Prodded by Iran, Hamas has attacked Israel, and we’re told to blame both sides: Those setting the fires and the fire brigades putting them out. Then we’re lectured that America has no business backing Jerusalem at all, as if the U.S. has only ever allied with saintly realms like Narnia.
This is what passes for informed thought on cable news and Twitter. My colleague at “The Rush Limbaugh Show,” Brett Winterble of WBT-AM&FM/Charlotte, put it this way: “In an era that preaches, ‘Tolerance, acceptance, everything is good,’ you can say anything you want about Israel, and you will be lauded.”
But ignorant, hateful statements should never be lauded. Israel is as moral as any ally we’ve ever had. If they disappeared from their ancestral homeland tomorrow morning, Hamas would be looking for a way to drop its missiles on your neighborhood by nightfall.
Anti-Semites, of course, hide inside that old rhetorical burqa, “I’m against Israel not the Jewish people,” so just how does Israel stack up to those the United States has made common cause with against other mortal threats like Iran?
France was our nation’s first ally, with George Washington welcoming King Louis XVI’s help overthrowing the British, despite his nasty habit of taking off people’s heads and refusing to give them back.
In World War I, President Woodrow Wilson made common cause with the Russian empire against Germany, and then begged the blood-soaked Bolsheviks to stay on our side after they murdered the czar, his family and countless others.
FDR cuddled up to Joseph Stalin (who had only recently been Hitler’s BFF), rebranding him “Uncle Joe.” After the war, Harry Truman embraced Adolf’s Axis allies in Japan, using them as an Asian bulwark to the USSR, and imagining he’d get a leg up on bioweapons from Tojo’s infamous Unit 731.
To this day, Tokyo remains a key ally. And to this day, they refuse to admit the industrialized rape of the so-called comfort women. Likewise, the Turks, a NATO ally, deny the genocide that slaughtered a million Greeks, orphaning my grandparents. Only recently did Joe Biden call Ankara out on their Armenian genocide, the first president to mention it since Ronald Reagan.
JFK jumped in bed with the Republic of Vietnam. Author Marcelino Truong, whose father worked for the South as a diplomat, admitted to me that the regime tilted towards fascism. “But war makes one fascist. Their eyes, however, looked West, towards building a democracy.”
Former President Jimmy Carter had a bromance with the shah of Iran. When a new dictator replaced the monarch in Tehran, Mr. Carter armed Saddam Hussein to get even, launching the eight-year Iran-Iraq War.
The U.S. long held its nose on South African apartheid, until the communist bloc disintegrated. Reagan agonized over choices like keeping the junta in Buenos Aires on our side against communism, while supporting Margaret Thatcher’s attempts to liberate the Falkland Islands, as covered in Ricky D. Phillips’ book, “The First Casualty: The Untold Story of the Falklands War.”
America armed the mujahadeen in Afghanistan, many of whom later joined up with Osama bin Laden. Which brings us to the Saudis, who — for the price of steep donations to presidential libraries — buy a pass on all manner of evil, while their military stocks up from the Arsenal of Democracy.
Even now, Riyadh’s allies in Congress are fighting to keep sealed documents on their suspected links to the 9/11 attacks. They want the Kingdom as a check on against Iran, whose supreme dictator has been leading chants of, “Death to America!” for 50 years.
Israel stands tall when compared to this partial list of unsavory U.S. allies, with a commitment to liberty matched only by the United Kingdom. Like Ross, Rachel and the gang on “Friends,” we have had disagreements, even fights. Jonathan Pollard spied on our nuclear program. The IDF napalmed the USS Liberty during the Six Day War in 1967, killing nine Navy sailors.
But the Jewish state hasn’t built their entire foreign policy around slaughtering innocents. Iran, on the other hand, is one of the greatest threats we face. Who would you rather hang out with at Central Perk, Bibi Netanyahu or the Ayatollah Khamenei?
Anti-Semites cheer every time someone professes neutrality between Hamas and Israel, but the only option for America is to stand with Jerusalem, not the arsonists who want to watch the Middle East burn, making life miserable for Arab, Persian and Jew alike.
As Winston Churchill said in 1926, the choice between terrorist and target is simple: “I decline utterly to be impartial between the fire brigade and the fire.”
• Dean Karayanis is content producer for “The Rush Limbaugh Show” and host of “History Author Show” on iHeartRadio.