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Sunday, September 20, 2015

Shmuel Rosner, "Israel Needs New Friends": Actually, Israel Needs a New American President

Have you taken the time to read "Ally," the recently published book by Michael Oren, Israel's former ambassador to the United States? Although not on a par with Oren's masterful "Six Days of War," Oren effectively describes in "Ally" the systematic efforts of the Obama administration since 2009 to create public crises between Israel and America. Oren writes in the last chapter of "Ally" of the need to "repair" the US-Israeli alliance:

"The world, meanwhile, watches us. Friends and adversaries alike - the French and the Iranians, the Japanese and the jihadists - all look at the alliance as a litmus of America's willingness to stand up for its fellow democracy and even to stand up for itself. The alliance is vital not only for its two partners, but also for the security of all nations.

Which is why, after a half decade of tensions, we must begin the process of repair. The greatest single quality in a leader, I have long observed is clearsightedness. The greatest single quality in a leader, I have long observed is clearsightedness. The foreign relations field is dense with fog, and the ability to see through it is essential. American and Israeli leaders must discern their confluent interests and work to restore them. They must restore those three 'no's' - no surprises, no daylight, no public altercations - in their relations. They must revisit the meaning of ally."

All true, but the US-Israeli alliance cannot be restored until Obama leaves the White House. Nothing is more instructive concerning Obama's view of long-term alliances with Western friends than his removal of the bust of Winston Churchill from the Oval Office. Regarding Obama's view of America's alliance with Israel, one need only recall how - just one year ago - Obama attempted to impose hostile Qatari and Turkish mediation upon Israel while Hamas was firing thousands of missiles at Israel, and also cut off military supplies in the middle of this conflict in order to bend Israel to his will. You see, great man that he thinks he is, Obama is intent upon creating a new world order, although he now bears personal responsibility for the deaths of more than 200,000 people in Syria and the cataclysmic rise of the Islamic State.

In a New York Times op-ed entitled "Israel Needs New Friends," Shmuel Rosner observes the tensions caused to the US-Israeli relationship by Obama's nuclear deal with Iran's Supreme Leader Khamenei and concludes:

"For the foreseeable future, the United States will likely remain Israel’s main ally. But it must not be Israel’s only ally.

It can no longer be the 'no-plan-B' type of ally or a 'no daylight' ally. The Obama administration now believes that the United States has certain critical interests, and Mr. Netanyahu’s government believes that Israel has certain critical interests — and they are not the same. As a result, the policies of the two countries are no longer compatible on several key issues. For Israel, finding a way to supplement its ties with Washington is therefore not a luxury; it’s an urgent necessity."

But to whom might Israel turn? Rosner alternatively suggests India, China, Saudi Arabia and Europe. But whereas India is hungry for Israeli military goods, China has heavily invested in Israeli hi-tech companies, and Saudi Arabia is an implacable enemy of Iran, these countries do not share the cultural affinity that Israel has with America. Moreover, these countries are not committed to Israel's existence at a time when Iran is moving troops into Syria and continuing to threaten Israel with annihilation.

Europe? No way. An economically moribund Europe is awash with anti-Semitism, owing in part to mass immigration from the Muslim Middle East. This, in turn, has led to inexorable changes in its demographics and foreign relations.

Israel has no "alternative" other than the US, and notwithstanding Obama's efforts to rend this union asunder, it is and will be, for the foreseeable future, a marriage for the most part made in heaven.

Yes, I know, prior to the advent of the Obama administration, there were spats between the United States and Israel, as recounted in Yehuda Avner's marvelous book "The Prime Ministers." However, prior presidents did not, as a matter of policy, seek to publicize these differences, as has been done by the Obama administration.

Bottom line: In another year and four months, the United States will have a new president, and whoever she/he may be, Republican or Democrat, the relationship between America and Israel will begin to heal.

In the meantime, however, how much more damage can Obama do to America's relationship with Israel? Stay tuned . . .

1 comment:

  1. Nothing certain about the Democratic Party throwing off their 'anti-colonialism' ideology, which was Obama's reason for removing the Churchill bust.

    Since 1968, they have succeeded in changing view of history taught in the classroom to the point where Thomas Jefferson is now disavowed by the Democratic Party.

    As Naftali Bennett would say: the Chinese do not even mention 'settlements'.