Ken Connor

My friends, you don't have to . . . do nation-building in Israel. We're already built. You don't need to export democracy to Israel. We've already got it. And you don't need to send American troops to Israel. We defend ourselves. . . . This path of liberty is not paved by elections alone. It's paved when governments permit protests in town squares, when limits are placed on the powers of rulers, when judges are beholden to laws and not men, and when human rights cannot be crushed by tribal loyalties or mob rule. Israel has always embraced this path in a Middle East that has long rejected it. In a region where women are stoned, gays are hanged, Christians are persecuted, Israel stands out. It is different.

Courageous Arab protesters are now struggling to secure these very same rights for their peoples, for their societies. We're proud in Israel that over one million Arab citizens of Israel have been enjoying these rights for decades. Of the 300 million Arabs in the Middle East and North Africa, only Israel's Arab citizens enjoy real democratic rights. Now, I want you to stop for a second and think about that. Of those 300 million Arabs, less than one-half of 1 percent are truly free and they're all citizens of Israel. This startling fact reveals a basic truth: Israel is not what is wrong with about the Middle East; Israel is what is right about the Middle East. Israel fully supports the desire of Arab peoples in our region to live freely. We long for the day when Israel will be one of many real democracies in the region – in the Middle East.

Why President Obama would say or do anything to jeopardize the invaluable friendship that's grown up between American and the Middle East's only true democracy is perplexing. Again, if the reason lies in some ideologically-driven desire to appease volatile forces in Palestine, Syria, and Iran, then the President is guilty of grand naivete, for these entities will not be satisfied with anything less than Israel's complete destruction.

Clearly, the Israel-Palestine conflict is not a simple issue, but the choice between alliance with radical anti-Semetic, anti-American factions and Israel should be an easy decision for the United States. There is nothing to be gained by forsaking our Jewish friends at this critical moment in time. Freedom and democracy will never thrive in the Middle East if America adopts an attitude of indifference towards the relentless campaign of terror being waged against the nation of Israel.


Ken Connor

Ken Connor is Chairman of the Center for a Just Society in Washington, DC.
 


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