May 24, 2011

Leadership and Statesmanship

In the last few days Americans were given the opportunity to observe, firsthand, the extremes of leadership and statesmanship. Even the American Congress, as dysfunctional as it often is, responded to the obvious difference. It is a lesson we should take to heart.

Tiny, democratic Israel is a nation in the middle of the world’s roughest neighborhood. Since its birth, its Arab neighbors have repeatedly tried to wipe it, and its people, from the face of the planet, and on several occasions, they came disturbingly close. Since their last bloody failure, they’ve never renounced their genocidal dreams and have instead resorted to terrorism, costing thousands of lives.

The Palestinians have rewarded Israeli offers of peace and generous gifts of land and infrastructure only with renewed terrorism and barrages of rockets. Their founding documents cry for genocide. They raise their children to hate and kill and die. They send women and the mentally disabled to attack the innocent as suicide bombers, and honor mass murderers as national heroes. Even their children’s TV shows preach hatred and murder. At the news of 9-11, they danced in the streets for joy.

Even so, the Israelis, each and every day, provide the Palestinians with food and water, and their hospitals save the lives of those who sometimes try to return laden with explosives, determined to kill those who selflessly saved their lives. They hide weapons and house terrorists near and in schools and hospitals, and use women and children as human shields. When the Israelis fight back to stop terrorist and rocket attacks, their military operates under the kind of restraints that place their soldiers at risk, just as our military does.

Syria and Iran sponsor terrorists with arms, money and training, and actively seek nuclear weapons, weapons they will surely use. Iran makes no pretense about its genocidal intentions and routinely declares its hatred for and hostile intentions toward America with fervor and venom second only to that it reserves for Israel. Both have helped Hezbollah stockpile huge numbers of rockets and other weapons in Southern Lebanon, a nation they’ve ruined and brutalized over many years in their insane, anti-Semitic hatred.

The North Koreans have been actively helping Iran and Syria in their nuclear and missile programs. Turkey is becoming much less secular and more actively Islamist, and is overtly backing away from any friendly relationship with Israel.

Egypt is now on the verge of a Muslim Brotherhood takeover. The Muslim Brotherhood is the foundation of the modern Islamist movement. They will surely abrogate the long-standing peace treaty with Israel, greatly increasing the danger of a catastrophic war in the region.

Against this backdrop, against this undeniable state of affairs and the danger it presents not only to Israel, but to the peace and stability of the world, Barack Obama sees only moral equivalency. His teleprompter generated rhetoric indicates clearly that he sees Israel as the foundational regional problem and that he simplistically believes that if only Israel makes whatever concessions the Palestinians wish, peace will be realized and all of the blood-soaked grievances that have washed over that part of the world for millennia will be healed. He is incapable of understanding that it is not possible to make peace with a people who not only live to kill you, who not only raise their children to kill you, but who never fail to take every opportunity to declare their genocidal intentions. With all of this, and more, incontrovertible evidence available to him, Mr. Obama demands that Israel carve up the nation so as to ensure its doom.

On May 24, speaking before the Congress, Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu demonstrated real statesmanship. Instead of tailoring his rhetoric to meet the political needs of the moment, he spoke from unshakeable moral conviction, and even the jaded denizens of Congress recognized the genuine article when they saw it. Mr. Netanyahu was unfailingly gracious to Mr. Obama, the man who has often insulted and tried to humiliate Mr. Netanyahu. He demonstrated, naturally and with grace, the kind of strength, conviction, moral fiber and class that Mr. Obama so often lacks. Mr. Obama fails in foreign affairs because he reflexively sympathizes with our enemies and disparages our friends. In this and in much more, he does not truly represent the interests of the United States. The same certainly cannot be said about Mr. Netanyahu. Israel is the better for it; America is not.

Perhaps the best way to sum up the reality of the Middle East, a reality that Mr. Obama refuses to acknowledge, or is perhaps unable to recognize is to understand that if Israel’s many enemies gave up their genocidal hopes and lay down their weapons, there would be peace. If Israel lay down her weapons, there would be genocide.

In pursuing such a stubborn, arrogant, petulant posture toward our vital regional ally, the only established democracy in the region, a people and nation to whom civilization owes a great debt, Mr. Obama actually makes war far more likely. Weakness never establishes peace, and the enemies of Israel and America have surely seen little but weakness from Mr. Obama. Understanding this, and experiencing Mr. Obama’s most recent teleprompter readings, what Israeli can now reasonably believe that Israel can rely upon America under Mr. Obama?

Mr. Netanyahu said it best: “Israel is not what’s wrong about the Middle East; Israel is what’s right about the Middle East.” That it is virtually impossible to imagine Mr. Obama speaking such a simple truth speaks volumes. Mr. Netanyahu is truly a leader and a statesman. The President of the United States, to our disappointment and peril, is not.

Posted by MikeM at May 24, 2011 09:44 PM

To add further insult to injury, with Obama's clear hatred for the United States, a clear dislike of Isreal, and a clear disdain for jews, 85% of the American jewish population will still vote for him in 2012. Go figure!!!!

Posted by: mixitup at May 25, 2011 08:10 PM

Perhaps it's time to quit feeding the one who bites your hand. Oh, that's right, we must. We must be better than them.


Food wars coming to the mideast this fall. Getcher popcorn ready. Israel, get the Galils out.

Posted by: Bill Johnson at May 26, 2011 03:52 PM