My Trip to Israel, Part One
If the only things I knew about Israel and the events going on in the Middle East were the things I read and heard about in the world's media, I would probably feel, like so many others, that Israel is a nation of highly nervous, reactionary and mean-spirited people intent on seizing every square foot of territory they could possibly grab, unmindful of who or what they are dispossessing or at what cost.
This seems to be the picture the majority of those in the media wish to portray, laying every misstep in ill-fated "peace talks" at their doorstep and painting them as modern day Crusaders and mercenaries intent on flying their flag over the entire area formerly known as Palestine.
Nothing could be farther from the truth.
In my next few columns, I would like to shed some light on what is really going on in Israel, the ramifications of Obama's fumbling litany of incompetent, unrealistic and many times juvenile proposals to remedy a convoluted conundrum he doesn't seem to know, or worse, care about.
I was honored to have a conversation with a gentleman who is considered to be one of the wisest men in Israel in political matters and he says that Obama had some terrible advice and made some catastrophic mistakes in dealing with Syria and that America had been brought low on the international scene.
This is not a game going on in the Middle East and every word and every promise not backed up by action is viewed by the Muslim nations as signs of weakness to be exploited. President Obama has done more damage to the image and prestige of the United States of America than most people in the west will ever know.
Not only that, but his ambivalence and self induced lack of credibility created a power vacuum that Vladimir Putin rushed into and now he is viewed as the real power player by the Muslim nations, creating a status for the U.S. about two cuts above a nonentity when it comes to respect and authority.
This damage, as well as a lot of other damage on Obama's watch, will probably never be repaired, or at least won't be for many decades.
The political situation in the Middle East is like an onion, when you peel back one layer there is another, then another in a never ending veil of mystery involving thousand-year-old vendettas, religious sects, and prejudice drilled into children before they can crawl, manifesting itself in blind obedience to creeds of hatred so strong it can motivate healthy young men with their whole lives ahead of them, to strap on a suicide vest and board a bus full of innocent people they don't even know.
When you pick a side in the Middle East, there is a good chance you're going to eventually be wrong and there again the media come into play, because they never seem to have trouble picking a side and reporting the atrocities of the opposition, but what they don't tell you is that the side they support is doing just as many atrocities. Check out the treatment of Christians in Syria and Egypt by the supposed "good guys".
The only ray of sanity in the Middle East is Israel and in the coming columns I hope to tell you some things you probably don't know and shed some light on Israel's 24-7-365 struggle for existence, surrounded by enemies, discriminated against by the world's governments and unfairly represented by the world media.
It's extremely hard for Americans born into freedom and a democratic political system to understand the mindset of Muslims born into a world of ancient enemies and ruled by whoever has the most guns and biggest army.
We interfere in things we don't understand and try to bring democracy to people who have lived by tribal loyalties for thousands of years, who have no respect for central authority and believe that our way of life and religious beliefs are decadent and pagan.
Maybe, it's time to reaffirm our loyalty to our allies, warn our enemies and just stay home.
What do you think?
Pray for our troops and the pace of Jerusalem.
God Bless America