President Barack Obama has sealed his legacy.
Late last month, with just weeks left in the White House, his administration abstained from a crucial vote at the U.N. Security Council, allowing yet another resolution condemning Israel to pass.
The decision, both spiteful and dangerous, reflected a personal position toward Israel and will further destabilize an already frenzied Middle East.
For nearly 50 years, the United States was a dependable ally of Israel. It supported Israel in international forums like the U.N. It was consistent in rejecting terrorist organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood.
But early in his first term, Obama overturned the decades-long policy of not engaging with Islamists. Instead, he embraced them. This change of direction led to the overthrow of leaders in Egypt and Libya and has facilitated the expansion of radical jihadism.
Collaborating with the Muslim Brotherhood has directly contributed to the increased instability in the Middle East.
Today, both Egypt and Libya continue to struggle to abolish elements of radical Islamism. Libya has become a failed state exporting jihadists, weapons, refugees and ideology throughout Africa and even Europe.
The Obama administration’s abstention from the recent Security Council vote will only exacerbate these problems.
Forces around the globe now see an opportunity to demonize Israel and even challenge its right to exist. They will test the limits, seeing how the far the U.S. will go in disconnecting from Israel.
The move also breathes new life into the boycott, divestment and sanctions, or BDS, movement. The movement will renew its push to penalize Israel economically, further testing the U.S. commitment to Israel. The international community will also attempt to utilize this U.N. resolution to initiate a legal assault against the Jewish state.
John Kerry’s post-vote speech attempted to justify the U.N. action. He claimed Israel can either continue as a Jewish state or a democratic state but cannot be both Jewish and democratic. This furthers anti-Israel and anti-Semitic sentiments. His attempt at justification failed dramatically.
The bottom line is that the Middle East is in deep trouble. Genocide and armed violent conflicts have resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths and millions of refugees in places like Syria, Iraq and Libya.
President Obama has distanced the U.S. from the only democracy in the region. In the final days of his administration, Obama tossed another hand grenade into the turmoil that is the Middle East.
It was the absolute wrong thing to do.
Ask these simple questions: Are the Middle East and Northern Africa more stable today than eight years ago? Is Israel more secure today than when Obama came into office?
The answer to both questions is a resounding no. Embracing the Muslim Brotherhood unleashed carnage and instability. Pulling support from Israel will further that chaos.
President-elect Donald Trump recognizes the danger of the Obama administration’s foreign policy catastrophes and tried to convince the Obama administration to veto the U.N. resolution.
His effort came up short, but his powerful and enduring support of Israel will mitigate the damage from the actions of the outgoing administration.
Come Jan. 20, Israel will once again know what it’s like to have the U.S. as a loyal friend and ally.
Pete Hoekstra, a former chairman of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee, is a senior fellow at the Investigative Project on Terrorism. Readers may write him at IPT, 5614 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 34, Washington, D.C., 20015. This essay is available to Tribune News Service subscribers. Tribune did not subsidize the writing of this column; the opinions are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of Tribune or its editors.
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