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Standing With Israel

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U.S. President Barack Obama
U.S. President Barack Obama (Reuters file photo)

U.S. President Barack Obama feels very much relieved. In a display of czar-like chivalry, his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin pulled him out of the fire that burned in Congress and among the American public. The Tomahawk missiles are going back into their boxes, and those who maneuver the mighty aircraft carriers are folding their flags while playing the American national anthem. The flags' stars have been turned off, and the stripes have been painted black. The U.S. is now like a stealth bomber moving fast under the radar, but in the wrong direction.

The current world order—founded on universal basic morals and a vision shared by all humanity—has collapsed into a black hole of violence, cruelty, genocide and narrow personal interests. The U.S. never served as the world's policeman; it was a lighthouse that provided hope to the world and its rights. Due to some sort of malfunction, the light in the lighthouse has now gone out. I was not happy to learn of the possible attack in Syria by the U.S., but the reports bolstered my faith that a system of reward and punishment still exists where human lives had lost all value.

For many years, Israel has relied heavily on American financial, security and political assistance. It is an alliance between two countries that share common values and a commitment to a better world. There is no doubt that American assistance has been a key component in maintaining Israel's military superiority. I'm afraid that in light of the recent dramatic changes within American society, as demonstrated in the last U.S. elections, Israel will soon find itself on its own again in the face of fundamental, existential challenges. This has been our fate ever since Abraham stood on one side of the river and the entire world stood on other side.

Now the U.S. has backed down, and the global axis of evil has drawn its own conclusion. In China, Iran, North Korea, Lebanon and Syria, they now know that American threats are actually empty. When red lines morph into retreat lines, Putin can afford to smile as he retires to his dacha on the coast of the Black Sea. Obama’s impressive speeches and the various media analyses cannot make up for American weakness.

In this new reality, precipitated by the U.S.’s retreat from its threats, it is entirely clear that ultimately, Israel will have to pay the price for Obama’s lost dignity. American pressure on Israel to strike a peace agreement with the Palestinians will intensify tenfold, forcing us to make significant concessions and relinquish swaths of the Jewish people's historic homeland. Obama desperately needs a parade of Israeli and Palestinian delegations to prance across the White House lawn so that he can give his dovish “historical breakthrough” speech.

Just like in the days leading up to the Yom Kippur War, this time, too, the writing is on the wall—in enormous letters. Time after time, every Israeli concession in favor of the Arabs known as Palestinians has resulted in tragedy and victims. The security of the state of Israel, in addition to the Jews' historical rights, require that we retain control over every part of our homeland. Every territorial concession, even outside the settlement blocs, means the establishment of another terror outpost.

Within the madness currently raging in the Middle East, relinquishing one grain of land or one shingle of one roof would be to put ourselves in real danger. The leaders of Israel must always remember that Yasser Arafat’s 10-point plan is alive and well, and it is keeping Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas going. Anyone who says, “If I am not for myself, then who will be for me?” (Hillel the Elder) knows that the same is true for Judea and Samaria. After 2,000 years, the Jews are entitled to take their time. Patience, people. Patience.

Dr. Haim Shine writes a daily column for Israel Hayom. For the original article, visit israelhayom.com.

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