Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Leadership and Lack of Leadership

Canada's Prime Minister Harper

Canadian Prime Minister Condemns Obama, West for Not Supporting Israel
-Thomas Rose

In perhaps his most strongly worded statement to date, Prime Minister Harper proclaimed that self defense is "not merely an Israeli right" to be exercised only in the abstract, but an "Israeli obligation" that must be defended by all Western nations

“Failure by the international community to condemn these reprehensible actions will encourage these terrorists to continue their appalling actions,’’ Harper said in a rare Sunday statement. “Canada calls on its allies and partners to recognize that these terrorist acts [by Hamas] are unacceptable and that solidarity with Israel is the best way of stopping the conflict."

Forget about the U.S.-Israel relationship being the bulwark of Israeli security, say some. Israel’s best friend and staunchest defender is no longer found in Washington, but rather in Ottawa.  

America’s curiously selective moral calculus -Michael Freund

With a predictability that is rapidly becoming mind-numbing monotony, various US officials from the president on down have been stressing the need for Israel to exercise restraint in its counter- terror operation in Gaza so as to minimize Palestinian civilian casualties.

In addition to President Barack Obama, this concern has been voiced in recent days in one form or another by none other than US Secretary of State John Kerry, US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro, as well as the spokesmen for the State Department and the White House.

And just in case we didn’t get the message the fourth or fifth time it was delivered in public, both the president and the secretary of state are said to have repeated it in private telephone conversations with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

But Washington’s recurring mantra about restraint is not merely tiresome, it is profoundly hypocritical, and it highlights just to what degree Obama’s foreign policy resembles the parent who tells his child, with cigarette in hand: “do as I say, not as I do.” America had few qualms about killing twice as many civilians as terrorists in its drone strikes in Yemen.

Sure, the Obama administration has voiced its support for Israel’s right to defend itself. But by couching this phrase alongside an overly insistent need for restraint, Washington is in fact sending the following message: you Jews can of course defend yourselves, but only up to a point.

[Jerusalem Post]

Will Kerry Hand Hamas a Victory? -Jonathan S. Tobin

Four days into Israel’s ground operations in Gaza casualties are rising on both sides, but the only ones who seems to be cracking under the pressure are President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry.  [T]he administration may be...about to make yet another mistake...one that will allow Hamas to emerge from the fray with a victory.

Hamas may have, for once, underestimated the resolve of both Israel’s government and its people. If it is allowed to continue, there is a chance that Israel will finally land a lethal blow against the group that is the real obstacle to peace in the region.

[B]y constantly carping about Israel’s counter-attacks after Hamas launched the current war, the administration has encouraged the terrorists to believe that the U.S. won’t let them be defeated. Thus Kerry’s decision to fly to Cairo to work on a cease-fire is exactly the news that Hamas wanted to hear.

[T]he U.S. appears to be as clueless as ever about the stakes involved in this fight and cracking under the pressure generated by the Palestinians sacrificed by Hamas on the altar of their jihadist mission. If so, the price paid by both Israelis and Palestinians in the future will be considerable.


Joel said...

Very insightful. Obama's and Kerry's wishy-washy "Yes, but ..." support of Israel encourages the terrorists to continue murdering, and, in the long run, leads to more loss of life in both Israel and the Palestinian territories. So tragic and unnecessary.

Bruce said...

Indeed, indeed. Thank you so much for posting your comment.

We are living through an interesting time. Israel is carving out new tactics and strategies. But the world needs to learn new approaches to terror and jihad. Daniel Pipes, PhD once called it "education by murder." May G-d help us.

Perhaps the new EU statement against Hamas is a hopeful sign.