Et Tu, America? Abandoning Israel
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cancelled his trip to Washington and, effectively, his participation in President Obama's nuclear security summit. Why? In order to avoid a political "ambush" from Turkey and Egypt. The idea is to force Israel to disarm itself and divest of its nuclear capability, accepting the disingenuous notion of a "nuclear-free Middle East" among Arab states.
But answering why Netanyahu pulled out of Obama's nuclear security summit is of far, far less import than answering why he felt the need in the first place. Noah Pollack asked precisely that at Commentary.
But there is an important follow-up question that is of far greater consequence: why do Egypt and Turkey, both American allies, feel at liberty to show up in Washington D.C. at a conference organized by the U.S. president and dump on one of America's closest allies?
There have been many published reports that Egypt is denying that it ever intended to "ambush" Israel over its nuclear deterrent. But burried deep into this Reuters report is a stark admission from Turkey that, indeed, the rout was on.
But the Foreign Ministry in Ankara confirmed that Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, who has sharply escalated criticism of Israel since last year's Gaza war, would demand at the summit that [Israel] disarm as part of a nuclear-free Middle East.
And the rout may still well be on, but with the daggers thrown at a lower level Israeli representative now attending in Netanyahu's stead.
Without doubt, the question of why American allies Turkey and Egypt feel comfortable in doing this to one of our (historically) closest allies in the presence of the President of the United States is, disturbingly, rhetorical. For the answer lies in our president's own rhetoric.
His "strategic nuclear vision" as delineated and expressed in this week's Nuclear Posture Review is one in which American nuclear capabilities are wound down and eventually eliminated. The new START treaty is grossly favorable to the Russians, who will watch America dismantle no fewer than two hundred launchers while Russia builds more. The Bear is smiling.
But Middle Eastern Arab states are also smiling at President Obama's craftily chosen language. For, in declaring that the United States - as official policy - will not use nuclear weapons to attack a Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty-compliant nation, the smoke signals are clear, especially in the context of the rash of ire doled out by the Obama administration to the Israelis on a range of issues. The signal is that, with an American president who shares their ier toward Israel and, importantly, seeks "a world wuithout nuclear weapons," they can wade into Israel over its undeclared nuclear arsenal just as President Obama waded into his own nation's.
Americans commonly and rightly cry out for leadership by example and actions not words. President Obama is indeed leading by example. But it's Turkey, Egypt and the rest of the Arab Middle East states keying off his example.
Never in the short history of modern Israel has it been so truly isolated and alone on the international landscape. Et tu, America?