Obama's Win Is Israel's Loss
The re-election of Barack Hussein Obama was a narrow but sharply disappointing victory for increasing economic statism and ideological social leftism at home. It was also a worrying and consequential decision for America’s allies around the world.
Mr. Obama, self-proclaimed “citizen of the world”, has repeatedly failed the human rights agenda by ignoring dissidents in Iran and China, and victims in Syria, and by waiving sanctions on nations that use child soldiers.
He blew off the plea of a young woman in India seeking U.S. moral support for Hindus concerned about Islamic Jihad, and has not championed persecuted Christians, nor women within Araby suffering honor killings, female genital mutilation, or shaming and humiliation from Islamists.
Mr. Obama has been on the wrong side of international disputes involving the British, Hondurans, Poles, Czechs, and other U.S. allies, and has promised increased flexibility in favor of tough Russian arms control demands and rough regional behavior.
President Obama has refused to train Iraqis for security and advised the enemy when we will withdraw from Afghanistan.
Mr. Obama ignores American sovereignty, instead favoring United Nations global authority and international treaties over the U.S. Constitution, and supports precedent value for foreign court rulings in our own domestic jurisprudence. He even turned in the state of Arizona to the nefarious U.N. Human Rights Commission.
One is astonished at the President’s inattention to the war on our southern border, where some 50,000 human beings have been murdered.
Mr. Obama’s approach to the Middle East has been to lie (asserting a positive role for Islam in the American founding), to promote Islamists and other enemies (the Taliban and Moslem Brotherhood, along with Syria’s Assad and the Iranian Mullahs) as partners for negotiation and diplomacy, and to downgrade the security threat of terrorism (Fort Hood Jihadist murders were called “workplace violence”, and the Benghazi terror attacks were negligently unforeseen, inhumanely undefended, and criminally not retaliated against).
Worse than see no evil, hear no evil, the Obama administration has affirmatively stalled inquiry and covered up against investigation of their misdeeds, both in Fast & Furious and in the Benghazi disaster.
But, perhaps the tiny nation of Israel must brace the most for the next four years.
Israel, the size of New Jersey, has eight borders to defend: Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, the West Bank, Gaza, Egypt, the Red Sea / Eilat, and the long coastal border expanded by developing off-shore energy in the Mediterranean Sea.
Terror groups have bragged about longer range and more accurate rockets, mortars, and targetable missiles that have placed all 7 million Israelis in sight. Overlooking Israel from Southern Lebanon, Hezbollah has developed its assets considerably since the 2006 Israel - Lebanon war on the northern border. Hamas has been pelting Israel with a constant barrage for years from the southern border.
Post U.S. Election 2012, there are five major concerns for Israel:
The Palestinians are pleased with Obama’s re-election:
The rhetoric from the West Bank is boiler plate glee at the loss by Gov. Romney, despised as a Zionist supportive of the Jewish state and concerned at Palestinian intransigence and unwillingness to halt teaching its youth to hate, and preaching maximalist demands for the right to return to Jerusalem.
Palestinian leaders will not negotiate sincerely with Israel when they know Obama, Biden, and Clinton have repeatedly focused on Israeli “settlements” (including second story apartment buildings in Jewish Jerusalem that have never been on the table) and have bought the Arab narrative about the founding of Israel, 1967 borders, and Israel as a colonial power.
Islamic regimes enjoy U.S. funding without conditions:
Islamism appears not to concern President Obama. He seeks to negotiate, endlessly, with tyrants like the Iranian Mullahs or the Egyptian Moslem Brotherhood. Rather than condition U.S. aid to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Arab Republic of Egypt, and the Palestinian National Authority, Obama excuses undemocratic regimes and presses Israel, not Islamic states. Obama has blocked Congressional efforts to limit U.S. taxpayer aid to Islamic states hostile to the United States.
Mr. Obama visited and befriended, and bowed and cowed to Arabs in his first term, while he did not visit Israel and did not warmly welcome visits from the Israeli Prime Minister. Arab dictators have noticed. So have U.S. allies in the moderate Muslim world.
The Iranians are unconvinced Obama has Israel’s back:
Iranian leadership now knows that Obama will attend round after round of diplomatic talks on nuclear proliferation which enable Iranian centrifuges to continue spinning.
Obama and senior U.S. military have removed the U.S. military option as they fail to define red lines beyond which Iran cannot proceed, and stated that the United States would not be “complicit” in any Israeli pre-emptive action against Tehran.
The Israelis know Obama detests their Prime Minister:
Knesset leader Danny Danon summarized Israeli concerns as follows:
“The state of Israel will not capitulate before Obama. His electoral victory brings home the fact that the state of Israel must take care of its own interests. We cannot rely on anyone but ourselves”.
Mr. Obama has repeatedly offended the Prime Minister of Israel and his Likud party, putting his thumb on the scale of the domestic politics of a close ally. This has only unified Israelis behind Benjamin Netanyahu.
Obama is wrong, of course. It is Likud that withdrew from the Sinai, and from Gaza, and could have the credibility within Israel to negotiate with Palestinians. By asserting his antipathy (“I have to deal with Bibi every day”, “there needs to be space between the U.S. and Israel”, and “one does not have to be pro-Likud to be pro-Israel”) Obama has purposely chosen a path of confrontation that is noted at the United Nations, in Europe, and in other quarters hostile to the Jewish state.
Many American Jews do not prioritize Israel:
Israelis themselves must now realize that although the American Jewish vote moved a bit, from 78 - 22 Democrat over GOP in 2008, to 70 - 30 Democrat over GOP in 2012, most American Jews, even in a time of tension and concern about Iran, and collapse of stability in the Middle East due to the Arab Spring / Winter, do not prioritize Israel in their voting. American Jews in Israel who could vote went 85 percent for the Republicans.
Many American Jews convince themselves that Obama is just good enough on Israel, and so they are then free to express their unrelenting secular liberalism by voting for the most left-wing U.S. president in American history.
An otherwise smart electorate allows ideology -- the sociology and romanticization of liberal political coalitions and tradition, lack of gratitude to brother Christians who stand by Israel, biased assertion of “Jewish religious values” as favoring only left-wing policy ideas, and ignorance of and demonization of conservatives -- to trump self-interest.
But trouble for Israel means trouble for the United States.
Obama has inherited, this time from himself, a troubled international scene. His worldview and track record should give seekers of peace and freedom concern.
Larry Greenfield is senior fellow of the American Freedom Alliance.