Published in The Kansas City Jewish Chronicle
At the beginning of the presidential campaign , when people asked me which candidate would be better for Israel, I responded that both candidates would be pro Israel and although I was a Bush supporter I didn’t think Kerry would harm Israel. However, after the first debate between the candidates I , for the first time, became apprehensive about a Kerry presidency . When I heard Kerry repeatedly mention the words “world“, “coalition and alliances” and the “global Test”, I envisioned a future presidency during which Israel would be restrained in its war of self defense and would be pressured for more concessions in an effort to appease world opinion.
When Kerry was asked about his position on the concept of preemptive war, he replied that “if and when you take a preemptive war you have got to do it in a way that passes the global test… where you can prove to the world that you did it for legitimate reasons. “Since the establishment of Israel , Israel’s survival has depended on preemptive acts in order to maintain its security edge. This was evident in the 1956 Sinai Conflict, The Six Day War , and the present ongoing war against terrorism. If a global test would become the criteria for taking self defensive measures , Israel would never be allowed to defend itself. Trying to prove to those who are pre disposed to hate us such as the United Nations led by the French, the Russians and the European Union as well as the Arab and Muslim World that we acted for legitimate reasons would fail each time regardless of the compelling proof or evidence Israel would produce.
Last July when Israel tried to prove the legitimate reasons for building a security fence and showed the evidence of a decline in terrorist acts in the area of the fence compared to the area where there was no fence, 150 nations of UN General Assembly voted against the security fence while only 5 nations including US, Australia, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Palau voted with Israel. The European union’s 25 member states all voted against the fence.
Last October , 133 nations in the UN general assembly voted to condemn Israel after its cabinet voted to remove Arafat . Just 3 nations including the US and two island nations under American control voted with Israel. This vote occurred despite the fact that Israel introduced papers it found in Arafat’s Ramallah headquarters which were authenticated by many media outlets and the US government ,with Arafat’s signature authorizing the transfer of funds to Al Aqsa Brigades , the terrorist wing of his political party Fatah, for terrorist actions against Israel.
In the debate Kerry stated “ You don’t help yourself with other nations when you refuse to deal at length with the United Nations.. You have to earn that respect and I think we have a lot of earning back to do” Sadly , this aspiring leader of the free world wishes to earn the respect of the body that since it creation passed more resolutions against democratic Israel than it has against any other country including the most brutal dictatorships in the world.
Kerry repeatedly mentioned in the debate the need to establish alliances or coalitions before you go to war. Past experiences in building a coalition in order for the US to act in the Middle East showed us that Israel pays a heavy price. In the first Gulf War when Bush Senior built a coalition with the Arabs, Muslim , Europeans and the UN, Israel was the sacrificial lamb. Israel was excluded from the coalition and had to stay idle while it’s citizens withstood more that 39 scud missile attacks while huddled in sealed rooms and forbidden to respond. This experienced had such an a devastating psychological effect on the Israelis that following it they blindly agreed to recognize and believe in Arafat through The Oslo Agreement .
Much more I am bothered by two other Kerry statements. Early in his campaign during the primaries ,and before his advisors shut him up in order not to lose the Jewish vote, he referred to the security fence as a “ barrier to peace” while speaking to an Arab-American audience. He has since changed his tone referring to the fence as “ a legitimate act of self defense erected in response to the wave of terror attacks against Israel ‘“ and explaining that his previous statement was made only in reference to the route of the fence..
Second , Kerry has talked about naming as special Middle
East envoys Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, the two ex presidents from the Democratic Party who pressured Israel more than any other to give up it’s strategic assets to save their troubled legacies. Carter, since he left office, has been the speech writer and image consultant to Arafat helping him mislead the world and Israel. He consistently blames Israel as the aggressor , and says the Arabs are the victims. He even went so far as to say that while the he and Egyptian President Sadat deserved their Nobel prizes, Menachem Begin , who agreed to cede to Egypt the land mass of Sinai, which is 2 and half times the size of Israel with its rich oil fields , was “stubborn and pragmatic” and should never have been given the award.
On the other hand, Clinton who professed to love Israel , almost destroyed it. In order to save his presidency after the Lewinski debacle , he continually pressured Israel to make concessions. During the last peace negotiations in Dec 2000 before Clinton left office, he pressed Israel to agree to give Arafat a Palestinian state in almost the entire Gaza and the West Bank ,and to divide Jerusalem, while Arafat had already for several months been orchestrating his war of terror against our people . One can only imagine in horror what would have happened to Israel’s security if Arafat accepted the Clinton offer by taking over the Judea and Samaria mountains looking down at 80% of Israel’s population and most of it’s industrial capacity. Of course let us not forget that Arafat was the White House’s most frequent foreign visitor. If Clinton and Carter would become Middle East envoys how long would it be before Arafat would be rehabilitated and Israel pressured again to sustain their so called delusion of a ‘peace process”.
On the other side, Bush has refused to allow Arafat into Washington and refused to negotiate with him. He identifies evil and believes in using military force to defeat it. He hasn’t condemned the security fence, the closures, or the targeted killings of terrorist leaders. He hasn’t insisted that Israel gives away its strategic assets in return for worthless promises from terrorists. He condemns Palestinian terrorism and has left us alone to fight terrorism and to decide our own diplomatic plan of action.
Of course I have had reservations about Bush especially regarding his support for the establishment of a Palestinian state and there is no guarantee that in his next 4 years he will not pressured us to help establish his own legacy, but I prefer him over an unknown and untested president who cares so much about being accepted and approved by the world .This is especially important when Israeli intelligence believes that Iran could have a nuclear bomb in the next 4 years. While Kerry would support endless negotiations, sanctions and inspections , Bush will not hesitate to impose a military solution. So ask yourself who do you think the Ayatollahs, Arafat and Bin Laden would prefer to have as the next president of the US?