web analytics
July 24, 2014 / 26 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
At a Glance
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.

Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Enough Already, Mr. President: Time to Start Treating Israel Like the Ally It Is

Sometimes U.S. administrations disagree with decisions made by their Israeli counterparts. But the reaction of our government to a minor housing decision has prompted a two-word response from me and many others: “Enough already.”

Following Israel’s announcement that additional housing units were going to be built in the section of Jerusalem known as Ramat Shlomo, various high level officials in the Obama administration issued stark statements condemning Israel’s domestic policy decision. The timing of the decision may have been embarrassing for Vice President Biden, who was visiting Israel at the time, and for Prime Minister Netanyahu, but it certainly did not warrant the repeated and vituperative denunciation it got. A minor disagreement was treated like an earth-shattering diplomatic breach.

Let’s remember the facts here. Jerusalem is hardly some far-off outpost. It is the capital of a sovereign nation that happens to be our strongest ally in the Middle East and perhaps the world. And this housing decision was months in the works as part of a transparent process that is followed by dozens and dozens of building proposals each year. Think of it as a decision by a local zoning board. This was hardly war and peace.

Never mind the proposed housing; the real construction here is the Obama administration’s constructing a mountain out of a molehill. To use this minor matter as an excuse to treat Israel as a punching bag is not just unwise, it is dangerous.

For one thing, it distracts from the real policy objective both Israel and the United States share – to get the Palestinians back to the table talking peace.

As PA President Mahmoud Abbas watches the U.S. attack Israel so publicly, don’t you think he is going to want to sit back and watch his two enemies fight it out? That is why the U.S. policy on “settlements” has been so problematic. If we are going to be making unreasonable demands, surely the Palestinians are smart enough to hide behind the skirts of the “U.S. preconditions” before they act in good faith.

But there is another reason why the Great Housing Hubbub of 2010 is so troubling. It is the perception it – combined with other recent slights of Israel – may have left with the Arab world. It is bad when any American president is widely distrusted in Israel, as polls show President Obama is. But worse is how our enemies may view this breach. It is clear the administration wants to show it is different. Regarding much of the world that attitude is correct. But if Iran or Hamas or Hizbullah interprets this as more than political posturing – as indeed a change in the basic relationship between America and our ally Israel – then bad things can happen.

This tension also leaves fertile ground for troublemakers who seek to drive a wedge between our two countries. Just last week rumors spread about a group of Israeli scientists who work at the Dimona nuclear research center in Israel allegedly being denied visas to the U.S. because of a shift in American policy toward Israeli scientists. The State department and the Israeli Embassy have both confirmed to me the story is not true.

But farfetched conspiracy theories like this have greater legs because of the consistency the White House has shown in denouncing Israel.

It is the right of Israel to decide when and where it builds and it is the right of Israel to defend itself. It is not acceptable for the United States to criticize the internal decisions of another democracy, especially when it is the Palestinians who refuse to negotiate. The next steps in a sensible peace plan are to get the Palestinian Authority back to the table to try to fix the real issues in the region. Unfortunately, the White House has veered from this game plan even though the stakes have never been higher.

The Israeli people have the right to elect officials who will make policy decisions on their behalf. The White House’s response was reactionary and inconsistent with previous attempts to bring peace to the region. Israel is a sovereign nation and an ally, not a punching bag. Enough already.

About the Author:

If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Enough Already, Mr. President: Time to Start Treating Israel Like the Ally It Is”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
The UNRWA school in Beit Hanoun, Gaza. In 2007. it was repeatedly used as a launch site for mortars. (Archive 2007)
Update: Hamas Misfired Rocket Hit UNRWA School where 17 Killed
Latest Indepth Stories
IDF soldier injured in Gaza is evacuated by helicopter to Soroka hospital.

The residents of Gaza were not occupied by the Hamas; they voted for the terror organization in democratic elections, by a huge majority, by virtue of its uncompromising struggle against Israel. For this reason, the separation between the armed Hamas terrorists and those ‘not involved’ or ‘innocents’ is false. The Gazans are now paying for […]

Shimon Peres meets with the family of fallen IDF soldier Max Steinberg.

As Peres retires, Israel fights sour legacy: Insistence on setting policy in line with hopes, rather than with reality.


Our capital was not arbitrarily chosen, as capitals of some other nations were.

UNHRC High Commissioner Navi Pillay is calling for an investigation of Israel's military actions in Gaza. (archive photo)

UNHRC High Commissioner Navi Pillay accuses the IDF of possible war crimes in Gaza again, cutting slack to Hamas.

Rabbi Kahane spoke of transfer, because it was what the Torah spoke of.

There is much I can write you about what is going here, but I am wondering what I should not write. I will start by imagining that I am you, sitting at home in the Los Angeles area and flipping back and forth between the weather, traffic reports, the Ukraine, Mexican illegals and Gaza. No […]

Should Jews in Europe take more responsibility in self-defense of community and property?

Germany’s The Jewish Faith newspaper ominously noted, “We Jews are in for a war after the war.”

The truth is we seldom explore with kids what prayer is supposed to be about.

Almost as one, Jews around the world are acknowledging the day-to-day peril facing ordinary Jews in Israel and the extraordinary service of the IDF in protecting them.

So on the one hand Secretary Kerry makes no bones about who is at fault for the current hostilities: he clearly blames Hamas.

King Solomon said it long ago: “Cast your bread upon the waters” because you don’t know when you’ll hit something. Our job is to do.

The anti-Israel camp does not need to win America fully to its side. Merely to neutralize it would radically alter the balance of power and put Israel in great jeopardy.

We mourn the dead, wish a speedy recovery to the wounded, and pray that God guides the government.

More Articles from Anthony D. Weiner

When President Obama spoke last week of the opportunities presented by the Arab Spring, he got a lot right. His calling out of the Arab states was long overdue and dead on.

But he got some big things wrong.

The time has come for us to take the new technology available to terrorists seriously. The United States recently crowned Anwar al-Awlaki the newest “most dangerous terrorist in the world.” And yet an American company, YouTube, has been giving al-Awlaki open access to the world’s largest bully pulpit.

In what country were you born?

If you are a U.S. citizen born in Jerusalem, you’d better not look for the answer on your passport. That line is always left blank.

The decision by President Obama to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia is wrong.

It was leaked last week that the Obama administration was preparing to notify Congress of its intent to sell $60 billion in high tech arms, including F-15′s and military helicopters, to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The facts of the flotilla incident speak for themselves – but only to those who are willing to listen. Unfortunately, albeit predictably, the international community seems to care less about what actually happened and more about that fact that it now has an opportunity to engage in what appears to be a global pastime: kicking Israel.

Let’s remember the facts here. Jerusalem is hardly some far-off outpost. It is the capital of a sovereign nation that happens to be our strongest ally in the Middle East and perhaps the world. And this housing decision was months in the works as part of a transparent process that is followed by dozens and dozens of building proposals each year. Think of it as a decision by a local zoning board. This was hardly war and peace.

Contrary to statements by the White House, the natural growth of Gilo, a popular suburb on the outskirts of Jerusalem, is in no way a political statement or a land grab on the West Bank.

On the anniversary of the tragic events that took place on September 11, 2001, we remembered the lives lost of friends, family and neighbors. We also renewed our resolve to rebuild, to bring to justice those responsible, and to challenge extremism wherever it exists.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/enough-already-mr-president-time-to-start-treating-israel-like-the-ally-it-is/2010/04/14/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: