Friday, June 20, 2008

How Bad Would Obama Be for Israel?

I'm having a little debate on the Democratic Party's support for Israel, at my entry, "The American Public and the Jewish State."

That being the case, I thought I'd update with
Caroline Glick's views on U.S. support for Israel under a Barack Obama administration:

[Kathryn Jean] Lopez: How bad would a President Obama be for Israel? Why should that question matter to Americans?

[Carolyn] Glick: Senator Barack Obama would be bad for Israel most of all because he refuses to acknowledge that there is a jihad being waged against the free world. Indeed, he refuses to acknowledge that there is such a thing as an “enemy” in international affairs. And as a consequence, he is unable to understand what an ally is. As the U.S.’s most stalwart ally in the Middle East, and as the frontline state in the global jihad, Israel will likely suffer greatly if Senator Obama is elected to the White House.

There are several reasons that Americans should care about the fact that an Obama White House will be hostile towards Israel. First, when Islamists perceive Israel as weak they become emboldened. And when they become emboldened, they tend to attack not only Israel but the U.S. as well. Indeed, some of the largest attacks against the U.S. — like the Marine barracks bombing in Lebanon in 1983 — came when the U.S. was most hostile towards Israel.

Second, when the U.S. places pressure on Israel, Israel is perceived as weak by the Muslim world. And when this happens, the tendency for wars to break out is increased. So when the U.S. has in the past blamed Israel for regional instability — the Arabs and Iran — which are the actual sources of that instability — exploit the situation by attacking Israel and sending the region into a tailspin. One can for instance attribute Yassir Arafat’s decision to attack Israel in 1996 — an attack which left 15 Israelis dead — to the Clinton administration’s massive pressure on the new Netanyahu government to accept the PLO as its “peace partner.”

Finally, U.S. pressure on Israel tends to weaken Israel and as I have argued, Israel is perceived by the jihadists as the frontline state in their war, the ultimate aim of which is global domination and the destruction of the U.S. So when the U.S. weakens Israel, the U.S. appears weak. Jihadists are then emboldened to attack not only Israel, but also the U.S. This is why, for instance, Shiite violence in Iraq rose steeply after Israel was perceived as having lost the war in Lebanon with Hezbollah in 2006. And Israel ended the war when it was under tremendous pressure from Secretary Rice to accept a ceasefire that left Hezbollah fully intact and free to rebuild its forces with Iranian and Syrian assistance.

All of this happened under U.S. administrations which in their day were considered friendly towards Israel. If Sen. Obama, who is perceived as sympathetic to the jihadists, is elected, the consequences of U.S. appeasement of Iran and others at Israel’s expense will likely be more profound — both for Israel and for the U.S.
Note that point: Israel is perceived as the frontline in the war with the U.S.

See also, "Israel is the Defining Moral Issue of Our Time."