Written by Frank Gaffney
There are many reasons to be worried about the bridge-leap the Obama Administration has just undertaken in its war with Muamar Gaddafi. How it will all end is just one of them.
What I find particularly concerning is the prospect that what we might call the Qaddafi Precedent will be used in the not-to-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 UN Security Council resolution that would recognize its unilateral declaration of statehood. The U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice, one of the prime-movers behind the resolution that authorized the use of force against Gaddafi and a vehement critic of Israel, urges that the United States abstain, rather than veto the Palestinians’ gambit. She is joined in that recommendation by a kindred spirit at the Obama National Security Council, Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs Samantha Power, and by Secretary of State Hillary 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 the all of the other non-permanent 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.”
Suddenly, substantial numbers of Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Israeli citizens are on the wrong side of internationally recognized borders. The Palestinian Authority (PA) insists on its longstanding position: Its state must be (to use Hitler’s term for ethnic cleansing) judenrein – requiring the removal of all Jews from the sovereign territory of Palestine. And, thanks to the international affirmation of the so-called 1967 borders, the PA’s Mahmoud Abbas and Company need no longer accede to one of the anticipated solutions of the “peace process,” i.e., the relinquishing by Israel of territory in the Negev, so as to accommodate the permanent presence of Jewish communities (a.k.a. “settlements”) on land claimed by the Palestinians.
For its part, Israel refuses to evacuate the oft-condemned “settlements” on Palestinian land or to remove the IDF personnel, checkpoints and facilities it rightly sees as vital to protecting their inhabitants and, for that matter, the Jewish State itself.
Hamas, which controls Gaza, seizes this moment to forge a united front with Abbas’ Fatah. The latter, of course, runs the Palestinian Authority on the West Bank of the Jordan River. It is the faction that has – with considerable help from Israel and U.S.-trained and -armed security forces – managed on the West Bank largely to keep a lid on its rivals for power, Hamas. But whatever their differences on the tactics of how to destroy Israel (Iran-backed Hamas seeks to do so with violence as soon as possible; Fatah has long pursued a two-phase strategy: first, induce Israel to relinquish territory through the peace process, then use that land as the launching pad to “drive the Jews into the sea”), the ultimate objective is precisely the same: judenrein throughout the Middle East.
The unified Palestinian proto-government then seeks international help to “liberate” their land. As with the Gaddafi 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 technically still a NATO ally despite its ever-more-aggressive embrace of Islamism, joins forces with Britain and France, applaud this initiative in the interest of promoting “peace.” They call on the UN Security Council to authorize such steps as might be necessary to enforce the Arab League’s bidding.
Once again, Team Obama’s leading ladies – Mesdames Clinton, Power and 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 hostility towards Israel. They appeal to his sense of history and his oft-expressed sympathy for the Palestinian right to a homeland to trump his political advisors’ concerns about alienating Jewish voters on the eve of the 2012 election.
Accordingly, hard as it may be to believe given the United States’ longstanding role as Israel’s principal ally and protector, Mr. Obama acts, in accordance with the Gaddafi Precedent. He warns Israel that it must immediately take steps to dismantle its presence inside the internationally recognized State of Palestine lest it face U.S.-enabled “coalition” military measures aimed at neutralizing IDF forces on the West Bank – and beyond, if necessary – in order to fulfill the will of the international community.
Unfortunately, such steps will not result in the ostensibly desired end-game, 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 Gaddafi Precedent to Israel seems certain to produce a very different outcome than the two-state “solution”: Under present and foreseeable circumstances, it will unleash a new regional conflagration, with possible worldwide repercussions.
For one thing, the mere fact that the United States is no longer seen as guaranteeing Israel’s security would probably prove a sufficient inducement to war for those like Iran, Syria, Hezbollah’s Lebanon and Hamas’ Gaza itching to finish the job of eliminating the hated “Zionist entity” in their midst. The same might well prove to be the case for other states in the region if, as seems likely, the Muslim Brotherhood fills yawning vacuums of power in Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain, Yemen and possibly Saudi Arabia and Libya.
How much more irresistible would such temptation be if the United States were actually raining down cruise missiles on Israeli targets in the West Bank, as it has done on Libyan ones at the behest of the Arab League and UN Security Council? Suffice it to say, Israel’s back would surely be against the wall in short order, facing the sort of existential threat it has not known since 1973 and that most Israelis only expected to eventuate when the Iranian mullahs at last got the Bomb. Under such circumstances, we must expect that Israel would employ its own nuclear forces, with devastating and unknowable consequences.
Needless to say, I hope the Gaddafi Precedent 1.0 will work out better than seems likely to be the case in Libya. Even more importantly, I am praying that Barack Obama and his anti-Israel troika of female advisors will not take us all down a road that seems ripe for another, ominous application of this precedent, with truly horrific repercussions – for Israel, for the United States and for 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.