Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama have had another face-to-face meeting in Washington, D.C. No Israeli prime minister and U.S. president have come from such vastly different ideological world views and the two men have just concluded the biggest battle over Iran any U.S. president and Israeli prime minister have ever fought.
The question to be asked is: What will the future hold for Israel and the U.S.? To answer that, one must first take a look at conditions in the Middle East today where a devastating collapse has taken place since the wishful days of the Arab Spring. Those revolutions wreaked havoc in Egypt, Libya, Yemen, and other countries in the region. The attempt to secure democratic options only resulted in opening the door for even more brutal terrorist regimes. It resembled the Great Depression—hope was lost, the economy tanked, and the unemployed wandered from place to place searching for a safe haven. A song was written in 1929, a plea for the desperate days to come to an end: “Happy Days are Here Again.”
President Obama last Friday threw in the towel on Israeli/Palestinian negotiations. According to the National Security Council’s Rob Malley, senior director for the Middle East, the president realized that there was no cogent solution to the conflict between the two sides. Before the planned meeting between the two heads of state, the Washington Post suggested that the president would only “press Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to take steps to preserve the mere possibility of a two-state solution.”
Malley said further that for the first time in decades, a U.S. administration “faces the reality” that a solution to the ongoing dispute between Israel and the PA “is not in the cards for the remainder.” Read the article here.
Faced with dodging Vladimir Putin in the skies over Syria, Mr. Obama seems to have concluded that the Middle East is a much more dangerous place than it was in the past, and will therefore not fight any more wars in the region in the near future. Putin’s main ploy for entering the Syrian conflict was to shore up his long-time ally, Bashar al Assad. But more importantly, the Russian leader needs to halt IS advances before any incursion into Muslim-populated areas such as Chechnya.[caption id="attachment_3225" align="alignright" width="200"] Russian President Vladimir Putin at a joint press conference with israeli PM Netanyahu (not seen) at Netanyahu's residence in Jerusalem on June 25, 2012. Photo by Marc Israel Sellem/POOL/FLASH90[/caption]
Added to that is Putin’s fanatical rush to re-establish his country as a global power militarily. The Soviets lost face when their grip on satellite countries was severed. This sparked an agenda to transform the anemic military into its former glorious self. In the days ahead as his troops battle IS in Syria, whether or not he succeeded will be visible for all to see.
It seems that Putin has little resistance from the Obama administration whose efforts to stall the forward thrust of IS consists mainly in the wringing of hands. While the Russian president is consolidating his regional partnerships among U.S. allies in the Middle East, Mr. Obama is retreating from the field of play.
The reality is that turmoil reigns supreme in countries such as Iran, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Afghanistan and the Sinai. Shame on the West if it truly believes Iran will halt production of atomic weapons. In Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamanei has thumbed his fundamentalist nose at the West. A new book from Iran's Supreme Leader describes in no uncertain terms what he thinks about the future of Israel. The 416-page diatribe was reviewed by conservative Iranian author Amir Tahiri, who points out that the Ayatollah believes “Israel has no right to exist as a state.” Khamenei described Israel as “a cancerous tumor” in the Middle East. Read the article here.
Syria has been in the midst of civil war since 2011, but has erupted in potency and in scope over the past two years. United Nations estimates state as many as 100,000 have died, and millions have become refugees who have descended upon the European continent in hordes. With the backing of both Russia and Iran under the guise of stopping IS, it appears that attacks have been stepped up, not on Assad, but on the rebels fighting for his removal.
In recent days, Iraqi Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has called for democratic elections in an effort to halt what he sees as Iran’s escalating power in Iraq. Iran, of course, made inroads into Iraq again under the guise of stopping IS from gaining a foothold there. The ploy worked in Iraq and is working in Syria. What country will be targeted next?
The most recent target of IS was Egypt and a Russian passenger plane carrying 224 souls. IS claimed, “The soldiers of the caliphate succeeded in bringing down a Russian plane in Sinai.” It appears that now the Egyptians will have to deal with the possibility of IS infiltrating their country as well, and Putin will have no better pretext to offer aid to the Egyptians than protecting his people from terror attacks. Read more.
When I first began working with Israel, Menachem Begin showed me an analysis on why America would not fight wars in the Middle East, and instead would depend on the State of Israel to deter communism. After Begin shared that information with me, I wrote a book in 1980 on the premise entitled Israel: America’s Key to Survival. The cover showed an American flag being sliced in half by a Saudi scimitar. The hypothesis for the book was that if Israel were weakened, radical Islam would attack the West. Today, instead of Israel being a deterrent against communism, it would be a deterrent against radical Islam.
The future days for Israel will be bright when it comes to U.S. strategic cooperation. Why? The U.S. left the Middle East in a much worse condition and Israel is once again on the front line. While the U.S. will not return to the region to fight another war, it will be forced to supply Israel with the weapons necessary to do so bringing a return of those “happy days” of Israeli control of its own affairs.
In an interview with Benjamin Netanyahu, he stated, “The reason they despise us so much, the reason they want to eradicate us is that they don’t hate you [the U.S.] because of us, they hate us because of you. They say we are the ‘Small Satan’ and America is the ‘Great Satan.’” The truth is, radical Islam desires to inspire, not hundreds or thousands or even hundreds of thousands to a religious war, but hundreds of millions.
An unrestrained Islamic revolution is spreading from Iran through Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, the Palestinian territory, and threatens the border with Turkey, all while the world sleeps. The goal is to take over the Middle East and then the entire world. Many didn’t understand the true nature of what it would take to defeat this global web of terror. At the time, we didn’t seem to comprehend that Iraq was only the first battle in the overall war on terrorism. Too many didn’t recognize that the next World War had already started and we were right in the middle of it.