Line in the Foreign Policy sand.
There have been concerns raised in Israel by left wing pot stirrers to cast the Tea Party as policy isolationists in the Ron Paul mold. It’s a tactic picked up from liberals in the US aligned with the progressive movement, people who naturally fear the Tea Party which poses a significant political threat.
While limited government, fiscal responsibility and accountability have been mainstays of Tea Party domestic politics, the foreign policy side has been more muddled and less cohesive. Alternating between a smaller isolationist fringe and a more traditional GOP idealistic view of America’s role on the world stage.
Palin Vs Paul
Sarah Palin is unabashedly pro-Israel. Ron Paul considered a hostile entity here, is most certainly not. As such, the wing that best defines the Tea Party on foreign policy is of direct interest to Israelis, we rely on our American brethren for support which is crucial to the State of Israel. The Tea Party is a bold new force in American politics, the uncertainty has kept Israelis guessing.
The brand new Tea Party caucus in Washington however, has quickly moved to draw a line in the sand delineating where large portions of the Tea Party stands on critical foreign policy issues. One of their 1st resolutions has half the caucus sending a message loud and clear..
Expressing support for the State of Israel’s right to defend Israeli sovereignty, to protect the lives and safety of the Israeli people, and to use all means necessary to confront and eliminate nuclear threats posed by the Islamic Republic of Iran, including the use of military force if no other peaceful solution can be found within reasonable time to protect against such an immediate and existential threat to the State of Israel. [...]
It’s a signal that the Tea Party may not only choose to be more bold than the GOP on domestic issues, but may show similar rousing boldness and passion in the foreign policy realm as well.
The Resolution is largely symbolic. None of that symbolism will be lost here in the State of Israel.
President Touched A Raw American Nerve
Surrounded by high profile liberal Jewish advisers, Obama promised the world and some regarding his Israeli bonafides while campaigning. The American Jewish community extended the benefit of the doubt despite what were clear warning flags.
- Obama’s hard progressive political views, most often associated with unfriendly parts of the US democratic party.
- Strong ties to African American Black Liberation Theology in the form of a 20 year stint under viciously anti-Israel pastor Jeremiah Wright.
- A consistent pronounced sympathy to Palestinian and Arab narratives
- His primary foreign policy focus, a loudly stated intention to engage with rogue & terror supporting regimes.
We all know the results.
While American public support of Israel was peaking, the White House pursued a highly visible policy of creating daylight between America & Israel. Undermining Israel’s elected government, ratcheting up pressure, and for the 1st time ever turning the Israeli public itself against a sitting US President. All of it simply unheard of.
Obama was gambling, senior administration figures even warned him such policies could cost him dearly..
Gibbs is also a regular at foreign policy meetings. He volunteered that he attended all 33 hours of the Afghanistan briefings, though he noted that he never said a word. He did chime in during last month’s escalating tensions with Israel, if only to make sure the president understood the “conventional wisdom” promoted in the media, that Obama’s toughness with Likud hard-liners would potentially erode his domestic Jewish support. “For a lot of reasons, he would discount that,” Gibbs said, referring to the president.
Obama was wrong..
The American Jewish community, both houses of Congress, the American public have all voiced their anger. The GOP buttressed by poll after poll showing massive pro-Israel support among Republicans (often over 80%), in conjunction with alarming diminishing support among Obama democratic faithful; has seized Israel as a key issue and is running with it politically for the 2010 Mid-Terms. All in the hopes of luring soft democratic Jewish & independent voters to GOP candidates, based on the mounting anger with White House Israel policy and the very public blowout.
As the Obama administration tries to mend its strained ties with Israel, strategists say U.S. policy on the Jewish state could influence several battleground House and Senate races this fall.
Jewish leaders from both parties are watching Senate campaigns in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois and Florida, and a pair of House races in President Barack Obama’s home state where they say Israel policy could loom large. [...]
There is also the matter of funding. Rumors that Jewish funding for democratic candidates, once a torrent has dwindled into a dry wadi. In reaction, a massive WH PR blitz this past month to repair the messaging as Rahm Emmanuel calls it, patch up the dyke so to speak.
Concern mounts. An unfriendly administration, the GOP push politically which seeks to wedge American voters on the issue. All of it threatens what was once a green pasture of strong bi-partisan Israel support in America. The only consolation, many candidates will be yelling loud & proud over each other on both ends of the aisle to establish their own Pro-Israel bonafides with the American public.
Israel - So often already through no fault of its own, has become an all new battleground once again in 2010.
Turks Cashing Into Global Jihad At Our Expense
While the propaganda war rages internationally, here at home we all know what is up or down. Even before the raid occurred and our young men were nearly lynched alive by Islamic Jihad savages, FM Lieberman was calling this just another effort at delegitimizing our state’s very being. The questions should be where is the enemy and how do we neutralize him?
Time to pin the tail on the Donk.. er Turkey.
This Gaza blockade run was financed in Turkey & supported by Erdogan himself. The implicit intention was to smear and propagandize against the State of Israel while simultaneously elevating the Islamist status of Turkey. Merely the latest, but perhaps most egregious act in a long line by the Turks trying to inflate Turkey into a regional Islamic power at Israel’s expense.
TURKEY, THE AKP (Justice and Development Party) and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan are new players in this drama. In its second term the AKP, the self-styled “conservative” Islamist party, has retreated significantly from its “moderate” image and accelerated its internal anti-secularism agenda.
One of the signs of this Islamization process has been the manifest anti-Israeli policy of the Erdogan government. It began with an official visit of the Hamas leadership in Turkey in February 2006, continued with Erdogan’s attack on President Shimon Peres at the 2009 Davos Conference, the downgrading of military cooperation between the two allied countries and a continuous diplomatic crisis. [...]
We have for some reason allowed the level of outright Islamic nonsense emanating from the Turks to reach stratospheric levels..
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu lashed out Tuesday at Israel’s attack on a Gaza aid flotilla and by extension the Obama administration’s reluctance to immediately condemn the assault that left at least nine civilians dead.
“Psychologically, this attack is like 9/11 for Turkey,” Davutoglu told reporters over breakfast in Washington before going to the State Department to meet with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. He referred to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, in which al-Qaeda hijackers used commandeered U.S. airliners to kill nearly 3,000 people.
Beyond the insulting absurdity of that statement the Turks come out looking more like 9/11 truthers than anything else when some sanity is applied here, seeing as they were the ones who actually orchestrated this entire propaganda effort in the 1st place. The fact that this effort was pieced together by actual terrorists while they innocently shout from the victim-hood mountain tops, only makes the Turkish protestations all the more obscene.
The Turkish organizers of the Gaza Strip-bound flotilla that was boarded this morning by Israeli commandos knew well in advance that their vessels would never reach Israeli waters. That’s because the organizers belong to a nonprofit that was banned by the Israeli government in July 2008 for its ties to terrorism finance.
The Turkish IHH (Islan Haklary Ve Hurriyetleri Vakfi in Turkish) was founded in 1992, and reportedly popped up on the CIA’s radar in 1996 for its radical Islamist leanings. Like many other Islamist charities, the IHH has a record of providing relief to areas where disaster has struck in the Muslim world.
However, the organization is not a force for good. The Turkish nonprofit belongs to a Saudi-based umbrella organization known to finance terrorism called the Union of Good (Ittilaf al-Kheir in Arabic). Notably, the Union is chaired by Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, who is known best for his religious ruling that encourages suicide attacks against Israeli civilians. According to one report, Qardawi personally transferred millions of dollars to the Union in an effort to provide financial support to Hamas. [...]
Were we so pre-occupied with maintaining our once fruitful Turkish relations that we somehow overlooked all this? With the result being sending our boys armed with paintball guns into a Jihadist hornets nest? Not exactly a stellar planning or intelligence moment frankly.
Turks Playing with Fire
Meanwhile beyond instigating this whole affair, funding it, and driving the resulting PR bonanza the Turks have also pulled their ambassador, initiated the UN Security Council meeting condemning Israel, and now threaten to actually escort future similar convoys using the Turkish Navy!
Why not just declare war on us & be done with it? Some in the US are awakening to the threat, while we in Israel seemingly prefer to coddle it..
The most ominous aspect of the flotilla incident is Turkey’s involvement. The flotilla bound for Gaza, in violation of the blockade, was allowed to leave a Turkish port. The main sponsor was a Turkish charity known for ties to jihadist groups. The Turkish diplomatic and governmental apparatus sprung into action at the first sign of trouble — which of course there was, since the “peace activists” onboard the flotilla were masked and armed with lead pipes and knives.
Why is this troubling? Because Turkey is a member of NATO. It’s sought to join the European Union for years. For decades, it’s been a key military ally of the United States. Now it’s at the forefront of a global movement to delegitimize America’s ally Israel.
The main factor behind these developments is the rise of Recip Tayipp Erdogan’s AKP. Some years ago, Christopher Caldwell pointed out in our pages that as Turkey democratized, it would also become more Islamic. And that means certain elements, influential elements, of its government and society would become more Islamist. The trend that few have noticed is that these elements are pulling Turkey out of the Western alliance structure and toward the Middle East. The break began in 2003 when the Turks denied the U.S. Fourth Infantry the ability to invade Iraq from the north.
Since 2005, Americans have been worrying about Iran’s ambitions for regional hegemony. Maybe it’s time we started worrying about Turkey’s regional ambitions as well. [...]
What has been our reaction?
Did we pull our Turkish Ambassador as well? Did we assault Turkey verbally? Defend ourselves from the Turkish verbal assaults themselves? Cease arming the Turks with our high technology weapons? No. We are too busy treating the symptoms instead of curing the disease.
Ehud Barak our defense minister held sensitive conversations with senior Turkish officials, apparently his goal was not to vigorously defend Israel or put a stop to this sham, but to make sure that our multi-million dollar UAV sales to the Turks were still on. Sounds like a good deal, for the Turks that is. What are they holding over us? Naked pictures of Barak eating a shawarma!?
Meanwhile the Turks have canceled 3 joint military exercises with us, on top of the cancellation of another last year. Now they are also utilizing their position in NATO to call for another inquiry – This NATO one being beyond the UN games they have already played in the last 48 hours. Wonderful. They got the UN to chew us out, Europe is onboard, and now soon the Atlantic alliance itself will berrate us publicly.
10-0 Turkey. Israeli public less than amused
While our leaders stick their heads in the Turkish beach sand, the public is outraged..
Several protests condemning the violent attacks on Navy commandos by activists on board the Gaza flotilla and expressing support for the Navy were held at Israeli university campuses and highway intersections on Tuesday.
On Monday evening, around 500 protesters waving Israeli flags demonstrated outside of the Turkish embassy in Tel Aviv. Protesters chanted slogans in support of the IDF and held up signs which equated the Turkish government with Hamas.
Planning a Turkish vacation? Beyond the fact that the Israeli govt is advising you never leave your hotel, there is also the fact that you will probably be traveling alone..
Turkish tourist sites will have to make do with tourists from Europe this summer. Israeli workers will take their custom to Cyprus and Greece, if the intentions of workers’ committees are fulfilled.
Vaadim, a firm coordinating information about economic activity among workers’ committees in Israel, published a statement saying that after the wave of anti-Israel propaganda led by Turkey and Turkey’s rapprochement with Iran, together with its dominant role in the “Freedom Flotilla” to Gaza, workers’ committees have declared that workers will not go to Turkey for their vacations – “not even for free.” [...]
Lieberman & Ayalon Humbled?
A few months ago when the Foreign Ministry started turning up the Turkish heat, the left in Israel went bananas. The resulting insanity termed sofagate, and ensuing calls for resignations had less to do with maintaining already brutal Turkish ties and more to do with trying to marginalize Lieberman & Ayalon of Israel Beitenu from what I could garner.
Is this the reason the government is now so accommodating of this egregious Turkish behavior? Were we once bitten twice shy and now our officials are loath to risk political heat with Turkey? It better not be, because it’s time to go on offense, and stop playing Turkish defense. We are under assault from Turkey, and so far the Israeli government response has been well, non-existent.
Take cover fellow Zionists. CNAS (the Center for a New American Security) is perhaps one of the most influential American Think Tanks these days, it is associated directly with the Obama administration as a core policy former. High profile administration members were plucked directly from CNAS for Obama’s administration. Oh Joy.
CNAS are the good people who brought us:
Game Changing Diplomacy
Otherwise known as shelving the military option and engaging like eunuchs with Iran. In fact the entire fruitless 15 months of disastrous American policy in regards to Iran that we have all suffered from, came directly from CNAS. That’s the same fruitless failed policy Sec. Def. Gates recently warned basically amounts to no policy at all!
But Don’t You Worry.. Now they have another whopper on deck for us.
For the past year since Obama took office, CNAS has been working on a special project. A detailed plan & study for:
I wonder who commissioned that one huh?
Exactly the type of protection force you might need if;
- You were to say try & impose a peace deal on the parties.
- Strip Israeli sovereignty and its rights of self defense.
Woohoo! How do you like them apples!? But you don’t need me to explain this, Samantha Power – One of the top tier national security advisers for President Obama already explained how such a force could protect Palestinians from Israeli Genocide previously in this classic, where she outlines the need for a Palestine Protection Force..
Holy Triple Schizer Batman!
Thankfully Rahm Emanuel, the court’s super jew has declared that now is not the time to impose a peace plan, only maybe a bit later on. So this is just a plan, kinda like Game Changing Diplomacy was also ‘just a plan’..
Let’s say it all together now.. Oy Vey.
It’s a 108 pages long, I’ll get back to you once I read it all so you won’t have to..
Obama now pledging that Peace cannot be imposed from outside in a letter to his prime backer Alan Solow. This whole imposition plan has really riled up the feathers on both continents it seems, hardly surprising seeing as the notion breaks every pledge to Israel America has ever made. I hope this Obama pledge is of the iron clad variety, unlike US pledges to Ariel Sharon regarding Jerusalem as well as major settlement blocks, all of which conveniently evaporated when Obama took office..
Fixture in Peace Process for 25 Years No Longer Religious Believer in Power of American Messiah
Miller, a center left State Department fixture who has advised 6 different Secretaries of State is a public policy fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars, prolific author and columnist.
He is considered for better or worse amongst the top US experts on the region & Middle East Peace. He has just penned an article in Foreign Policy that has shaken the American Status Quo to its very foundations.
He describes in the lengthy worthy piece how US policy & Peace Processing has become a religion for American bureaucrats & political leaders, a religion he formerly practiced but now no longer believes in..
Like all religions, the peace process has developed a dogmatic creed, with immutable first principles. Over the last two decades, I wrote them hundreds of times to my bosses in the upper echelons of the State Department and the White House; they were a catechism we all could recite by heart. First, pursuit of a comprehensive peace was a core, if not the core, U.S. interest in the region, and achieving it offered the only sure way to protect U.S. interests; second, peace could be achieved, but only through a serious negotiating process based on trading land for peace; and third, only America could help the Arabs and Israelis bring that peace to fruition.
He describes how these concepts have become immovable dogmas of the religion, and how Obama has thrown himself full force into becoming a believer, pursuing them with zeal. The problem is, Miller no longer carries the faith..
Today, I couldn’t write those same memos or anything like them with a clear conscience or a straight face. Although many experts’ beliefs haven’t changed, the region has, and dramatically, becoming nastier and more complex. U.S. priorities and interests, too, have changed. The notion that there’s a single or simple fix to protecting those interests, let alone that Arab-Israeli peace would, like some magic potion, bullet, or elixir, make it all better, is just flat wrong. In a broken, angry region with so many problems — from stagnant, inequitable economies to extractive and authoritarian governments that abuse human rights and deny rule of law, to a popular culture mired in conspiracy and denial – it stretches the bounds of credulity to the breaking point to argue that settling the Arab-Israeli conflict is the most critical issue, or that its resolution would somehow guarantee Middle East stability.
Uh oh.. This is contrary to the very pillars Obama & his administration have laid forth in their endless Israel Assault of pressure. Leak after leak, statement after statement, all highlighting how solving the Arab Israeli Palestinian conflict is the most critical puzzle piece, and a top American national priority interest. The statements have been piling up in fact.
The American left wing has gone so far as to frame the life & death of American soldiers themselves as requiring immediate resolution of the problem.. Of course, that is patently absurd. But the left, seizing on the anti-Israel attitude is making ever rising claims of absurdity and the false memes are spreading fanned by a loving it media. All this despite individuals like Petraeus himself stating clearly this is simply not the case, that these memes are false.
We have seen so far the results.. Absurd efforts to define local zoning laws in Israel all the way from Washington D.C.; A pressure campaign to topple Netanyahu; Frigid Israeli American relations; Threats, public dressing downs of foreign leaders; A total fantasy like American eyeball aversion to the Palestinians or their actions, while Israel is routinely blamed for everything under the sun.. No matter, the Obami soldier on as if on Crusade to borrow from Miller’s religious metaphor.
Miller doesn’t see the factors for Peace
He writes that Obama & advisers are trying to manufacture artificially the necessary components for peace and a deal using sheer American will. But that this is an illusion as there are no partners currently, or willingness in the region in order to conclude such a deal irrespective of America’s will, and that in the end this will result in a stunning American failure.
Bottom line: Negotiations can work, but both Arabs and Israelis (and American leaders) need to be willing and able to pay the price. And they are not.
Under these circumstances, the refrain from many quarters is that America must save the day. If the Arabs and Israelis are too weak or recalcitrant, then the United States must support and/or push them to make the deal.
Miller chides the administration for making huge errors in the focus on settlements, and questions the logic behind the Obama strategies themselves as they do not lead in any way to a deal or peace, only to expending more & more American political capital without benefit, concluding..
The believers need to re-examine their faith, especially at a moment when America is so stretched and overextended. The United States needs to do what it can, including working with Israelis and Palestinians on negotiating core final-status issues (particularly on borders, where the gaps are narrowest), helping Palestinians develop their institutions, getting the Israelis to assist by allowing Palestinians to breathe economically and expand their authority, and keeping Gaza calm, even as it tries to relieve the desperation and sense of siege through economic assistance. But America should also be aware of what it cannot do, as much as what it can. [...]
In many ways there are subtle & not so subtle jabs at the Obama admin here, the entire religious framework and Yes We Can attitude gets a thorough lashing in Miller’s piece. Time for believers to re-examine the faith, the statement is directed at the Department of State, the NSC & Obama himself and the message is clear enough, cut it out because No We Can’t.
Miller was on to something..
He posited that the Obama administration on the Arab Israeli conflict was not transformational, but transactional – Trying to focus on the dozens of details and seeking endless concessions to iron them out to produce a deal. But, he felt that as tough as the Obama admin may get to wring concessions, they would have to be respectful of Israel & the relationship to succeed.
He stated that listening to Israel would be more important than lecturing Israel in order to notch gains. That American will & opinion matched that of Israeli will & opinion, that the countries identified with each other on a powerful plane, and that Obama would need to proceed cautiously lest he upset that balance..
Off a cliff
We have since seen the admin push this transactional concept to the very edge right along with the US Israel relationship itself, thoroughly disregarding Miller’s warnings. Precisely because they do not listen, they do not respect, and many suspect they do not care about Israel in the least. I would add to Miller’s provocative & interesting piece that not only he, but a great many are now no longer believers..
If you want to know why you need only look at President Obama and his ugly relationship with the State of Israel.
Obama Peace Plan?
The unfriendly American administration which has perpetuated crisis over settlements and Jerusalem has squandered Israeli trust & faith in its efforts to endlessly court Muslims & the Arab world, all of it at American & Israeli strategic expense as the move to halt Iran flounders.
84% – Overwhelming majority refuse division of Jerusalem.
90% – Overwhelming majority refuse handing off Jordan River Valley security zone.
81% – Overwhelming majority state Obama “improper” to ‘impose’ plan.
Polling of Palestinians themselves shows overwhelming opposition to any Peace or two state solution!
Would accept the creation of a Palestinian state within the pre-1967 borders with a land exchange as a final solution for the Palestinian problem?
66.7% against VS 28.3% in favor, and 5% who did not know or did not express an opinion.
Would support division of Jerusalem as a capital of two states?
77.4 opposed such a plan VS 20.8% in favor, and 1.8% had no opinion or chose not to express it.
The Obama administration seems incapable of embracing Arab rejections of peace. Senior Obama officials continue to meet privately in the White House with the radically left American Jewish group Jstreet, with prominent anti Israel figures like Brzezinski, all of it in order to seemingly form policy. Policy that is totally unacceptable in Israel, and is clearly oblivious to both Israeli political & public reality!?
Brezinski may have proposed the latest imposed peace plan, but calling for America to impose a fake plan that delivers no peace, only endless Israeli concesions is long standing policy for far left American groups like Peace Now, J Street etc. Meanwhile, the policy of linking endless Israeli concessions & Palestinian statehood to stopping Iran from developing nuclear weapons is alive & well, despite the fact that a prominent proponent of engagement himself has declared this linkage policy to be a serious mistake.
Just how far is President Obama willing to go to accommodate the idea of containing a nuclear Iran, as opposed to stopping one?
I mean beyond..
- Creating crises after crises with Israel.
- Embracing false Arab narratives.
- Watering down sanctions.
- Rejecting congressional fuel sanction efforts.
- Freezing arms sales to Israel.
- Dividing Jerusalem.
- Polling at 4% in the holy land.
- Overlooking Syrian SCUD weapon exports to Hezbollah