When Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu addressed a Joint Session of Congress two years ago, he accurately proclaimed “Israel is not what is wrong with the Middle East. Israel is what is right with the Middle East.” Unfortunately, the Obama administration’s actions have repeatedly contradicted that longstanding belief, which has stood as the cornerstone of our valued 65-year relationship with the Jewish State of Israel.
It is imperative, for our mutual best interests, that America and Israel remain the reliable and solidly staunch allies they have always been.
Given Congress’ almost unanimously positive bipartisan response to the prime minister’s speech is further proof of that sentiment. Then why does the Obama administration continue to engage policies that are clearly detrimental to Israel’s best interests? At the recent Munich Conference, Secretary of State John Kerry’s never before heard comments from a US administration regarding Israel shocked the international community, and gave comfort and resolve to Israel’s enemies.
Secretary Kerry clearly stated that if the status quo is maintained, and peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians fail, Israel could face further “boycotts” and “de-legitimization.” It is clearly this administration’s expectation that Israel must submit to the outrageous demands of Hamas, Hezbollah and the mullahs in Tehran.
Not surprisingly, the swift and thunderous outrage of the Israeli people has put the Israel-American relationship in a most perilous position. And in a recent interview with CNN, Secretary Kerry had an opportunity to clearly enunciate that the United States will oppose any boycott or de-legitimization efforts against Israel, but failed to affirm that long-held position.
The policy of the United States should and must be to boycott any company that boycotts Israel, and to openly and aggressively counter any country that even infers de-legitimization of Israel. The United States needs to be clear that it will expeditiously and robustly respond accordingly to anyone who maliciously attempts to sabotage Israel.
It is historically inaccurate and diplomatically deplorable to suggest the peace process has or will fail because of Israel.
Most recently, the Obama administration pressured Israel to release terrorist murderers as a necessary prerequisite to meeting with the Palestinians, for which Israel got nothing else in return. The unreasonable demands continue to mount from the Palestinians, and rather than rebuke these requests to continually move the goalposts, the Obama administration has unconscionably insinuated that there will be further economic consequences if Israel does not acquiesce and surrender land that is most vital to its security interests.
The root of the problem, which dates back 65 years, is that the Palestinians and most of Israel’s neighbors refuse to accept Israel’s right to exist.
As a result, its neighbors will not assent to the fact that Israel has a right to defend its borders, its way of life, and to protect its Jewish identity.
Given that reality, it stands to reason that it would be irresponsible for any nation to accept such a so-called “peace.”
IT BECOMES even more reprehensible when one considers the fact that the threats against Israel are today laid in the context of a nuclear Iran, a stronger Hezbollah and an active Muslim Brotherhood that reportedly recently found itself graciously invited to a White House meeting with the president and vice president of the United States.
The only thing worse than Secretary Kerry’s words are his deeds, particularly when it comes to Israel and America’s greatest threat – a nuclear Iran. Recently, without Israel’s involvement and despite Israel’s strong objection, he carelessly and naively negotiated a P5+1 agreement with Iran that does nothing to bring to an end or even temporarily halt their enrichment of uranium. And just when sanctions on the Iranian regime, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, were finally beginning to bear fruit, the Obama administration agreed to significantly ease the pressure? It is the irony of our time that while the US agreed to ease sanctions on Iran, which has continually refused to follow UN resolutions, they reaffirmed the threat of sanctions against Israel, a friend and an ally that has fulfilled the obligations it committed to in all previously negotiated “peace” agreements.
The United States House of Representatives voted to increase sanctions on Iran by the overwhelming vote of 400-20. The Senate companion bill to increase sanctions boasts 58 bipartisan co-sponsors, and would almost certainly pass if it was allowed to have an up or down vote. But the administration’s pressure not to move it forward, and the president’s threat to veto the legislation if passed, has temporarily put the bill “on ice.”
To listen to this president and his secretary of state is proof that the de-legitimization campaign against Israel is underway, and United States policy, which infers prejudice and pressure against Israel, only exacerbates the situation. President Obama should know that words matter, and the actions of his administration have worked to embolden and legitimize our common enemies.
President Obama has dangerously taken a calculated position that Iran can be trusted, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas have reconciliatory intentions, and Israel needs to be pressured into acquiescence.
Since Israel’s rebirth on May 15, 1948, the one thing that could always be counted on was the loyal and unwavering support of the United States. That unqualified support still exists, with the American people and in the US Congress.
Unfortunately, the Obama administration’s policies sadly do not reflect it.
The author has served for many years in the US House of Representatives, and was a former candidate for president of the United States.