Many in the American Jewish community are aghast to discover that President Obama is planning to appoint former Senator Chuck Hagel to serve as Defense Secretary. If you want the skinny on how Hagel has come to be known as one of the few ferociously anti-Israel senators in the past generation, Carl from Jerusalem at Israel Matzav provides it.
Meantime, all I can say is I don’t understand how anyone can possibly be surprised. Shortly after word came out that Hagel is the frontrunner for the nomination, I read a quaint little blog post written by a conservative leaning commentator voicing her belief that Obama wouldn’t want to risk his relations with Israel’s supporters by appointing Hagel. But as Powerlinepointed out today, this is the entire point of the nomination. Obama isn’t stupid. He picks fights he thinks he can win. He hasn’t always been right about those fights. He picked fights with Netanyahu thinking he could win, and he lost some of those.
Obama wants to hurt Israel. He does not like Israel. He is appointing anti-Israel advisors and cabinet members not despite their anti-Israel positions, but because of them.
So far, he has made clear that he feels no constraints whatsoever. Take the Palestinians at the UN for example. Obama enabled the Palestinians to get their non-member state status at the UN by failing to threaten to cut off US funding to the UN in retaliation for such a vote.
Both Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush issued such threats during their tenures in office and so prevented the motion from coming to a vote. Given that the Palestinians have had an automatic majority in the General Assembly since at least 1975, the only reason their status was only upgraded in 2012 is because until then, either the PLO didn’t feel like raising the issue or the US threatened to cut off its financial support to the UN if such a motion passed. This year PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas said he wanted to have a vote and Obama responded by not issuing a threat to cut off UN funding. So the Palestinians got their vote and, as expected, it passed overwhelmingly.
Seeing the upgrade as a Palestinian move is a mistake. It was a joint Palestinian-American move.
Let there be no doubt, Obama will get Hagel in at Defense. And Hagel will place Israel in his crosshairs. Moreover, one of his strongest advantages is that Israel’s supporters seem to have never gotten the memo. So here it is: Obama wants to fundamentally transform the US relationship with Israel.
He isn’t playing by the old rules. He doesn’t care about the so-called Israel lobby or the Jewish vote.
As strange as it may sound, I am slightly relieved by Hagel’s appointment, and by my trust that Kerry will be a loyal mouthpiece of Obama’s hostility. The more “in our faces” they are with their hostility, the smaller our ability to deny their hostility or pretend that we can continue to operate as if nothing has changed. As we face four more years of Obama – and four years of Obama unplugged — the most urgent order of business for Israelis is to stop deluding ourselves in thinking that under Obama the US can be trusted.
So welcome aboard Secretary Hagel. Bring it on.
Hamas, like all Islamists, does not seek to kill Jews because of Israel. It seeks to destroy Israel because it is filled with Jews. The Jews are not hated because of Muslim opposition to Israel. Israel is opposed because of the Muslim hatred of Jews. There is no deal to be made here. The trouble with Israel is not that it sits on a piece of land that someone wants. The trouble with Israel is the ethnic and religious composition of its people. The trouble with Israel is that it’s in the way of Islamic Armageddon.
“Hamas has been looking forward to implement Allah’s promise whatever time it might take,” Article 7 states. “The prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said: The (end) time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him!”
During the last Gaza conflict, Al-Aqsa TV, Hamas’ own propaganda station, aired a music video that included the message, “Killing Jews is worship that draws us close to Allah.” When two Al-Aqsa TV operatives were killed during the conflict, the New York Times’ David Carr penned a furious piece accusing Israel of “using war to target journalists.” By journalists he meant the jolly folks from the Gaza version of Der Stürmer who were worshipping Allah by trying to kill Jews.
Another of the journalistic videos on Al Aqsa TV featured their cheerful ditty, “We are [Hamas' Al-Qassam] Brigades. We kidnap soldiers. We kill Jews.”
The Nazis used to fund the Muslim Brotherhood. These days we fund the Muslim Brotherhood. And the Third Reich at least didn’t get around to shipping warplanes to the Brotherhood the way that the Obama Administration has.
The religion of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood is killing Jews. And the latest survey of the Palestinian Arab public shows that 87.8 percent of them, or 9 out of 10, support Hamas’ war against the Jews. How do you find common ground with people whose form of worship is killing you? There is only one way. By joining the war on their side.
Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood are pragmatists. That means that they are willing to sit down and chat with New York Times reporters until it becomes expedient to chop their heads off. Being a pragmatic serial killer is all about this kind of divide and conquer triage; figuring out which of your victims to kill now and which of your victims to manipulate into seeing you as a moderate serial killer. A serial killer who can be reasoned with and counted on to keep the unreasonable serial killers in line.
Hamas’ American supporters have found their common ground with a genocidal terrorist organization by counting on that same pragmatism to keep them alive. That is how Cindy Sheehan can troop down to Gaza or Pakistan. It is why New York Times reporters in Gaza don’t meet the same fate as Daniel Pearl.
The endgame for Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood is still that glorious genocidal apocalypse where every rock and tree will turn into a snitch. But they are willing to be pragmatists until they can get there. For the momentNew York Times reporters are useful for covering up Hamas rocket launches from schools and hospitals. For the moment Human Rights Watch activists are good for faking a human rights crisis and allowing the terrorist group to rearm. For the moment America is good for some free money and even weapons.
For the moment the pragmatic serial killers will pick and choose which Jews they will commune with Allah by trying to murder. But moments pass quickly. And with enough F-16s, even pragmatically genocidal groups no longer need to be very pragmatic about their genocide at all.