Obama and Kerry Leave Legacy of Loathing Israel
Promises to "have Israel's back" clearly meant to stab our ally in the back.
Many have worried that Barack Obama would do as much damage as he could before leaving office. As if the damage he’s already done to American foreign policy isn’t enough, right before Christmas, Obama and his administration compounded it by snubbing our greatest ally in the Middle East, Israel.
Actually, calling it “snubbing” is far too polite, especially since Obama had told a crowd of Jewish supporters four years ago, “When the chips are down, I have Israel’s back.” As Charles Krauthammer put it, “Obama took the measure of Israel’s back and slid a knife into it.” We are of course referring to Obama’s decision for the U.S. to abstain from the UN Security Council vote that permitted passage of a resolution condemning Israel over its “settlements.”
Gary Bauer explains, “[The] U.N. resolution delegitimizes Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, as well as East Jerusalem. These are places where Jews have lived and worshipped for thousands of years, since before the birth of Jesus. Now the U.N., with the blessing of the Obama Administration, has declared that Jews have no right to live there. For Christians, these are places with tremendous significance. Great events of our faith took place in this land of the Jews. The effort to delegitimize the Jewish history and current presence in these places is also an attack on Christianity and its history.”
Obama pretends that abstaining isn’t harmful and that the U.S. has long opposed Israeli “settlements.” This simply is not true. Krauthammer notes, “For the last 35 years, every administration, including a re-election-seeking Obama himself in 2011, has protected Israel with the U.S. veto because such a Security Council resolution gives immense legal ammunition to every boycotter, anti-Semite and zealous European prosecutor to penalize and punish Israelis.”
Further, what about the last 50 years of U.S. Middle East policy of land for peace? The U.S. veto of the resolution would have protected this policy, but because there was no U.S. veto, the territories that belong to Israel can no longer be used in future negotiations since Palestinians can now lay claim to those territories.
As if this blow to Israel wasn’t bad enough, Secretary of State John Kerry last Wednesday delivered an anti-Israel tirade. He called the Israeli government “the most right-wing in Israeli history, with an agenda driven by its most extreme elements.” Should we be surprised by such a statement from the most extreme left-wing government in American history?
Kerry further lamented that the Western Wall and Temple Mount are illegally occupied by Israelis, before summoning the chutzpah to declare, “This administration has been Israel’s greatest friend and supporter.”
Kerry also accused Israel of undermining any hope of a two-state solution. He claimed that Israeli policy was “leading toward one state or perpetual occupation,” and asserted, “If the choice is one state, Israel can either be Jewish or democratic; it cannot be both.” That statement completely contradicts U.S. policy with other countries in the Middle East. With Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. government pleaded and pushed for those countries to adopt constitutions that allowed them to be democratic and Islamic.
But as National Review’s Andrew McCarthy points out, in these “Islamic democracies” even Muslim minorities are not granted equal rights. Turkey is becoming less democratic and “less respectful of minority rights as it becomes more Islamic.” In fact, McCarthy notes, “It is only in Israel, a Jewish state, that Muslims live with full democratic rights. Yet, in Obama-world, Israel cannot be both Jewish and democratic. Evidently, you need Sharia for that.”
Kerry’s speech was another reminder of why the Obama administration’s foreign policy has been such a disaster. Russia and Iran have been slaughtering thousands of civilians in Syria, while the Islamic State is still committing ruthless acts of terror in the region and inspiring it worldwide. Yet the administration has been more concerned with accommodating our adversaries and, in its final days, has decided to isolate and undermine Israel. In other words, Obama and Kerry have made the U.S. no different than the UN.
As Jonah Goldberg astutely writes, “It needs to be remembered that the U.N. hates Israel because it is in the political interests of member states, particularly Arab states, which use Palestinians as a distraction from their own despotisms, to hate Israel. Think of all the horrors and crimes committed by evil governments around the world. Now think about the fact that from 2006 to 2015 alone the U.N. has condemned Israel 62 times. All of the other nations combined have received 55 condemnations. Iran? Five. The genocidal Sudanese? Zero. Anarchic Somalia? Zero. Saudi Arabia? Zero. Pakistan? Zero. China? Zero. Russia? Zero.”
In fact, one should blame the UN for the Palestinian “refugee” crisis. They are the only post-World War II refugee group to remain unsettled and causing trouble.
Perhaps the only correct statement Kerry uttered was that Obama’s policies have a short shelf life. Despite being short-lived, however, there will be long-lasting — including violent — consequences to Obama’s betrayal of Israel.
Fortunately for Israel, Donald Trump has already signaled that he will reverse Obama’s horrendous policies, including a promise to move the U.S embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. “We cannot continue to let Israel be treated with such total disdain and disrespect,” Trump said after Kerry’s speech. “They used to have a great friend in the U.S., but not anymore. … Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching!” Indeed it is, and for Israel and the U.S. that date can’t arrive soon enough.