By Adam Hasner
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
For decades, the world knew America would stand beside its allies.
In World Wars, and Cold Wars, in good times and bad, an alliance with America meant that even at the cost of blood and treasure, our allies could count on this nation to honor its commitments. Now, President Obama has again put that hard-won reputation at risk by failing to fight a vote in the United Nations that threatens the very existence of Israel, our most faithful ally in the region and the one nation in the Middle East that shares our values.
Even before it became an independent state, the Islamic world denied Israel’s right to exist and sought to destroy it. After launching and losing repeated wars against Israel, they turned to political efforts in the mid-1970’s that have since proven much more successful. In fact, the full extent of their progress and influence will be on display this week in New York City, where the Palestinian Authority and the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) intend to force a vote in the U.N. General Assembly to unilaterally declare the independence of a Palestinian state.
The Palestinian Authority is hoping that a U.N. General Assembly declaration will allow it to unleash a legal tsunami against Israel, and justify the violence it continues to incite. It is a direct attempt by the Palestinians to circumvent peace negotiations, to undermine international law, to demonize and delegitimize Israel, and to avoid responsibilities and commitments required of them under previously signed agreements. A promised veto alone by the United States in the Security Council would be too little, too late.
Why does the Palestinian Authority feel empowered to act so boldly?
The answer lies in the Obama administration’s enduring hostility for Israel, the one nation in the Middle East that has been a steadfast ally of the United States.
Time and time again, President Obama has demeaned and diminished Israel, opting instead for a policy that puts “daylight” between us, in order to placate Islamist states with values inimical to Israel's and our own. This administration has turned a blind eye to the ongoing incitement to violence, glorification of terrorism, and the hateful indoctrination of children committed by both Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party and the Hamas terrorist organization. And they have ignored unprovoked missile attacks and bombings against Israeli civilians.
The United Nations vote could have been stopped by the Obama administration if it had acted decisively from the beginning.
Instead, President Obama's few and hollow statements of support for Israel are pro-forma, half-hearted, and self-serving. The Palestinian Authority and the OIC are willing to pursue a unilateral declaration of independence at the United Nations because they have seen that President Obama speaks softly and carries a small stick.
Given his irresponsible leadership, there must be a strong response from Congress, including the elimination of all American funding of the Palestinian Authority and ending our financial support for corrupt United Nations operations that are at variance with our strategic interests. Americans should be outraged that the Palestinian Authority uses their tax dollars to pay over $5 million a month in salaries to jailed terrorists, and that we will be footing 25 percent of the bill as Iranian President Ahmadinejad preaches hatred at the United Nations’ Durban III conference next week.
President Obama has argued that increased American engagement and funding of these corrupt institutions is necessary, and that our involvement will help bring balance and moderation to them. To the contrary, our participation merely lends the legitimacy and resources needed to perpetuate their injustices. The truth is that the extent of our support for Israel, and the willingness to withhold support for the Palestinian Authority and the United Nations, is a direct reflection of our ability to recognize what is helpful and what is harmful to America’s interests.
Israelis neither an aggressor nor an occupier. The Jews’ legal, religious, historical, and moral rights to the Land are superior to those of the Palestinian-Arabs. Nevertheless, they have always shown a willingness to share with the Arabs, having formally offered land for peace numerous times, only to be met with rejection and additional terrorism in every instance. Just this past week Prime Minister Netanyahu again called for good-faith negotiations without preconditions.
The coming efforts at the United Nations clearly demonstrate that the establishment of a 23rd Arab state called Palestine is not what is truly desired. It’s the establishment of a Palestine on the ruins of Israel which is the inevitable result of their efforts. Efforts sadly bolstered and encouraged by the actions of President Obama.
If America is truly Israel’s greatest ally, we should not be asking it to put its citizens and future at risk by forcing the establishment of a hostile Palestinian state as the only option. Israel is vital to America’s strategic interests and we should be fighting to defend its sovereignty and security, and immediately move to slash funding to the Palestinian Authority and the United Nations.
The bonds of trust between the United States and Israel have been frayed, but even the hostility and disrespect the Obama administration has shown has not severed those bonds. It is vital that Americans who honor our commitment to Israel and who appreciate Israel's steadfast support of America, stand up and speak out against this vote. Allowing it to go forward would compound the failure of the Obama administration and put our closest ally at existential risk.