OpinionIsrael at War

Obama’s hands are definitely unclean

The former president blames everybody for the Oct. 7 Hamas massacre while ignoring the role he played in causing it.

Former U.S. President Barack Obama listens to a speech by Hillary Clinton at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, N.C., on July 5, 2016. Credit: Evan El-Amin/Shutterstock.
Former U.S. President Barack Obama listens to a speech by Hillary Clinton at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, N.C., on July 5, 2016. Credit: Evan El-Amin/Shutterstock.
Eric Levine
Eric Levine
Eric R. Levine is a founding member of the New York City law firm Eiseman, Levine, Lehrhaupt & Kakoyiannis, P.C. He is an essayist, political commentator and fundraiser for Republican candidates with an emphasis on the U.S. Senate.

Former President Bill Clinton reacted to the Oct. 7 Hamas massacre by stating: “Now is a time for the world to rally against terrorism and to support Israeli democracy. I stand with the government of Israel and all Israelis.”

Former President George W. Bush echoed these sentiments, saying: “We need to support Israel, no ands, ifs or buts. … This is an unprovoked attack by terrorist people willing to kill innocent people to achieve an objective.”

In contrast to the moral clarity of his predecessors, former President Barack Obama’s statement exposed the moral rot at the heart of the Democratic Party:

All this is taking place against the backdrop of decades of failure to achieve a durable peace for both Israelis and Palestinians, one that is based on genuine security for Israel, a recognition of its right to exist and a peace that is based on an end of the occupation and the creation of a viable state and self-determination for the Palestinian people. … If you want to solve the problem, then you have to take in the whole truth. And you then have to admit nobody’s hands are clean, that all of us are complicit to some degree. … I look at this, and I think back, “What could I have done during my presidency to move this forward, as hard as I tried?” … There’s a part of me that’s still saying, “Well, was there something else I could have done?”

These are the statements of a cynical and dishonest man trying to save his legacy because there are two causes of the current war: Iran’s publicly stated goal of destroying Israel and Obama’s Iran policy.

Iran funds, trains, arms and directs Hamas. Hamas could not exist or function without Iran. Thus, Iran is responsible for the Oct. 7 attack just as much as Hamas.

The Iranian regime that engineered the massacre was rescued by Obama multiple times when it was on the verge of political and economic collapse. The Obama administration financed, empowered and enabled Iran’s nuclear program, military buildup, terror network and hegemonic goals. Thus, as Obama himself admitted, he, too, is “complicit” in Iran and Hamas’s crimes against humanity.

In 2009, the people of Iran took to the streets in opposition to the mullahs’ regime. They chanted, “Obama, are you with us or are you with the regime?” Had Obama taken their side, their popular uprising might well have succeeded. Instead, Obama remained silent. By his silence, he sided with the regime. The protests were violently crushed.

In 2015, Iran’s economy was in shambles and the regime was wildly unpopular. With a little bit of encouragement from Obama, the Iranian people could have liberated themselves.

Instead, Obama rewarded the regime with the JCPOA (the Iran nuclear deal), granting the regime over $150 billion in sanctions relief. Obama also made a $400 million ransom payment for four American hostages. That money was used by Tehran to fund its malign activities. Obama’s largesse did not moderate the regime’s behavior but further radicalized it.

Worst of all, Obama shifted U.S. Middle East policy from Israel-centric to Iran-centric. This undermined Israel and strengthened Iran. In doing so, Obama helped lay the foundation for Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre.

Obama’s failure even to mention Iran in his statement demonstrates his dishonesty and/or his fundamental detachment from reality. He may sincerely believe that the Hamas attack was caused by “decades of failure to achieve a durable peace.” If so, he is living in a fantasy world.

This is because we are not all “complicit” in this failure. The Palestinians and the Palestinians alone are complicit. In claiming otherwise, Obama is either a liar and/or ignorant.

In 2000, then-Palestinian Authority leader Yasser Arafat turned down a generous offer of a two-state solution from then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak. Arafat was offered all of Gaza, 97% of Judea and Samaria, and eastern Jerusalem. Arafat rejected the deal because it required him to publicly declare that the “struggle” against the Jewish state was over. Clinton has long since made it clear that it was Arafat who walked away from peace. Arafat promptly launched the terrorist war of the second intifada.

In 2008, P.A. leader Mahmoud Abbas was offered an even more generous deal by Israel’s then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Bush has made clear that Abbas rejected the deal because, as in 2000, it required him to agree to give up the “struggle” against Israel. The terror campaign called the “war of knives” soon followed.

In short, there is no “durable peace” for Israelis and Palestinians because the Palestinians refuse to make peace so long as it means the Jewish state will continue to exist.

Obama is simply being disingenuous when he says, “I look at this, and I think back, ‘What could I have done during my presidency to move this forward, as hard as I tried?’ … There’s a part of me that’s still saying, ‘Well, was there something else I could have done?’”

Obama is being disingenuous because he understands that he did nothing at all to advance the cause of peace in the Middle East. He frames the question to make it sound like he actually “tried.” In fact, the opposite is true. Obama pushed peace further away and made war significantly more likely. The Middle East today is suffering the consequences of his failures.

If Obama is genuinely interested in an answer to his musings, here are a few suggestions:

Perhaps listening to the vast majority of Americans and members of Congress who did not want America to enter the Iran nuclear deal would have been a good idea. Being more interested in regime change in autocratic Iran than in democratic Israel is something you could have done to advance the cause of peace. Your public disdain for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was palpable and disgraceful; you resented him for speaking out publicly against the Iran nuclear deal; perhaps that was a mistake.

After all, how dare the prime minister of Israel put the survival of his country ahead of your legacy foreign policy project? For that “crime,” you believed Netanyahu had to be punished. To do that, you were prepared to undermine our closest ally in the region if not the world in favor of a country that calls America “the Great Satan.”

Obama’s false moral equivalence is particularly offensive.  He dares to equate unprovoked terrorists who targeted civilians in the most savage manner possible and use their own people as human shields with Israel exercising its legitimate right to self-defense.  

For Obama, the time for mourning the slaughtered Jews is over. He may well believe there was no justification for how they were killed. But now, he feels, the world must shift its attention to the “humanitarian crisis” in Gaza. Because, unlike every other country in the world, Israel’s right to self-defense and national survival has special limits.

Obama claims, “Nobody’s hands are clean, that all of us are complicit to some degree.” This is false. The blame rests with Iran and its terror proxy Hamas. Period.

However, if you are looking for someone “complicit” in the Oct. 7 attack, look no further than Barack Obama. His hands are covered with blood. His complicity is manifest. That’s the whole truth.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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