It now seems the Obama Administration has decided upon a new, definitive and focused approach to Israel regarding the latest contention in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It goes something like this (and I paraphrase): â€œRemain silent and let the other guys do the dirty work.â€ This is, in essence, the approach the Administration will take towards Israelâ€™s announcement to commence new settlement construction in Judea and Samaria (a/k/a/ the West Bank).
According to American Jewry liberal spokesman Peter Beinart, also considered one of Obama’s associates, the President and Secretary of State Clinton have decided that they will sit back and say nothing while allowing the EU members to put the pressure on Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Israeliâ€™s to forego construction plans. Â The Administration also hopes this strategy will put additional pressure on what they perceive to be a recalcitrant Netanyahu to make more concessions to â€œthe peace processâ€ as no Special Envoy will be sent to kick start peace talks.
Further, Daniel Levy, Middle East director at the European Council on Foreign Relations think-tank, has noted that in recent days the Administration has not been â€œinvesting diplomatic capitalâ€ in seeking to call off the escalating EU criticism of Israel.
This approach by the Administration is resulting in a progressive (no pun intended) isolation and alienation of Israel in relation to other world governments. Such a turn does not bode well for Israelis, Jews around the world, or free societies wherever they may exist.
To think that we in the United States can remain silent in the face of Israelâ€™s escalating vulnerability and its condemnation by surrogates doing our bidding is foolhardy. It also flies in the face of history. The world, and the United States in particular, once before remained silent while Hitler sought to deliberately, methodically and without opposition marginalize and isolate Jews with the intention to destroy them. The inevitable outcome was disaster not only for the Jews but for the entire free world.
The Obama Administration may think it is being clever by its silence, providing itself a veneer of impartiality and distance from the unfolding Middle East scenario as it relates to Israelâ€™s security and Islamic extremism. However, as German pastor and dissident anti-Nazi Deitrich Bonhoffer so succinctly stated in the face of this same emerging pattern of behavior 72 years ago, â€œSilence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.â€
I would add that silence will neither insulate the silent from the taint of evil nor will it exonerate them from being judged culpable co-conspirators. However, culpability is not limited to political leaders. It is incumbent upon each of us awake enough to comprehend the magnitude of this error to speak and act. One voice can change history. It has and will again.
Yours may be that voice.