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June 17, 2015 11:17 am

President Obama Has Abandoned Israel, Despite Financial Aid

avatar by Harry Ben-Zvi and Gidon Ben-Zvi

Israel's Iron Dome launches a missile to intercept a Gaza rocket during Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012. Photo: Matanya via Wikimedia Commons.

Iron Dome. Photo: Nehemia Gershuni-Aylho /

Summer is nearly upon us. In Israel, this is traditionally a time for blasting the AC, heading to the beach…and for rocket fire from Gaza. Last week, the IDF deployed an Iron Dome anti-missile battery beside the southern Israeli city of Beersheba, in response to multiple rocket salvos that had been launched at Israel from the Gaza Strip over the past few weeks.

Iron Dome. The Israeli engineered, U.S. funded, mobile air defensive system is frequently cited by President Barack Obama as an example of his enduring commitment to Israel’s security. Indeed, Obama signed a bill in 2014 granting an additional $225 million in funding for Israel’s missile defense system.

In fact, Israel’s growing reliance on Iron Dome is enabling Obama to degrade Israel’s military advantage.

For one thing, the proliferation of more than a hundred thousand missiles in Gaza, Lebanon, and Iran, has increased Israeli dependency on U.S. military aid to feed a growing demand for anti-rocket batteries.

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Parrying Hezbollah, Hamas and, increasingly, ISIS is not cheap. The operational expense of the Iron Dome is $70,000-$100,000 per missile.

In addition, Iron Dome’s very effectiveness has allowed Israel’s harshest critics around the world to marginalize the threat of terrorist missile blitzes. Missiles shot down by the Iron Dome are not counted. Nor are rockets that either land in “open” areas or do not explode.

Similarly, missiles that do explode and cause damage but do not inflict casualties apparently were never launched, based on the dearth of international reportage.

In this Looking-Glass world, the Gaza terrorists’ unsuccessful missile attacks, aimed at Israeli population centers, are seen by many useful idiots as a noble expression of a disenfranchised Arab people’s struggle against overwhelming, disproportionate Zionist aggression.

The sneaking suspicion that Obama believes that a good Israel is a perpetually vulnerable Israel was confirmed in 2014, when his administration placed an arms embargo against the Jewish State.

What caused Israel’s enduring ally to respond in such a grotesque manner? It was Israel’s retaliatory military action against an incessant barrage of rocket fire from Gaza that provoked Obama’s ire.

Apparently, the American President missed the briefing about impending massive Hamas terror attacks against southern Israel via tunnels from Gaza, which would have resulted in the murder and kidnapping of hundreds of Israeli civilians.

If President Obama views Israeli retaliation as disproportionate and unacceptable, then Israeli preemption cannot even be whispered about.

Invalidating Israel’s pre-preemptive military doctrine and strangling Israeli retaliatory capabilities have emboldened Hamas, Hezbollah, and Tehran to expand their local and wider conflicts.

To distract the more than 70 percent of Americans who are openly pro-Israel, Obama will continue to provide just enough military aid for Israel to defend itself, but not nearly enough to enable the country’s defense forces to win in absolute terms.

However, let’s give President Obama credit for sincerely and diligently working on behalf of peace in the Middle East. Disdainful of American foreign adventures and comfortable with Islamist absolutism, Obama is operating based on a disturbingly rosy assessment that a juiced up Iran will allow the United States to shrink its presence in the Middle East.

Even though traditional Sunni allies – along with Israel – may capitulate, this is a tolerable price to pay for outsourcing the security of the most volatile region on earth to a pack of mad Mullahs with grand nuclear ambitions.

With Obama firmly fixed on bringing Israel to heel, the government in Jerusalem would be wise to consider exploring, developing and strengthening relationships with such rising powers as China, Russia, and India.

After all, the third Jewish commonwealth wasn’t established to merely exist as a vassal of a faraway superpower, but to thrive as a sovereign nation.

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