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Israel at 60: Strong Democratic Ally or Festering, Open "Sore"?

That liberals are openly questioning Israel’s likelihood of survival should, ironically, give friends of Israel reason to relax. From environmental catastrophe to the effectiveness of welfare programs for inner city families, liberals are notoriously bad about predicting the future.

And yet, as the only stable democracy in the Middle East turns 60, and as she enjoys a level of prosperity and internal stability unprecedented in its history, Israel has rarely faced greater uncertainty.  The increasingly likelihood of a nuclear Iran has introduced a whole new level of instability into a region not known for its genial methods of conflict resolution.  The increasing oil wealth of Israel’s hostile neighbors means millions of unaccounted dollars are now being funneled into the hands of unpleasant people. The increasing attractiveness of extreme forms of Islam among Arab youths obviously doesn’t bode well for the nation that ideology is committed to destroying.  Meanwhile, anti-Semitism has become more fashionable in elite society than any time since kristallnacht.

And yet… Israel shows no signs of going anywhere.  Its birthrate is higher than the United States, a sign of great social optimism despite obvious hardships.  Its economy continues to grow. Its citizens have now lived through another war with one of their belligerent neighbors and show no signs of weakening resolve.  If anything, the current generation of Israelis has shown even more pluck and determination than the last.  For this, Israel and Israelis should not only be congratulated and admired – they should feel a constant embrace from the United States, its leaders, and its people.

Someone has apparently forgotten to pass this information along to Senator Barack Obama.  In an interview with The Atlantic, the presumptive Democrat presidential nominee called Israel a “constant wound … a constant sore [that] does infect all of our foreign policy.”  On one level, this is traffic-stoppingly stupid.  What’s wrong with this guy?  We’re told ad nauseum he’s the greatest political communicator of his generation, and his idea of a balanced and nuanced position is to compare a threatened ally in a crucial region to a festering, open sore?  It’s no longer an open question as to whether Senator Obama is ready prime time: he’s not.

But far worse than the idiocy of the statement is its offensiveness.  Put simply, would Senator Obama have even flirted with such insulting language were he talking about China, Cuba, or Saudi Arabia?  Meanwhile, in the same “constant sore” interview, Obama reaffirmed his commitment to “opening a dialogue” with regimes that sponsor terrorism, kill Americans, and promise the destruction of Israel.

What can we do about it?  The answer isn't easy and requires our action.  First, we must educate our friends and family on an issue that many voters overlook - how we treat our allies, not just our enemies. Statements like this are beyond irresponsible: they foreshadow the foreign policy of a potential future administration.  Secondly, keep Israel and her people in your prayers and in your political action as they celebrate this great anniversary of Independence.  And third, make sure Senator Obama knows that just because Israel is small and Israelis can't vote for him, that they do have a voice among their allies here in the U.S.  Call his office and let him know how offensive these comments were, and ask him to retract his statement. Here's his number: (202) 224-2854.  And make sure you call - emails are too passive and can easily be ignored, but a phone ringing off the hook is a sign that we're paying attention, and we stick up for our friends.


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