This will appear in the Bernice Banner, Bernice, Louisiana, USA week of 3/23/2015

Three weeks ago Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in a political battle to maintain his seat as the leader of the sovereign Jewish country of Israel. It is no secret that Netanyahu and President Barak Obama are not the best of friends and unfortunately this is affecting the relationships between the two countries.
As hawkish as Israel is there is one thing for certain, they don’t mince words and they don’t speak out of two sides of their mouths. Israel says what they are going to do and then they do it. This perceived hawkish attitude has made the administrations of several presidents bristle when trying to find a solution to the Mid-East process. While on the surface this appears to be Israel’s disregard for peace that is preventing a Mid-East peace solution, let’s not be so quick to judge the strongest ally that America has in the region and one that is totally devoted to the United States of America.
Israel is surrounded by countries touching its’ border that are committed to destroy the nation. This hardens a countries outlook on its’ neighbors and Israel understands that the slightest sign of weakness will appear to be a weak point in its’ armor and that weak point will be a place to target. Israel must maintain an attitude that it is invincible and will tolerate no attacks of any type. Any actions against Israel would be met with force many times stronger than what had hit it.
Israel did not carve the borders itself. Jews from the death camps of Europe, the oppression of Russia and the beauty of America that felt a higher calling did not load up on ships and go to Palestine and declare they were there to claim a new country. Israel was carved out of Arab controlled Palestine following World War II and it was the Western countries that did this. Britain controlled the area following the war and the United Nations was in agreement. It’s no secret that the Jews were brutally treated during WWII and this gave many countries an opportunity to appease their conscience. This is one reason the free world has an obligation to support Israel and insure that it remains a sovereign nation.
Israel did not start the war that led to occupied territories. In 1967 and again later in 74 Israel went to war with its’ Arab neighbors. Israel did not initiate the fighting but it did finish it. In 1967 we watched in amazement as a tiny country was attacked by armies from Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Iran, Jordan and Iraq. Saudi Arabia and other southern countries showed support but sent no armies. Saudi actually sent its’ fighter jets stationed in Jeddah to Dammam to keep them out of range of the Israeli jets. The Arab countries engaged in different ferocity during the wars. There was one story of Iranian soldiers having a truck load of Israeli prisoners en-route to a holding location. An Iraqi unit stopped the truck and ordered the prisoners executed. The Iranians protested so the Iraqis killed both the Israelis and the Iranian guards. The most amazing aspect of this war was that not only did Israel win this against all odds of success but it took them only seven days to do it.
After the war Israel refused to go back to its’ original borders. They note defensive concerns and it wants a buffer zone around its country. The return of this land is paramount in the Mid-East peace negotiations. One question would be, if the Arab countries had taken large parts of Israel would have they returned the land to Israel after the war?
The majority of the Mid-East refuses to accept Israel as a sovereign country. When I lived in Saudi Arabia the country was never referred to as Israel by name or ever referred to it as a sovereign nation. Instead it was called occupied Palestine. If a person tried to enter Saudi Arabia and there was a used Israel Visa in the passport the traveler would be denied entrance to the country. Until this rhetoric is eliminated there is no hope for a change in attitude between the two worlds.
America must understand that it has to support the strongest ally we have in the Mid-East. This ally is not just political with a potential for anti-American rhetoric when the leadership in power is removed. It is the people and the culture of Israel that are devoted allies to the United States. This is the true bond between the two countries that have been so close for so long. So why does it appear that today the United States is at such odds with Israel.
It appears that Israel is being ignored and pushed aside in an effort to obtain acceptance of other Mid-Eastern countries. This is not only wrong in the aspects of moral obligations but it sends a very confused and alarming message to our other allies in Europe and Asia. If we change direction with Israel who else will we abandon? America needs to refocus its foreign policy and support the true friends of American and not try to appease regimes that are bent on destruction of our own country.

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