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GAFFNEY: The Gadhafi precedent

Could attack on Libya set the stage for action against Israel?

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@-Text.rag.dropcap:There are many reasons to be worried about the bridge-leap the Obama administration has just undertaken in its war with Col. Moammar Gadhafi. How it will all end is just one of them.

@-Text.rag:Particularly concerning is the prospect that what we might call the Gadhafi precedent will be used in the not-too-distant future to justify and threaten the use of U.S. military forces against an American ally: Israel.

Here's how such a seemingly impossible scenario might eventuate:

It begins with the Palestinian Authority seeking a United Nations Security Council resolution that would recognize its unilateral declaration of statehood. Three top female officials in the Obama administration reprise roles they played in the council's recent action on Libya: U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice, a vehement critic of Israel, urges that the United States support (or at least not veto) the Palestinians' gambit. She is supported by the senior director for multilateral affairs at the National Security Council, Samantha Power, who in the past argued for landing a "mammoth force" of American troops to protect the Palestinians from Israel. Ditto Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, whose unalloyed sympathy for the Palestinian cause dates back at least to her days as first lady.

This resolution enjoys the support of the other four veto-wielding Security Council members - Russia, China, Britain and France - as well as all of the other nonpermanent members except India, which joins the United States in abstaining. As a result, it is adopted with overwhelming support from what is known as the "international community."

With a stroke of the U.N.'s collective pen, substantial numbers of Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Israeli citizens find themselves on the wrong side of internationally recognized borders. The Palestinian Authority (PA) insists on its long-standing position: The sovereign territory of Palestine must be rid of all Jews.

The Israeli government refuses to evacuate the oft-condemned "settlements" now on Palestinian land or to remove the IDF personnel, checkpoints and facilities rightly seen as vital to protecting their inhabitants and, for that matter, the Jewish state itself.

Hamas and Fatah bury the hatchet (temporarily), forging a united front and promising democratic elections in the new Palestine. There, as in Gaza - and probably elsewhere in the wake of the so-called "Arab awakening" - the winner likely will be the Muslim Brotherhood, whose Palestinian franchise is Hamas.

The unified Palestinian proto-government then seeks international help to "liberate" its land. As with the Gadhafi precedent, the first to act is the Arab League. Its members unanimously endorse the use of force to protect the "Palestinian people" and end the occupation of the West Bank by the Israelis.

Turkey, which is still a NATO ally despite its ever-more-aggressive embrace of Islamism, is joined by Britain and France - two European nations increasingly hostile to Israel - in applauding this initiative in the interest of promoting "peace." They call on the U.N. Security Council to authorize such steps as might be necessary to enforce the Arab League's bidding.

Once again, Team Obama's leading ladies - Mrs. Clinton, Ms. Power and Ms. Rice - align to support the "will of the international community." They exemplify and are prepared to enforce the president's willingness to subordinate U.S. sovereignty to the dictates of transnationalism and his personal hostility toward Israel. The concerns of Mr. Obama's political advisers about alienating Jewish voters on the eve of the 2012 election are trumped by presidential sympathy for the Palestinian right to a homeland.

Accordingly, hard as it may be to believe given the United States' long-standing role as Israel's principal ally and protector, Mr. Obama acts in accordance with the Gadhafi precedent. He warns Israel that it must take steps immediately to dismantle its unwanted presence inside the internationally recognized state of Palestine lest it face the sort of U.S.- enabled "coalition" military measures now under way in Libya. In this case, they would be aimed at neutralizing IDF forces on the West Bank - and beyond, if necessary - in order to fulfill the "will of the international community."

Of course, such steps would not result in the ostensibly desired endgame, namely "two states living side by side in peace and security." If the current attack on Libya entails the distinct possibility of unintended (or at least unforeseen) consequences, application of the Gadhafi precedent to Israel seems certain to produce a very different outcome from the two-state "solution": Under present and foreseeable circumstances, it will unleash a new regional war, with possible worldwide repercussions.

At the moment, it seems unlikely that the first application in Libya of the Gadhafi precedent will have results consistent with U.S. interests. Even if a positive outcome somehow is forthcoming there, should Mr. Obama and his anti-Israel troika of female advisers be allowed, based on that precedent, to realize the foregoing hypothetical scenario, they surely would precipitate a new international conflagration, one fraught with truly horrific repercussions - for Israel, the United States and freedom-loving people elsewhere.

A Congress that was effectively sidelined by Team Obama in the current crisis had better engage fully, decisively and quickly if it is to head off such a disastrous reprise.

Frank J. Gaffney Jr. is president of the Center for Security Policy (SecureFreedom.org), a columnist for The Washington Times and host of Secure Freedom Radio, heard in Washington weeknights at 9 p.m. on WRC-AM (1260).

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