Pres. Barack Obama, who got his start in politics in the living room of domestic terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn and spent his first year in office apologizing for American history, has now decisively tipped U.S. foreign policy toward America’s enemies. Events of the past week have left no doubt.
There is a pattern. President “Let No Crisis Be Wasted” Obama twists events to justify his radical agenda. A financial crisis becomes the excuse for a massive health-care entitlement. An oil spill is exploited to push an unpopular energy tax. And a jihadist publicity stunt — the Gaza flotilla — becomes the occasion to throw Israel to the wolves.
One mentions Ayers and Dohrn not to dwell on the past but because — hello! — the pair has been involved with the Free Gaza movement, one of the organizers of the so-called Freedom Flotilla. Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez has announced that he too would like to participate in the next running of the blockade — and why not? President Obama has blessed the project.
By 1) declaring through Secretary of State Clinton that the blockade of Gaza is “unsustainable and unacceptable”; 2) joining the U.N. Security Council in “condemn[ing] those acts which resulted in the loss of at least ten civilians and many wounded”; and 3) having a White House official tell the Washington Post that there is now a “general sense in the administration that it’s time to change our Gaza policy,” the Obama administration has handed the terrorists a victory.
To review: In 2005, Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza, forcibly uprooting 8,500 Jewish settlers and evacuating all soldiers. The Palestinians were left free to form their own government and run their own affairs. Much of value was left behind. MSNBC reported at the time that “American Jewish donors . . . bought more than 3,000 greenhouses from Israeli settlers in Gaza for $14 million last month and transferred them to the Palestinian Authority. Former World Bank President James Wolfensohn, who brokered the deal, put up $500,000 of his own cash.”
But the day after Israeli troops departed, the greenhouses were looted. MSNBC reported: “Palestinian police stood by helplessly Tuesday as looters carted off materials from greenhouses in several settlements, and commanders complained they did not have enough manpower to protect the prized assets. In some instances, there was no security and in others, police even joined the looters, witnesses said.”
In 2007, Hamas, the Iranian-backed, Islamist terror group, staged a coup and gained control of Gaza. Too busy to tend greenhouses, they occupied themselves raining 10,000 missiles on Israeli cities and sending kidnappers and suicide bombers across the border.
Israel imposed a blockade to prevent Hamas from receiving weapons or the materials from which to make weapons. Egypt too blockades Gaza. Food, medicine, and other humanitarian relief flow to the inhabitants on a daily basis through Israel. There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza. As the Washington Post, reports “Gazans readily admit that they are not going hungry . . . [but they] used to be earning $100 per day, smoking Marlboros and going to Egypt every two months on vacation.”
Hamas’s charter calls for Israel’s destruction, and for the murder of all Jews “no matter how long that should take.” By focusing on the blockade — as the jihadis and blockade-runners would wish — instead of on Israel’s justified self-defense, the administration has undermined our own arguments for defeating terrorists.
The administration let it be known that it had “warned” Israel to “use restraint” against the Gaza convoy. There was no corresponding warning to Turkey about supporting and supplying the illegal flotilla. Come to think of it, where was the U.S. warning to Turkey or Brazil for linking arms with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last month and easing Iran’s path to a nuclear bomb?
The depths of President Obama’s radicalism were evident a year ago, when he sided with Hugo Chávez and the Castro brothers against the people of Honduras as Chávez wannabe Manuel Zelaya attempted to seize power in violation of the country’s constitution. For an American leader to side openly with leftist thugs was shocking.
And when President Obama lost his voice as thousands of brave Iranians braved clubs and bullets to demand their freedom, his values were suspect.
But this week is a new low. Under President Obama’s leadership, the United States has capitulated to terror tactics and to the despicable temptation to blame Israel. America has always been the one country in the world that reliably countered the bullying and the grotesque double standards much of the world applies to Israel. Obama has now joined the jackals. What a disgrace.
– Mona Charen is a nationally syndicated columnist. © 2010 Creators Syndicate, Inc.