Whenever I defend former President Bush’s foreign policy to his critics, they will invariably remind me how America’s image abroad suffered under his administration.Â We weren’t, they claimed, as well liked when he left office as we were when he came to power.
Sometimes, however, when you do the right thing, you earn the enmity of those who would rather take a different approach. All too often, world opinion is shaped by those who see diplomacy as the be-all and end-all of foreign policy, even when that means negotiating with tyrants who responding to diplomatic niceties with polite palaver while developing weapons of mass destruction, oppressing their own populations and threatening their neighbors.
Last month during his nation’s attack on terrorist targets in Gaza, former Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Natan Sharansky recounted how his government learned that being liked often came at the cost of his people’s security.
After a variety of terrorist attacks in 2001-02, “Israel held its fire, and the world indeed condemned terrorism. But the attacks only increased.“Â When “more than 130 Israelis were killed in a single month,” the government shifted tactics.Â It launched a military offensive against terrorist targets in the West Bank.
Even as Israel took “unprecedented measures to minimize civilian casualties, including refraining from using either aerial or artillery bombardment, putting its own soldiers at unprecedented risk,” world leaders rushed to condemn the Jewish State.
Yet, as the world condemned Israel, terrorist attacks declined dramatically.Â Life even improved for the Palestinians in the West Bank.Â Doing the right thing increased the venom directed against the Jewish State.
Well, now, it seems that the Obama Administration seems to equate decreasing the volume of venom as doing the right thing.
As the United Nations plans its Durban II “anti-racism” conference, Administration officials would rather play go along get along than stand up to a world body eager to single out Israel for racism while ignoring real racial discrimination in other nations.Â As Anne Bayefsky put it, “Obama’s Durban II team slipped easily into the U.N.’s anti-Israel and anti-Jewish environs, taking the approach that ‘fitting in’ was best accomplished by staying silent.“Â (Just read the whole thing.)
As the US “fits in” just to gain standing in world public opinion, we forfeit the opportunity to condemn the hijacking of an “anti-racism” conference by those hell-bent on maligning the Jewish State.
This is not learning from history, it’s repeating its mistakes.Â Just ask the Israelis.