and their sovereignty. Or they can hunker down and wait 18 months for Obama to be replaced in November of 2012. Because they value their freedom and their lives, it is not hard to guess which course they will choose.