(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
MKs and officials on the Right expressed concern on Monday that Israel would end up paying the price for the American decision to assassinate al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.
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MKs questioned why Israel is routinely condemned by the world for assassinating mass murderers and terrorists, while the bin Laden assassination has been celebrated internationally. They also asked why an international leadership that has not criticized
the Palestinian leadership for making a deal with Hamas, has universally
praised the killing of the leader of al-Qaida.
They warned that Israel could be targeted by Islamic fundamentalist groups avenging bin Laden’s death, and suggested that US President Barack Obama could use the assassination as an excuse to pressure Israel.
“Israel will need to take action to prevent Obama from appeasing the Muslim world at our expense,” National Union MK Aryeh Eldad said. “Bin Laden was never a direct threat to Israel. Ahmadinejad, Arafat and our other real enemies didn’t need bin Laden for inspiration. There is no doubt that Obama is a greater threat to Israel than Osama was.”
Eldad predicted that the assassination would only boost Obama’s political support temporarily, and then his popularity would fall again due to the economy in the US, and other reasons. Other frequent critics of Obama on the Israeli Right found themselves issuing rare praise for the president.
“The elimination of bin Laden proves that even a president who carries out totally mistaken foreign and security policies can also make correct decisions, and on those few occasions he should be commended without reservation,” said Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria Chairman Danny Dayan.
Deputy Negev and Galilee Development Minister Ayoub Kara (Likud) said “I
am Israel’s sharpest critic of Obama, and I don’t want him to be in
power, but I could tolerate Obama as long as he targets people like
Osama. Obama in the past gave breathing space and support to the
terrorists due to his naivete, but if he returns America to [former
president George W.] Bush’s policies of fighting terror, I have no
problem with him.”
Kara suggested marking every Yom Hashoah by killing an international terrorist.
Likud MK Danny Dannon added that he hoped the American administration realized that the fight against terror was far from over.
“I am worried about the festivities at Times Square and the White House,
because we in Israel have learned the hard way that fighting terror
requires a daily struggle and not just one knockout punch,” Dannon said.
“The president should focus his energy on targeting terrorists who
threaten the US and Israel – and not on an ill-fated attempt to
implement an unrealistic Middle East peace plan based on wishful