Under President Obama’s leadership, the Pentagon revived plans for the Iron Dome rocket defense shield in Israel, which played a critical role in the recent Gaza crisis. “Despite initial Pentagon misgivings, President Barack Obama has given $275 million to the project since 2010” after the Bush administration turned down requests to fund the project, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Now, anti-gay activist Harry Jackson is trying his best to act as an expert on the Middle East (just as he styles himself to be a health care and energy policy analyst) by attacking the Obama administration for supposedly mistreating and deserting Israel. He says that while Obama shows an “affinity with the Islamic world,” he has abandoned America’s alliance with Israel. But then Jackson goes on to praise the Iron Dome for preventing rocket attacks, either not knowing or caring that Obama secured the necessary funding to build the defense system. Unfortunately, for the Religious Right, no matter what Obama does he will always be portrayed as a stealth Muslim adversary of Israel.
Why was there such a disconnect with young Israelis? Perhaps their apprehension can be attributed to our leader’s affinity with the Islamic world and the numerous perceived slights senior Israeli leaders have received from him.
In addition, Obama did not visit Israel as president, although he did travel there as a presidential candidate in 2008. After winning a large percentage of the Jewish American vote—as Democrats traditionally do—his seeming ambivalence or lukewarm treatment has given heartburn to both Jews and evangelical Christians.
Only the providence of God and Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system has miraculously prevented major casualties. It is little wonder that Israel is preparing for a ground invasion of Gaza. A year ago last spring, during my first trip to Israel, I was shocked at how close Gaza is to Israel.
The American public remains largely unaware of the magnitude of the conflict due to the general failure of the mainstream media to report accurately concerning the wrongs suffered by Israel. Instead, any measure Israel takes to defend itself is decried as brutal and over the top.
In the meantime, Israel’s enemies have boasted about its impending destruction. Most vocal today are the threats we hear from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is known to be supplying Hamas with their weapons.
On President Obama’s watch, the United States has gone from being a staunch ally to the only democracy in the Middle East to something like a silent peer. But Israel will not wait for our approval to defend itself, nor should it.