In October 2001, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon issued a prophetic warning: “Do not repeat the dreadful mistake of 1938, when enlightened European democracies decided to sacrifice Czechoslovakia for a ‘convenient temporary solution’.” He declared: “Israel will not be Czechoslovakia.”
Tragically, President Obama today is increasingly treating Israel as Western leaders did in abandoning the Czechs seventy-four years ago. He is signaling to a genocidal regime in Iran that the Jewish State is on its own – a signal like the one to which Hitler responded with the worst bloodletting in world history.
To be sure, Team Obama has engaged from the get-go in what Governor Mitt Romney has called “throwing allies like Israel under the bus.” For example, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been treated with utter contempt by President Obama. His demands that the Jewish State make serial and unreciprocated concessions to its Palestinian enemies – including adopting indefensible borders – have been dictated in public and high-handed ways.
Even more troubling has been the cumulative effect of Obama policies towards the Middle East that are helping transform large swaths of the region into a festering Islamist sore, prone to jihad – most immediately against Israel and, inevitably, against the United States. In particular, Mr. Obama’s determination to legitimate, empower and enrich the government of Egypt’s new Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi adds materially to the danger confronting the Jewish State and American interests.
The legitimation will reach new heights later this month when Morsi gets the red-carpet treatment in New York and Washington. The empowering included not just demands conveyed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in July that the Egyptian military surrender power to Brotherhood-dominated presidency and legislature; it also apparently entails U.S. acquiescence to Morsi’s moves to remilitarize the Sinai in violation of the Camp David Accords. And the enriching piece involved an unconditional, lump-sum payment earlier this year, over bipartisan congressional objections, and is reportedly to be followed by the incipient transfer of a further $1 billion.
Predictably, as with the sell-out of Czechoslovakia in the 1930s, what such concessions will produce is an emboldening of freedom’s enemies. And that will not be good for its friends – abroad or here.
Much the same can be said of the Obama administration’s appeasement of Iran. Yes, it has reluctantly imposed – usually at the insistence of the Congress – sanctions on various aspects of the regime and its supporting industrial, commercial and security edifices. But in virtually every other regard, Team Obama has bought time for the mullahs to complete their nuclear weapons program and efforts to render it essentially invulnerable to attack through relocation of enrichment operations to hardened underground factories.