- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 8, 2010

President Obama is betraying the Jews. He is a cultural Muslim whose sympathies lie with the Islamic world in its life-death struggle against Israel. Unless American Jews wake up and speak out against Mr. Obama’s pro-Arab, anti-Israel policies, the Jewish state faces a possible nuclear war - and even annihilation.

Mr. Obama met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week. The goal: to repair the public rift in relations between Washington and Jerusalem.

“The bond between the United States and Israel is unbreakable,” Mr. Obama said. “It encompasses our national security interests, our strategic interests, but most importantly the bond of two democracies who share a common set of values and whose people have grown closer and closer as time goes on.”

Don’t believe him. In front of reporters, Mr. Obama may praise the Jewish state. But behind the scenes, he is selling the Jews down the river.

According to a recent story in World Tribune, a prominent intelligence news website, administration officials have assured the Saudi royal family that Mr. Obama is determined to pressure Mr. Netanyahu into accepting an independent Palestinian state encompassing the West Bank and Gaza with East Jerusalem as its capital. Mr. Obama - like many in the Arab world - believes that the key to Middle East peace is resolving the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

It isn’t. Rather, an independent Palestine will be an Islamic stake aimed at the heart of the Jewish state. Israel’s withdrawal to pre-1967 borders will leave Jerusalem vulnerable to an all-out military assault. The Arabs will have the strategic means to implement their overriding ambition since the creation of Israel in 1948: wiping out the Jews.

The democratically elected Hamas regime that runs the Gaza Strip openly calls for the destruction of the Jews. The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank led by President Mahmoud Abbas systemically indoctrinates Palestinians about the “evil Zionist state.” Palestinian television, schools and state-controlled media all preach that Israel is inherently “illegitimate” and must be “eliminated.” The overwhelming majority of the Palestinians (and Arabs) don’t want peace. They want conquest.

The notion of two states, in which Jews and Palestinians are living side by side in mutual coexistence, is an illusion. If the Palestinians abandoned their guns, there would be peace. If the Israelis abandoned their guns, there would be genocide.

The root cause of the violence in the Middle East has nothing to do with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This is a distraction, a convenient excuse consistently used by Arab tyrants to cover up the real disease afflicting the region: radical Islam. From its inception, Islamic civilization has been at war with its neighbors. The Muslim faith has spread throughout centuries by the sword and violent jihad. It is why Christians and Jews were slaughtered and expelled from Arab lands during the Middle Ages. It is why the Ottoman Turks invaded and conquered Spain, Portugal, the Balkans and parts of France and Italy, even reaching the gates of Vienna.

It is why the Saudis today continue to spend billions of dollars funding extremist madrassa all over the world. It is why Islamofascists, such as the Taliban and al Qaeda, seek a global caliphate based on Shariah law. It is why Iran’s revolutionary Shiite mullahs are marching toward a nuclear bomb.

From its inception, political Islam has been at war with the West - first, with Christendom, and now with its modern secular variant, liberal democracy. There is no escape for either Israel or America. Islamists despise the Jewish state because it is the West’s strategic bulwark in the Middle East - a democratic outpost in a region marked by economic backwardness, authoritarianism and religious fanaticism. The United States is the bastion of the free world, the last great power of the West. Hence, for Islamic radicals, these two nations must be smashed. It is a fight to the finish - and only one side can emerge victorious.

For all of his flaws (and there were many), former President George W. Bush understood this seminal reality. This is why he fought the war against Islamic terrorism. It is also why he was the most pro-Israel leader in U.S. history. He understood one simple truth: Israel’s struggle is the West’s struggle.

Mr. Obama is the anti-Bush. He is virulently anti-Israel, championing appeasement toward radical Islam. The reason lies in Mr. Obama’s background and worldview - one that makes him uniquely unqualified to prosecute the war on terror.

During his youth, Mr. Obama was raised and educated as a Muslim. His father and stepfather were Muslims. When Mr. Obama attended a Catholic school in Indonesia, he was registered as an Indonesian citizen and “a Muslim.” In public school, he was also identified as practicing Islam. Under the name “Barry Soetoro,” he was compelled to take daily Islamic religious instruction, recite prayers, study the Koran and learn Arabic. His former classmates and teachers remember him as a devout Muslim.

For example, Rony Amir, a childhood pal of young Barry, described Mr. Obama as “previously quite religious in Islam.”

“We previously often asked him to the prayer room close to the house,” Mr. Amir said. “If he was wearing a sarong [waist garment worn for religious or casual occasions] he looked funny.”

Nor is Mr. Obama’s sympathy for Islamic culture limited to his youth. In an interview with the New York Times, Mr. Obama described the Muslim call to prayer as “one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset.”

The Times also noted that Mr. Obama recited, “with a first-class [Arabic] accent,” the opening lines of the Muslim call to prayer.

Here are the first few lines:

Allah is Supreme!

Allah is Supreme!

Allah is Supreme! Allah is Supreme!

I witness that there is no god but Allah

I witness that there is no god but Allah

I witness that Muhammad is his prophet …

Mr. Obama says he is a practicing Christian. Yet, there can be no denying that his Muslim heritage and Islamic background infuses his thought and actions.

Culturally, he is America’s first Muslim president. He refuses to admit there is a war against Islamist terrorism. His counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, even denies that jihad is a motive for Muslim extremists. He publicly excoriates Israel for building Jewish apartments in East Jerusalem, but calls for “engagement” and “dialogue” with Iran. He seeks a rapprochement with Syria, downplaying its ties to Tehran and support for Hezbollah. He is prematurely pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq. He has imposed crippling rules of engagement that make victory all but impossible in Afghanistan - for fear of killing civilians and “angering” the Muslim street. He demands Gitmo be closed. He calls for terrorists, like Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, to be tried in civilian court. He has ordered that NASA’s “foremost” mission be “outreach” to the Islamic world - not space exploration. And he adamantly embraces Palestinian statehood, even at the mortal risk posed to Israel.

In short, Mr. Obama seeks to coddle the Islamic world. The result is that Iran is on the verge of acquiring the bomb. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - like all fanatics - is a serious man. He vows to slay the Jews of Israel once and for all. Mr. Obama is not some grand peacemaker. Rather, he is a naive, foolish leftist who - blinded by his ideological and cultural blinkers - is playing right into the blood-soaked hands of America’s enemies.

Jeffrey T. Kuhner is a columnist at The Washington Times, president of the Edmund Burke Institute and the daily host of the “Kuhner Show” on WTNT 570-AM from 5 to 7 p.m.