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Obama’s Exclusion of Israel at Counter-terror Conference Raises Concern

July 15, 2012 3:39 pm 11 comments

President Barack Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan walking along the Colonnade at the White House. Photo: wiki commons.

Top security experts in Israel are worried about the Obama Administration’s attitude to radical Muslim governments in the region and by Obama’s willingness to freeze Israel out of two recent high-level counter-terror conferences.

Israel broke the back of Arab suicide terror attacks in 2002, reducing them to near zero, but the US did not invite Israel to a counter-terror conference in Turkey last month, nor to a similar parley in Madrid last week, apparently to placate the Islamist government of Turkey, which has itself supported the Hamas terror group in Gaza.

The US was so concerned about offending Turkey, it seems, that Under-Secretary of State Maria Otero, one of the top State Department officials, specifically did not mention Israel among the countries that have been victims to terror attacks.

“Israel has been one of the key counterterrorism allies of the United States for 30 years,” observed Dr. Dore Gold, Israel’s former ambassador to the United Nations in an interview with The Algemeiner.

“Its absence from an American-sponsored counter-terror conference raises questions that need to be answered,” said Dr. Gold, an expert on the Persian Gulf region who was born and educated in the US.

Both counter-terror conferences were attended by more than two-dozen allies of the US, including such counter-terror powers as the United Arab Emirates, whose leader was personally greeted by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is now visiting the region.

Israeli officials say the Obama Administration has a naïve or even uninformed view of  recent upheavals in Arab-Islamic states, particularly events in Egypt and Turkey, believing that the Erdogan government in Turkey and the new regime of Muslim Brotherhood leader Muhammad Morsi are both forces for moderation.

Visiting Turkey was one of the first major foreign trips of President Obama, and he delivered a dramatic public speech in Egypt that seemed to undermine the regime of Husni Mubarak, the old president, while inviting participation from the extreme Islamist khwan al-Muslimoun: The Muslim Brotherhood.

President Obama has said that he considers Turkish leader Recep Erdogan a model of moderation, even asking him to moderate between the US and Iran on the issue of Iran’s presumed atomic bomb project, while top Obama aides have said they think Egypt’s Brotherhood is also moderate.

“Morsi says ‘I want an Islamic caliphate (empire) whose capital is Jerusalem,’ and what do they say: ‘Don’t believe him. He doesn’t really mean it.’  Well, he does mean it,” observed Maj. Gen. (Res.) Amos Gilad, in a briefing to students in Herzliya.

Egyptian President-Elect Morsi and his aides made many inflammatory statements about Israel and Jews in recent appearances, according to MEMRI, the multi-language analysis organization which has released texts and films of the events.

“Jihad is our path, and death for the sake of Allah is our most lofty aspiration,” yelled Morsi in a widely televised campaign appearance only two months ago. Morsi repeated the words several time to the tumultuous reception of a crowd of backers.

“This is not secret information. They say it openly,” declared Gilad, an Arabic-speaker who has traveled widely to secret talks with Arab leaders and who directed the gathering arm of Israeli military intelligence.

The silver-haired general said US officials were in a kind of state of psychological denial when it came to their whole view of the so-called “Arab Spring”—the major upheavals in Arab countries.

“We talk to the Americans about the ‘Arab Spring’  as if Jefferson was chosen as the head man of some village, but there is a tradition here of reactionary regimes,” said Gilad, who is director of the political wing of the Ministry of Defense.

Gilad said the US had a naïve view of the upheavals, noting that “democracy” often released  “satanic forces” under which “women don’t count for anything” and where “marriages are forced on youngsters who are 14 or 15 years old—the kind of practice that in the end leads to an Islamic empire.”

Many Israeli analysts worry that the new Egyptian power structure threatens Israel directly on its southern border. Terror attacks—from Gaza and Sinai—jumped ten-fold last month, from ten to 99. Some of the attacks were infiltrations on the border fence, while others involved multiple-rocket barrages, including 197 rockets.

Two Israelis were killed and four injured in last month’s attacks, according to Israeli figures, and there appears to be a trend of using more sophisticated and heavier weapons in the assaults, such as a multiple rocket assault this week on the commercial hub of Yad Mordechai, a major kibbutz center.

Dr. Michael Widlanski, an expert on Arab politics and communications, is the author of Battle for Our Minds: Western Elites and the Terror Threat just published by Threshold/Simon and Schuster. He is a former reporter, correspondent and editor respectively at The New York Times, Cox Newspapers, and The Jerusalem Post, and he served as Strategic Affairs Advisor in Israel’s Ministry of Public Security and as an advisor to Israeli negotiating teams in 1991-92 at the Madrid Summit and thereafter.

11 Comments

  • It’s unbelievable of Obama’s blatant disrespect of Israel!!!

  • Why is this happening?

    First, Barack Hussein Obama is a Muslim.

    Second, our Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, is literally in bed with a female Muslim Brotherhood operative, namely Huma Abedin.

    Third, both major parties in the US have been thoroughly infiltrated by Muslim Brotherhood moles.

  • Esther Sarah Evans

    b”H
    just by way of correction to my former comment:
    read correctly – “our little piece of land”
    Muslim with a capital “M”.
    Sorry about those typos.

  • Esther Sarah Evans

    b”H
    The Emes is that apparently a large section of the world – Obam and co. included – feel that when it is used against Israelis – or any Jews – it is not considered terrorism and that we are terrorists for suggesting that we should finally be left in peace on our little peace of land. This causes the hackles of the Europeans to rise too.
    While many people – e.g. in Germany – condemned the crimes committed by the Nazis, they had trouble questioning the own actions by which they aided and abetted them. If the crimes had been committed primarily against their own, they would have been avid in clarifying who did what. Since it was just a matter of Jews, they remained mum in most cases, until they were called to task, and then it was (and still is) sometimes like pulling hen’s teeth to get the details.
    The inyan of reparations continues to raise the hackles of perpetrators, and even more so today.
    Obama is, as I have often said, a puppet. He and the rest of the US Americans have muslim terrorist camps on their soil, and yet they have the gall to call us terrorists. The further existence of those camps is yet another significant proof that Obama is in their hands.
    These are the two major reasons for our not being invited, and together these two elements constitute a statement to us Israelis and all of us Jews throughout the world: Looking for a friend? Look to HASHEM, for we have none other.

  • Obsma’s exclusion of Israel is totally understandable since he cares as much about the survival of Israel & the Jews as his mentors Rev Wright and Frank Marshall Davis …and his close friend Rashid Khalidi who supports the PLO charter and its call for the murder of six million Jews..In addition he calls Islam a religion of peace even though Mohammad had 900 unarmed Jews decapitated at Quarezah….

  • Empress Trudy

    I’m guessing that Israel actually knows a bit more about efficient low impact counter terrorism than most of those others. Let them re invent the wheel.

  • Empress Trudy

    I’m guessing that Israel actually knows a bit more about efficient low impact counter terrorism than most of those others. Let them re invent the wheel.

  • Did you know the United Kingdom and the United States both use scales, and the negros are the balance in the scales. (Revelation 6:5) Google thousand? Biblically it is two words even, thou is Esau, and sand are the people of Israel, reading out loud (Isaiah 10:22) The church rock is (Deuteronomy 32:30) See Esau hiding himself like an island in the midst *Revelation 6:14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. *Luke 23:30 Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us. Remember, Samson got his eyes put out in Gaza. Four colors of man white / red blooded versus black. Black is one of the twelve tribes of Israel, the negros tribe of Judah. Pale is death, following behind is hell (Isaiah 53:9). Slavery and incest gave the world the different shades of black. Love truth, hate opionions.

  • Hold on! Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Muhammed Morsi are not cookie cutter equivalents. Moreover, the article is a tad deceptive in that regard, because it leads with Erdogan, who may be anti-Israel (that could change overnight), but in no way the “radical Islamist” as the lead implies.

    I point this out mostly because the article’s basic message is correct, especially to the extent that it describes yet another example of the United States’ disturbingly sloppy or high-handed foreign policy. That goes beyond the wisdom or lack thereof as to Arab Spring nations.

    Moreover, being obscure about who the “good guys” and “bad guys” does not help build support for appropriate correctives in our policy and may be damaging in other ways.

    Truth: Turkey is a victim, too, which is only made worse because of the “Erdogan Angst” literature that is often based on things he did not actually do or say, factually incorrect material, and matters taken completely out of context. I worry when normally reliable opinionmakers when they effectively do the same thing. Voters come to believe misleading things.

    I definitely agree that Israel is Exhibit A of the President’s disturbing conduct of diplomacy. I do not need to list the examples, because everyone on this board knows them.

    It may be worse, however, because he clearly gave Turkey and through them, possibly Syrians, ideas that are not true about American policy. Some Turks actually believe that Turkey is the number one ally of the United States in the Middle East. The president’s conduct certainly implies it. So it was a bit of a surprise when a leading Turkish newspaper reported that the President told Mr. Erdogan that the United States would not intervene in Syria because “only Israel” matters to the American people during the election period.

    None of the implications for the actual nature of our policy and relationship with Israel are good.

    Syrians may be in the same place. Many thought Mr. Erdogan was a mouthpiece for the President in Syria; probably opposition groups and rebels thought so also. It is upsetting to think strategic decisions were made with the justified belief we would intervene with the consequent loss of life and likely lack of influence we will have in the long run.

    We have also seriously undermined Mr. Erdogan’s government in Turkey with our leaks and anonymous insults as to the Turkish jet downing. Those would be embarrassing no matter what country was the victim.

    Point: what you are actually saying is quite important. Mixing it up with unjustified implications about Mr. Erdogan and the likely directions for Turkish reform only serve to dilute that message; if Israel is Exhibit A, Turkey is surely Exhibit B. Frighteningly, there are more.

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