The Disappearance of US Will

obama-foreign-policy-policy-second-term-john-bolton-620x396-450x287By Caroline Glick:

The most terrifying aspect of the collapse of US power worldwide is the US’s indifferent response to it.

In Europe, in Asia, in the Middle East and beyond, America’s most dangerous foes are engaging in aggression and brinkmanship unseen in decades.

As Gordon Chang noted at a symposium in Los Angeles last month hosted by the David Horowitz Freedom Center, since President Barack Obama entered office in 2009, the Chinese have responded to his overtures of goodwill and appeasement with intensified aggression against the US’s Asian allies and against US warships.

In 2012, China seized the Scarborough Shoal from the Philippines. Washington shrugged its shoulders despite its mutual defense treaty with the Philippines. And so Beijing is striking again, threatening the Second Thomas Shoal, another Philippine possession.

In a similar fashion, Beijing is challenging Japan’s control over the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea and even making territorial claims on Okinawa.

As Chang explained, China’s recent application of its Air-Defense Identification Zone to include Japanese and South Korean airspace is a hostile act not only against those countries but also against the principle of freedom of maritime navigation, which, Chang noted, “Americans have been defending for more than two centuries.”

The US has responded to Chinese aggression with ever-escalating attempts to placate Beijing.

And China has responded to these US overtures by demonstrating contempt for US power.

Last week, the Chinese humiliated Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel during his visit to China’s National Defense University. He was harangued by a student questioner for the US’s support for the Philippines and Japan, and for opposition to Chinese unilateral seizure of island chains and assertions of rights over other states’ airspace and international waterways.

As he stood next to Hagel in a joint press conference, China’s Defense Chief Chang Wanquan demanded that the US restrain Japan and the Philippines.

In addition to its flaccid responses to Chinese aggression against its allies and its own naval craft, in 2012 the US averred from publicly criticizing China for its sale to North Korea of mobile missile launchers capable of serving Pyongyang’s KN-08 intercontinental ballistic missiles. With these easily concealed launchers, North Korea significantly upgraded its ability to attack the US with nuclear weapons.

As for Europe, the Obama administration’s responses to Russia’s annexation of Crimea and to its acts of aggression against Ukraine bespeak a lack of seriousness and dangerous indifference to the fate of the US alliance structure in Eastern Europe.

Rather than send NATO forces to the NATO member Baltic states, and arm Ukrainian forces with defensive weapons, as Russian forces began penetrating Ukraine, the US sent food to Ukraine and an unarmed warship to the Black Sea.

Clearly not impressed by the US moves, the Russians overflew and shadowed the US naval ship. As Charles Krauthammer noted on Fox News on Monday, the Russian action was not a provocation. It was “a show of contempt.”

As Krauthammer explained, it could have only been viewed as a provocation if Russia had believed the US was likely to respond to its shadowing of the warship. Since Moscow correctly assessed that the US would not respond to its aggression, by buzzing and following the warship, the Russians demonstrated to Ukraine and other US allies that they cannot trust the US to protect them from Russia.

In the Middle East, it is not only the US’s obsessive approach to the Palestinian conflict with Israel that lies in shambles. The entire US alliance system and the Obama administration’s other signature initiatives have also collapsed.

After entering office, Obama implemented an aggressive policy in Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere of killing al-Qaida operatives with unmanned drones. The strategy was based on the notion that such a campaign, that involves no US boots on the ground, can bring about a rout of the terrorist force at minimal human cost to the US and at minimal political cost to President Barack Obama.

The strategy has brought about the demise of a significant number of al-Qaida terrorists over the years. And due to the support Obama enjoys from the US media, the Obama administration paid very little in terms of political capital for implementing it.

But despite the program’s relative success, according to The Washington Post, the administration suspended drone attacks in December 2013 after it endured modest criticism when one in Yemen inadvertently hit a wedding party.

No doubt al-Qaida noticed the program’s suspension. And now the terror group is flaunting its immunity from US attack.

This week, jihadist websites featured an al-Qaida video showing hundreds of al-Qaida terrorists in Yemen meeting openly with the group’s second in command, Nasir al-Wuhayshi.

In the video, Wuhayshi threatened the US directly saying, “We must eliminate the cross,” and explaining that “the bearer of the cross is America.”

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There is a direct correlation between the US elite’s preoccupation with social issues running the narrow and solipsistic gamut from gay marriage to transgender bathrooms to a phony war against women, and America’s inability to recognize the growing threats to the global order or understand why Americans should care about the world at all.

And there is a similarly direct correlation between the growing aggression of US foes and Obama’s decision to slash defense spending while allowing the US nuclear arsenal to become all but obsolete.

America’s spurned allies will take the actions they need to take to protect themselves. Some will persevere, others will likely be overrun.

But with Americans across the ideological spectrum pretending that failure is success and defeat is victory, while turning their backs on the growing storm, how will America protect itself?

Read more at Front Page

The Phantom Menace in the Middle East: A Review of Caroline Glick’s The Israeli Solution

glick_israeli_solution_cover_4-2-14-1By David P. Goldman:

By any standard, the Palestinian problem involves the strangest criteria in modern history.

To begin with, refugees are defined as individuals who have been forced to leave their land of origin. A new definition of refugee status, though, was invented exclusively for Palestinian Arabs, who count as refugees their descendants to the nth generation.

All the world’s refugees are the responsibility of the United Nations High Commission on Refugees, except for the Palestinians, who have their own refugee agency, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine. Among all the population exchanges of the 20th century — Greeks for Turks after World War I, Hindus for Moslems after the separation of India and Pakistan after World War II, Serbs for Croats after the breakup of Yugoslavia during the 1980s — the Palestinians alone remain frozen in time, a living fossil of long-decided conflicts.

Some 700,000 Jews were expelled from Muslim countries where they had lived in many cases more than a thousand years before the advent of Islam, and most of them were absorbed into the new State of Israel with a territory the size of New Jersey; 700,000 or so Arabs left Israel’s Jewish sector during the 1948 War of Independence, most at the behest of their leaders, but few were absorbed by the vast Muslim lands surrounding Israel.

Instead, the so-called refugees were gathered in camps (now for the most part towns with a living standard much higher than that of the adjacent Arab countries thanks to foreign aid) and kept as a human battering ram against Israel, whose existence the Muslim countries cannot easily accept.

Some 10 million Germans who had lived for generations in what is now Russia, Poland and the Czech Republic were driven out at the end of World War II (more than half a million died in the great displacement).

Imagine that Germany had kept these 10 million people in camps for 70 years and that their descendants now numbered 40 million — and that Germany demanded on pain of war restitution of everything from the Sudetenland to Kaliningrad (the former Konigsberg). That is a fair analogy to the Palestinian position.

It is a scam, a hoax, a put-on, a Grand Guignol theatrical with 5 million extras. Because polite opinion bows to the sensibilities of the world’s 1.4 billion Muslims, it is treated in all seriousness.

As a matter of full disclosure, I want to put my personal view on record: The mainstream view amounts to a repulsive and depraved exercise in hypocrisy that merits the harshest punishment that a just God might devise.

In this looking-glass world of hypocrisy and hoax, though, the most noteworthy deception is the physical existence of the Palestinians themselves: in Judea and Samaria (sometimes called the occupied West Bank), there are perhaps half the number of Arabs as the Palestinian Authority’s census has counted, or the international community acknowledges. As Jerusalem Post reporter Caroline Glick reports in her new book, The Israeli Solution: A One-State Plan for Peace in the Middle East, Israeli researchers have demonstrated that:

The 1997 Palestinian census was a fraud. The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics [PCBS] had exaggerated the Palestinian population figures by nearly 50 percent, or 1.34 million people… First, it had inflated the existing Palestinian population base. In the 1997 census, the PCBS had included 325,000 Palestinians who lived abroad. It had also included 210,000 Arab residents in Jerusalem, who had already been accounted for in Israel’s population count.

The Palestinian census had included an additional 113,000 persons whose existence was not noted in the 1996 Israeli civil administration. When the data was compared to the voter base published by the Palestinian Central Elections Commission (PCEC) in 1996 and 2005, the PCEC data substantiated the Israeli data. That is, the 113,000 people did not exist.

Taken together, these three moves increased the Palestinian base population by 648,000 people or approximately 27 percent. Imagine if the US Census Bureau had predicted that, in 2012, the United States would have a population base of 400 million, instead of its actual 2012 base size of 314 million. The second stage of the population inflation involved exaggerating future growth. First, it predicated the projections for future growth on a population base that — as we have seen — was massively inflated. Every annual growth assessment based on an inflated population model is necessarily false and inflated.

This fundamental problem was compounded by other factors. The PCBS inflated birthrates and massively inflated immigration rates . Moreover, it ignored the high numbers of Palestinians who immigrated to Israel by marrying Israeli citizens. All told, the PCBS census claimed that the compound annual growth rate of the Palestinians in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza was 4.75 percent — the highest population growth rate in the world. Significantly, just as the Palestinians were claiming to be the fastest-growing population in the world, the Arab world, and the larger Muslim world, were entering a period of unprecedented demographic contraction, even collapse.

The data are well known and long-debated; I took the same position as Ms. Glick in a 2011 essay for the Jewish webzine Tablet. But Ms. Glick, an American immigrant to Israel and a former captain in the Israel Defense Forces, draws a bold conclusion: Israel should annex Judea and Samaria just as it did the city of Jerusalem. Jews will comprise a demographic majority well in excess of 60% between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean. As Palestinians continue to emigrate and Jewish immigration picks up, she adds, “some anticipate that due almost entirely to Jewish immigration, Jews could comprise an 80 percent majority within the 1949 armistice lines and Judea and Samaria by 2035.”

Under Ms. Glick’s plan, Israel would offer to West Bank Arabs the opportunity to apply for Israeli citizenship; all would have full civil rights, and those who chose Israeli citizenship would have voting rights as well. Israeli no doubt would earn the anathema of the international community were it to annex Judea and Samaria, but from Ms. Glick’s way of looking at the matter there is little to lose.

Read more at PJ Media

Dead End: J Street’s One-Way Opposition to Israel

Palestinians call for the death of all Jews (Youtube)

Palestinians call for the death of all Jews (Youtube)

by Andrew Harrod:

J Street (JS) supporters “align themselves on the Arab side in the lopsided Arab war against the Jews,” Harvard University Professor Ruth R. Wisse states in the recently released documentary The J Street Challenge.  As the film documents, this leftist Jewish organization hardly embodies proclaimed “Pro-Israel, Pro-Peace” goals, but rather endangers Israel’s peace with myopic, anti-Israel bias.

“We want the conflict to end,” the film quotes JS founder Jeremy Ben-Ami declaring with respect to Israel’s embattled existence.  This desire for peace is “one of the most seductive messages to the Jewish people for the last two centuries at least” Wisse notes.  “Jewish politics is based upon looking for accommodation” in the face of past unrelenting anti-Semitic hostility, Wisse observes.  “You are willing to do almost anything to stop that aggression against you.”  The “label of pro-peace” has “something very captivating,” the Israeli-based academic Daniel Gordis concurs.

A “one-sided blame game,” though, is ultimately what JS’s vision entails for Israel according to Roz Rothstein of the pro-Israeli advocacy organization Stand With Us.  In JS’s assessment of the Arab-Israeli conflict’s suffering, the “only responsible party for any of this are the Jews,” Israeli writer Caroline Glick observes.  JS presents a “classic illustration” of “not willing to believe bad things about other people,” Boston University Professor Richard Landes elaborates.  This is “more than just an intellectual commitment, it is an emotional commitment.”  Such a “utopia where everybody is the same” dominates youth thinking today, states Samantha Mandeles from the anti-Israel propaganda-debunking CAMERA.

Even though the “stupidity of this kind of innocence” is “almost intolerable” according to Wisse, various Jews might actually derive comfort from a blame-Israel-first outlook.  An “inflated sense of importance” for Jews ironically comes from self-castigation in the Arab-Israeli conflict, for example, Glick argues.  It is “much more luxurious to believe that it’s about me” and in a unique Jewish power to obtain peace.  Although Landes condemns this “moral narcissism” allowing Jews “to feel good about ourselves,” such views have led to an “almost…mythical belief” in the Kabbala teaching of Tikkun Olam or “world repair.”  Interpreted according to this belief “Judaism is liberalism and liberalism is Judaism,” the Emergency Committee for Israel’s Noah Pollack states.

Among Jews the “younger generation is embarrassed about supporting Israel,” Harvard Law School Professor Alan Dershowitz adds, even though “as a progressive you must support Israel” and its liberal society.  “Israel taints them,” film producer Charles Jacobs from Americans for Peace and Tolerance concurs.  Young American Jews thus seek “expiation” in JS and “to get out from under the burden of that guilt.”  While “bravery is to be a Zionist on college campuses today…to stand up for Israel,” Dershowitz analyzes, criticism of Israel provides a “way of becoming acceptable.”

Read more at Religious Freedom Coalition

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War & Peace in the Age of Obama

3333By :

Editor’s note: The following is the text to David Horowitz’s introduction of Caroline Glick at the Wednesday Morning Club.

To order Glick’s new book, The Israeli Solution: A One-State Plan for Peace in the Middle East, click here.

We live in surreal times. My privilege and pleasure today is to introduce a remarkable woman who has written an extraordinary book in which she argues that the only viable way to resolve the Middle East conflict is a “one-state solution.” I am going to let Caroline explain why that should be so, but in order to understand the magnitude of the task she has undertaken and the difficulties her solution would have to overcome, you first have to understand the surreal nature of the times we live in.

We are not long emerged from a fifty-year Cold War, which began when the Soviet Empire swallowed Eastern Europe and the Baltic states, and ended only when the United States undertook a vast rearmament, and applied enough pressure over enough years to bankrupt the Communist system and force its withdrawal from the occupation.

The Russian successor to that empire has just swallowed one of its lost treasures, a sovereign domain in Eastern Europe. The response of our commander in chief, Barack Obama, to the rape of Crimea has been to wag his finger in response, and explain to the Russian conqueror that the time for conquests has actually passed. We are all modern people now living in the 21st Century and we just don’t do things that way. Not surprisingly this pablum made no impression on Vladimir Putin.

In point of fact, Russia is a second-rate power and could have been easily dissuaded from this adventure or backed down without firing a shot. But because Barack Obama is such an embarrassingly weak leader and untrustworthy ally, Putin was able to laugh in his face, mass 100,000 troops on the Ukranian border and prepare to swallow Ukraine itself.

The leader of the free world today is a man who does not believe in the free world or in America’s role as its head. In the five years since a Norwegian committee gave him a Nobel Peace Prize for nothing, Obama’s policies of weakness and appeasement have made the world a far more dangerous place than it has been since the end of the Cold War, and possibly its beginning.

From his first day in office Obama has made it clear that he regards America as having wronged its adversaries, and its adversaries as having grievances that are justified. It is a view that is conveniently close to Putin’s own. As should by now be apparent, America’s president is a determined enabler of America’s enemies, and equally determined betrayer of her friends. In the five years since he took office he has lost the war in Iraq, giving up the military presence that thousands of Americans gave their lives to secure, while turning that benighted nation over to Iran; he has lost the war in Afghanistan by announcing his intention to lose it in advance and by forcing our troops to fight under rules of engagement that tied their hands and got them killed. He has lost Libya by conducting a unilateral, illegal and unauthorized aggression against an American ally, murdering its leader and turning its streets over to mobs of terrorists. In the course of these betrayals Obama has violated every principle he invoked as a senator to justify his attacks on George Bush’s war in Iraq. But then, Obama is a compulsive and brazen liar on matters both foreign and domestic.

In the Middle East, Obama has lost Egypt, its largest and most important nation. Until Obama intervened in its internal affairs and overthrew its pro-American president, Egypt had been an American ally for 40 years. In Egypt and throughout the Middle East, Obama and his secretaries Clinton and Kerry, have put American power and influence behind the Muslim Brotherhood an Islamic terrorist organization with attitudes indistinguishable from Hitler’s Nazi Party, except that it claims to take its direction from Allah.

The Muslim Brotherhood is the spawner of al-Qaeda, the creator of Hamas and the source of the global jihad against America and the West. Obama’s support for the Brotherhood has not only cost us our Egyptian ally, but it has opened the door for Putin’s imperial Russia to replace us as the Great Power influence in the region.

On top of these betrayals of America’s interests, Obama has systematically appeased our most deadly enemy in the region, the terrorist regime in Iran. In particular, he has conspired to insure that the Iranian mullahs, who have sworn to wipe America and Israel from the face of the earth, are successful in their drive to acquire nuclear weapons.

While giving aid and comfort to America’s mortal enemies, Obama has turned his back on the only democracy in the Middle East, and America’s most faithful and important ally. He has thrown his country’s enormous weight behind Islamic radicals whose goal – stated in so many words – is to obliterate the state of Israel and push the Jews who inhabit it into the sea. To finish the job that Hitler started.

Read more at Front Page

Video: Glick, Spencer & Ibrahim on the truth about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

hj1-450x250This week’s special episode of The Glazov Gang was filmed at David Horowitz’s West Coast Retreat held at the Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes, California, from March 21-23, 2014.

The panel, titled The Mideast Test, was joined by:

Caroline Glick, the senior contributing editor to the Jerusalem Post who is the author of the new book, The Israeli Solution: A One-State Plan for Peace in the Middle East.

Robert Spencer, the director of Jihad Watch who is the author of an upcoming book, Arab Winter Comes to America: The Truth About the War We’re In.

and

Raymond Ibrahim, a Shillman Fellow at the Freedom Center who is the author of his recent book, Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians, published by Regnery.

The panelists discussed their books and how to best confront the threats emanating from the Islamic Middle East:

Why Turkey is gone for good

erdogan-tehran-1-300x150By Caroline Glick:

Last Thursday, two Turkish businessmen stopped for lunch in a fish restaurant during a business trip to Edirne in the Babaeski region.

At some point during their meal, the restaurant owner figured out that they were Jews.

Rather than show them the hospitality Turkey is renowned for, he said he won’t serve Jews, and began cursing them and the Torah. He then took a long knife off the counter and threatened to kill them.

The men ran for their lives.

Anti-Semitic attacks have become regular events in Turkey. In December, after leaving an anti-corruption rally in Istanbul, a young woman was attacked by 10 to 15 supporters of Prime Minister Recip Tayyip Erdogan who had just left a support rally for the premier.

They accused her of being a Jew, as they beat her up.

In an interview with The Times of Israel, Turkish opposition MP Ayken Kerdemir said that Erdogan has cultivated Turkish anti-Semitism. “He is not only capitalizing on the existing sentiments, Kerdemir explained. Erdogan is “fueling some of that anti-Israel and anti-Semitic feeling… with his rhetoric, conspiracy theories, campaign slogans and actions.”

Kerdemir explained that Erdogan’s cultivation of anti-Semitism in Turkish society will continue to affect Turkey’s behavior and social values long after he is gone. “Even after Erdogan and AKP are gone, even if [the opposition party] CHP comes to power, it will take us quite some time to mend inter-societal relations through dialogue, awareness raising and sensitivity training.”

Once you let that genie out of the bottle, it is very hard to stuff it back inside.

Erdogan’s anti-Semitism is not opportunistic. He isn’t simply exploiting a popular prejudice for his own benefit. He is an anti-Semite. And his anti-Semitism informs his behavior toward Israel.

In Kerdemir’s view, Erdogan’s uncontrollable hatred of Jews makes it impossible for him to agree to reconcile Turkey’s relations with Israel.

*****************

It isn’t simply that Erdogan cannot reconcile with Israel because he hates Jews. As is almost always the case with anti-Semites, Erdogan’s anti-Semitism is part of his general authoritarian outlook informed by a paranoid mindset.

Erdogan sees a Jewish conspiracy behind every independent power base in Turkey. And his rejection of Israel is an integral part of his rejection of all forces in Turkey that are not dependent on his good offices.

Over the past 10 years, and with ever increasing brutality, paranoia and intensity, Erdogan has sought to destroy all independent power bases in the country. He purged the military by placing hundreds of generals in prison in his delusional Ergenekon conspiracy in which they were accused of seeking to overthrow his Islamist government.

He has destroyed most of the independent media in the country and sent hundreds of journalists and editors to prison.

The same is the case with independent businessmen.

Over the past year, Erdogan destroyed whatever remained of the plausible deniability he initially fostered between himself and the systematic abrogation of civil rights and the rule of law in Turkey.

This week, 17 people were sentenced to two years each in prison for “deliberately insulting the premier and not regretting their actions,” during a small demonstration in 2012 protesting the government’s health policy.

Also this week, Erdogan acknowledged that he calls television broadcasters in the middle of news shows and orders them to stop the broadcast of information he doesn’t want the public to know. This has included ending the live broadcast of a speech in parliament by the opposition leader, ending coverage of the mass anti-government demonstrations last summer, and removing a news ticker that reported on the corruption scandals surrounding Erdogan and his cronies.

Erdogan has also reacted to the corruption investigations of his cronies by firing the public prosecutors and police officers involved in the investigations.

To maintain the public’s support for his burgeoning dictatorship, Erdogan has adopted populist economic policies that have sunk the Turkish economy. To buy the public’s allegiance, Erdogan has borrowed heavily internationally and artificially lowered Turkey’s interest rates, even as the local currency dropped in value in international markets and Turkey’s current accounts deficits outpaced Greece’s on the eve of its economic meltdown.

As David Goldman explained last week in a financial analysis of Turkey’s incipient economic meltdown in The Asia Times, rather than raise consumer interests rates, Erdogan has blamed the Jews by railing against “the interest rate lobby.”

Indeed, since he first invoked the term during the anti-government demonstrations last August, Erdogan has taken to blaming the interest rate cabal for all of Turkey’s woes.

Goldman argues that part of Turkey’s credit crisis owes to its apparent reliance on interbank loans from Saudi Arabia. In part due to their anger at Erdogan for his support for the Muslim Brotherhood, the Saudis have apparently stopped loaning to Turkish banks.

The Saudis’ action has pushed Erdogan into the waiting arms of Iran’s ayatollahs. In an interviewwith Business Insider, Australia, terror financing expert Jonathan Schanzer said Turkey and Iran were able to minimize the impact of the international sanctions on Iran’s energy sector. Between June 2012 and June 2013, the Turkish-Iranian “gas for gold” sanctions-busting scheme brought Iran $13 billion in hard currency.

Erdogan’s hatred of Jews, his authoritarian mindset and his Islamist ideology informed his decision to transform Turkey into one of the leading sponsors of terrorism. In addition to its massive support for Hamas, beginning in the 2006 First Lebanon War Turkey began providing assistance to Hezbollah.

Then there is al-Qaida. Turkey has long harbored al-Qaida financiers. And according to IDF Intelligence head Maj.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi, Turkey hosts three al-Qaida bases on its territory that enable terrorists to transit between Europe and Syria.

Erdogan’s ideological underpinning directs his embrace of Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Hezbollah and al-Qaida. But his decimation of Turkey’s economy has made him view Iran as Turkey’s economic savior. And that in turn pushes Turkey even deeper into the jihadist camp.

Obviously in this situation, the chance that Turkey will agree to reconcile with Israel, at any price, is nil.

Read the rest of this important article at Caroline Glick’s blog

 

Also see:

Iran’s bomb in the basement

Iranian-nuclear-weapon-450x337By Caroline Glick:

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post

It is happening in slow motion, to be sure.

But we are witnessing how a nuclear armed Iran is changing the face of the Middle East.

For years, US leaders, including President Barack Obama, warned that a nuclear armed Iran would spark a regional arms race.

And this is happening.

As the Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens (a former Jerusalem Post editor in chief) noted this week, Turkey signed a nuclear cooperation agreement with Japan that includes “a provision allowing Turkey to enrich uranium and extract polonium, a potential material for nuclear weapons.”

Saudi Arabia has long had a nuclear cooperation deal withPakistan, whose nuclear weapons program the Saudis financed.

Jordan and Egypt have both raised the prospect of developing nuclear programs.

And in 2007, Israel bombed a Syrian nuclear installation built for it by North Korea and paid for by Iran.

In his article, Stephens cited a recent report by the Pentagon’s Defense Science Board stating that the world is entering into “a new nuclear age” that, as we see is characterized by everyone, including non-state actors, seeking to develop and proliferating nuclear capabilities.

Iran’s nuclear status has opened the floodgates to this era of nuclear chaos.

Also in response to Iran’s nuclear progress, Gulf states and others are treating Iran with newfound deference. Kuwait,Qatar and Oman all seem to be breaking ranks with Saudi Arabia by expressing support and indeed obedience to Iran.

Shortly after word broke in late November that the US and its partners had reached an interim nuclear deal with Iran, Iranian Foreign Minister Muhammed Javad Zarif took a victory lap in Kuwait and Oman.

In his press conference with his Kuwaiti counterpart, Zarif said, “We believe that a new era has begun in ties between Iran and regional states which should turn into a new chapter of amicable relations through efforts by all regional countries.”

Zarif also visited Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. In Beirut, he took on the role previously held by the US and France when he mediated between Hezbollah and the March 14 movement to form a new government.

The fact that Hezbollah has since reneged on its agreement to the deal doesn’t mean that Iran is weaker than it thought. Hezbollah is Iran’s proxy. Its refusal to join the government means that Iran is now demanding better terms than it previously accepted. Its new terms require total Hezbollah domination of the country.

As Michael Rubin reported in Commentary this week, the Iraqi Kurds, who have been US allies for decades, have now accepted Iranian mediation of their leadership crisis.

All of this newfound deference toward Iran owes entirely to Iran’s new nuclear status.

Read more at Front Page

 

Canada Takes Its Place at the Table

000By Caroline Glick:

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post

During a press conference with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday, an Israeli reporter asked Prime Minister Stephen Harper, “Is Canada paying a price for being so supportive of Israel? Is it possible to support Israel and still have ties to the Arab world?”

This question goes to the heart of what is generally perceived as Israel’s greatest weakness. The Arab boycott of Israel and of countries doing business with Israel has served as one of the most potent weapons in the anti-Israel arsenal for over a generation. Indeed, since the OPEC oil embargo in 1974, it has been the Arabs’ single most powerful weapon in their unceasing campaign for the destruction of the Jewish state.

It was Arab economic bullying that forced African nations to cut their ties with the Jewish state.

It was the Arab use of the oil weapon after the 1973 Yom Kippur War that convinced Western Europe to end its diplomatic support for Israel and throw in with the PLO.

More than anything else, it is the Arab economic boycott of companies that do business with Israel that has eroded Israel’s diplomatic standing over the past two generations and transformed the only human rights respecting democracy in the Middle East into an international pariah.

And yet, under Stephen Harper, as the noose of international isolation is drawn around Israel’s neck more tightly every day, Canada has emerged as an outspoken supporter and defender of the Jewish state.

So in essence, the Israeli reporter’s question to Harper could easily be rephrased as, “Are you crazy?” Harper responded to the question by rejecting its premises – that the Arab world behaves as a bloc, and that standing up for your convictions is a losing proposition when those convictions involve taking unpopular stands.

As he put it, “I wouldn’t want to say there is no price, but my general view of the world is that people respect your view, if you express it appropriately and they understand it’s genuine….The fact of the matter is, Canada has deep relations with many Arab countries…. And frankly [there are] many matters where we probably far more often agree than disagree. So look, I don’t think it’s automatically the view that if you have a particular issue where you disagree, that this needs to rupture relationships irrevocably.”

In other words, what Harper acknowledged was that yes, Canada has lost contracts in some Arab countries due to its support for Israel. But by and large, it hasn’t taken a serious hit.

The obvious follow-up question would have been to ask if Canada gains anything from its support for Israel that can compensate for the economic hits it takes for it.

The answer to that question is yes, Canada, and other countries that support Israel now, when such support is more notable than it was in the past, do gain significantly from their actions. This is true on two levels.

First, economically, Israel is in a far different position than it was 20 years ago. During Harper’s visit, Canada and Israel updated their free trade agreement and signed a number of other agreements enhancing cooperation in multiple fields.

As Netanyahu said, “I think that cooperation makes us both stronger and more prosperous and more secure countries.”

Canada isn’t alone in recognizing the economic potential of good ties with Israel. Consider Norway.

For the past 15 years, Norway has distinguished itself as a trailblazer in the European bid to isolate Israel politically and wage economic warfare against it. Norway was among the first European countries to divest from Israeli companies.

Its trade unions have been leading purveyors of anti-Israel propaganda and economic warfare.

Last fall Norway elected a new conservative government. And under the leadership of Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Norway is seeking to rebuild its ties with Israel. Just after the election, the Israeli embassy in Oslo hosted a meeting of Norwegian and Israeli businessmen. Norway’s new finance minister is interested in cooperation between Norway’s oil industry and Israel’s new natural gas sector.

Norway’s new minister of culture, Thorhild Widvey, held a workshop for 160 Norwegian television producers with Israeli producers who successfully sold Israeli series to the US market.

Disowning the boycott Israel movement, Widvey said, “We don’t see the boycott as an effective tool to promote positive change.”

Today, the economies of the Arab world are collapsing. Fracking technologies are lowering demand for Middle Eastern oil. Political instability is drying up foreign investment and tourism.

And local universities are incapable of producing graduates able to function in the global economy.

As a consequence, the Arabs’ capacity to intimidate governments into rejecting the economic benefits Israel has to offer is steadily decreasing.

Read more at Front Page

The Long-Term Cost of Releasing Terrorists

ShowImage.ashx_by :

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post

On Sunday, Issa Karaka, the Palestinian Authority’s minister for jailed terrorists, announced that in the next round of terrorist releases, Israel will release not only Palestinian terrorist murderers, but Israeli Arabs who murdered Israeli Jews in terrorist attacks.

As late as last week, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was said to have completely rejected the Palestinian demand. But in response to Karaka’s statement, Netanyahu’s spokesman said only that the release of Israeli Arab terrorists would be subject to the approval of the government. In other words, Karaka was probably telling the truth.

The question is what has changed? Why happened over the past week that forced Netanyahu to cave? The obvious answer is that US Secretary of State John Kerry came to Jerusalem, again. And he forced Netanyahu’s hand, again.

Kerry is the Palestinians’ ace in the hole. He used the US’s limitless leverage on Israel to coerce Israel into agreeing to pay for the privilege of speaking to Palestinian negotiators who reject our country’s right to exist and extol as heroes the terrorist scum who murder us.

For the pleasure of their company, Kerry forced Israel to agree up-front to release scores of Palestinian terrorist murderers. And he did so in bad faith.

According to a high-ranking government official, Israel told Kerry it would release 82 murderers, none of whom are Israelis. And he agreed.

But then, during a joint appearance with Kerry, PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas announced that Israel had agreed to release 104 terrorists, including Israeli citizens. Rather than correct him, Kerry went along, and so locked Israel into a concession it had never made.

And now, with Kerry’s support, Karaka said that if Israel refuses to release Israeli Arab murderers in the next round of releases, the PLO will abandon the talks. The EU has already announced that it will blame Israel for any PLO walkout.

It has been clear for some time that Israel is playing a sucker’s game here.

The deck is stacked against us. Every step Israel takes to either buy time or lessen US pressure only leads to more pressure.

Netanyahu reportedly agreed to release terrorists from prison because Kerry told him that he had to make a big concession: either release murderers or effectively surrender Israel’s national rights to Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem by abrogating Jewish property rights in those areas through a so-called construction freeze. As law professor Eugene Kontorovich explained last week in Commentary, Netanyahu chose the terrorist release as the lesser of two evils because it involved no long-term, substantive concession of Israel’s national and legal rights to the Palestinians.

But then along came the Palestinian- American demand for Israel to release Israeli Arab terrorists, and transformed the Palestinian-American demand for Israel to release terrorists from just another act of bad faith into an assault on Israel’s right to exist.

Read more at Front Page

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The New York Times Destroys Obama

nytoSo pathetically, in a bid to defend Obama and Clinton and the rest of the Democrats, the Times published a report that showed that Obama’s laser like focus on the Zawahiri-controlled faction of al Qaida has endangered the US.

By failing to view as enemies any other terror groups — even if they have participated in attacks against the US – and indeed, in perceiving them as potential allies, Obama has failed to defend against them. Indeed, by wooing them as future allies, Obama has empowered forces as committed as al Qaida to defeating the US.

Again, it is not at all apparent that the Times realized what it was doing. But from Israel to Egypt, to Iran to Libya to Lebanon, it is absolutely clear that Obama and his colleagues continue to implement the same dangerous, destructive agenda that defeated the US in Benghazi and will continue to cause US defeat after US defeat.

By Caroline Glick:

The New York Times just delivered a mortal blow to the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.

Call it fratricide. It was clearly unintentional. Indeed, is far from clear that the paper even realizes what it has done.

Last Saturday the Times published an 8,000 word account by David Kirkpatrick detailing the terrorist strike against the US consulate and the CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012. In it, Kirkpatrick tore to shreds the foundations of President Barack Obama’s counter-terrorism strategy and his overall policy in the Middle East.

Obama first enunciated those foundations in his June 4, 2009 speech to the Muslim world at Cairo University. Ever since, they have been the rationale behind US counter-terror strategy and US Middle East policy.

Obama’s first assertion is that radical Islam is not inherently hostile to the US. As a consequence, America can appease radical Islamists. Moreover, once radical Muslims are appeased, they will become US allies, (replacing the allies the US abandons to appease the radical Muslims).

Obama’s second strategic guidepost is his claim that the only Islamic group that is a bona fide terrorist organization is the faction of al Qaida directly subordinate to Osama bin Laden’s successor Ayman al-Zawahiri. Only this group cannot be appeased and must be destroyed through force.

The administration has dubbed the Zawahiri faction of al Qaida “core al Qaida.” And anyone who operates in the name of al Qaida, or any other group, that does not have courtroom certified operational links to Zawahiri, is not really al Qaida, and therefore, not really a terrorist group or a US enemy.

These foundations have led the US to negotiate with the Taliban in Afghanistan. They are the rationale for the US’s embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood worldwide. They are the basis for Obama’s allegiance to Turkey’s Islamist government, and his early support for the Muslim Brotherhood dominated Syrian opposition.

They are the basis for the administration’s kneejerk support for the PLO against Israel.

Obama’s insistent bid to appease Iran, and so enable the mullocracy to complete its nuclear weapons program is similarly a product of his strategic assumptions. So too, the US’s current diplomatic engagement of Hezbollah in Lebanon owes to the administration’s conviction that any terror group not directly connected to Zawahiri is a potential US ally.

From the outset of the 2011 revolt against the regime of Muammar Qaddafi in Libya, it was clear that a significant part of the opposition was comprised of jihadists aligned if not affiliated with al Qaida. Benghazi was specifically identified by documents seized by US forces in Iraq as a hotbed of al Qaida recruitment.

Obama and his advisors dismissed and ignored the evidence. The core of al Qaida, they claimed was not involved in the anti-Qaddafi revolt. And to the extent jihadists were fighting Qaddafi, they were doing so as allies of the US.

In other words, the two core foundations of Obama’s understanding of terrorism and of the Muslim world were central to US support for the overthrow of Muammar Qaddafi.

With Kirkpatrick’s report, the Times exposed the utter falsity of both.

Read more at Front Page

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Kerry Forces Israel’s Moment of Decision

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Kerry indicated at the Saban Forum that his goal is to coerce Israel into making irrevocable concessions up front, before the Palestinians agree to peaceful coexistence.

by :

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post

There was a ghoulish creepiness to US Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Israel last week. Here we were, beset by the greatest winter storm in a hundred years. All roads to Jerusalem were sealed off. Tens of thousands of Jerusalemites and residents of surrounding areas were locked down in their houses, without power, heat, telephone service or water.

And all of the sudden, out of nowhere, Kerry appeared. As Hamas-ruled Gazans begged the supposedly hated IDF to come and save them from the floods, and as Israel took over rescue operations for stranded Palestinians living under the rule of the PLO ’s gangster kleptocracy in Judea and Samaria, here was Kerry, telling us that we’d better accept the deal he plans to present us next month, or face the wrath of the US and Europe, and suffer another Palestinian terror war.

What is going on? Why can’t Kerry leave Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the rest of the country alone, even for a week, in the middle of a blizzard of biblical proportions? According to leaks from the now five month old negotiations, after 20 rounds of talks, the Palestinians have not budged from the positions they have held to for the past 50 years. They do not accept Israel’s right to exist. They do not recognize the existence of the Jewish people. They do not believe that the Jews have the right to freedom or self-determination. They insist on taking control of our 3,000 year old capital. They demand that we surrender our ability to defend ourselves from foreign aggression and Palestinian attacks and infiltration from the east.

There is nothing new here, of course, This was the case 13 years ago at the Camp David summit. This was the case during the Annapolis summit in 2007 and 2008.

This was the case when PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas rejected then prime minister Ehud Olmert’s offer of peace in 2008.

Facing the Palestinians’ continued defiance of the very notion of peaceful coexistence with Israel, Kerry is planning to present his own peace deal next month and try to force Israel to accept it. Although the text of Kerry’s deal has not yet been revealed, we know exactly what it will involve just by listening to what he has already told us.

Read more at Front Page

 

Caroline Glick: The Demise of Pax Americana

090613_obama2_600-450x337By :

What happened in Geneva last week was the most significant international event since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The collapse of the Soviet Union signaled the rise of the United States as the sole global superpower. The developments in the six-party nuclear talks with Iran in Geneva last week signaled the end of American world leadership.

Global leadership is based on two things – power and credibility. The United States remains the most powerful actor in the world. But last week, American credibility was shattered.

Secretary of State John Kerry spent the first part of last week lying to Israeli and Gulf Arab leaders and threatening the Israeli people. He lied to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the Saudis about the content of the deal US and European negotiators had achieved with the Iranians.

Kerry told them that in exchange for Iran temporarily freezing its nuclear weapons development program, the US and its allies would free up no more than $5 billion in Iranian funds seized and frozen in foreign banks.

Kerry threatened the Israeli people with terrorism and murder – and so invited both – if Israel fails to accept his demands for territorial surrender to PLO terrorists that reject Israel’s right to exist.

Kerry’s threats were laced with bigoted innuendo.

He claimed that Israelis are too wealthy to understand their own interests. If you don’t wise up and do what I say, he intoned, the Europeans will take away your money while the Palestinians kill you. Oh, and aside from that, your presence in the historic heartland of Jewish civilization from Jerusalem to Alon Moreh is illegitimate.

It is hard to separate the rise in terrorist activity since Kerry’s remarks last week from his remarks.

What greater carte blanche for murder could the Palestinians have received than the legitimization of their crimes by the chief diplomat of Israel’s closest ally? Certainly, Kerry’s negotiating partner Catherine Ashton couldn’t have received a clearer signal to ratchet up her economic boycott of Jewish Israeli businesses than Kerry’s blackmail message, given just two days before the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht.

Kerry’s threats were so obscene and unprecedented that Israeli officials broke with tradition and disagreed with him openly and directly, while he was still in the country. Normally supportive leftist commentators have begun reporting Kerry’s history of anti-Israel advocacy, including his 2009 letter of support for pro-Hamas activists organizing flotillas to Gaza in breach of international and American law.

As for Kerry’s lies to the US’s chief Middle Eastern allies, it was the British and the French who informed the Israelis and the Saudis that far from limiting sanctions relief to a few billion dollars in frozen funds, the draft agreement involved ending sanctions on Iran’s oil and gas sector, and on other industries.

In other words, the draft agreement exposed Washington’s willingness to effectively end economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for Iran’s agreement to cosmetic concessions that will not slow down its nuclear weapons program.

Both the US’s position, and the fact that Kerry lied about that position to the US’s chief allies, ended what was left of American credibility in the Middle East. That credibility was already tattered by US fecklessness in Syria and support for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

Read more at Front Page

America and the good psychopaths

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By Caroline Glick:

In his speech on Tuesday before the UN General Assembly, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu tried to get the Americans to stop their collective swooning at the sight of an Iranian president who smiled in their general direction.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” the premier warned, “I wish I could believe [President Hassan] Rouhani, but I don’t because facts are stubborn things. And the facts are that Iran’s savage record flatly contradicts Rouhani’s soothing rhetoric.”

He might have saved his breath. The Americans weren’t interested.

Two days after Netanyahu’s speech, US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel issued a rejoinder to Netanyahu. “I have never believed that foreign policy is a zero-sum game,” Hagel said.

Well, maybe he hasn’t. But the Iranians have.

And they still do view diplomacy – as all their dealings with their sworn enemies – as a zerosum game.

As a curtain raiser for Rouhani’s visit, veteran New York Times war correspondent Dexter Filkins wrote a long profile of Iran’s real strongman for The New Yorker. Qassem Suleimani is the head of the Revolutionary Guard Corps. It is the most powerful organ of the Iranian regime, and Suleimani is Iranian dictator Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s closest confidante and adviser.

Rouhani doesn’t hold a candle to Suleimani.

Filkin’s profile is detailed, but deeply deceptive.

The clear sense he wishes to impart on his readers is that Suleimani is a storied war veteran and a pragmatist. He is an Iranian patriot who cares about his soldiers. He’s been willing to cut deals with the Americans in the past when he believed it served Iran’s interests. And given Suleimani’s record, it is reasonable to assume that Rouhani – who is far more moderate than he – is in a position to make a deal and will make one.

The problem with Filkin’s portrayal of Suleimani as a pragmatist, and a commander who cares about the lives of his soldiers – and so, presumably cares about the lives of Iranians – is that it is belied by the stories Filkins reported in the article.

Filkins describes at length how Suleimani came of age as a Revolutionary Guard division commander during the Iran-Iraq War from 1980 to 1988, and how that war made him the complicated, but ultimately reasonable, (indeed parts of the profile are downright endearing), pragmatist he is today.

As the commander of the Revolutionary Guards, Suleimani commands the Syrian military and the foreign forces from Iran, Hezbollah and Iraq that have been deployed to Syria to keep Basher Assad in power.

Filkins quotes an Iraqi politician who claimed that in a conversation with Suleimani last year that the Iranian called the Syrian military “worthless.”

He then went on to say, “Give me one brigade of the Basij, and I could conquer the whole country.”

Filkins notes that it was the Basij that crushed the anti-Islamist Green Revolution in Iran in 2009. But for a man whose formative experience was serving as a Revolutionary Guards commander in the Iran-Iraq War, Suleimani’s view of the Basij as a war-fighting unit owes to what it did in its glory days, in that war, not on the streets of Tehran in 2009.

As Matthias Kuntzel reported in 2006, the Revolutionary Guards formed the Basij during the Iran-Iraq War to serve as cannon fodder. Basij units were made up of boys as young as 12.

They were given light doses of military training and heavy doses of indoctrination in which they were brainwashed to reject life and martyr themselves for the revolution.

As these children were being recruited from Iran’s poorest villages, Ayatollah Khomeini purchased a half million small plastic keys from Taiwan.

They were given to the boys before they were sent to battle and told that they were the keys to paradise. The children were then sent into minefields to die and deployed as human waves in frontal assaults against superior Iraqi forces.

By the end of the war some 100,000 of these young boys became the child sacrifices of the regime.

Read more at Jeruslaem Post

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Obama and the “Official Truth”

tea_party-thumb-470x313-3102By Caroline Glick:

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula has been sitting in a US federal prison in Texas since his photographed midnight arrest by half a dozen deputy sheriffs at his home in California for violating the terms of his parole. As many reporters have noted, the parole violation in question would not generally lead to anything more than a court hearing.

But in Nakoula’s case, it led to a year in a federal penitentiary. Because he wasn’t really arrested for violating the terms of his parole.

Nakoula was arrested for producing an anti- Islam film that the Obama administration was falsely blaming for the al-Qaida assault on the US Consulate in Benghazi and the brutal murder of US ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans on September 11, 2012. Obama and his associates falsely blamed Nakoula’s film – and scapegoated Nakoula – for inciting the al-Qaida attack in Benghazi because they needed a fall guy to pin their cover-up of the actual circumstances of the premeditated, eminently foreseeable attack, which took place at the height of the presidential election campaign.

With the flood of scandals now inundating the White House, many are wondering if there is a connection between the cover-up of Benghazi, the IRS’s prejudicial treatment of non-leftist nonprofit organizations and political donors, the Environmental Protection Agency’s prejudicial treatment of non-liberal organizations, and the Justice Department’s subpoenaing of phone records of up to a hundred reporters and editors from the Associated Press.

On the surface, they seem like unrelated events.

But they are not. They expose the modus operandi of the Obama administration: To establish an “official truth” about all issues and events, and use the powers of the federal government to punish all those who question or expose the fraudulence of that “official truth.”

From the outset of Obama’s tenure in office, his signature foreign policy has been his strategy of appeasing jihadist groups and regimes like the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran at the expense of US allies, including Israel, the Egyptian military, and longtime leaders like Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen.

The administration defended its strategy in various ways. It presented the assassination of Osama bin Laden by Navy SEALs as the denouement of the US war on terror. By killing the al-Qaida chief, the administration claimed, it had effectively ended the problem of jihad, which it reduced to al-Qaida generally and its founder specifically.

Just as important, it has tried to hide the very existence of the jihadist threat. To this end, the administration purged all terms relevant to the discussion of jihadist Islam from the federal lexicon and fired officials who defied the language and subject ban.

It has hidden the jihadist motive of terrorists and information relating to known jihadists from relevant governmental bodies. The Benghazi cover-up is the most blatant example of this policy of obfuscating and denying the truth. But it is far from a unique occurrence.

For instance, the administration has stubbornly denied that Maj. Nidal Malik Hassan’s massacre of his fellow soldiers at Ft. Hood in Texas was a jihadist attack. And in the months preceding the Tsarnaev brother’s bombing of the Boston Marathon, and in its immediate aftermath, the FBI did not share its long-held information about the older brother’s jihadist activities with local law enforcement agencies.

To advance its “official truth,” the administration leaked information to the media about top secret operations that advanced its official narrative. For instance, top administration officials leaked the story of the Stuxnet computer virus that compromised Iranian computers used by Iran’s nuclear weapons program. These stories compromised ongoing US and Israeli intelligence operations. But they advanced the administration’s foreign policy narrative.

Conversely, as the AP scandal shows, the administration went on fishing expeditions to root out those who leaked stories that harmed the administration’s narrative that al-Qaida is a spent force. In May 2012, AP reported that the CIA had scuttled an al-Qaida plot in Yemen to bomb a US airliner. The story damaged the credibility of Obama’s claim that al-Qaida was defeated, and challenged the wisdom of Obama’s support for the al-Qaida-aligned antiregime protesters in Yemen that ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh in November 2011.

Finally, the administration has promoted its policy by demonizing as extremists and bigoted every significant voice that called that policy into question.

For example, in his satirical speech at the White House Correspondents Dinner last month, Obama snidely – and libelously – accused Rep. Michele Bachmann of “book burning.”

Bachmann is an outspoken critic of Obama’s policy of appeasing Islamists at the expense of America’s allies.

Bachmann is also the chairwoman of the House of Representative’s Tea Party caucus. And demonizing her is just one instance of what has emerged as the administration’s tool of choice in its bid to marginalize its opponents. This practice arguably began during Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign when then-senator Obama referred to his opponents as “bitter” souls who “cling to guns or religion or antipathy to those who aren’t like them.”

In the lead-up to the 2010 midterm elections, Obama and his supportive media characterized the grassroots Tea Party movement for limited government as racist, selfish, extremist and uncaring.

And now we have learned that beginning in March 2010, the Internal Revenue Service instituted what can only be considered a systemic policy of discriminating against nonprofit groups dedicated to fighting Obama’s domestic agenda. The IRS demanded information about the groups’ donors, worldviews, reading materials and social networking accounts, and personal information about its membership and leaders that it had no right to receive. And according to USA Today, it held up approval of nonprofit status for 27 months for all groups related to the Tea Party movement. Some 500 organizations were victimized by this abuse of power.

 

Obama’s mysterious visit

US President Barack Obama delivers address to the Muslim World at Cairo University in Cairo Egypt

US President Barack Obama speaks on American foreign policy at Cairo University in Cairo Egypt on 04 June 2009. The much anticipated address was aimed at challenging Muslim perceptions about the US.

By Caroline Glick:

Why is US President Barack Obama coming to Israel today? In 2008, then president George W. Bush came to celebrate Israel’s 60th Independence Day, and to reject Israeli requests for assistance in destroying Iran’s nuclear installations.
In 1996, then-president Bill Clinton came to Israel to help then-prime minister Shimon Peres’s electoral campaign against Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu.
It is possible that Obama is coming here in order to build up pro-Israel bonafides. But why would he bother? Obama won his reelection bid with the support of the overwhelming majority of American Jews. Their support vindicated his hostility toward Israel in his first term. He has nothing to prove.
It is worth comparing Obama’s visit to Israel at the start of his second term of office, with his visit to Cairo at the outset of his first term in office.
Ahead of that trip, the new administration promised that the visit, and particularly Obama’s “Address to the Muslim World,” would serve as a starting point for a new US policy in the Middle East. And Obama lived up to expectations.
In speaking to the “Muslim World,” Obama signaled that the US now supported pan-Islamists at the expense of US allies and Arab nationalist leaders, first and foremost then Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. Moreover, in castigating Israel for its so-called “settlements”; channeling Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by intimating that Israel exists because of the Holocaust; and failing to travel from Cairo to Jerusalem, preferring instead to visit a Nazi death camp in Germany, Obama signaled that he was downgrading US ties with the Jewish state.
In sharp contrast to the high expectations the Obama White House cultivated in pre-Cairo visit statements and leaks, Obama and his advisers have downplayed the importance of his visit to Israel, signaling there will be no significant changes in Obama’s policies toward Israel or the wider Middle East.
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 Through the radical Left, Obama may intend to foment a pressure campaign to force the government to withdraw unilaterally from all or parts of Judea and Samaria, as Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005. If this is Obama’s actual policy goal, it would represent a complete Europeanization of US policy toward Israel. It was the EU that funded radical leftist groups that pushed for Israel’s unilateral withdrawals from Lebanon in 2000 and Gaza in 2005.
And in the past week, a number of commentators have spoken and written in favor of such a plan.
Caroline Glick: “The presence of Jews on the West Bank has nothing to do with prospects for peace”. From the debate “Israel is destroying itself with its settlement policy: If settlement expansion continues Israel will have no future” which took place at the Royal Geographical Society on 15th January 2013. : h/t BNI
Caroline Glick is an Adjunct Fellow at the Center for Security Policy. She is also the Senior Contributing Editor of The Jerusalem Post and Director of the Israel Security Project at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. She serves as adjunct senior fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., and is the author of Shackled Warrior: Israel and the Global Jihad (2008) She holds a B.A. in Political Science from Columbia University and a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard University, served as Assistant Foreign Policy Advisor to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 1997-98, and regularly briefs senior administration officials and members of Congress on issues of joint Israeli-American concern. She lives in Jerusalem. A former officer in the Israel Defense Forces, she was a core member of Israel’s negotiating team with the Palestinians and later served as an assistant policy advisor to the prime minister. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, the widely-published Glick was an embedded journalist with the U.S. Army’s Third Infantry Division. She was awarded a distinguished civilian service award from the U.S. Secretary of the Army for her battlefield reporting.