Lately I have been feeling that, like Alice in Wonderland, we have stepped through the looking glass and are living in an alternative universe. Our old allies have turned against us whilst our old enemies are now siding with us and even doing our dirty work for us.
Case in point: It has been documented several times recently how petty and thin skinned is the US Administration. Last week they demonstrated this nasty characteristic once again with their juvenile and petty behaviour against Israeli Defence Minister Moshe (Bogie) Yaalon.
The Administration refused to arrange a meeting between Yaalon and Vice President Biden and other US officials because of their annoyance at Yaalon’s criticism of John Kerry and the US appeasement of Iran:
The Obama administration this week refused Israel defense minister’s requests to meet several top national security aides, still miffed over negative comments he made about Secretary of State John Kerry’s Mideast peace efforts and nuclear negotiations with Iran, US officials said Friday.
While Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon did see Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, the officials said the White House and State Department rejected Israeli proposals for meetings with Vice President Joe Biden, national security adviser Susan Rice and Kerry on his five-day trip to the United States. The administration had sought to stop Ya’alon from seeing Power but the objections were made too late to cancel the meeting, according to the officials.The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the snubs, which were first reported by several Israeli media outlets.…Earlier this year, Ya’alon infuriated officials in Washington with comments accusing the administration of being weak on Iran and questioning the U.S. commitment to Israel’s security. That followed reports that Ya’alon had criticized Kerry for being unrealistic and naive in trying to forge an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.
The blogger Abu Yehuda has more on the pettiness of the US Administration and their stupidity in thinking that the Muslim terrorists are not out to get them too.
In another example of American duplicity, the Administration was rather upset at the killing of a Palestinian-American teenager who was shot by the IDF as he was throwing firebombs at Israeli cars. The US has demanded a full investigation. However I did not see them demand a full investigation of the Palestinian American who drove his car into a crowd of commuters, killing baby Chaya Zissel Braun.
The blogger Edgar Davidson chronicles the American hypocrisy:
Israeli security forces killed a Palestinian who was throwing Molotov cocktails at them. And the US Government really did issue the following statement:
The United States expresses its deepest condolences to the family of a US citizen minor (Orwah Hammad) who was killed by the Israeli Defence Forces during clashes in Silwad on October 24. We demand a speedy and transparent investigation into his killing.
This came just two days after the US government initially refused to condemn the Palestinian terror attack that killed 3-month old American-Israeli baby girl Chaya Zisel Baron, and injured many others – an attack that had not only been incited by the rhetoric of PA President Abbas but was wildly celebrated by both Hamas and the PA. The US government – which insists Israel must make concessions to Hamas and the PA – did eventually issue a half-hearted condemnation but in the same statement demanded that Israel “show restraint”. The US Government has also desperately tried to cover up the fact that Chaya (and several of the other injured victims) were US citizens. This is especially strange since we are now seeing a trend whereby the US Government is very keen to announce that Palestinian terrorists ‘victims’ are ‘US citizens’.
So now it seems that any Palestinian terrorist can not only be a hero martyr to Hamas and the PA, but can also be considered an American citizen, thereby gaining the protection of the US government in addition to the UN.
All this while Israeli Jewish Americans receive little to no support from the US Administration they so sensibly left behind.
Tragically the death toll from that attack has gone up as another victim died yesterday. Karen Yemima Muscara, a new immigrant from Ecuador who had converted to Judaism, was buried last night in Jerusalem.
Outrageously, her funeral had to be delayed so as to avoid riots as her terrorist murderer was buried nearby. Isn’t it amazing that when Jews are murdered and buried, they don’t go on rampages and riots?
Hundreds attended the funeral early on Monday of a woman killed in last week’s terrorist attack on a Jerusalem light rail station, including Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and the Ecuadorian ambassador to Israel.
Karen Yemima Muscara was an Ecuadorian citizen in her 20s, had come to Israel to convert to Judaism after discovering she was descended from Conversos, Spanish Jews who were forcibly converted to Catholicism after 1492.
The funeral was postponed so as not to coincide with that of Abdel Rahman al-Shaludi, the man who drove his car into the Ammunition Hill light rail station, killing Muscara and a three-month-old baby and injuring seven others. Police shot Shaludi as he attempted to flee the scene on foot and he later died; he was buried Sunday night in the Muslim cemetery outside Jerusalem’s Old City.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat eulogized Muscara saying that she was “a delicate soul and guardian of peace who fought to be a Jew,” the NRG news site quoted him saying.
“Like many before her, she also fell in love with Jerusalem. Seven months ago she joined us and tonight, with unbelievable pain, she is parted from us,” Barkat said. “As mayor of Jerusalem I say that the situation won’t continue. It’s unacceptable that those whose live their whole lives for peace fall victim to those who glorify death.” He vowed once again to restore calm to Jerusalem.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday flew in Muscara’s parents after she suffered head wounds and was seriously injured in the attack. Her mother said Sunday that her daughter’s dream had been to come to Israel and build her life here, but her life was cut short.
May Karen Yemima’s memory be for a blessing and may her parents, family and friends be comforted amongst the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.
Meanwhile our erstwhile enemy, and often very cold peace partner Egypt is acting more forcefully against Hamas than we could ever hope to do without world condemnation. After a deadly car bombing by Jihadi terrorists against Egyptian forces in the Sinai, killing 28 soldiers, Egypt has cancelled its attempts at reviving Israeli-Hamas peace talks, has closed down the Rafah crossing and is planning building a wall to close off Gaza:
After a terror attack on Friday killed at least 30 Egyptian soldiers in the northern Sinai, Cairo has declared a state of emergency in the area, closed down the Rafah crossing from Gaza, canceled indirect cease-fire talks between Israel and Hamas, and now says it will build a wall to block smuggling with the coastal enclave, Israel’s NRG News reported.
On Friday, militants mounted a complex, combined attack at an Egyptian base using what appeared to be a suicide car bomber, rocket-propelled grenades and roadside charges. Despite Hamas denying involvement, Egyptian security officials charged that attackers utilized smuggling tunnels from Gaza in perpetrating the attack, leading to the breakdown in relations.
Hamas is closely tied to the Muslim Brotherhood, which, under the rule of Mohammed Morsi, was deposed last year.
Hamas leaders warned that the strip was on the verge of an “explosion” if the passage with Egypt remained closed. Israel, meanwhile, has continued allowing humanitarian aid and construction material to enter the enclave.
One would expect that Palestinian “President” Mahmoud Abbas would be outraged at this move by the Egyptians. One would be wrong. In another topsy-turvy turn of events, Mahmoud Abbas is supporting the Egyptian move, as the Elder of Ziyon reports:
Now, this means that Egypt will once again be enforcing a blockade on Gaza. People will not be able to leave Gaza for medical, educational or professional reasons. This is what would be characterized as “collective punishment” if done by Israel..
Egypt, by any yardstick, is treating Palestinians in Gaza worse than Israel is. Israel has not closed the Erez crossings and hundred of truckloads of materials go to Gaza every weekday from Israel.
But how does Mahmoud Abbas respond to Egypt’s latest moves to enforce a crippling siege on Gaza?
He supports them!
After Sisi’s speech, Abbas said “We stand by Egypt’s leadership, government and people, and we support all measures to be taken by the Egyptian leadership in order to maintain security and stability in Egypt in the face of terrorism in the Sinai and all the Egyptian territories, because of the service of the Palestinian cause and the Arab national security.”
Abbas praised the Egyptian position as being “courageous in the face of terrorism,” saying he has great confidence that Egypt will overcome the enemy.
How’s that for hypocrisy?
He probably learned the hypocrisy from the Americans. Or taught it to them.
In another subject of interest regarding Israel’s changing alliances, the Algemeiner has a report from the Muslim world is that Azerbaijan is becoming one of Israel’s emerging Muslim-majority allies in place of Turkey which has become one of our fiercest opponents:
But now, along comes Azerbaijan—the world’s first Muslim-majority democracy, which is fast taking the place of Turkey in becoming a crucial ally of Israel in the Muslim world. It’s no surprise that of all Muslim-majority countries, Azerbaijan would fill the void. Like Turkey before Erdoğan, Azerbaijan has proudly and sometimes aggressively reinforced its secular society, banning the hijab (veil) in schools.
In a gathering with the Jewish community held in the Washington, D.C. area last month, Azerbaijan’s ambassador to the United States, Elin Suleymanov, recoiled from the criticism his country received from the U.S. and others for its tough line on maintaining its secularism. “We are criticized because our girls are not forced to wear the hijab, and this is the worst problem in the Middle East?” he said.
To date, Israel’s relationship with Azerbaijan has taken an almost identical trajectory as its early ties to Turkey. As it had with Ankara, Israel has steadily ratcheted up defense ties with Baku. Last month, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon visited Azerbaijan, one of a number of such recent defense-oriented visits.
As it had with Turkey, Israel has established a vital economic lifeline to Azerbaijan, which provides the Jewish state with 40 percent of its imported oil.
As with Israeli-Turkish relations, bilateral ties between the two countries signal Azerbaijan’s desire to strengthen its connections to the U.S. and the West. The country has become an invaluable NATO supply line to Afghanistan and has joined NATO war efforts.
When much of the rest of the world interrupted flights to Israel during the conflict with Hamas last summer, Azerbaijan continued flying.
Undoubtedly, Israel sees the tremendous potential in its relationship with Azerbaijan, as does Azerbaijan with Israel. American supporters of Israel must do their part to reinforce that relationship in Washington. As was discovered with Turkey, Muslim-majority allies don’t grow on trees.
Indeed. And not only Muslim-majority allies. It seems that Western liberal democratic allies not only do not grow on trees, the ones that have grown seem to be dying and falling like shrivelled leaves.
Israel needs to focus on its own interests and if an ally turns against us, we must learn to stand on our own two feet, besides finding other allies.
A good example of coping with negative fallout: It turns out that during Operation Protective Edge the Americans really did block not only shipments of Hellfire missiles to Israel, but a lot more than that:
The Obama administration stopped shipping to Israel all defense items – and not just Hellfire missiles as previously reported – for a short time in the middle of the war against Hamas, reported Israel Defense’s Amir Rappaport, the well-informed and highly credibly editor of the website.
Makor Rishon added to that report that the US actually cut off all communications with Israel’s Ministry of Defense purchasing offices in the US for days.
In response, Israel is now looking to produce its own weapons so as not to be reliant on fair-weather friends in the future:
The Defense Ministry, now realizing it cannot always depend on the Obama administration in a time of crisis, already has decided under a “veil of secrecy,” according to Israel Defense, to manufacture a highly sensitive weapon in Israel instead of buying it from the United States.
The change in policy is a major step that would wean Israel away from dependence on the United States and which also would be a significant change in the policy of buying American-made weapons with most financial assistance from the United States.
American aid to countries, including Israel, usually is conditioned on a majority of the money being poured back into the American military-industrial complex.
“The Israeli defense establishment will reduce the production of weapon systems in the USA in the context of joint Israeli-American projects, and will rely more heavily on Israeli-made products” as a result of the punitive action taken by President Barack Obama, Rappaport wrote.
The ministry also is examining the possibility of using Israel-made precision guided air-to-surface munition to replace Hellfire missiles, a project that is worth hundreds of millions of dollars, if not billions.
The American decision is cutting off their nose to spite their face, since their military aid to Israel is spent mostly in the US itself, providing jobs and income. But if that’s how they want to play it, Israel too can play the game.
Except that for us it’s not a game. It’s an existential matter of life and death.