As the United States participates in a multilateral effort to establish a no-fly zone over Libya, the conservative media fearmonger that the Obama administration may use the "Gadhafi Precedent" to use military force against Israel. However, Obama has said "[t]he United States is going to be unwavering in its support of Israel's security" and his administration has repeatedly showed support for Israel.
Conservative Media: "Gadhafi Precedent" May Be Used To "Justify And Threaten The Use Of U.S. Military Forces" Against Israel
Frank Gaffney: "The Gadhafi Precedent: Could Attack On Libya Set The Stage For Action Against Israel?" In a Washington Times piece titled "The Gadhafi Precedent", Frank Gaffney commented on the decision of the United States to partake in a multilateral effort under UN Resolution 1973 to establish a no-fly zone over Libya. Gaffney wrote that the "Gadhafi Precedent" could be "used in the not-too-distant future to justify and threaten the use of U.S. military forces against an American ally: Israel." From The Washington Times:
There are many reasons to be worried about the bridge-leap the Obama administration has just undertaken in its war with Col. Moammar Gadhafi. How it will all end is just one of them.
Particularly concerning is the prospect that what we might call the Gadhafi precedent will be used in the not-too-distant future to justify and threaten the use of U.S. military forces against an American ally: Israel.
Here's how such a seemingly impossible scenario might eventuate:
It begins with the Palestinian Authority seeking a United Nations Security Council resolution that would recognize its unilateral declaration of statehood. Three top female officials in the Obama administration reprise roles they played in the council's recent action on Libya: U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice, a vehement critic of Israel, urges that the United States support (or at least not veto) the Palestinians' gambit. She is supported by the senior director for multilateral affairs at the National Security Council, Samantha Power, who in the past argued for landing a "mammoth force" of American troops to protect the Palestinians from Israel. Ditto Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, whose unalloyed sympathy for the Palestinian cause dates back at least to her days as first lady.
The unified Palestinian proto-government then seeks international help to "liberate" its land. As with the Gadhafi precedent, the first to act is the Arab League. Its members unanimously endorse the use of force to protect the "Palestinian people" and end the occupation of the West Bank by the Israelis.
Accordingly, hard as it may be to believe given the United States' long-standing role as Israel's principal ally and protector, Mr. Obama acts in accordance with the Gadhafi precedent. He warns Israel that it must take steps immediately to dismantle its unwanted presence inside the internationally recognized state of Palestine lest it face the sort of U.S.- enabled "coalition" military measures now under way in Libya. In this case, they would be aimed at neutralizing IDF forces on the West Bank - and beyond, if necessary - in order to fulfill the "will of the international community." [The Washington Times, 3/21/11]
Fox Nation: "Could Attack On Libya Set State For Action Against Israel?" In an op-ed linking to Frank Gaffney's article, Fox Nation writes, "Could Attack on Libya Set Stage for Action Against Israel?." From Fox Nation:
[Fox Nation, 3/22/11]
WorldNetDaily: "American Military Targeting Israel?" In a piece highlighting Frank Gaffney's article, conservative WorldNetDaily senior staff writer Aaron Klein stated: "Could President Obama's decision to sidestep Congress and strike Libya as part of an international coalition put the U.S. on a military collision course with Israel?" He further stated: "While the prospect of American or Western forces confronting Israeli troops may seem remote, one Middle East policy expert is warning the precedent set by Obama in agreeing to target Libya opens the door to other possible United Nations-backed confrontations, including perhaps one day with Israel." [WorldNetDaily, 3/22/11]
In Fact, The Obama Administration Has Stood With Israel
Obama: "The United States Is Going To Be Unwavering In Its Support Of Israel's Security." In 2010, following an attack in the West Bank, Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following comments:
OBAMA: I want everybody to be very clear: The United States is going to be unwavering in its support of Israel's security and we are going to push back against these kinds of terrorist activities.
And so the message should go out to Hamas and everybody else who is taking credit for these heinous crimes that this is not going to stop us from not only ensuring a secure Israel but also securing a longer-lasting peace in which people throughout the region can take a different course.
I also want to express the deepest condolences of the American people to the families of those who were gunned down. And I want to thank Prime Minister Netanyahu, during a very difficult time for his country, still being so committed to the cause of peace that he is here with us today.
NETANYAHU: Well, thank you, Mr. President, for expressing what I think is the sentiment of decent people everywhere, in the face of this savagery and brutality.
Four innocent people were gunned down and seven new orphans were added, by people who have no respect for human life and trample human rights into the dust and butcher everything that they oppose.
I think that the President's statement is an expression of our desire to fight against this terror. And the talks that we had, which were, indeed, open, productive, serious in the quest for peace, also centered around the need to have security arrangements that are able to roll back this kind of terror and other threats to Israel's security. That is a fundamental element, an important foundation, of the peace that we seek and work for.
And I appreciate, Mr. President, your efforts to advance this peace for us and for our neighbors, for our region, and I think we can say, for the world. [WhiteHouse.gov, 9/1/10]
The U.S. Vetoed A Security Council Resolution Condemning Israeli Settlements. From The Washington Post:
The Obama administration Friday cast its first-ever veto in the U.N. Security Council, blocking a Palestinian-backed draft resolution that denounced Israel's settlement policy as an illegal obstacle to peace efforts in the Middle East.
But Friday, the administration stood far apart from even its closest allies. Britain, France and Germany issued a joint statement arguing that the resolution would have advanced the peace process.
It was the first time the U.S. government has used its veto in the Security Council since 2006, when the George W. Bush administration vetoed a resolution calling for a halt to Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip. [The Washington Post, 2/18/11]
- After Veto, Israeli Prime Minister Thanked Obama Administration For Support. Following the Obama Administration's veto of the UN Security Council resolution, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated: "Israel deeply appreciates this decision and we remain committed to advancing peace both with our neighbors in the region and with the Palestinians. I believe that the US decision makes it clear that the only way to peace is direct negotiations and not through the actions of international bodies, which are designed to bypass direct negotiations." [Prime Minister's Office, Israel, 2/20/11]
US Acted On Shared Israeli Concerns Over Iranian Weapons. In 2010, Reuters reported that the Obama Administration committed to upgrading Israel's Arrow missile shield to deal with the threat of long range ballistic missiles from Iran and elsewhere:
The Arrow III will allow Israel "to deal with the threat of ballistic missiles with long range" and will give it "the ability to shoot down weapons of mass destruction outside the atmosphere," the ministry said in a statement.
Israel, which describes its Arrow system as a defense against Iran, says the upgraded version will cap off its multi-tier air defenses.
The Arrow is jointly produced by state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries and the American firm Boeing Co. and has absorbed close to $1 billion in direct U.S. funds since its 1988 inception.
The Israeli air force said last year that the Arrow III would take more than four years to complete and that would depend on what resources were made available for the project. [Reuters, 7/25/10]