Yesterday’s discussion between Ambassador Dore Gold and Professor Alan Dershowitz, sponsored by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, headed once again by Dore Gold was a sold-out event. I must admit that I have not been a fan of Alan Dershowitz in spite of the fact that he cares deeply for the survival of the State of Israel. Having heard him speak years ago about the wonderful opportunity for peace with Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian leadership, his views seemed optimistic and naïve at best. Dershowitz has matured. He is not a clone of Ambassador Gold by any description, but he is an intelligent voice to be appreciated. He has learned some very important lessons along the way and articulated them well.
He is most interesting because he admits to being a devoted Democrat and a supporter of Hillary Clinton. His explanation was that in spite of the flaws he saw in both candidates, he felt Clinton was the best bet for future “stability.” He warned fairly that many U.S. presidents have had Jewish sons-in-law, and that one must not presume a guarantee of pro-Israel support based on whom one’s children marry. Point taken. These issues are old news, but help one to understand the man and his perspective. As a long- time friend of the Clintons, hearing his current views was most edifying. His passion for Black human rights was tested with his involvement with the organization “Black Lives Matter.” When that organization decided to veer from its’ initial purpose by aligning itself with the Palestinian cause, Mr. Dershowitz publically withdrew as one of their supporters. He explained that his commitment to Black human rights remains the same, but that the organization had taken itself in an unacceptable direction.
With that knowledge laid bare, hearing his assessment of the past eight years of U.S.–International relations as an “absolute disaster” meant even more that it would have, had he been a right of center advocate. His conclusions as to President Obama’s responsibility in the implosion of the Middle East were very clear: The United States (and its E.U. allies) took the unequivocal approach that bringing down despots and tyrannical governments in the Middle East was a positive imperative. They actually believed that Democracy would follow and had no understanding that the chaos which would result – would open the doors for ISIS , Iran, and other military groups for whom Democracy is an anathema, and for whom the imposition of Islamic Fundamentalist rule was the ultimate goal. The fact that the US State Department was unable to communicate this fact in advance is more than distressing. Some reports are now coming through, that the State Department was under instruction to only tell the President what he wanted to hear. This is disastrous if it is true. The other possibility is that they did indeed inform him, but that he ignored the warnings feeling he knew best. Either scenario brought on the same result.
The United States supported the dismantling of these Arab nations with no understanding of what would follow after the beheading and deposing of leaders such as Mubarak of Egypt, Saddam Hussein of Iraq, Mohmar Khadafi of Libya (who had already agreed to align himself with the US….), and now the attempted removal of Assad in Syria.
Their collective naivete that Democracy would follow the removal of the tyrants then in power, has resulted in more deaths of mankind than one can begin to count. The number of deaths however that are occurring even today in Syria… are being recorded by multiple organizations. The Syrian war alone has resulted in somewhere between 312,000 and 470,000 people killed in the battle for power. The financial support of Iran for those in Isis and other military groups attempting to overthrow Assad in hope that the total destabilitzation of the region will make it ripe for Iran’s ultimate take-over, clearly indicates how the Western World has gotten their entire analysis of the region… quite disasterously, wrong.
This is what Prime Minister Netanyahu tried to explain before the US Congress, while being accused of having the audacity to refute President Obama’s contorted world vision in the process. Conversations I have had recently with intelligent friends make it clear that they did not understand how devastating the Iran deal supported by President Obama actually is to the entire Middle East, and possibly to world order in the years to come. Not one expert I have followed has been able to explain why President Obama really believed that the Iran Deal was of benefit to the free world or to the Middle East. His explanations at the time were simplistic and have already been proven invalid.
What followed the Arab Spring, was not Democracy but Islamic Fundamentalism at its worst. Mr. Dershowitz acknowledges this disaster and that awareness is of tremendous importance, as he speaks before University students in an attempt to discredit the dogma fed to them on their campuses by their Professors and special interest groups. His goal in his dialogues with students is to reverse the propaganda war against Israel which attempts to place it squarely at the core of all the world’s discord.
Dershowitz clearly voiced what many have been thinking, but have been unable to verbalize: That the fundamental error of the liberal Western leadership (including many nations in Europe and the EU in specific), was to accept that tyrannical governments …even those led by murderers and despots, needed to be removed at all costs. It was the ignorance of the State Departments of these nations to the “next day” scenario that brought the deposing of Khadafi, Mubarak, The Shah of Iran, and now the attempted dismantling of the Assad regime. Dershowitz’ pointed out that in the process of toppling these regimes, no consideration was given to what would follow in the wake of the success. With clear hindsight, we now know exactly what followed ; the opportunity for Isis and multiple other Iranian funded terror groups to fill in the vacuum. These groups promise no order, no better way of life- no improvement on any front. Their only goal is to impose Islamic Fundamentalist states where non-Democratic entities existed before. These Arab countries, while not having Western standards of freedom, still maintained ordered societies that allowed their citizens a quality of life now lost for generations to come. It looks now as though Assad will survive the war in Syria in spite of the rebellion financed by the Iranians in a hope to eventually rule the entire Middle East. Putin has gone into Syria to support Assad… not because he Assad is a good man , but perhaps because the alternative is that much worse. The United States and Europe made paltry attempts to participate… again intent on destroying Assad with no clear vision as to what would follow.
For those who missed this extremely interesting discussion between two political giants, you can go to www.JCPA.Org and click on the photo of Ambassador Gold and Alan Dershowitz to hear the entire event. It will require a bit of patience as the introductions went on for entirely too long, but it is worth the wait. To understand the connection between these two gentlemen, you might also go to You Tube and put in their names together, to hear a fascinating panel at the DOHA debates a the two men argue for American support for the State of Israel.
On one point, both gentlemen seemed to agree. It is clear to both that there are moments when Israel’s leadership cannot be vocal on certain issues. Political imperatives for the future of the State of Israel sometimes require verbal self control. Issues such as external National elections around the globe and conflicts in neighboring Arab nations are two such situations where Israel will by necessity, need to deal with the victors without having impacted on the success of one side or the other.
There are indeed times when “silence is golden” for the leadership of the Jewish state.