A Better Way to Respond to Terror

Last week’s firebomb attack in Israel, which left an eleven-year-old girl in critical condition, will be met at most with a pro-forma condemnation from the White House. But, argue Moshe Philips and Benyamin Korn, concrete steps can and should be taken by the U.S. to punish such attacks and deter future ones. They write:

The problem is that [U.S. condemnations] will be just words; there will be no real-life consequences. A more effective response would be for President Obama to tell Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas that if he wants to continue receiving $500 million in U.S. aid each year, he must tell the Palestinian public that such attacks are immoral. Not that he “condemns all violence.” And not in some English-language media outlet that average Palestinians will never hear. Abbas has to say that violence against Jews is immoral and that it must stop; and he has to say it in Arabic, on prime-time television.

If the Palestinian Authority believes the U.S. will never penalize or even seriously criticize its actions, it will continue encouraging and justifying Palestinian violence. In fact, a major Palestinian news agency, Ma’an, already has reported that the town where [the terror victim] Ayala Shapira resides is part of “a settlement bloc surrounding a number of Palestinian villages on at least three sides and preventing Palestinians from freely moving in the area.” That allegation is, of course, nonsense, but it gives Palestinian advocates a way to rationalize an otherwise inexcusable attack on a little Israeli girl.

Read more at Algemeiner

More about: Barack Obama, Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian terror, Terrorism, US-Israel relations

If Iran Goes Nuclear, the U.S. Will Be Forced Out of the Middle East

The International Atomic Energy Agency reported in May that Iran has, or is close to having, enough highly enriched uranium to build multiple atomic bombs, while, according to other sources, it is taking steps toward acquiring the technology to assemble such weapons. Considering the effects on Israel, the Middle East, and American foreign policy of a nuclear-armed Iran, Eli Diamond writes:

The basic picture is that the Middle East would become inhospitable to the U.S. and its allies when Iran goes nuclear. Israel would find itself isolated, with fewer options for deterring Iran or confronting its proxies. The Saudis and Emiratis would be forced into uncomfortable compromises.

Any course reversal has to start by recognizing that the United States has entered the early stages of a global conflict in which the Middle East is set to be a main attraction, not a sideshow.

Directly or not, the U.S. is engaged in this conflict and has a significant stake in its outcome. In Europe, American and Western arms are the only things standing between Ukraine and its defeat at the hands of Russia. In the Middle East, American arms remain indispensable to Israel’s survival as it wages a defensive, multifront war against Iran and its proxies Hamas and Hizballah. In the Indo-Pacific, China has embarked on the greatest military buildup since World War II, its eyes set on Taiwan but ultimately U.S. primacy.

While Iran is the smallest of these three powers, China and Russia rely on it greatly for oil and weapons, respectively. Both rely on it as a tool to degrade America’s position in the region. Constraining Iran and preventing its nuclear breakout would keep waterways open for Western shipping and undermine a key node in the supply chain for China and Russia.

Diamond offers a series of concrete suggestions for how the U.S. could push back hard against Iran, among them expanding the Abraham Accords into a military and diplomatic alliance that would include Saudi Arabia. But such a plan depends on Washington recognizing that its interests in Eastern Europe, in the Pacific, and in the Middle East are all connected.

Read more at National Review

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Middle East, U.S. Foreign policy