The Obama Administration Continues to Abandon Israel in Fighting Terror

Once again, the Obama administration has refused to stand with Israel as it confronts terror.

On January 8, 2017, a terrorist rammed a group of soldiers who had just exited a bus in Jerusalem. At least four were killed. The US State Department made the following statement in response:

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms today’s horrific vehicular attack by a terrorist in Jerusalem.‎ There is absolutely no justification for these brutal and senseless attacks. We‎ condemn the glorification of terrorism now or at any time and call on all to send a clear message that terrorism must never be tolerated.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the four Israeli soldiers who were killed, and we hope for a full and fast recovery of those injured.”

Stating their is “no justification” for violence but NOT stating that America stands by Israel and the people of Israel in combatting terror IS JUSTIFYING TERROR. The Obama administration just let a UN resolution claiming that the 1949 Armistice Lines are actual borders is a reward for terror. Propping up the acting President of the Palestinian Authority whose term expired eight years is rewarding terror.

jerusalem-truck-attack
Israeli security forces after car ramming attack in Jerusalem
(photo: AP:AHMAD GHARABLI)

Consider the State Department’s response to the car ramming attack in Nice, France:

“Today’s horrendous attack in Nice is an attack against innocent people on a day that celebrates Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity.

On behalf of all Americans, and especially the great many with close ties to France, I offer our deepest condolences to the friends and family of those who were killed and our hopes for a speedy recovery to those who were injured.

I was proud to stand alongside French leaders earlier today at Bastille Day celebrations in Paris, and the United States will continue to stand firmly with the French people during this time of tragedy. We will provide whatever support is needed.

Our embassy in Paris is making every effort to account for the welfare of U.S. citizens in Nice. Any U.S. citizens in Nice should contact friends and family directly to inform them of their well being.”

This US administration has done this to Israel time and again.

Consider the attacks in the fall of 2015, as detailed in “Select Support in Fighting Terrorism from the US State Department.” The US stood by the governments of Chad, Lebanon and France in terrorist attacks. But not Israel.

In reviewing the global terrorism in the summer of 2015, as detailed in “The US State Department Does Not Want Israel to Fight Terrorism,” the US supported the governments of Turkey, Afghanistan and Cameroon in combatting terrorism. But not Israel.

The terrorism of January 8 , 2017 fell out on the Jewish fast day of the 10th of Tevet. It is a holiday where the Babylonian leader Nebuchadnezzar began to lay siege to Jerusalem.  The city would not fall for another 30 months, but Jews have commemorated the beginning of the siege for 2500 years. History has shown that calamities often do not come out of the blue, but start with incremental steps. Each one is a tragedy.

Just a few weeks ago, the Obama administration let a UN resolution pass which stated that it was illegal for Jews to live in the entirety of the Old City of Jerusalem. Obama once again continued to make clear that it will not stand with Israel while Jews are murdered in the city.

A question for Jews to ponder is whether the commemoration of the US abandoning Israel should be marked on December 23 when the UN Resolution 2334 passed, or January 20, 2008, when Obama was elected to office.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The United States Joins the Silent Chorus

John Kerry: The Declaration and Observations of a Failure

US Hypocrisy – “Reasonableness and Restraint”

Ban Ki Moon Stands with Gaza

Ban Ki Moon Understands Why People Kill Israelis

The Palestinians aren’t “Resorting to Violence”; They are Murdering and Waging War

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John Kerry: The Declaration and Observations of a Failure

Over the past decades, the literary world has seen the introduction of a new specialized category of books enter the mainstream and become very popular: do-it-yourself books, or DIY for short.  Books like the “…For Dummies” have been written on a wide range of topics, ranging from auto repair, to football, to computer programming. People believed that they could understand – or at least become proficient at a subject – by reading a book by someone they never heard of or knew.

Yet people purchased the books without knowledge of the author for a few reasons: 1) they obviously wanted to learn the material, and wanted an easy to understand tutorial;  2) they knew the brand covered lot of topics and was widely popular; and 3) they may have heard good reviews from a friend. One would imagine that  if the people heard bad reviews or knew that the author was a failure, no one would touch the books.

Is this formulation true in politics? If people want to learn something from a former politician, would they care if the person was a failure? If no one they respect likes the politician’s opinion would they listen? Or would the brand of their position (their title) hold enough clout that they would pay any attention to what that person had to say?

kerry

US Secretary of State John Kerry traveled the world for the last four years with a fantastic brand: the global diplomat for the most powerful country in the world and a leading democracy. His credentials opened doors in every part of the globe, as countries sought to trade with US, or to obtain US protection and aid.

But Kerry’s impact on the Middle East was terrible.  The eight years of the Obama administration watched the region spiral into killing fields and a race for nuclear weapons. One of the results for the failures in word and deed has been the worst refugee crisis in generations, with millions of Muslims and Arabs fleeing into the western world.

Americans noted the failed foreign policy (and domestic too), and voted out any continuation of Obama’s policies.

So as he was leaving office, Obama doubled down on his failure. He gave tacit approval to a UN Security Council resolution condemening Israelis living across an invisible line as “illegal,” and then his Secretary of Defense John Kerry condemned Israel in a long speech.  Presumably the speech was for Israelis and Palestinian Arab consumption, as well as their leadership. It was likely intended for in the incoming Trump administration as well.

The issue for all of these consumers is that the authors are confirmed failures.  The Obama administration could not get the Palestinian Authoity to even engage seriously with Israel. Instead, the PA sought unilateral action at the United Nations to become a state. It was rewarded by the Obama administration with another UN victory, but no movement towards peace.

With such a tarnished image, and a step from retirement, why would Israelis or their leadership pay heed to the actions and comments of Obama and Kerry?  Have any of their supporters “bought the book” and think there are pearls of wisdom to be found?

The Pro Israel Community Reaction

Virtually the entire pro-Israel community condemned Kerry’s remarks. AIPAC, the Zionist Organization of America, Bnai Brith, the Simon Weisenthal Center and the Anti Defamation League were all highly critical of Kerry’s thoughts about Israel.

Only the left-wing fringe group, J Street, that has long pushed the Obama administration to condemn Israel at the United Nations, applauded the UN resolution and Kerry’s speech. In language that masked the far flung liberal mindset of the group, it stated that such a move was “bipartisan” in the hope of swinging would-be “pro-Israel, pro-peace” consumers to ingest the bile.


John Kerry spoke to the world about the centrality of Israel’s security to any peace agreement, even after a history of the State Department giving only scant lip service to Israel’s need to fight terrorism, while the US enabled Iran to keep its entire nuclear weapons infrastructure. Kerry said that “friendships require mutual repect.” Is that why Obama snubbed Israel by turning down an invitation to speak to the Knesset and opted to address Israeli students – long before Netanyahu came to address Congress in 2015?

Neither the Israeli people nor Israeli leadership was listening to Kerry. The Trump administration made clear that they think the Obama/ Kerry policies were total failures. The major pro-Israel groups came out against the UN vote and Kerry’s speech, and went on to educate the broader pro-Israel community that the remarks were disgraceful, and the approach unacceptable.

Which leaves a person to wonder who Kerry was actually addressing.

The reality was that the speech was not meant as a call to action for Israel or the incoming Trump administration to move the region towards peace.  Kerry was addressing the Arab world and telling them they were right all along. Kerry followed a long list of Democrats seeking a lavish life in retirement, like Jimmy Carter, the Clinton Foundation and Al Gore.

Kerry used the western world as a vehicle to show his devotion to the Palestinian cause. He treated the Israelis as mere tools so that he can enjoy the splendors of the Arab world.

For those that seek actual peace in the Middle East, the declaration and observations of a failure should be treated in the manner it deserves.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The US State Department’s Selective Preference of “Status Quos”

The United States Joins the Silent Chorus

Select Support in Fighting Terrorism from the US State Department

US State Department Comments on Terrorism in Israel and the Territories

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The US State Department Does Not Want Israel to Fight Terrorism

On June 30, 2016, the spokesperson for the US Secretary of State, John Kirby gave his daily press briefing. He opened with a story about the terrorist attack against a young Israeli girl who was killed in her bed. Kirby appropriately described the “brutal act of terrorism,” however, his subsequent remarks went in a strange direction.

John Kirby
Spokesperson for the US Secretary of State, John Kirby

Consider which of these statements Kirby made on June 30 about terrorism:

  1. reiterated our steadfast commitment to our partnership with [Israel], in the shared fight against terrorism.”
  2. “This incident during the Holy Month of Ramadan underscores the extremists’ complete disregard for human life and the harm that they continue to inflict on the [Israeli] people. Attacks like these are going to only deepen our support for the people and the Government of [Israel] and their efforts to bring security and stability to their country.”
  3. “we remain committed to supporting our [Israeli] partners in their fight against [Hamas] as we continue to work with [Israel] to bolster their efforts to end this wanton violence and to restore peace.

Those are strong comments of support for the government. They are determined calls to fight against terrorism.

Unfortunately, the US Department of State did not make any of these comments about the terrorism in Israel. Only for other countries.

The first comment was about Turkey, the second about Afghanistan, and the third about Cameroon fighting Boko Haram.

When it came to terrorist attacks against Israelis, all the State Department could muster was that “there’s just absolutely no justification for terrorism.” Why would anyone even think there’s a justification for terrorism? Why make such a comment only for Israel? Why withhold voicing support to fight against the terrorists as Kirby immediately did for all of the terrorist attacks in other countries?

The World Doesn’t Want Israel to Fight Palestinian Arab Terrorists

This unwillingness to support Israel in fighting terrorists is similar to the Obama administration’s brother-in-arms, the United Nations, which repeatedly expresses its solidarity with countries in their fight against terrorism, but never stands with Israel in its efforts, as detailed in “Ban Ki Moon Has No Solidarity with Israel.”

Why doesn’t the US or the UN express support for Israel’s fight on terrorism? A few reasons:

  1. The US dislikes the tactic of terrorism
  2. The US ignores the stated goals of some terrorists
  3. The US ignores the wishes of the majority of Palestinian Arabs

The repeated comments by the Obama administration make clear that the United States abhors the use of terrorism against civilians, but considers the tactic in relation to potential goals of the groups. For example, the Islamic State/ ISIS wants to replace Iraq and Syria and much of the Middle East with a new caliphate. Boko Haram wants to create an Islamic State in Nigeria. The Kurds want independence from Turkey in their own country. These are goals that the Obama administration does not support so he voices his support to fight against terrorism in those instances because he does not support the terrorists’ mission. (Why Obama turns his back on an actual distinct ethnic group like the Kurds who seek independence, but rallies behind Palestinian Arabs who are part of the broader Arab world is a mystery to analyze another time.)

What angers many people in the pro-Israel community, is the willful ignorance of Obama and UN Secretary Ban Ki Moon about the stated objectives of Palestinian Arab terrorists. The Hamas Charter states clearly its goals for killing Jews and destroying Israel. The Fatah Constitution, which Obama likes to call “moderate,” calls for wiping out the “Zionist invasion.” These are not calls for an independent country alongside Israel, but replacing Israel.

But the US and UN do not want Israel to “fight against terrorism” the way that other governments do to protect their citizens, because they would like to see the establishment of a new state of Palestine. As such, the US condemns Palestinian terrorism (the UN almost never does), but will not advocate a forceful response to “end this wanton violence.”

Terrorism by a Community, Not a Small Group

The terrorism against Israelis does not sit in a small Gazan vacuum.

The majority of Palestinian Arabs want to see violence. A Palestinian poll in June 2016 showed that 65% of Palestinian Arabs supported the bus bombing in Jerusalem in mid-April. A majority of 54% supported the return to an armed intifada.

In the last election ever held by Palestinian Arabs, they elected the terrorist group Hamas to 58% of the parliament.

Additionally, an ADL poll in May 2014 found that almost every single Palestinian Arab – 93% – were anti-semitic.

How then does one deal with a hatred and terrorism that is supported so broadly among Palestinian Arabs?

If the elected leadership and the majority of the people support terrorism, should it continue to be called “terrorism,” or should it be called “war?”


Terrorism continues around the world and the Obama administration condemns it, but it refuses to support Israel’s active defense of its citizens, even while supporting every other country in the world in the same breath.

How should Israel supporters feel?


Related First.One.Through articles:

Select Support in Fighting Terrorism from the US State Department

US State Department Comments on Terrorism in Israel and the Territories

The US State Department’s Selective Preference of “Status Quos”

The United States Joins the Silent Chorus

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Not Seeing the Eiffel Tower for the Girders

In November 2015, right after terrorists attacked Paris, France again, US Secretary of State John Kerry spoke of the logic of Islamic terrorists killing the people at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in January:

“There’s something different about what happened from Charlie Hebdo, and I think everybody would feel that. There was a sort of particularized focus and perhaps even a legitimacy in terms of – not a legitimacy, but a rationale that you could attach yourself to somehow and say, okay, they’re really angry because of this and that.”

The statement highlighted many flaws in Kerry’s worldview:

  • A desire to find a logic in the minds of the terrorists, with a very narrow focus (as Obama would say “legitimate grievances”)
  • An implication that the victims were to blame for causing such “legitimate grievances”
  • A desire to assume the entire world shared this flawed worldview.

DSC_0071
Part of the Eiffel Tower
(photo: First.One.Through)

As detailed in “I’m Offended, You’re Dead,” a narrow focus on blasphemy misses the bigger agenda of radical Islam. Refusing to listen to terrorist groups’ own words and charters in which they call for the killing of infidels and destruction of countries is a blindness that simply is unacceptable in the Secretary of State of the most powerful country on earth.

Kerry and the Obama administration’s hyper-narrow focus on these so-called “legitimate grievances” led them to explore ways of trying to placate terrorists:

Is the failure of the US administration’s foreign policies due to blindness from narrow-focus, open-mindedness that the jihadists have “legitimate grievances,” or just bad policies and/or implementation of those strategies?

What do you think?


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Banners of Jihad

Failures of the Obama Doctrine and the Obama Rationale

Obama supports Anti-Semitic Palestinian Agenda of Jew-Free State

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Select Support in Fighting Terrorism from the US State Department

The month from October 13 to November 13, 2015 witnessed many terrorist attacks in the MENA region and Europe. The US State Department loudly condemned the large scale attacks in Chad, Lebanon and France, but was more muted in its condemnation of the attacks in Israel. Most significantly, the State department voiced its support for the various governments to combat the terrorism, but did NOT give any support to the government of Israel.

Further, over the entire month when numerous Arab terrorist attacks felled Israelis, the US State Department did not issue any additional condemnations.

  October 13 Attack in Israel October 27 Attack in Chad November 12 Attack in Lebanon November 13 Attack in France
Words in statement 88 140 118 149
Condemnation condemns in the strongest possible terms condemns” “strongly condemns” outrage and sadness”
“Terrorism” Once Once and “horrific and indiscriminate attacks” Four times Twice and “heinous, evil, vile acts.”
Condolences “We mourn any loss of life” deepest sympathies and condolences” “deepest condolences” “Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected”
Innocent Life Israeli or Palestinian innocent civilians” None “innocent people”
Support to battle terror None. Requests “all sides to take affirmative steps to restore calm” support the governments and people of the Lake Chad Basin region in their ongoing struggle to defeat Boko Haram fully support the Lebanese authorities as they conduct their investigation… reaffirms its commitment to Lebanon’s security, and will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Lebanon in confronting terrorism “must do everything in our power to fight back against what can only be considered an assault on our common humanity…. we stand ready to provide whatever support the French government may require”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called all of the terrorism in the region as a single phenomena of radical Islamic terrorism. “The time has come for the world to wake up and unite in order to defeat terrorism. The time has come for countries to condemn terrorism against us to the same degree that they condemn terrorism everywhere else in the world

Based on the various remarks by the US State Department, it clearly disagrees.

Kirby
State Department Spokesman John Kirby

October 13, 2015 about Israel:

“The United States condemns in the strongest terms today’s terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians, which resulted in the murder of three Israelis and left numerous others wounded. We mourn any loss of innocent life, Israeli or Palestinian. We continue to stress the importance of condemning violence and combating incitement. We are in regular contact with the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority. We remain deeply concerned about escalating tensions and urge all sides to take affirmative steps to restore calm and prevent actions that would further escalate tensions.”

October 27, 2015 about Chad:

The United States condemns the horrific and indiscriminate attacks at the Jambutu Mosque in Yola, Adamawa State, the Central Mosque of Polo Ward in Maiduguri, Borno State, and other locations in Maiduguri on October 23 and 24, 2015. We offer our deepest sympathies and condolences to the families and loved ones of the many innocent civilians who were killed and injured.

The apparent use of children – particularly young girls – to commit these attacks is especially heinous, and it provides yet more examples of the horrific measures Boko Haram is willing to take to terrorize civilians in northeast Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin region.

The United States continues to support the governments and people of the Lake Chad Basin region in their ongoing struggle to defeat Boko Haram. We will continue to assist these vital efforts in every appropriate way.”

November 12, 2015 about Lebanon:

“The United States strongly condemns today’s terrorist attack on civilians in the Burj Barajneh neighborhood of Beirut, Lebanon. We extend our deepest condolences to the Lebanese people, particularly the families of the victims, and wish a swift recovery to the wounded.

Today’s events are a troubling reminder of the tremendous challenges Lebanon still faces. Terrorism, such as today’s attacks, seeks to undermine the freedom and security that the people of Lebanon have worked so hard to achieve. We fully support the Lebanese authorities as they conduct their investigation into this act of terror. The United States reaffirms its commitment to Lebanon’s security, and will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Lebanon in confronting terrorism.”

November 13, 2015 about France:

“I share President Obama’s outrage and sadness over the terrorist attacks tonight in Paris.

Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by this assault on innocent people, going about their lives. And I am deeply concerned by ongoing reports of hostages.

These are heinous, evil, vile acts. Those of us who can must do everything in our power to fight back against what can only be considered an assault on our common humanity.

Our embassy in Paris is making every effort to account for the welfare of American citizens in the city, and in the days ahead we stand ready to provide whatever support the French government may require. France is our oldest ally, a friend and a vital partner. We stand with the French people tonight, as our peoples have always stood together in our darkest hours. These terrorist attacks will only deepen our shared resolve.”


Related First.One.Through articles:

US State Department Comments on Terrorism in Israel and the Territories

The US State Department’s Selective Preference of “Status Quos”

Failures of the Obama Doctrine and the Obama Rationale

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The US State Department’s Selective Preference of “Status Quos”

On September 14, 2015, State Department Spokesperson John Kirby gave a daily press briefing in which he said: “The United States is deeply concerned by the recent violence and escalating tensions surrounding the Haram Al-Sharif/Temple Mount. We strongly condemn all acts of violence. It is absolutely critical that all sides exercise restraint, refrain from provocative actions and rhetoric, and preserve unchanged the historic status quo on the Haram Al-Sharif/Temple Mount in word and in practice.”

The comment came after a clash between Arab rock throwers and Israeli police on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, as Arabs sought to prevent Jews from visiting the site.

Kirby
State Department Spokesperson John Kirby

State Department Status Quo it Favors

The “status quo” that the State Department presumably sought to maintain was the ban on Jewish prayer on the entire 35 acre Temple Mount platform, the Jews’ holiest place on earth.  That ban was put in place by Muslims in the middle of the 16th century, and Israel has allowed the Islamic Waqf to maintain the ban, even after it captured the Old City from Jordan and reunified the city in 1967.

State Department Status Quo it Seeks to Change

Later in this same briefing, Kirby responded to a question as to whether the Oslo Agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians should be scrapped since no Palestinian state was on the horizon: “Secretary Kerry is committed to pursuing a two-state solution, and I think you’re going to see him continue to do that throughout his tenure here at the department. I don’t think anybody’s – certainly not here – willing to give up on that ultimate goal.”

Kerry is “committed” to changing current reality and creating an Arab-led sovereign state in the holy land for the first time in history.

What makes one status quo worth keeping while the other is not? Does the State Department only endorse a status quo which Muslims desire (banning Jews from the Temple Mount) even though it is clearly anti-Semitic? Is it less a matter of favoring Muslim demands over American integrity and principle, but rather a function of seeking the support of 57 Arab countries versus a single Jewish State?

A more proper – and consistent – response would have been that Israel and the Jordanians and Palestinian Arabs will determine any changes to the status of Jerusalem and the holy sites as part of a final peace agreement. Those changes to the status quo will include matters of sovereignty and rights of access and prayer.


Related First One Through articles:

Joint Prayer: The Cave of the Patriarchs and the Temple Mount

The United Nations and Holy Sites in the Holy Land

The Battle for Jerusalem

A “Viable” Palestinian State

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