At a fundraiser in New York last week, President Obama said his administration “has done more in terms of the security of the state of Israel than any previous administration.”
Is the President looking at the same record we are? Last week’s news abounded with evidence that his administration often coddles forces opposed to Israel’s very existence while his officials publicly brutalize Israel in the diplomatic arena.
Displays of hostility towards Israel have become a habit for members of the Obama administration. His ambassador to Belgium argued last week in a speech to the European Jewish Union that pervasive anti-Semitism among Muslims was Israel’s fault. “A distinction should be made,” he said, “between traditional anti-Semitism, and Muslim hatred for Jews, which stems from the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.” This outrageous attempt to dismiss “hatred for Jews” as a political problem should have immediately disqualified the ambassador from continuing to serve in President’s administration.
Also last week, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta declared that Israel needed to “just get to the damn table” with Palestinians, implying that Israel is the primary obstacle to Middle East peace.
Who is it, exactly, that Israel needs to “get to the damn table” with? Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, has stopped short of even recognizing Israel’s right to exist. He has also repeatedly insisted that Israel abandon its right to defend its borders even after a Palestinian state is created.
Other high level members of Abbas’s government have been even less coy. One declared earlier this year that Abbas’s Fatah party “has never recognized Israel and will never do so.” And last month, the Palestinian Authority’s ambassador to India wrote in the PA newspaper:
“[Israelis] have a common mistake, or misconception by which they fool themselves, assuming that Fatah accepts them and recognizes the right of their state to exist, and that it is Hamas alone that loathes them and does not recognize the right of this state to exist. They ignore the fact that this state, based on a fabricated [Zionist] enterprise, never had any shred of a right to exist…”
These are the people with whom Secretary Panetta claims Israel must “get to the damn table”?
While administration officials publicly criticize Israel, they welcome into their offices Islamist groups that express ideologies counter to free societies and the existence of an Israeli state. Just days after chastising Israel for “unfair” treatment of women, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will welcome a Saudi-based Islamist group, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to Washington for a conference on “tolerance.” Far from a tolerant organization, however, a primary mission of the OIC is to restrict free speech critical of Islam. As Nina Shea and Paul Marshall wrote in the Wall Street Journal on Monday:
In 2009, the “International Islamic Fiqh [Jurisprudence] Academy,” an official OIC organ, issued fatwas calling for free speech bans, including “international legislation” aimed at protecting “the interests and values of [Islamic] society,” and for judicial punishment for public expression of apostasy from Islam. OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu emphasizes that “no one has the right to insult another for their beliefs.”
In one example of policies advocated by the OIC, they report that “In Afghanistan, Ali Mohaqeq Nasab, editor of “Haqooq-i-Zen” (“Women’s Rights”) magazine, was imprisoned by the Karzai government for publishing “un-Islamic” articles criticizing stoning as a punishment for adultery.”
Entertaining Islamist organizations is not restricted to the State Department, either. In October, the Department of Justice removed all references to Islam from its terror training materials after what were described as “complaints from advocacy organizations including the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and others identified as Muslim Brotherhood front groups in the 2004 Holy Land Foundation terror fundraising trial.”
All of this happened in just one week: One of the President’s ambassadors said Israel was to blame for anti-Semitism, his Secretary of Defense said Israel needs to “just get to the damn table” with negotiating partners who refuse to recognize its right to exist, and his Secretary of State criticized Israeli treatment of women as occasionally “unfair” while welcoming to Washington an organization which promotes censorship of speech about Islamism.
And this is the administration that has “done more in terms of the security of the state of Israel than any previous administration”?
We aren’t fooled.