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Obama’s Nominees Harmful To Israel, Soft On Terrorists

With President Obama and his three wise men who likely will supervise U.S. foreign defense and intelligence policy toward the Middle East, we can expect more “engagement” with radical Islamic and jihadist movements.
(L-R) Chuck Hagel, John Brennan, John Kerry

(L-R) Chuck Hagel, John Brennan, John Kerry

President Obama spent his first term pushing from power longstanding Arab allies in Egypt and Tunisia, seeking to engage the now blood-soaked Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, pulling his punches against Iran’s nuclear program, and putting “daylight” between his administration and Israel.

Now for his second term, he has nominated for the highest posts bearing on the Middle East three figures who give the strongest indication we can expect more of the same – John Kerry for State, Chuck Hagel for Defense and John Brennan for the CIA.

Kerry opposed Congress’s 2009 hold on appointing an ambassador to a regime that has subverted democracy in Lebanon and that has supported Hizbullah, the terror group that until 9/11 had more American blood on its hands than any other. But that shouldn’t surprise – last September, Kerry was one of only twenty-five senators who refused to urge the European Union to designate Hizbullah a terrorist organization.

A leaked cable shows that in February 2010 Kerry told the Qataris he supported Israeli withdrawal from the strategic Golan Heights, eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank. In April 2010, Kerry met with Assad and called Syria “an essential player in bringing peace and stability to the region.” The Washington Post even called Kerry a “prominent admirer” of Assad.

Kerry also stands apart from his Senate colleagues in his weakness toward Iran. Last month he was one of only twenty-six senators not to urge President Obama to reiterate his readiness to use military force against Iran if other measures fail to prevent Iran becoming a nuclear power. In April 2010, he was one of only nineteen senators refusing to call for crippling sanctions against Iran.

With respect to the Palestinian Authority, Kerry favors neither pressure nor penalties for its failure to implement its Oslo commitments to end terrorism and the incitement to hatred and murder that feeds it. In 2007, he was one of only twenty-one senators not to oppose aid to and contacts with PA figures who “do not explicitly and unequivocally recognize Israel’s right to exist, renounce terror, and accept previous agreements.”

With Defense nominee Chuck Hagel, we fare inarguably worse. In 2008 he was described by a congressional aide as “solely responsible” for blocking an Iran sanctions bill. Like Kerry, he opposed Hizbullah’s designation by the EU as a terror outfit and favors indulging the PA – for example, in December 2005 he opposed applying presidential pressure on the PA to ban terrorist groups from Palestinian elections as required under Oslo.

But Hagel has exceeded Kerry by advocating direct U.S. negotiations with Hamas, a U.S.-designated terrorist group committed in its charter to the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews. Before retiring from the Senate, he muttered about “intimidation” by the “Jewish lobby,” unsubtly suggesting that venal legislators support Israel to America’s detriment because of malign Jewish influence rather than because of U.S. public support. And in 1998, he blamed Israel for Palestinian terrorism, saying, “Desperate men do desperate things when you take hope away. And that’s where the Palestinians are today.”

And then there’s CIA nominee John Brennan, who refers to Jerusalem as Al-Quds, the Arabic name widely used by those who do not recognize Israel. Like Kerry and Hagel, Brennan whitewashes Hizbullah and wants to appease Iran and Hamas. In 2008 he blamed the bad relations between Iran and the U.S. not on the nature of the Iranian regime and its goals but at least in large part on what he called “Iran-bashing,” which he darkly attributed to Washington’s deference to “short-term domestic political interests” – presumably the Jews who oppose Iran developing nuclear weapons.

In other words, Brennan doesn’t see the Iranian regime as a dangerous threat. In fact, he criticized the Bush administration for continuing to pressure Iran. As for Hizbullah, he sees it as moderating and pragmatic, now that it “has members of parliament, in the cabinet; there are lawyers, doctors, others who are part of the Hizbullah organization.”

If Iran and Hamas sound no warning bells for Brennan, neither does radical Islam in general. It was Brennan who in 2009 publicly defended the Obama administration’s policy of discarding basic factual terms like “radical Islam,” “Islamism,” and “jihad” in reference to the war being waged against America and its allies by Muslim extremists.

About the Author: Morton A. Klein is national president of the Zionist Organization of America. Dr. Daniel Mandel is director of the ZOA's Center for Middle East Policy.


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7 Responses to “Obama’s Nominees Harmful To Israel, Soft On Terrorists”

  1. Now that Senator Chuck Schumer has sold out Israel, the only hope is one brave Senator to filabuster him.

    When Iran finishes it's nuclear bomb program, President Obama will have to wonder if some day He or his family would happen to be the target of that bomb.

  2. Well written as well as factual.Their is such adivide on these nominees that when it comes time for the hearings we must have questions that need to be answered

  3. Charlie Hall says:

    Brennan has actually been getting opposition from the extreme left because he is considered too harsh on suspected terrorists. I guess if he upsets both the extreme left and the extreme right he must be in the right place.

  4. Jacob Alperin-Sheriff says:

    Who's Daniel Mandel? Is he as cray-cray as Mort Klein?

  5. Here is a simple but overlooked fact, it all starts from the top. Since Obama is at the top of the ticket, he is going to appoint people who believes as he does. I still maintain however, that the best antidote that Israel can have is to take a much tougher stance and not waver from decisions that are best for Israel. Unfortunately, Obama was reelected, so we are stuck with him for the next four years. But, Israel does have some recourse. First, I still maintain that when Kerry comes wafting by, and rest assure this will happen, trying to talk Israel out of doing something that must be done, like protecting the Israeli people from being attacked and killed, the Prime Minister must say, thanks for the concern but we will decide what is best for Israel, not you. Another way to mitigate Obama's potential damage is to establish and maintain strong relations with countries that support Israel, Canada and Greece come to mind. The less involvement Israel has with the U.S. at least for the next four years, the better. Hopefully in the future we will have a President that is friendly towards Israel, until then Israel's leadership must find ways to mitigate the slack from not having an American ally. Although, I should also say that while Obama is a nemesis of Israel, there is still some descent support for Israel from the House and Senate. Especially the House because there is a Republican majority. The title of the article is quite right, "Obama Nominees Are Harmful to Israel and Soft on Terrorists." But, if Israel moves toward nations that support them, the harmful effects of Obama can be absorbed.

  6. >
    Sent: Fri, Jan 18, 2013 9:34 am.
    Subject: Open Letter from: American victim of a PLO terror attack rabbi dr. bernhard rosenberg, PRESIDENT ISRAEL ADVOCACY TASK FORCE.

    From: American victim of a PLO terror attack.

    18 January '13.

    It is with an extremely heavy heart that I write this letter.

    On 16 February, 2002–just over a month before the attack in which we were harmed–a suicide bomber blew up a pizzeria in the north of Israel. Two American girls were murdered, and additional American citizens were injured.

    In the course of a civil case brought by the devastated families, the PLO's lawyers provided a document produced by a senior officer in the Palestinian Authority intelligence agency.

    This document, produced ten years after the attack, detailed the individuals involved in this attack. The PLO's lawyers, after providing the document and allowing for a deposition based on said document, claimed suddenly that the document was "accidentally" passed to the plaintiffs and demanded the document back, citing attorney-client privilege. The presiding judge ordered the material returned or destroyed.

    This key document provided the names and roles of individuals who willfully schemed to murder American citizens. The PLO's lawyers did not detail how ten years after the attack they put together such detailed information.

    The DoJ, the FBI, the State Department, and even members of Congress have shown no interest in preserving this important piece of evidence. For years, members of the US law enforcement agencies and members of the State Department have glibly told us how important prosecuting terror cases is for them. Yet, we now stand at a watershed–a piece of evidence produced fairly during the discovery process of a civil trial stands ready to be destroyed.

    Those who spilled American blood will never have to fear the short arm of US justice.

    The empty gesture of setting up an office ostensibly dedicated to moving these cases forward has produced zero prosecutions.

    The moving letter sent by the sitting attorney general to devastated parents has not led to a single indictment or extradition. Those of you who have it in your power should be demanding that this document be delivered to the appropriate law enforcement agencies; those of you who have the power to demand the same from our government should be screaming at the top of your lungs to see justice for two teenage girls killed for no other reason than that they were Jewish.

    The Palestinian Authority, which provided both the document as well as paid the salaries of the planners of the attack, receives hundreds of millions of dollars each year from the US, yet no one associated with the State Department would dream of asking them for clarification regarding the document or those implicated in it.

    None of you can appreciate how the PLO has played the American legal system–defaulting and then demanding new trials, spending years trying to have cases thrown out on the flimsiest grounds (in our case, they claimed that the Palestinian Authority was a division of the Government of Israel and thus immune from prosecution).

    During our depositions this summer, their lawyer joked how our son, who had a piece of shrapnel pass fully through his right brain, "will never be an Olympic champion" because he still limps today. My wife broke down and could not continue the questioning. The other lawyer screamed at this proud American citizen that I only keep my US citizenship so as to "make a lot of money from the Palestinian Authority". Yet, today, the PLO stands ready to pull off a disappearing act that would have amazed even Houdini.

    The next court date regarding an appeal to keep this piece of evidence alive is one week from today. I ask each person who has it in his or her power to help these families and not let their children's blood be spilled in vain to please act. Please support the plaintiffs, please demand that the document remain extant, and please, please prosecute those who killed and maimed dozen of your fellow American citizens.

    Dr. Alan Joseph Bauer.

    alanjoseph.bauer@gmail.com
    Jerusalem

  7. As president of Rabbis for Romney I ASKED for financial support and backing of the Orthodox Rabbinate to defeat Obama. I worked day and night to fight the 900 Rabbis for Obama. This is what you get. WHERE WERE YOU WHEN I needed you. Obama is now in charge and is laughing at us. Now is nothing we can do. Stop crying and realize you were silent when you should have acted. RABBI DR. BERNHARD ROSENBERG

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