Speaking to a group of Jewish donors in Miami, according to the Jerusalem Post, President Obama said the following:
“All the forces that we see building in Egypt are the forces that should be naturally aligned with the US, [and] should be aligned with Israel,” he told attendees of the Florida fundraising event.
“I’m actually confident that 10 years from now we’re going to be able to look back and say that this was the dawning of an entirely new and better era,” he added. The US president expressed his hope that the new era would be one in which “people are striving not to be against something but to be for something.”
I can probably go with “some,” but not “all”. Really? “All?” Mr. President? “All?“such as the forces that decided it would be fun to attack Lara Logan in Tahrir Square while shouting “Jew! Jew!”? Such as the forces that decided to invite Sheik Qaradawi to spew hatred of Jews to the throngs there while preventing the advocate for democracy Wael Ghonim from speaking? Such as the ones that murdered a woman’s father because he did not kill her in an honor killing for having a relationship with a Christian, then burned down the Coptic Church terrorizing the town’s Christians, and followed that by triumphantly holding prayer services on the site of the burned down church? How about the forces that are demanding an end to the peace treaty with Israel? Those forces?
If you see those forces as naturally allied with America and Israel, Mr. President, I don’t think you have an understanding of the values of America and Israel or those of the forces about whom you speak. Simply opposing one form of tyranny, nationalist dictatorship, while backing another that is potentially far worse, theocracy, hardly qualifies as being naturally allied with America and Israel, even if there is a democratic election that brings it about. Advocacy for free elections does not mean at all that there is a desire that those elections produce a government that would be allied with America and Israel.
Mr. President, some of those forces building in Egypt would burn down your own church if they had a chance. They would certainly torch my synagogue. And if a mosque were to publicly condemn their actions, it would probably get torched too. They murdered a man for not murdering his daughter. I don’t think they would have qualms about flicking a Bic.
Is there reason for hope in the region? Yes. Is everything a reason for hope? Are “all the forces building in Egypt” those that give us reason to hope? If the answer for you is “Yes?” I must ask what kind of shrooms were served at that dinner? We might need to call the Narc Squad in.
Mr. President, you ran on a platform of hope. I too hope. I wish to see the good out there. I too hope to see good triumph. But I am not blinded by hope. Nor am I responsible for the future of the world as to a extent you are as President of the United States and that is what scares me. Mr. President, I hope that you are right about Egypt. Unfortunately, I’m worried that your vision is but a hope and a false hope at that.
Why do I fear that you are wrong? Mr. President, you might as well have said that you have spoken with the enemy and they have promised “peace in our time.” Meanwhile, minorities go into hiding, women are attacked, churches burn and freedom remains at a distance, perhaps even having retreated.
Because it is abundantly clear that some of the forces building in Egypt are anything but ones naturally allied with America and Israel, I know that your understanding that “all” should be allied with us cannot be correct. I just hope that you are not so incorrect as to result in disaster.
The last time a leader talked about “peace in our time”, things did not work out very well.