The World is watching

The Washington Times reported yesterday that “Mr. Obama was briefed on Egypt … and then went out for his third round of golf since arriving on the island Sunday.”

White House spokesman, Josh Earnest, stated: “The world is watching what is happening in Cairo. We urge the government of Egypt and all parties of Egypt to refrain from violence and resolve their differences peacefully.” Meanwhile over 500 people are reported to have been killed so far.

The spokesman’s remarks were strangely reminiscent of what President Obama had said back in December about the civil war in Syria: “I want to make it absolutely clear to Assad and those under his command: The world is watching.”

Indeed, the world is watching and has been watching the massacre of over 100,000 people in Syria since the start of the uprising.

It was in the context of Iran’s steady march towards becoming a nuclear power that President Obama remarked on CBS News back in June, 2009: “I’m very concerned … that the government of Iran recognize that the world is watching.”

The tragedy of all of this is that the so-called civilized world is indeed watching but seems incapable of action. After Iraq and Afghanistan the West is war weary while all that the United Kingdom can do is to send a handful of warships to Gibraltar to defend her interests there.

Many are concerned about the US Administration’s inability to comprehend what is really happening in the Middle East and the manner in which it has decided to observe what is unfolding from the sidelines.

What does all of this say for the future of the Middle East? Of no less concern are the implications for Israel’s security and the degree to which the United States can be relied upon to be there in time of need.

About the Author
Rabbi Boyden was educated and received his rabbinical ordination in London, England. Having served as the rabbi of Cheshire Reform Congregation for thirteen years, he made aliyah with his family in 1985. He has established Reform congregations in Ra'anana and Hod Hasharon and previously served as director of the Israel Reform Movement's Beit Din.