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What to Do About Obama’s Assault on Israel: Acquiescence or Confrontation?

Ed Koch writes about his disappointment over “the lengthy acquiescence of members of Congress to Obama’s actions” regarding Israel. He reminds us:

Senator Obama received 78 percent of the votes of the Jewish community nationwide. The only group giving him a higher percentage was the African-American community. Many Jewish leaders, myself included, have concluded that President Obama has reneged on his support for the security of Israel – a major priority for most American Jews and many Christians – and is shifting American foreign policy to favor the Muslim, and in particular, the Palestinian cause.

He then compares that “lengthy acquiescence” with the stance of Pilar Rahola, a Spanish politician, journalist, and activist. He quotes her:

“I am not Jewish. Ideologically, I am left and by profession a journalist. Why am I not as anti-Israel as my colleagues? Because as a non-Jew, I have the historical responsibility to fight against Jewish hatred and currently against the hatred for their historic homeland, Israel. To fight against anti-Semitism is not the duty of the Jews, it is the duty of the non-Jews. As a journalist, it is my duty to search for the truth beyond prejudice, lies and manipulations. The truth about Israel is not told. As a person from the left who loves progress, I am obligated to defend liberty, culture, civic education for children, coexistence and the laws that the Tablets of the Covenant made into universal principles. Principles that Islamic fundamentalism systematically destroys. That is to say that as a non-Jew, journalist and lefty, I have a triple moral duty with Israel, because if Israel is destroyed, liberty, modernity and culture will be destroyed too. The struggle of Israel, even if the world doesn’t want to accept it, is the struggle of the world.”

The contrast with the American liberals could not be more stark — or more terrifying for friends of Israel and supporters of a robust U.S.-Israel relationship. We have a president who won’t utter the term “Islamic fundamentalism,” let alone make the connection to the joint fate of Israel and the West. We have Democratic majorities in both the Senate and the House that treat the president (who is pulling them and his entire party down the drain) with kid gloves and tie themselves in knots to avoid directly challenging him on policies over which they’d fiercely combat a Republican president. And we have conflicted, largely Democratic Jewish groups who have never confronted such a political situation. They lack the will and creativity to devise a new strategy for combating a president whose antagonism toward Israel continues to grow, as does his infatuation with embracing the Israel-haters in the “international community.”

There are two existential threats to Israel — a nuclear one and a political one. The first may be solved only by an Israeli military action and at great human and economic cost to the Jewish state. And if Israel is forced to go it alone, the damage to American credibility and prestige will be immense.

The political threat will only be solved when a new occupant arrives in the White House or there is a widespread, forceful, and effective effort to confront the actions of the current one. As to the former, I don’t know that Israel can hold out until January 2013. As to the latter, I wish there were reason for optimism.


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