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Obama’s ambush of Israel

A naive ideology of passivity has set the US president on the wrong side of history

In the midst of a perfect storm of shoddy “journalism”, an alarming number of increasingly violent anti-Semitic acts worldwide, and a global outcry indicting Israel of genocide as it responded to Hamas’s barrage of rockets into Israel, President Obama, together with the UK, has launched an ambush on Israel that endorses terrorism and sabotages Israel’s self defense.

Shortly after Obama and Kerry offered their support for the Palestinian Authority and Hamas unity government, three Israeli boys were kidnapped and Hamas began firing on Israel. And why not? Hamas has no reason to do anything but continue fighting Israel with that kind of official endorsement. Obama is enabling the terrorists and he is preventing Israel from fighting them.

During the war, Kerry wanted Turkey and Qatar, rather than Egypt, as Netanyahu had preferred, to play key roles in ceasefire negotiations that favored Hamas. Qatar gives money to Hamas and sponsors Al Jazeera and Turkey’s Prime Minister Erogdan said Israel was showing “barbarism worse than Hitler” and asked Turkish Jews denounce Israel, which makes him a bonafide anti-Semite.

Meanwhile, the chorus of media bias and discredited death toll numbers, has made no difference to the Obama administration. The UN investigation into Operation Protective Edge is a kangaroo court, with William Schabas, the head of the investigation having said that Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu and (ex) President Shimon Peres should be “in the dock”.

There is no moral clarity when the bad guys are the good guys and the good guys are the bad guys. Does Obama not get it? Obama is angry with Netanyahu but he does not appear to understand what is at stake in the world.

Fliers plastered on walls listing over forty Jewish owned shops to boycott. “Judey pigs we kill you…” [sic] was scrawled on a synagogue’s walls. Dateline Berlin, 1938? No. Rome, 2014. Numerous acts of vandalism and anti-Semitism have been documented all over Europe. In Belfast, pro-Palestinian protesters stormed a supermarket and removed items from shelves they believed to be Israeli products and chanted “Free Palestine, from the river to the sea.” The distance between storming this shop, protesting outside of Israeli owned stores and intimidating its workers and a Kristallnacht is a short one.

Have we learned nothing? Preceding WWII, Chamberlain and other weak leaders in Europe contributed to the rise of Hitler and the Nazi party while today, groups like Hamas and ISIS are dictating the terms for their achievements and meanwhile Iran is dictating the terms of American and European negotiators to strike a nuclear deal that allows it to continue to enrich uranium while openly calling for the destruction of Israel.

In an interview with Thomas Friedman “Obama made clear that he is only going to involve America more deeply in places like the Middle East to the extent that the different communities there agree to an inclusive politics of no victor/no vanquished.”

The problem is, you give up on the moral high ground when you say “no victor and no vanquished.” You give up on the idea of good and evil. And you might even be setting the stage for WWIII.

(Obama’s)…apathy about the deadly threats it faces from Iran and its terrorist proxies, cheered by a chorus of anti-Semitic haters, does nothing to inspire confidence in his leadership. The world has gotten less safe on his watch.


Polls show Obama with only a 37% approval rating for his administration’s foreign policy. It would appear that even Americans, sick and tired of foreign wars, are starting to get the feeling that there’s a vacuum that Obama has created with his naive ideology of passivity.

Just days ago, protesters at the Hague waved black ISIS flags and called “Death to the Jews” as well as calling out for murder and fighting in the west – specifically the United States. Obama’s attention was elsewhere.

Americans recognize that Obama’s no victor/no vanquished policy is dangerous because it creates not a “peace of our time” as Neville Chamberlain so infamously said, but rather, it gives license to kill. Witness the meteoric rise of ISIS in Iraq, referred to in the American media as “militants” and “rebels” rather than what they are: terrorists.

Critics of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu have accused him of being on the wrong side of history, but in the Middle East, there is only victor or vanquished and Netanyahu understands this.

Given that Netanyahu’s “poll numbers are a lot higher than mine”, according to Obama in his Friedman interview, and “were greatly boosted by the war in Gaza”, Netanyahu has succeeded in facing down Obama’s pressure not to act in Gaza and has shown Obama by example, what a strong leader looks like.

Since the war of last month, Israelis have come together in a voice of moral clarity and unity. Israelis know the war they are fighting is for the very basic tenets of good versus bad and even more, for their very existence.

Despite harsh criticism of Israel, this summer’s war between Hamas and Israel, should make clear to the world that the war against terrorism is one worth fighting. Anti-Semitic protests and attacks in Europe and the horrifying acts of ISIS only underscore this point.

Right now, there are many on the march: Iran, ISIS, Hamas, Hezbollah, Russia/Putin and North Korea. Any of these players can inflame the region into a war. The relationship between Israel and the US is at an all time low.

It took the attack on Pearl Harbor before the US was willing to take on the Axis in WWII. What will it take for a community organizer and bafflingly unqualified Nobel Peace Prize winner with an ideological disconnect from history to react? It is Obama who should worry about being on the wrong side of history.

And you should worry too.

About the Author
The former Senior Producer of CNN’s Jerusalem bureau for twenty plus years, Izzy Lemberg is a veteran international television news producer and recipient of the prestigious Edward R. Murrow award. Based in Jerusalem, Izzy is currently working on a documentary film about anti-Semitism called Blame it on the Jews.
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