The international community of nations is somewhat divided on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Yet, those critical of Israeli offensive actions, as expected, have been screaming the loudest. The liberal press has been particularly negative towards Israel. Disagreement also exists in the Arab world; as usual the Sunni/Shiite schism accounts for various nations taking different sides. Saudi Arabia and its Sunni allies have supported the fight against Hamas, while Iran and its Shiite allies are backing the terrorist organization.
The net effect is that hundreds of innocents are being killed during Israel’s efforts to destroy Hamas munitions and close terrorist tunnels from Palestine to Israel. (It should be noted that Hamas has stored weapons and taken sanctuary in places that are often occupied by non-combatants. This fact, sadly, results in collateral damage.)
Israeli casualties are far less than Palestinian casualties, but they must put up with continuous warnings to take cover from Hamas rocket attacks. Many of these rockets, fortunately, are shot down by Israel’s Iron Dome defense system.
The real question is where does America stand? A New York Times news story, titled “Gaza Is Straining U.S. Ties To Israel,” analyzes this question. The article indicates that President Obama and the State Department “condemned Israel’s strikes on the United Nations School in Gaza on Sunday, saying it was ‘appalled’ by this disgraceful act, . . .” Some have said that this rebuke was “among the toughest ever being aimed at Israel,” and it is indicative of Obama’s “frustration” with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Conversely, the story says “The United States has been bruised by repeated clashes. . .[and] from the withering Israeli criticism of Secretary of State John Kerry.” Frankly, no one has been impressed with Kerry’s modern day version of shuttle diplomacy in the region. In spite of the number of trips he has taken, the meetings convened and the time dedicated to this conflict, Kerry’s achievements have been nil.
The Times quoted a former American ambassador to Israel as saying “This is the most sustained period of antagonism in the relationship [between Israel and the U.S.] . . .” It is this perspective that is the most distressing because without our strong support, Israel will cease to exist.
According to the Times, public opinion in America and in Congress is very solidly behind Israel’s actions against Hamas, although everyone would like to see a sustainable cease-fire. Even Arab neighbors have not spoken against the Israeli offensive. Even more curious, “The Pentagon confirmed that . . . it had resupplied the Israeli military with ammunition . . . Mr. Obama [also] signed a bill . . . giving Israel $225 million . . . for its Iron Dome antimissile system.”
So once again, the policies of the Obama are unclear to everyone outside of the administration. Is Obama supportive of Israel efforts to secure its borders or not?
Israel is our strongest ally in the Middle East. Without them, the U.S. would be far less informed and even less capable of responding to new national security threats. The bonds between the U.S. and Israel go far beyond the current leaders. They have developed over a half-century of collaboration. Moreover, Israel is loosely tied to many Jews in America culturally, politically and religiously.
On Fox’s The Five, Greg Gutfeld made a strong case to support Israeli actions against Hamas. He queried about whether the U.S. should just stand by and allow a neighbor to lob rockets onto our soil. Would we want our citizens taking cover from wanton rocket attacks 20 or 30 times each day? The response of the U.S. would be an all out attack to stop this aggression.
All the Palestinians need to do is stop the rocket attacks and abandon the rat holes that serve as terrorist entrée into Israel. The hostilities would end.
The U.S. has a legal and moral obligation to support Israel as it defends itself from terror. The Obama administration has no right or authority to destroy an alliance that began over 50 years ago especially given that most Americans continue to support Israel.