The administration recently told Arab governments Washington will support a U.N. Security Council resolution that stipulates the world body “does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity.” The move is almost unprecedented. America has almost never publicly criticized Israel - our best friend in the Middle East and the region’s only genuine Western-style democracy - at the U.N. The reason: The organization is dominated by anti-Semitic, anti-American dictatorships obsessed with condemning the Jewish state. Israel is lambasted constantly while the rampant human rights abuses of other countries - especially Arab regimes, Russia and China - are barely noticed. The United States has opposed this double standard - until now.
The result will be to drive a wider wedge between Washington and Jerusalem. Israelis rightly will conclude that Mr. Obama is willing to betray a pivotal pro-American ally in order to appease the “Arab street.” Radical Islamists also will realize that Washington’s support is fickle; their dream of driving the Jews into the sea no longer seems unattainable. In fact, now it is entirely possible.
Mr. Obama’s decision to betray Israel should come as no surprise. He is a privileged liberal who reflects the values and prejudices of the academic left. The cultural milieu of his intellectual formation was steeped in hatred of America and the West. His father was an anti-colonial socialist determined to destroy European imperialism. His mentor was Frank Marshall Davis, an avowed communist. His pastor was the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, a black nationalist known for his Jew-baiting. His seminal intellectual influences were revolutionary Marxists such as Frantz Fanon and Edward Said. They championed the belief - prevalent among college radicals - that Israel symbolizes Western subjugation of Third World peoples. In their view, it is a militaristic, quasi-fascist state based on oppression and Zionist expansion. In other words, for the hard left, Palestine is a continuation of the anti-imperial struggle - a mass movement for liberation from Western occupation. That is why progressives have only two real enemies: the United States and Israel.
During his presidency, Mr. Obama has appeased and emboldened radical Islamists. He has apologized for America to the Muslim world. He has prematurely withdrawn U.S. troops from Iraq, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. He has undermined President Hamid Karzai’s government in Afghanistan, enabling the Taliban to make significant inroads. He has turned a blind eye as Turkey becomes increasingly Islamic and Hezbollah has taken control in Lebanon. In 2009, he did not lift a finger - or even say a word of encouragement - to the Green pro-democracy movement in Iran. When it came to supporting the secular, pro-American demonstrators of Tehran, Mr. Obama was stone silent. In fact, he publicly said Washington should not “interfere” in Iranian “internal” affairs. Even today, as brave Iranian democrats battle the forces of tyrant Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president cannot muster the indignation he demonstrated toward former Egyptian autocrat Hosni Mubarak. Mr. Obama refuses to demand that the Persian strongman step aside - as he did with the Egyptian pharaoh.
The fall of the Mubarak regime signifies a major victory for the Muslim Brotherhood. Egypt’s military is in control. The top brass has promised to hold elections in about six months. The Brotherhood is the most disciplined, organized and effective political force on the Nile. It is the oldest modern Islamist movement in the Middle East, comprising a vast underground that has been patiently waiting to seize power. The Brotherhood is the future; secular moderates are the past.
The Brotherhood aims to erect an Iranian-style theocracy. Its founder, Hassan al-Banna, sought to imitate the fascist movements of the 1930s. Instead of desiring a world dominated by a German master race, he wanted a global caliphate - the restoration of an Islamic empire stretching from the Middle East to Europe. Last year, the Brotherhood’s supreme guide, Mohammed Badie, said that the defeat of Israel and America could only occur “by raising a jihadi generation that pursues death just as the enemies pursue life.” The Brotherhood is a mortal threat to Israel and to the West.
Rather than confronting this ugly reality, the administration insists on whitewashing the Brotherhood’s true intentions. Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper recently claimed that the Brotherhood was “largely secular.” At a Senate hearing on Wednesday, he said the group had no “specific agenda” and was “heterogeneous,” consisting of multiple political wings. Mr. Clapper is a liar and should be told to resign.
The Brotherhood has one primary goal: the destruction of the Jewish state. Its leaders call for scuttling Egypt’s 1979 peace treaty with Israel. The group openly glorifies Mr. Ahmadinejad and Iran’s one-party, fundamentalist regime. Its Palestinian branch is Hamas, which is dedicated to the extermination of the Jews. By abandoning Mr. Mubarak, Mr. Obama has paved the way for the radicalization of Egypt. Israel now faces the specter of being strategically encircled by anti-Semitic bellicose states - Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Bashir Assad’s autocracy in Syria and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Behind them stands Iran. Mr. Ahmadinejad is inching closer to acquiring the nuclear bomb and fulfilling his vow to “wipe Israel off the map.”
The Jews are reliving the nightmare of the late 1930s. Except this time, it is Islamic fascism that threatens their very existence. They were alone then, and they are increasingly alone today. Mr. Obama has shown that Israel cannot count on the White House in its hour of need.
Jeffrey T. Kuhner is a columnist at The Washington Times and president of the Edmund Burke Institute.