Family Research Council

In Israel's Desperate Hour, Obama Leads From Behind

By Ken Blackwell and Bob Morrison Senior Fellow, Family Empowerment


Ken Blackwell is Senior Fellow, Family Empowerment, and Robert Morrison is Senior Fellow for Policy Studies at Family Research Council. This article appeared in The Daily Caller on July 24, 2014.


"We have your back," President Obama told Israelis when he visited the embattled country recently. Way back, apparently. Mr. Obama's administration famously claimed to "lead from behind" in overthrowing Libya's strongman, Gaddafi. Young Sergeant Benjamin Anthony spoke to the Christians United for Israel (CUFI) Washington Summit this week. Sgt. Anthony described a different vision of leadership. He introduced us to the Hebrew word for "after me," ahalai. Officers in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), he said, should lead from the front. That used to be America's idea of leadership, too.

You cannot say Secretary John Kerry isn't alert to his opportunities. He sees another chance to be a peacemaker. He is rushing to the Mideast to broker a cease-fire. Sgt. Anthony says Israel needs a victory over Hamas terrorists who have been hiding rockets in schools and hospitals.

Kerry wants Israelis to stop trying to root out those who have sent more than 9,000 rockets into Israel. Canada's National Post recently reported that the UNWRA - the UN's refugee agency - closed down a school it was operating in Gaza after a cache of Hamas rockets was discovered next door. The UN bureaucrats did what they usually do: they turned the rockets over to "local authorities." In Gaza, that means they gave the rockets back to Hamas. The cartoonist wasn't kidding when he said Hamas means "hiding among mosques and schools."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also addressed the CUFI gathering via satellite. He has said the moral difference between Israel and its enemies is simple: "We use missiles to defend our civilians; they use civilians to defend their missiles." An earlier Israeli Prime Minister, Golda Meir, was a young Jewish girl raised in Milwaukee. She spoke to her Arab enemies in these poignant words: "We can forgive you for killing our children; we cannot forgive you for making us kill your children."

Hamas is banking on CNN and the rest of the gullible Western media to carry pictures of Mideast violence into American homes and European homes. The late PLO chief, Yasser Arafat, saw the possibilities of CNN for his terrorist plans. He learned that airline hijacking could be a successful way to murder your way onto the front pages and into viewers' living rooms.

Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) addressed an appreciative crowd at CUFI. He described his 2011 visit to Israel as part of a congressional delegation. Senator Scott's bus was northbound when he saw a southbound Israeli bus get hit by one of Hamas's rockets. Blood and body parts were scattered all over the street. Still, Senator Scott was amazed to see Israeli police actually training Palestinian Arabs as police officers. The Jews' view was that if law and justice prevailed anywhere, people might just get a thirst for law and justice. "I saw Jewish policemen acting out the Gospel of Matthew (5:38-43)." Senator Scott will be an increasingly important voice in the U.S. Senate, but also in the black community, serving as a counter to anti-Semites like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Jeremiah Wright.

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN) made a point of saying she did not speak for CUFI. She repeated that message three times. But she was speaking to CUFI. And her powerful message was that as bad as Hamas rockets are, an Iranian nuclear weapon is vastly worse. "Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing," she quoted from Psalm 2. Never have those words been more prophetic. Jerusalem is described in Hebrew as "the navel of the world." She related how in Berlin, police allowed a Muslim demonstrator to use their police car loudspeaker. He was supposed to quiet the angry mob of protestors against Israel. Instead, he used his microphone to harangue the mob with shouts of "Allahu Akbar!" "Death to the Jews!," cried this representative of the religion of peace. And the German police? They thought he was going to calm, not incite the crowd. They quickly learned the meaning of Takiya. That Persian word means it is permissible for Muslims to deceive unbelievers.

Congresswoman Bachmann, a key member of the House Intelligence Committee, pointed to the state of the world with President Obama leading from behind and noted White House spokesman Josh Earnest's jaw-dropping claim: "The Obama administration has substantially improved the tranquility of the global community" Did he really say that earnestly? There may be a Sea of Tranquility on the Moon, but nowhere on Earth.

Despite crises erupting around the world, Mr. Obama seems blissfully distracted. He has just announced another four-month extension for Iran. The red line he drew in Syria has been turned into a real red line as oceans of blood are spilled there by ISIS - the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. And the deadline for talks about Iran's lunge for nuclear weapons has been extended and extended. Mr. Obama is again kicking the can down the road - until three weeks after the mid-term elections. Be careful, Mr. President, that's a nuclear can you are kicking!

Meet The Author
Ken Blackwell Senior Fellow, Family Empowerment

Ken Blackwell is the Senior Fellow for Family Empowerment at the Family Research Council. He serves on the board of directors of the Club for Growth and the National Taxpayers (Full Bio)

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