The U.S. and Israel
What to do?

PrIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama in the Oval Office, March 5, 2012.


A responsible U.S. policy on Israel would have the president and high U.S. officials in his administration unambiguously advance U.S. interests and restore trusting relations with Israel. Here are the essential elements:

1.  The U.S. would declare that Israel needs no approval from Washington or anyone else to defend itself from the perils it sees. Moreover, the U.S. would declare that Israel would have U.S. military and political support if it decided it had to take military action to defend itself against attack.

2.  The U.S. would declare that the continued existence of Israel is a vital U.S. interest.

3.  With regard to Iran, the U.S. would declare that Iran’s declaration of intent to end Israel’s existence combined with Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and the means of delivering them near and far constitutes a mortal threat to Israel as well as a threat to other vital U.S. interests. This threat is so great as to justify preemptive military action unless immediately removed.

4.  The U.S. would declare that Israel has a right to exist as a Jewish state with defensible and secure borders and to have its capital in an undivided Jerusalem.

5.  The U.S. would declare that it would be guided by the foregoing principles insofar as they concern negotiations between representatives of Palestinian Arabs and Israel, ensuring Palestinian Arabs a secure state of their own.

6.  The U.S. would declare that it opposes the practice of government-supplied educational materials and government-run institutions, such as schools, newspapers, and television programs that disseminate hate-inspiring messages about Israel, the United States, Jews, Christians, or any other group. The U.S. would take these heinous practices into account in all aspects of its relationships with governments that engage in them, including foreign aid.

— Jack David is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. He was deputy assistant secretary of defense for combating weapons of mass destruction and negotiations policy from 2004 to 2006.

Israel is the U.S.’s most important ally in the Middle East because Israel and the U.S. have a shared perception of their national interests. They also share the same enemies. A sound Israel policy is nothing more than a sound national-security policy. Such a policy should be predicated on the aim of defeating the U.S.’s foes and strengthening the U.S.’s enemies.

What this means in practice is that a sane U.S. policy toward Israel involves adopting policies that are diametrically opposed to nearly every policy President Obama has adopted since entering office.

Specifically, it involves the U.S. standing by its allies and standing against its enemies in the Middle East. The U.S. should end its dangerous support for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. It should take active measures to support the overthrow of the Assad regime in Syria and the mullocracy in Iran. It should take concerted steps to end Hezbollah’s control over Lebanon. It should end its unconditional support for the Palestinians, end U.S. training of the Palestinian army, encourage Israel to expand its security control in Judea and Samaria, and weaken Hamas’s military strength in Gaza.

Moreover, the U.S. should work with Israel to destroy Iran’s nuclear installations and to secure and destroy Syria’s chemical and biological arsenal and its ballistic missiles.

The U.S. should also end its support for the Islamist regime in Turkey and condition Turkey’s continued membership in NATO on a complete strategic about-face for Ankara. Ankara must end its support for Hamas. It must cease its bullying of Cyprus and Greece and stop threatening the Cypriot and Israeli natural-gas deposits in the Mediterranean. Moreover it must agree to again participate in joint exercises with the Israeli military. Turkey’s continued membership in NATO should also be made contingent on the cessation of the imprisonment of Turkey’s senior officer corps and its journalists.

Whether he leaves office in January 2013 or January 2017, Obama’s legacy in the Middle East will be one of treachery and appeasement. He has wrecked the U.S.’s reputation as a trustworthy ally and a dangerous foe. The most urgent task of the next administration will be to correct the damage he has caused.

— Caroline B. Glick is the senior contributing editor of the Jerusalem Post.


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