By N. Richard Greenfield, Publisher ~
Sometimes things come in threes. Last week for Israel that was the case.
First there was the U.S. Ambassador to Belgium lecturing a Jewish audience in Brussels on two kinds of antisemitism as he understands them. One is traditional and the other a result of Israel’s actions in the Middle East.
Then there was Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s rant to the Saban Center’s meeting in Washington that centered on his and his administration’s obsession that all that’s needed for peace in the Middle East is more Israeli concessions to the Arabs. “Just get to the damned table” he sneered not once but twice, as if Israel has been the recalcitrant in these non-negotiations.
And then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, unperturbed by the momentous events going on all across the Middle East chooses to focus on two items on Israel’s legislative agenda. One deals with where women sit on a bus in some small part of the country as advocated by a tiny portion of the population, and the other with outside funds coming in to pervert the Israeli democratic process. As a vibrant democracy, Israel is capable of dealing with these matters on its own. Certainly they are not of the same gravity as the stoning of a woman in Iran or the killing of Copts in Egypt, let alone the regime change for the worse in so many capitals in the region.
None of this would be said if those speaking didn’t feel that it was within the boundaries of acceptable speech approved by this administration. The Obama disdain for Israel, from the Obama-Sarkozy exchange of a few weeks ago, to the outbursts of last week, is certainly evident to anyone who cares to listen.
The State Department’s inept leadership in things Middle East is not new. Anyone familiar with the demise of the Shah of Iran’s regime recognizes the clumsy policy initiatives of yesterday’s State Department — that helped drive the Shah from office — as being of a piece with what we are seeing in the area today — on a much broader scale — from Hillary Clinton’s State Department. Jimmy Carter was amenable to the State Department predisposition against the Shah and facilitated his fall. Today, Barack Obama is playing the same Carteresque role in several other countries in the Middle East, with the assured effect being destabilization on a wider stage. It’s almost as if the only constant in our policy is the State Department’s avowed bias against America’s interests, with Israel being a subset of those policies. That bias surfaces often, but truly has free reign under Democrat Presidents of similar mind.
If Carter gave us an Iran that was destined to continually cause mischief throughout the region, Obama has given us turmoil that will continue to roil the rest of the world. Today, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and soon possibly Syria are being given the same opportunity to harm the West as Iran was given in the late 1970’s. Complicit in all of this is a media that can’t discern the difference between reality and hopefulness. After all, it was National Security’s James Clapper who told us that the Sharia-dedicated Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt is secular and benign. The media has run with that ever since.
Much of our foreign policy is encapsulated in Richard Heffner’s 1975 quote. Said Heffner: “One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.” This is precisely the Obama operating mode in both foreign and domestic policy — and we are making mistakes almost daily because of it.