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January 21, 2013 3:27 am

Israel is the Only Country in the Middle East That Shares American Values

avatar by Ron Agam

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama pose with their wives. Photo: White House.

Jerusalem is Washington’s only real friend in the terror-ridden Middle East.

When President Obama recently inserted himself into the Israeli elections, harshly criticizing the Prime Minister of Israel, the Israeli people for the  most part took a moment to absorb the insult.

Since President Obama became President four years ago, the Middle East has dramatically changed for the worse. Islamic fundamentalism has gained tremendous momentum and power in a region. Besides for Libya, pro-western Arab governments, including Egypt and Tunisia have been taken over by regimes that  fundamentally and ideologically reject freedom and democratic values. The current civil war in Syria is a catastrophic human tragedy that has claimed over 60, 000 lives and promises to spread to Lebanon and potentially destabilize Jordan as well.

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The Palestinian Authority of President Abbas is being artificially propped up by the Israeli Army and Security Service. Hamas terrorist cells in the West Bank are being shut down on a daily basis by Israel, with PA collaboration. The reality on the ground outside of Ramallah is very different from the perception people around the world  have  about the power of the PA.

It is a known fact that if a free and democratic election were held today in the Palestinian territories, Hamas would win the election handily. Such a result would bring Iran into even more direct confrontation with Israel, this time meters from the Israeli border. It is therefore very questionable to think that any agreement could ultimately secure peace for the region. Without a major change in the attitude of the Arab countries in the region, a peace agreement with the PA won’t mean much. Any Israeli government understands how important is to keep the dialogue going,  but Israel by itself cannot carry the entire process.

When President Obama attacks the Israeli PM for not being courageous enough politically with the Palestinians, it is an indication of a serious misunderstanding of his role. The Israeli PM is not so stupid as to make suicidal moves when the entire Middle East is in flames and radical enemies of Jews, Christians and Israelis have been strengthened. From Iran to Egypt, Syria and now Turkey, Islamism is arising as the new Nazism. In the Middle East, the enemies of Israel have acquired considerable advantages politically, and on the ground. Israel needs a strong ally in the White House who understands that Israel is surrounded by vicious enemies that wish for its destruction with more virulence than ever. A strong and unequivocal dynamic between Jerusalem and Washington will prevent further escalation in the region. Anything short of this dynamic amounts to clear encouragement for further escalation to Israel’s enemies. More than ever, Washington needs to secure calm and moderate the region by refraining from publicly scolding a prime minister who is an anchor of stability for the US and its allies.

In 1982 Benjamin ‘Bibi’ Netanyahu wrote a book: “International Terrorism: Challenge and Response .” It was a warning to the world that terrorism and Islamic terrorism would pose a serious challenge to democracies. No leader in the world knows more about terrorism than Bibi. Bibi’s brother Colonel Yonatan Netanyahu was killed in action on July 4, 1976, commanding Operation Entebbe, the rescue mission for one of the first hijackings of a commercial airliner. His credentials as an expert on terrorism come in handy today as the entire region is under the threat of terror from Al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Israel needs the United States for its security, and the US needs a strong, confident ally in the region as well, to secure the ideals of freedom and democracy that are the hallmarks of American values and spirit. No country in the region upholds this position more than Israel and its prime ministers.

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