By: Guest Columnist Roy Trachtenberg
Recently President Obama has suggested that the US should reexamine its foreign policy toward Israel. This statement was in response to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu statements during his campaign for re-election. There is no doubt that Obama and Netanyahu have disagreed. However, there is no doubt that the US has supported Israel and will continue to do so.
These are the FACTS:
- The United States supported Israel in the last Gaza War
- Obama fought for Israel to receive $275 million over its annual foreign military aid – above and beyond the foreign aid that is
- Obama, in the last three years, helped Israel establish “Iron Dome” which has intercepted 90% of missiles launched against Israel
and has saved lives.
- Obama forcefully opposed the Palestinians’ attempt to unilaterally declare a state.
- Obama gave Israel advanced technology including long range rocket defense, Arrow ballistic missile defense, and advanced US X-band long-range radar, Obama authorized the U.S to give Israel 5th generation Joint Strike Fighters.
- “Obama is a friend to Israel” as, stated by Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak. “Nobody could raise a question mark about Obama’s devotion to Israel’s security.” Obama called Egypt’s new leaders to abide by the peace treaty with Israel.
- Obama personally came to Israel’s aid immediately when it needed it most. He answered Israel’s “3 AM phone call” and personally intervened to rescue Israel’s diplomats in Cairo. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “I believe we owe him a special debt of gratitude.”
- Obama ordered the U.S. representative to the United Nations to vote with Israel 100% of the time, a first in modern history, and defended Israel over the Gaza flotilla incident with Turkey.
- It is assumed that the U.S. with Israeli cooperation launched a successful cyber attack against Iran’s nuclear development that delayed it for years.
- Obama rallied the world against a nuclear-armed Iran and continues to lead the sanctions effort by example and has brought Iran to the negotiating table. All of the above are proven facts.
The United States policy towards Israel is predicated on a two state solution to the Israel – Palestine problem, which was originally proposed in 1948 – 66 years ago. The Arab nations (except Egypt) and the Palestinian Arabs do not recognize Israel. This has been going on for 66 years. Israel gave Sinai to the Palestinians – Destroyed their settlements and evacuated Israelis. What they got were rocket attacks and tunnels for Hammas to attack Israel. The Israelis voted for Netanyahu because they are tired of waiting 66 years to be recognized as a nation by their neighbors. It’s time for a change.
The US policy has been against the expansion of Israelis into the so-called West Bank. We visited a “city” in the “contested area – Judea & Samaria also known as the West Bank.” This was not a settlement. It was a city of over 40,000 Jews called Ma’ale Adumim, like Weston or Tamarac. Billions of dollars were invested here. There are 3 other cities like this in the disputed area. There is no way that this city or other Jewish cities should be torn down or turned over to the Palestinians such as what has happened before and in the Gaza strip. Sec. Of State John Kerry stated the concept of a two party state is coming to an end. I think the end is here already. The idea of a separate state for Jews and a separate state for Arabs is not a reality. Ma’ale Adumim and the other cities prove it. The growing population of Jews in the West Bank proves it plus the refusal the Arabs to recognize Israel since 1948.
Israel is a secular nation. It is not a theocracy where you have to be a member of a certain religious group. There are 77 past and present members of the Israel Parliament who are Arab. During the war for independence, it was Arabs that helped keep the road to Jerusalem open so that Israel was able to win. Arabs serve in the Israeli army and
are integrated into Israeli society. Why not one nation? For 66 years the idea of a two-nation solution has not worked because of extreme Arab terrorists.
Finally Israel is the homeland for Jews. It came about because of the Holocaust of WW II. The hatred of Jews led to 6 Million Jews being killed. Israel has served as an oasis for Jews that have faced anti-Semitism. 3,152,146 Jews have immigrated to Israel since 1948.
Due to the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe, last year saw an increase to over 24,500 immigrants. Israel is one of the smallest nations, only 8,019 sq. miles (smaller than the state of New Jersey). The total population of Israel is almost 9 Million. Israel has to provide housing for its immigrants who came because of discrimination. A two-state solution is not geographically possible.
The US policy has been to allow the Israel and Palestinians to try to work out an agreement. It hasn’t happened. It is time to reevaluate US foreign policy towards Israel. For 66 years it has not worked. The Arab nations have not recognized Israel. Instead Israel has been fighting terrorists for 66 years.
President Obama is right. It’s time to reevaluate our foreign policy.
Roy Trachtenberg is a retired school administrator. He was born in Miami Beach, Florida but spent 35 years in the New York City school system. He is also a retired assistant professor of Education and one of the first to integrate technology into the classroom which he taught to other teachers. He is a former Dean of Education for a community college trade school where he developed curriculum for 9/11 workers displaced because of the terrorist attack. He is married to Sharon Rosenthal and lives in Coral Springs. He has a daughter and 3 grandchildren.
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