You really have to hand it to Michael Rubin. His post on “The Corner” in the National Review Online today regarding the Flotilla “Incident” leaves little doubt as to his core worldview. The post speaks for itself:
Monday, May 31, 2010
The Gaza Crisis: Decision Time for Obama [Michael Rubin]
As we near the first anniversary of President Obama’s Cairo speech, the Middle East is heading to hell in a handbag. The core of the Obama doctrine is that “if we say what our enemies want to hear and if they like us, then our strategic objectives will naturally fall in line.” This of course is naïve in the extreme, but it has been at the core of the Obama administration’s foreign policy for the past year.
In the Middle East, of course, Iran has dismissed Obama’s call to unclench its fist, and Obama may have been surprised that Hamas’s and Hezbollah’s commitment to radical Islamism had less to do with their feelings toward the United States than with their own atavistic ideology.
The idea that we need to be neutral in the Arab-Israeli situation is silly: We should support Israel because it is in U.S. national interest to do so. What’s the alternative? Basing our regional national security on Syria? On Libya? On Hamas and Hezbollah? On Egypt? Indeed, while the Walt and Mearsheimer camp often suggest that it is not in our interest to support Israel and that instead it is some communal bribe, the fact of the matter is that the United States gets just as much if not more from our relationship with Israel. A look at the U.N. voting record shows that. We need allies that support us unconditionally, and we need to reciprocate.
So why is it decision time for Obama? Israel feels itself increasingly in an existential crisis. Not only is Iran nearing a nuclear-weapons capability, but it has become increasingly vogue to delegitimize Israel. In the wake of the Gaza ship incident, Israel is going to see whether it has any allies left who will recognize its dilemma, recognize its security concerns, and support it as the crisis grows. Israel knows it can’t trust Europe. Indeed, Europe finances many of the groups which, if they don’t seek Israel’s destruction directly, nevertheless indirectly support terrorism.
If Obama decides it is in America’s interest to make an example of Israel after the Gaza flotilla incident in order to win goodwill in Cairo, Beirut, Tehran, and Ankara, then he must also recognize that the leadership in Jerusalem is going to conclude that it cannot trust the United States to safeguard its security, and that therefore it must take matters into its own hands on any number of issues, not the least of which is Iran’s nuclear program. In effect, if the White House decides to come down hard on Israel now, it is the same as giving a green light for Israel to strike Iran. That is not advocacy; it is just the realism about which President Obama is so fond.
05/31 01:25 PMShare
For that matter, look at all The Corner’s posts on the subject. You’d never think that Israel flew commandos 70 miles from its shores to forcibly commandeer a Turkish civilian vessel in international waters.
(Remember, it was Rubin’s mentor, Richard Perle, who did as much as anyone to cement strategic ties between Turkey and Israel over many years. It must be a difficult moment for these guys.)