UPDATES 7 pm Israel time, Friday, March 21 2014:
*The IDF has uncovered what appears to be the longest and largest tunnel (actually a multi-tunnel complex) ever found running from Gaza into southern Israel. Whether it is a new tunnel or not depends on whom you listen to. According to Hamas, the tunnel is just the refurbished extension of an older tunnel which the IDF found a few years ago and partially destroyed.
Whatever the case, the comments coming out the IDF spokesman’s office today were revealing in their own way: “The IDF sees the tunnel as an attack on Israeli sovereignty and a clear violation of agreements reached in Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012.”
Say what? Is there any other way to “see” the tunnel except as an attack on Israeli sovereignty? Why is even necessary to mention any “agreements” with Hamas following Operation Pillar of Defense? We all know that Hamas has been building tunnels into Israel from the moment it took over Gaza.
Referring to these tunnels as “violations of agreements” is nothing more than an IDF General Staff excuse to do nothing.
Earlier this month on March 3rd, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann caused a stir in American Jewish circles with this comment excoriating some in the Jewish community for their blind fidelity to American President Obama at the expense of Israel in regard to extending the Iranian sanctions:
The Jewish community gave him their votes, their support, their financial support and as recently as last week, forty-eight Jewish donors who are big contributors to the president wrote a letter to the Democrat [sic] senators in the US Senate to tell them to not advance sanctions against Iran. This is clearly against Israel’s best interest. What has been shocking has been seeing and observing Jewish organizations who it appears have made it their priority to support the political priority and the political ambitions of the president over the best interests of Israel. They sold out Israel (see entire interview here).
Your humble servant is not going to waste space today pointing out how many left-wing organizations immediately issued scathing indictments of Bachmann for this statement, but suffice it to mention one–a Huffington Post article written by Samantha Lachmann that appears on the J Street website (click here for link).
The article begins this way:
“U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) has very strong feelings about Israel, and she’s disappointed that American Jews don’t have the same feelings she does.”
After quoting Bachmann, it concludes with this paragraph:
“Seventy percent of Jewish American voters picked President Barack Obama when he ran for reelection in 2012. J Street, a pro-peace lobbying group that supports a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, commissioned a poll that year which found that just 10 percent of Jewish American voters identified Israel as one of their top two voting issue priorities.”
The irony of course is that far from undermining Bachmann’s argument, the Huffington/J Street article supports it completely. Many American Jews see support of Barack Obama as their number one priority–and do not see Israel as a priority at all.
Yesterday, we had a perfect example of this.
Three days ago Israel Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon presented a harsh criticism of the weakness of the Obama Administration. In that criticism, Ya’alon said that Israel cannot depend on Obama to stop the Iranian nuclear program.
He supported his contention by saying: “The Sunni camp expected that the US would support it, and would be as determined as Russia is in its support of the Shiite axis. I hear voices of disappointment in the region. I was in Singapore, and I heard disappointment at the strengthening of China and the weakening of the United States. Look what’s happening in the Ukraine; there, to my sorrow, the US is broadcasting weakness.”
He concluded his lengthy remarks by saying: “If you wait at home, terror will come calling again. This is a war of civilizations. If you are perceived to be weak, that certainly does not pay in the world. I hope the US will reassert itself.”
Is anything that Ya’alon said untrue? The simple fact is that he was precisely correct in his assessment of the geopolitical situation. All of his comments emanate from his fervent desire to defend Israel.
But read some of the comments from American Jewish organizations yesterday.
First, from the national director of the National Jewish Democratic Council: “Ya’alon has clearly crossed a line with these absurd and over-the-top attacks against Israel’s strongest ally. His remarks are simply inappropriate for someone of Ya’alon’s stature. Despite his tepid apology, we expect better from Ya’alon in the future.”
Next, we had this from the Israel Policy Forum:
“Ya’alon is compromising US-Israeli relations. His obstructionist outbursts simply support a view that Israel is not negotiating in good faith and better serves its critics and those opposed to a lasting peace.We believe that Ya’alon’s criticisms of President Obama’s diplomatic efforts with Iran were unwarranted and not constructive. His statements demonstrate a pattern of behavior which is not appropriate for the proper conduct of Israel’s diplomacy.”
Your humble servant has little to add.
American Jews and American Jewish organizations selling out Israel in order to support Obama has become an appalling phenomenon on the American Jewish scene.