In Israel's Desperate Hour, Obama Leads from Behind

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    (Photo: Reuters/Nir Elias)
    The flag covered coffin of Israeli soldier Bayhesain Kshaun, 39, who was killed on July 21, is carried during his funeral in the southern town of Netivot July 22, 2014. Israel pounded targets across the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, saying no ceasefire was near as top U.S. and U.N. diplomats pursued talks on halting fighting that has claimed more than 600 lives. With the conflict entering its third week, the Palestinian death toll rose to 603, including nearly 100 children and many other civilians, Gaza health officials said. Israel's casualties also mounted, with the military announcing the deaths of two more soldiers, bringing the number of army fatalities to 27 - almost three times as many as were killed in the last ground invasion of Gaza, in a 2008-2009 war.
By Ken Blackwell and Bob Morrison, CP Op-Ed Contributors
July 24, 2014|11:47 am

"We have your back," President Obama told Israelis when he visited that embattled country recently. Way back, apparently. Mr. Obama's administration famously claimed to "lead from behind" in overthrowing Libya's strongman, Khaddafi. Young Sergeant Benjamin Anthony spoke to the Christians United for Israel (CUFI) Washington Summit this week. Sgt. Anthony described a different vision of leadership. Ahalai he gave as the Hebrew word for "after me." Officers in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) they should lead from the front. That used to be America's idea of leadership, too.

You cannot say Sec. John Kerry isn't alert to his opportunities. He sees another chance to be a peacemaker. He is rushing to the Mideast to broker a cease-fire. Sgt. Anthony says Israel needs a victory over HAMAS terrorists who have been hiding rockets in schools and hospitals.

Kerry wants Israelis to stop trying to root out those who have sent more than 9,000 rockets into Israel. Canada's National Post recently reported that the UNWRA-the world body's refugee agency-closed down a school it was operating in Gaza after a cache of HAMAS rockets was discovered next door. The UN bureaucrats did what they usually do: they turned the rockets over to "local authorities." In Gaza, that means they gave the rockets back to HAMAS. The cartoonist wasn't kidding when he said HAMAS means "hiding among mosques and schools."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also addressed the CUFI gathering via satellite. He has said the moral difference between Israel and its enemies is simple: "We use missiles to defend our civilians; they use civilians to defend their missiles." An earlier Israeli Prime Minister, Golda Meir, was a young Jewish girl raised in Milwaukee. She spoke to her Arab enemies in these poignant words: "We can forgive you for killing our children; we cannot forgive you for making us kill your children."

HAMAS is banking on CNN and the rest of the gullible Western media to carry pictures of Mideast violence into American homes and European homes. The late PLO chief, Yasser Arafat, saw the possibilities of CNN for his terrorist plans. He learned that airline hijacking could be a successful way to murder your way onto the front pages and into viewers' living rooms.

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) addressed an appreciative crowd at CUFI. He described his 2011 visit to Israel as part of a CODEL (Congressional Delegation). Sen. Scott's bus was northbound when he saw a southbound Israeli bus hit by one of HAMAS's rockets. Blood and body parts were scattered all over the street. Still, Sen. Scott was amazed to see Israeli police actually training Palestinian Arabs as police officers. The Jews' view was that if law and justice prevailed anywhere, people might just get a thirst for law and justice. "I saw Jewish policemen acting out the Gospel of Matthew (5:38-43)." Sen. Scott will be an increasingly important voice in the U.S. Senate, but also in the black community, serving as a counter to anti-Semites like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Jeremiah Wright.

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Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) made a point of saying she did not speak for CUFI. She repeated that message three times. But she was speaking to CUFI. And her powerful message was that as bad as HAMAS rockets are, an Iranian nuclear weapon is vastly worse. "Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing," she quoted from Psalm 2. Never have those words been more prophetic. Jerusalem is described in Hebrew as "the navel of the world." She related how in Berlin, police allowed a Muslim demonstrator to use their police car loudspeaker. He was supposed to quiet the angry mob of protestors against Israel. Instead, he used his microphone to harangue the mob. "Allahu Akbar! (God is Great)." "Death to the Jews" cried this representative of the religion of peace. And the German police? They thought he was going to calm, not incite the crowd. They quickly learned the meaning of Takiya. That Persian word means it is permissible for Muslims to deceive unbelievers.

Congresswoman Bachmann, a key member of the House Intelligence Committee, pointed to the state of the world with President Obama leading from behind and noted White House spokesman Josh Earnest's jaw-dropping claim: "The Obama administration has substantially improved the tranquility of the global community" Did he really say that earnestly? There may be a Sea of Tranquility on the Moon, but nowhere on Earth.

Despite crises erupting around the world, Mr. Obama seems blissfully distracted. He has just announced another four-month extension for Iran. The red line he drew in Syria has been turned into a real red line as ISIS-the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, spills oceans of blood there. And the deadline for talks about Iran's lunge for nuclear weapons has been extended and extended. Mr. Obama is again kicking the can down the road-until three weeks after the mid-term elections. Be careful, Mr. President, that's a nuclear can you are kicking!

Rep. Bachmann sobered the crowd at CUFI by noting that meanwhile, Iran's 19,000 centrifuges are spinning, Iran is developing Inter-continental Ballistic Missiles that can reach the East Coast of the U.S. and Vladimir Putin used the distraction of Israel's response to HAMAS rocket attacks to quietly announce a new trade deal with Iran.

This wouldn't be the same Russia Hillary Clinton and John Kerry see as our partner for peace, would it, the Russia that President Obama is relying on to help stop Iran's nuclear weapons program?

Congresswoman Bachmann underlined her point: This is the first time in U.S. history we have an anti-Israel president. She again disclaimed she was speaking for the Christians United for Israel organization. But the audience of Christians leaped to their feet to applaud her bold statement nonetheless.

CUFI"s Executive Director David Brog brought the house to order with his moving closing. Young Sean Carneli, originally from South Padre Island, Texas, died in Gaza fighting for Israel. The government in Jerusalem was concerned that the young soldier might not have family members able to come to his funeral in time, for Jews must bury their dead quickly. Not to worry: 40,000 Israelis crowded the highways, Brog reported, treating this son of America, this soldier of Zion, as one of their own.

In Israel's desperate hour, Sean Carneli didn't lead from behind.

Ken Blackwell and Bob Morrison are senior Fellows at the Family Research Council in Washington,D.C.
 

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