Obama puts Israel at risk
As he and Netanyahu prepare to meet, US-Israeli relations are sinking toward an all-time low.
The May 18 meeting between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is critical for both nations. US-Israeli relations are in danger of deteriorating to the lowest point since Dwight Eisenhower ordered Israeli troops to evacuate Sinai in 1956 – an event that contributed to the 1967 Six-Day War. The summit may define relations between these two democracies for the duration of the Obama administration and beyond.Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
The White House seems to be intentionally slighting Israel in advance of the summit, even as it raises the stakes. Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, and National Security Adviser Gen. James Jones appear to have linked US willingness to stop Iran's nuclear program to receiving Israeli concessions regarding the two-state solution.
This is both immoral and counterproductive. Immoral, because it is dangerously close to blackmailing the Jewish state with a nuclear holocaust, planned by the Holocaust denier-in-chief, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Counterproductive, because potential Iranian nukes would threaten American interests and allies in the Middle East, including the oil-producing Gulf states.
The Obama administration is advocating steps that would jeopardize Israeli security. There is concern that it might approve an Arab-backed plan that could compel Israel to withdraw to indefensible 1967 cease-fire lines. The late, dovish Israeli foreign minister, Abba Eban, called these lines "the borders of Auschwitz."
It also wants Israel to join the ineffective Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The US had committed in a bilateral agreement not to tamper with the Israeli nuclear shield. At a time when Iran seems on the verge of acquiring nuclear weapons, this is like demanding that a man in a rough neighborhood give up his shotgun when the criminal next door is getting a Kalashnikov.
All this occurs at a time when the terrorist organization Hamas is gaining strength. Polls predict that it would win Palestinian elections. If "Hamastan" arises in Gaza and the West Bank, it will probably become the next terror state, one keenly interested in destabilizing the US ally Jordan, as well.