US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. .
(photo credit: REUTERS)
President Barak Obama gave a speech on February 5 at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington DC in which he said: “And lest we get on our high horse and think that this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ. ...So this is not unique to one group or one religion.”
He was responding to those who ask why the leader of the Western world never utters the words “Islamic terrorism” or “jihadists.” To most Americans, President Obama’s response was incredibly out of touch with reality.
To quote Dennis Praeger: “Is this true? Of course, not. In our time, major religious violence is in fact ‘unique to some other place,’ namely the Islamic world. What other religious group is engaged in mass murder, systematic rape, slavery, beheading innocents, bombing public events, shooting up school children, wiping out whole religious communities and other such atrocities?
“The answer is, of course, no other religious group. Therefore massive violence in the name of one’s religion today is indeed ‘unique to some other place.’ To state this is not to ‘get on a high horse.’ It is to tell the most important truth about the world in our time.”
Islamic terrorism is sweeping the globe with hundreds of thousands having been killed in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Tunisia, Lebanon and Afghanistan already. Radical Islamists want to create a global jihadist state using whatever means they deem necessary.
As President Obama watches their advances, he admonishes the West to stop thinking they are morally superior to Islamic State (IS) or al-Qaida, or any other jihadist groups. Inexplicably, he believes the world is safer today than it was when he took office. This, after he handed over all of the US Army’s hard-fought gains in Iraq to IS and Iran, allowed Iran to prop up Bashar Assad in Syria, and is about to abandon Afghanistan. I have spoken to a few former US commanders who have served in Afghanistan who all fear that the US withdrawal will lead to a Taliban offensive and bloodshed.
President Obama lives in alternate universe. He is driven by a view of the world that goes far beyond appeasement, is ashamed of the US, and believes America is the real problem. This is happening while the world is burning and desperately seeking American leadership.
The failure to stop Iran from building a nuclear bomb makes Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech to a joint session of Congress today an imperative. He is coming at the behest of House Speaker John Boehner, the third most powerful leader in the US. This is not the first time the Israeli prime minister has been invited to address the Congress.
Many Americans recognize that during the past six years there been an unprecedented decline in the prestige and influence of the US. President Obama either ignores the threats or believes his speeches have the power to alter reality. He has allowed Iran to spread its influence in the Middle East, begs Iran to press a re-start button with the US and is allowing it to continue acquiring nuclear weapons.
The weakening of US sanctions has allowed the mullahs to build more reactors, add more centrifuges, manufacture larger long-range missiles and harden their targets. Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei knows that President Obama wants a deal so desperately he will acquiesce to even a terrible agreement.
The Iranian bomb does not just pose an existential threat to Israel, it would allow Hamas, Hezbollah and all of Israel’s enemies to operate with impunity under an Iranian nuclear umbrella. The Iranian bomb would also be a threat to all the Sunni states, Europe and the US. There is a very real possibility that Islamic jihadists could act as Iran’s proxies. Hence Speaker Boehner has invited Netanyahu to brief the Congress on the dangers of a nuclear Iran, and the threats that Islamic jihadists pose to the world.
For many, Netanyahu appears to be the de facto leader of the Western world. Americans want to hear from a man who leads the only true and liberal democracy in the Middle East, and whose country is on the front lines of the war against radical Islam. Contrary to what the editorial board of Haaretz or Yediot Aharonot would have Israelis believe, Americans want to hear the truth. The stakes are high for the US, Israel, and other countries in the world.
Those boycotting the Netanyahu speech seem to be staunch supporters of President Obama, and apparently agree with his policies. That is their prerogative. But based on the recent US election results and the most recent polls, less than 35% of Americans approve of the presidents handling of foreign affairs. I suggest that Prime Minister Netanyahu’s detractors and political opponents stop looking at his acceptance of an invitation from House Speaker Boehner from an Israeli electoral perspective. Prime Minister Netanyahu was invited by the leader of the legislative branch of the US government (and yes, President Obama was informed of the invitation) because the majority of US Congressmen, Senators and I suspect citizens want to hear the bitter reality of what the US, Israel and many other nations are facing.
This is not about politics, this is ultimately about the future of the free world. Pretending that everything is fine because President Obama says it is has allowed disasters to occur. President Obama’s ego or dislike of Netanyahu is less important than the national security of the United States.The author has been teaching, lecturing and writing about Zionism, Israel, the Arab-Israeli conflict since 1978.