Israel can deal with self-aggrandizing busybodies, such as French President Nicolas Sarkozy, whose irresponsible attempts to force a cease-fire upon Israel benefit only Hamas. (Carla, can't you give that guy something to do?) But Israel would be hard pressed to fight on without American support. [...]I'm definitely worried. As Mr. Peters points out: "You can't impress fanatics into surrendering. You have to kill them. Nothing else works." I pray for Israel to have strength and for President Obama to have understanding.
Obama's an unknown quantity, though. While hysterical claims that he'll be pro-Islamist from start to finish are absurd, even minor shifts away from supporting Israel's struggle against terrorists could have catastrophic consequences. And Israel's vaunted intelligence services can't tell their superiors what Obama will do, since few (if any) of the president-elect's supporters know what he intends to do.
In fact, the president-elect may not know himself. He's a babe in the woods, and the woods are full of wolves. Fighting political rivals doesn't prepare you for fighting terrorist fanatics.
For now, Israel must worry that a major ground offensive against Hamas would be halted halfway by the withdrawal of US support, both diplomatic and practical. The IDF even counts on us to replenish reserve stocks of the guided weapons that minimize civilian casual ties or penetrate tunnels and bunkers. Israel could find that it had paid a grim price in the blood of its sons and daughters, only to be robbed of the chance to hand Hamas a meaningful defeat.
As for our president-elect, his all-too-coy insistence that "we have only one president at a time" has been selective from the start. Glad to pontificate on stimulus packages and union benefits, Obama has used the one-president mantra to avoid taking stands on difficult issues that bedevil or bewilder him.
Our president-elect needed to make a clear, prompt statement in support of Israel. He didn't. If I were an Israeli leader, I'd be worried, too.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
Obama Stirs Fears In Israel (by Ralph Peters)