The Celebrate Israel Festival on May 31 at Pier 94, slated to be the largest gathering to date of Israeli-Americans in New York.
It seems clear that there is a lot more to the current developments regarding Syria than Israel’s bombing some sites there, though staunching the flow of Iranian weapons to Hizbullah through Syria is plainly a significant objective.
For one thing, President Obama seized on the attacks as an opportunity to reiterate his support of Israel’s right to do what, in its judgment, it has to in order to protect its citizens – in this case interdicting deadly weapons to be used against Israel. This straightforward declaration, sans the typical non-committal jargon we have come to expect from public officials, is most welcome and should be applauded for the message it sends to Israel’s enemies, including Iran. But it also sends the implicit message that he reserves a similar right to make judgment when it comes to protecting the interests of the United States – a significant matter given the differences between Israel and the U.S. over the threats posed by Iran and Syria.
Israel’s successful bombing of Syrian targets seems to have given the lie to dire warnings concerning the capability of Syria’s anti-aircraft defenses. This is a message of sorts to the Iranians as well that Israel – and by extension the U.S. – will not, when push comes to shove, be deterred by extravagant threats and that a way will be found to do what has to be done.
Then there was the matter of the president’s unfortunate gaffe in drawing a line regarding Syria’s use of chemical weapons. In a warning to President Bashar Assad, Mr. Obama said that “A red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized.” He followed up later with, “The use of chemical weapons is and would be totally unacceptable…. If you make the tragic mistake of using these weapons, there will be consequences and you will be held accountable.”
Apparently, those strong words from the president, delivered at a press conference in answer to a reporter’s question, were beyond what was originally contemplated. As a senior administration official told The New York Times, “The idea was to put a chill into the Assad regime without actually trapping the president into any predetermined action…what the president said…was unscripted.”
Now, risking an erosion of credibility on the international stage, the president is having second thoughts on how to react and is reduced to proclaiming a lack of clear and convincing evidence concerning the use of chemical weapons. To be sure, whether to commit the U.S. to war over the use of chemical weapons in a civil war far from home is not an easy call. But the president seems to have boxed himself in, at least in the short run.
Indeed there is plenty in play on the Syrian front.
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We take a whole person approach, giving our people assistance with whatever they need.
During my spiritual journey I discovered G-d spoke to man only once, to the Jewish people at Sinai
20 years after the great Ethiopian aliyah, we must treat them like everyone else; no better or worse
Many Black protesters compared Baltimore’s unrest to the Palestinian penchant of terrorism & rioting
She credited success to “mini” decisions-Small choices building on each other leading to big changes
Shavuot 1915, 200000 Jews were expelled; amongst the largest single expulsions since Roman times
Realizing there was no US military threat, Iran resumed, expanded & accelerated its nuclear program
“Enlightened Jews” who refuse to show chareidim the tolerance they insist we give to Arabs sicken me
Somewhat surprisingly, the Vatican’s unwelcome gesture was diametrically at odds with what President Obama signaled in an interview with the news outlet Al Arabiya.
The recent solid victory of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party produced something very different.
The reaction is so strong that nine times out of ten, parents engage in some form of coping mechanism before arriving at a level of acceptance of a special-needs diagnosis.
“…his neshamah reached out to us to have the zechus of Torah learning to take with him on his final journey.”
“Let’s get something straight so we don’t kid each other…[the Iranians] already have paved a path to a bomb’s worth of material,” said Mr. Biden. “Iran could get there now if they walked away in two to three months without a deal.”
The president is unwilling to cede any of what he considers his exclusive powers in the area of foreign policy and has struggled mightily to keep the Senate away from any role in the kind of deal to be negotiated.
A committed Religious Zionist, he was a sought-after adviser on Zionist affairs around the world.
More important, Mr. Obama is simply acceding to Iran’s position on the timing of the lifting of sanctions.
For our community, Mrs. Clinton’s foreign policy record will doubtless attract the most attention. And it is a most interesting one.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/plenty-in-play-on-the-syrian-front/2013/05/08/
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