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Jul. 10, 2014

White House Lectures Israel About Peace

Moral equivocation between Israel and Hamas is mindless and wrong.

Embracing a foreign policy that makes Neville Chamberlain look like Attila the Hun, Barack Obama and his administration keep taking step after step to alienate our strongest ally in the Middle East and support those who seek destruction of Israel — and us.

First, there was Secretary of State John Kerry’s insulting warning that Israel would become an apartheid state unless it embraced a two-state solution. Then, there was the Obama administration’s announcement last month that the U.S would work with the new Palestinian Unity Government, backed by Hamas, whose sole aim regarding Israel is its annihilation. Now, the White House has used the global stage to reprimand Israel for defending itself against repeated and violent attacks by Hamas.

In a major foreign policy speech in Tel Aviv on Tuesday, Philip Gordon, White House coordinator for the Middle East, took aim not at terrorists intent on Israel’s destruction but at Israel itself. “Israel confronts an undeniable reality: It cannot maintain military control of another people indefinitely. Doing so is not only wrong but a recipe for resentment and recurring instability,” Gordon lectured. “It will embolden extremists on both sides, tear at Israel’s democratic fabric and feed mutual dehumanization.” Extremists on both sides? When was the last time Israeli terrorists detonated suicide bombs on a busy Palestinian street or launched missiles into random neighborhoods?

Gordon claimed the administration has “no interest in a blame game” but added that as Israel’s greatest friend, the U.S. should be able to ask some pointed questions. And those very blame-laden questions include, “How will Israel remain democratic and Jewish if it attempts to govern the millions of Palestinian Arabs who live in the West Bank? How will it have peace if it’s unwilling to delineate a border, end the occupation and allow for Palestinian sovereignty, security and dignity? How will we prevent other states from supporting Palestinian efforts in international bodies, if Israel is not seen as committed to peace?”

Ironically, just hours before Gordon’s speech, attendees at the event were forced to take cover after an alert signaled an incoming missile. (Israel has conducted operations this week to counter the threat.) Yet, Gordon encouraged Israel to take the opportunity to negotiate a treaty with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, whom Gordon called a “reliable partner.” This is the same Abbas who swore in the Hamas-backed unity government – the same Hamas that is targeting missiles (funded by Iran and Syria) at Israel.

Yet, in a column published in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Obama lauded Abbas as a “counterpart” to Israel who is “committed” to “security cooperation with Israel,” and he urged “reasonableness and restraint” among “all parties.” Sadly, Barack Obama and his administration intentionally ignore the fact that reasonableness does not exist and has never existed among terrorist organizations because their mobilizing fuel is hatred. Instead, Obama is giving lip service to Israel while funneling more than $400 million annually to the Palestinian Authority. Oh, and U.S. law prohibits such aid if any part of the Palestinian Authority is controlled by Hamas.

While the administration recklessly chides Israel, National Review’s David French notes, “When an enemy force consistently and deliberately does all that it can to terrorize and kill as many of your citizens as possible, with no regard for the difference between military and civilian targets, the ‘reasonable’ thing to do is obliterate that enemy. Destroy it. There is nothing unreasonable about self-defense, and there is nothing unreasonable about destroying an armed enemy force.” There was once a time when the United States had a leader who understood this. We pray that one day soon, we will again.

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