Modern-day Bilam: How Obama Tried to Destroy Israel Only to End up Hurting its Enemies
The Torah talks about a Midianite prophet by the name of Bilam who was tasked with cursing the Israelites. Being a prophet, he was instead directed by the Almighty to bless the Jewish people, praising us as a “holy nation, a congregation a priests…who dwells alone…”
Modern-day events have proven no different. Those who have tried to destroy the Jewish people have, at times, unwittingly coming to our aid.
Foreign Policy of Attacking Israel/Aiding the Arab World
You may remember that one of the first things Obama did after getting elected was set out on a tour of the Muslim world to (in his words) “to communicate that Americans are not (the enemies of the Muslim world) and mend relations that had been “severely damaged” under President Bush.
The Cairo Speech established two of Obama’s foreign policy goals, both of which, I believe, were a mainstay of his wider world view:
- To weaken the State of Israel
- To strengthen the Arab world
These goals were synonymous, in as much as one automatically furthers the other. As expected, Hamas shunned the U.S. president’s overture. The Two-State “solution” did not take into consideration the “Palestinians'” national aspirations to destroy the State of Israel, creating one “Palestinian” state in its place. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not benefit from the same safety net as Hamas. Israel is not supported in the international arena by the UN, EU, Russia, the Quartet (and under Obama, the White House). As leader of a sovereign nation, Netanyahu was forced to comply with the new administration’s demands.
10 days following the Cairo Speech, Netanyahu for the first time committed to the Two-State “solution” in his Bar-Ilan speech. This was a major move by the Prime Minister to defuse the American administration’s attempt to undermine Israel’s diplomatic efforts against the PA.
Since then, Obama has made two trips to Israel, Gaza, Judea and Samaria. Former Secretary of State John Kerry visited in Israel more times than in almost any other country. Their efforts were focused on pressuring Netanyahu to capitulate to the PA’s demands, giving Abbas a free pass.
Obama’s attempts to weaken Israel came up short with the help of Netanyahu’s brilliant maneuvering, the PA’s denial of all overtures towards a Two-State “solution,” and the American administration’s lack of insight into the mentality of the Arab street.
Meanwhile, Obama orchestrated the Arab Spring. The thinking behind it was that the time was ripe for democracy in the Arab world and Arabs could govern themselves instead of being controlled by autocratic regimes.
Here, too, Obama misjudged the Arab mindset. Instead of ushering in a new era of economic growth and political revitalization, the result was an instant plunge into civil war and mass chaos in Syria, Egypt, and Libya. Authoritarian regimes that ruled their people with an iron fist, but maintained relative stability were derailed. Egypt has since undergone two regime changes. The Muslim Brotherhood, which Obama offered veiled diplomatic support for, has been designated as a terrorist organization, and its leaders, amongst them former President Morsi, arrested. Libya is ruled by a number of terrorist conglomerates, and Syria has ceased existing for all intents and purposes. The media no longer maintains a body count in the civil war in that country. Estimates suggest upwards of more than half a million casualties and the conflict is nowhere near being resolved. Assad has been forced to give up his once-sizeable chemical weapon arsenal.
In effect, Obama failed both on the diplomatic front trying to force a Two-State “solution” down Israel’s throat, and in his attempts to usher in an era of democracy in the Arab world. Most interesting to note is how Obama, an Islamist-sympathizer trying to undermine Israel ended up inadvertently helping those he was trying to spite, while burying those he was trying to resurrect.
His Big Success
The one place Obama succeeded with his plan was the Iran Deal which, on its own merit, secured his place as the worst president in American history. The nearly-suicidal deal could have been averted had Obama done nothing at all with respect to Iran, a country on the verge of capitulating to international sanctions and accepting any deal offered. The thinking was to appease the Islamic Republic, but even more so, to provide economic relief for the American gas industry. It’s not certain whether the deal was a result of Obama’s short-sightedness and misunderstanding of Iran’s agenda, or an outright attempt to endanger Israel along with the rest of Western civilization. Not a surprise, then, that the Israeli opposition joined Netanyahu in an all-out effort to stifle the agreement.
“A Nation that Dwells Alone”
One of Bilam’s focal blessings is for the People of Israel to “dwell alone.” While modern Israeli society tends to shudder from the thought of isolation at the hands of the international community and the left-wing uses the threat of isolation to point an accusatory finger at the Right for its support of continued Jewish presence in lands liberated in the Six-Day War, isolation has proven to be one of our biggest blessings. Especially in the Diaspora, Jews have succeeded most while isolated and insulated from the outside world.
The “ghetto” communities of Eastern Europe maintained their national and religious character despite continued persecution up until the “Enlightenment” period when they left their communities and attempted to assimilate with the Gentiles (the tragic results of Jews fleeing from their historic designation as a “People who dwells alone” through assimilation and inter-marriage are known to all).
Obama’s wide-ranging attempts to isolate Israel from the international community by means of exerting constant pressure on the Israeli government to capitulate to “Palestinian” demands, allowing motions by the PA to pass in international legal bodies, and the orchestration of a UN security council resolution against “settlements” caused many Israelis, especially those in the religious sector, to realize that isolation, in as far as it entails maintaining our unique national character as opposed to adapting to Western civilization, can be a positive development that will allow us to lose the dependency on the international community and determine our own foreign policy.
This order of events and their immediate results can be viewed as a modern-day intervention by the Almighty on behalf of His people. I’m not sure the case of an Islamist-sympathizing American president hell-bent on damaging Israel’s image ending up wiping away half our enemies can be explained any other way.