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Opinion: Obama’s Threat to the Middle East Balance of Power

To the Editor:

As commentator Jonathan Tobin recently stated, President Obama’s Cairo speech was “morally unserious.”  For example, Obama complained about occupation for Palestinian Arabs, but failed to disclose, as James Phillips, senior fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs at the Heritage Foundation, stated that “Arab military attacks and terrorism … created those conditions.”  Obama’s failure to disclose these material facts was therefore misleading and deceptive.  It also implied that he would oppose Israel’s attempts to protect her security, no matter how justified. Notwithstanding his call for non-violence, this did nothing to dissuade Arabs from waging terror.

Second, Obama also stated,  “No single nation should pick and choose which nation holds nuclear weapons.” This could reasonably be interpreted to prevent Israel—or even the United States—from singlehandedly preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear arms.  Furthermore, Obama said, “I understand those who protest that some countries have weapons that others do not.”  He also stated that he hoped that “all countries in the region” shared the goal of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty [NPT].  Article VI of that treaty requires the parties to negotiate in good faith “on effective measures relating to…nuclear disarmament,” supposedly under “strict international control.”  Some governments interpret this language as “a formal and specific obligation on NPT-recognized nuclear-weapons states to disarm themselves of nuclear weapons.”  This would require Israel to surrender any nuclear advantage she may have.

The present controversy with Obama thus involves not merely settlements, but also an attempt to impair Israel’s security measures, no matter how justified, and to alter the military balance of power, to Israel’s disadvantage and harm.  Obama fails to distinguish between aggressor and victim.  This is like equating the Holocaust Memorial murderer to the two armed security guards who shot him down in self-defense and defense of other innocents.  It’s time for the American Jewish community and their leaders, as well as Congress, to wake up and have the courage to stand up.  To paraphrase an ancient writing about heroism, “Who knows whether you have not come to be here for such a time as this.”

Daniel R. Schaefer

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