Nearly a century before the State of Israel was founded, American president Abraham Lincoln proudly proclaimed that restoring the Jews to their national home was “a noble dream and one shared by many Americans.” Once this sentiment became a reality, the bond between the two nations has been getting stronger and stronger.
Therefore, while I was still living in Israel, even as a little kid, I remember being overwhelmed with pride at the thought that the United States and Israel shared the same principles of freedom and equality under the law. There was a reason why American music was the most popular, and American celebrities and athletes acted as role models for many Israeli youth. On September 11, 2001; with the fall of the World Trade Center, while there were celebrations on the streets of Gaza and many of Israel’s Arab neighbors, Israel itself was in a state of sorrow and disbelief over the fact that Middle Eastern terrorism took the life of so many people that shared in the values of the tiny middle eastern democracy. I remember having a moment of silence in my elementary school, and my teachers trying to explain to a crowd of kids that were all too familiar with terror what an attack on our ally meant for the world. Almost every American President in recent memory recognized the strategic importance of having an ally in the Middle East with a military fighting against oppressive regimes in the region, and promoting technological innovation and a free market- which is why Israel has the most tech start-ups per capita in in the world and in turn helps grow American corporations that do business in Israel.
However, even though the bond between the two nations is powerful and unbreakable, it seems as if the Obama administration is simply using the tiny nation as a political pawn and promoting terror and anti-Americanism as a result.
After seeing his brainchild, The Affordable Care Act, cause a huge drop in his approval ratings, President Obama has seemingly moved onto another arena to try to cement his legacy- the Middle East. Interestingly however, what’s very convenient about this move, is that instead of focusing on the genocide of Coptic Christians in Egypt, the complete tyrannical theocracy or nuclear goals in Iran, the rampant anti- Americanism resulting in countless deaths in places like Libya, or the absolute massacres of HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of Arabs in Syria, our state department is directing its focus onto the one democracy in the Middle East- Israel.
In 2008 and in 2012, our president ran on a very powerful and reassuring message of hopefulness and peace. When it came to Middle Eastern foreign policy, President Obama said that
“Palestinians will never realize their independence by denying the right of Israel to exist.” – Barack Obama
However, right after John Kerry’s last visit to Israel, when PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas said that “We (the Palestinians) won’t accept the Jewishness of Israel”- the White House remained silent. Moreover, when in August, Fatah (headed by Mahmoud Abbas) announced that its plan is to “empty out the Zionist prisons.” Our president and his secretary of state responded by pressuring Israel to release over a hundred cold blooded murderers in hopes of improving the chances for peace talks. Instead of putting pressure on Palestinian leadership, the pressure was put on America’s ally in the Middle East to further concede- and unfortunately our ally gave in.
Thus, this past December Israel went ahead with a third round of a 104 prisoner prisoner release (26 were released in December) because of the Obama administrations belief that peace hinged on the release of cold blooded murderers will be a real lasting peace. Among those released were Jamal Abu Muhsin who stabbed a 76 year-old Israeli civilian to death in a park in 1991- only because he was Jewish and only because he was Israeli. Also, Ahmad Kmeil who was the leader of a terrorist movement that killed 15 PALESTINIANS because the group believed that they were collaborating with Israel. As well as Na’im Al-Shawamreh who killed a police officer that was defusing a bomb. When these terrorists were released, the Palestinian authority gave them a heroes’ welcome.
“[The release of our prisoners] is a day of joy for our nation, for our people, for our heroic prisoners… There will be more groups of heroes who will come to us… They [the Israelis] postponed these heroes’ release by 24 hours… we congratulate you and ourselves for the [release] of these heroes.” – Mahmoud Abbas
Of course, there is no justifiable reason for a leader of a people to honor those killers of innocent civilians and label them as heroes. However, the Obama administration did issue a statement condemning the happenings in the region. However, instead of targeting those murderers it targeted our ally that simply wanted to build. To this, a couple of weeks ago, the Secretary of State said this:
“If we do not resolve the question of settlements, and the question of who lives where and how and what rights they have; if we don’t end the presence of Israeli soldiers perpetually within the West Bank, then there will be an increasing feeling that if we cannot get peace with a leadership that is committed to non-violence, you may wind up with leadership that is committed to violence.”
First off, how in the world is a holocaust denying, murderer praising leadership committed to “nonviolence”? Second, the belief that a Judea and Samaria that’s “Judenfrei” (free of Jews) is what will somehow lead to peace in a region that produces most of the world’s terrorism shows a complete disconnect from common sense on behalf of Secretary of State Kerry.
As a Jewish American, I am incredibly proud of all that the U.S has done to promote global peace- but there is reason to fear the incompetency of our current president. We have an administration that forces his only ally in the Middle East to negotiate with a leadership that literally doesn’t acknowledge its existence. And a president that criticizes the Jewish state when its people build on their own land, and encourages it to release the cold blooded murderers of its people. Fathom the double standard and arrogance of a secretary of state that flies to a capital city of an ally, refuses to admit its status as a capital city- and then makes his way to greet a man that openly denies the right of that ally to exist and that glorifies the murder of its people.
I believe U.S Hegemony is paramount for global security and for American prosperity. However, it is time to recognize that The Obama Administration’s incompetent Middle Eastern policies are hurting our allies and are detrimental to the U.S’s global standing.
Authored By Ron Feingold- email firstname.lastname@example.org
Works cited: Video and translation from Palestinian Media Watch