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Administration's Morally Confused Policies Put Israel in Grave Danger

June 29, 2011 By:
Newt Gingrich
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Israel and America are at a dangerous crossroads in which the survival of Israel and the safety of the United States both hang in the balance.

Terrorism becomes stronger each year, while the claims of terrorists become more acceptable to our European allies and more powerful in the United Nations. Iran, with its stated wish to annihilate Israel, is closer to having nuclear arms. Hamas and Hezbollah have grown more powerful in Gaza and Lebanon respectably.

Today the greatest obstacle to peace is not the enemy's strength or the unwillingness of Israel to make sacrifices. It is the inability of the Obama administration and some world leaders to tell the truth about terrorism, be honest about the goals of our enemies and devise policies appropriate to an honest accounting of reality.

Moral confusion marks this administration's elevation of political correctness above common sense. Its policy toward Israel has been a victim of this failing.

In his May 19 State Department speech, the president rightly stated that Israel cannot be expected to negotiate with a terrorist organization that denies its right to exist. But he then went on to pressure Israel to do exactly that.

President Obama wants Israel to negotiate with a Palestinian Authority that is in league with Hamas. The president said that applying this pressure on Israel might not be a politically savvy thing, especially in an election year. By this, he was telling us that he's doing the brave thing by pressuring Israel to negotiate with a group that wants to destroy it.

Hamas was founded as a terrorist organization dedicated to Israel's destruction. In 2010, Hamas sent more than 200 missiles into Israel from Gaza. No country can be expected to conduct peace negotiations with such a partner.

In his recent speeches, the president called for Israel to accept the 1967 lines as the beginning of peace negotiations. He went to great lengths to have us believe that what he said at the State Department and at AIPAC was no different than what other presidents have said.

That's just not true. The president has called for a shift in U.S. policy regarding the peace process. He wants Israel to accept the indefensible lines of 1967 as the starting point of negotiations.

Accepting this would be suicidal for Israel. Fortunately, the proposal is a non-starter with the American people.

We're committed to a peace that protects Jerusalem as Israel's undivided capital. After all, it has only been under Jewish authority that religious freedom, including access to holy sites, for people of all faiths has been protected.

We must see the president's policies for what they are: the dangerous accommodation of Middle East dictators.

The decision to adopt a policy of accommodation, using the political objectives and code words of those who wish to drive Israel into the sea, is leading Israel and the Western democracies toward ever-increasing danger.

The president's focus on Israel as the obstacle to peace is disturbing considering the existence of a true threat to world peace: Iran's nuclear ambitions. Today Iran is watching whether the United States keeps its promises to Israel and how we deal with Iran's proxies, Hamas and Hezbollah. The Iranian regime will also be watching how America and our allies treat Israel at the U.N. General Assembly this September.

We must acknowledge that 20 years of trying to negotiate peace with evil regimes and organizations dedicated to the destruction of Israel -- and in many cases our own destruction -- has been a failure, and the time has come to take the offensive against them. This begins with a firm and consistent commitment -- in the tradition of Ronald Reagan -- to speak plainly and truthfully about the nature of our enemies.

Next, our policies must reflect the fact that there is no moral equivalence between terrorist regimes and a legitimate self-governing country that abides by the rule of law.

We must reverse this administration's policies of incoherence and accommodation and implement a foreign policy that's clear about the terrible evil we face and is also committed to acting to overcome it.

Newt Gingrich, a Republican candidate for president, delivered a version of this piece to the Republican Jewish Coalition on June 12.

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