Shoula Romano Horing
Israel is again facing a very dangerous and unstable time. The Arab Spring has turned into a nightmare of Muslim extremism, with dangerous weapons falling into the hands of terrorist groups.
Hence, Israel cannot afford to have a reluctant US president, like Barack Obama, who will not be there when the Jewish state needs unquestioned and immediate support. Only a president who truly appreciates the Israel-US alliance and values Israel as America’s most important Mideast ally will not use the upcoming danger as a bargaining chip to further weaken Israel.
The record show that both leading Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich appreciate Israel as an ally and both will be better for Israel than Barack Obama.
Israel has always lived in a very hostile neighborhood, but in the aftermath of the unprecedented regional shakeups of the last year the Jewish state is facing the biggest danger and risk to its survival since 1973.
In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood and the more radical Salafists took about 70% of the vote in the first two rounds of the parliamentary elections. The long term danger to Israel is that the peace treaty with Egypt will be revised or cancelled and that a war will break out. Meanwhile, in the wake of Mubarak’s fall, Egypt’s army has been too preoccupied to stop the arms smuggling and flow of terrorists to Gaza and to the Sinai, further boosting the terror threat faced by Israel.
In Lebanon, the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah possesses more than 60,000 rockets that can reach all major populations centers in Israel. In the chaos of the Syrian civil war, Hezbollah has reportedly been moving heavy weapons from Syria into Lebanon.
In praise of Romney, GingrichMeanwhile, Syria possesses the region’s largest known supply of chemical and biological weapons and more than 1,000 ballistic Scud missiles. In the chaos to following the Assad regime’s likely collapse, many of those can end up in the hands of terrorist groups.
In Morocco and Tunisia the Islamists have won recent elections, and many Libyan and Yemenite rebel leaders are aligned with al-Qaeda. Elsewhere, US officials warn that Iran will have a nuclear weapon within a year, while Turkey, which is led by an Islamist party, has downgraded its long-term military and diplomatic relations with Israel.
Finally, the recent pullout of American troops from Iraq and their scheduled departure from Afghanistan will leave Israel alone and isolated in the Middle East, encircled by those who wish to destroy her. Given these circumstances, the Jewish state cannot afford to have president who for the last three years has tried to create a new alliance with the Muslim world by distancing himself from Israel, while not hesitating to abandon a close ally like Mubarak.
In contrast, both Romney and Gingrich have made it clear that the US should be willing to stand by its allies and both have criticized Obama’s ambivalence towards Israel. Both have repeatedly pledged to bolster and repair the US-Israel alliance.
Romney’s statement that” Our friends, like Israel, should never fear that we will not stand by them in an hour of need” and Gingrich‘s political courage to state that the Palestinians are “invented people” are the perfect responses to Obama’s Muslim outreach. Now, the Republicans must make sure to nominate the candidate who has the best chance to beat Obama.
Shoula Romano Horing was born and raised in Israel. She is an attorney in Kansas City and a national speaker. Her blog: www.shoularomanohoring.com