Barack Obama’s Policies Have Made the World More Dangerous

Jan. 17 2017

Taking stock of the president’s foreign policy over the past eight years, Yaakov Amidror argues that it has made the Middle East more volatile and Israel less secure:

In [President Obama’s] view, many of Washington’s international failures stemmed from the fact that it had not tried to improve ties with its adversaries. . . . He believed that addressing people from the heart would be reciprocated. This was also the logic that drove his attempt to promote a new rapport with Russia. Eight years later, it is hard to say the world has repaid Obama in kind. The world is not a better, more democratic place; nor does it favor the U.S. in any way. This is especially true in the Middle East, but the sentiment is shared elsewhere as well.

Moreover, the U.S. rollback . . . has made its allies wary of their aggressive neighbors. . . . Obama is leaving behind a world far more dangerous than the one with which he was entrusted as leader of the most powerful country on earth—a title he managed to compromise seriously. . . .

[As far as Israel is concerned, the] outgoing administration turned settlement construction in Judea and Samaria into the key issue with regard to the . . . peace process. It was nothing short of an obsession, and the issue by which any progress would rise or fall. Washington refrained from pressuring Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in any way, even when he failed to agree to the 2014 U.S. framework to reignite the talks. . . . The administration thereby lost an opportunity of possibly historic proportions to advance the peace talks, while the Israeli government—and a Likud government at that—was more willing than ever to promote it. . . . Furthermore, the way in which the Obama administration handled the issue of settlements made Abbas climb up a very tall tree. It will be hard for him to climb down from such a height toward future negotiations.

As for the future under Donald Trump:

[A]s far as one can understand [the incoming administration’s] positions on these issues, it appears that with regard to settlement construction and Iran’s nuclear program, Israel is likely to find a far more sympathetic ear. . . . [I]t is very important that Trump fulfill his campaign promise to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This would be a clear signal of U.S, commitment to Israel and recognition of Jerusalem (or the west side of it at least) as its capital. After the outgoing administration’s stunt at the Security Council and John Kerry’s settlement speech, the decision to move the embassy to the Israeli capital will carry even greater significance.

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Read more at BESA Center

More about: Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Politics & Current Affairs, U.S. Foreign policy, US-Israel relations

 

The Attempted Murder of Salman Rushdie Should Render the New Iran Deal Dead in the Water

Aug. 15 2022

On Friday, the Indian-born, Anglo-American novelist Salman Rushdie was repeatedly stabbed and severely wounded while giving a public lecture in western New York. Reports have since emerged—although as yet unverified—that the would-be assassin had been in contact with agents of Iran, whose supreme leaders have repeatedly called on Muslims to murder Rushdie. Meanwhile U.S. and European diplomats are trying to restore the 2015 nuclear agreement with Tehran. Stephen Daisley comments:

Salman Rushdie’s would-be assassin might have been a lone wolf. He might have had no contact with military or intelligence figures. He might never even have set foot in Tehran. But be in no doubt: he acted, in effect, as an agent of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Under the terms of the fatwa issued by Ayatollah Khomeini in February 1989, Rushdie “and all those involved in [his novel The Satanic Verses’s] publication who were aware of its content, are sentenced to death.” Khomeini urged “brave Muslims to kill them quickly wherever they find them so that no one ever again would dare to insult the sanctities of Muslims,” adding: “anyone killed while trying to execute Rushdie would, God willing, be a martyr.”

An American citizen has been the victim of an attempted assassination on American soil by, it appears, another American after decades of the Iranian supreme leader agitating for his murder. No country that is serious about its national security, to say nothing of its national self-worth, can pretend this is some everyday stabbing with no broader political implications.

Those implications relate not only to the attack on Rushdie. . . . In July, a man armed with an AK-47 was arrested outside the Brooklyn home of Masih Alinejad, an Iranian dissident who was also the intended target of an abduction plot last year orchestrated by an Iranian intelligence agent. The cumulative weight of these outrages should render the new Iran deal dead in the water.

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Read more at Spectator

More about: Freedom of Speech, Iran, U.S. Foreign policy