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The Middle East Shift in the Sands: A New Alignment

by Bill McKay
September 19, 2017
Jerusalem and flag

On the morning of May 14, 1948, the relentless Middle Eastern sun was as predictable as the Arab world’s heated response to the birth of the nation of Israel. Their collective reaction: This infant must die!

As the votes were being recorded by the United Nations and carried live on radio around the world, seven Arab armies were marshaling their military plans for the annihilation of Israel.

On that day, Jewish Agency Chairman David Ben-Gurion announced the first Jewish state in 2,000 years. In an afternoon ceremony, he told the listening world: “We hereby proclaim the establishment of the Jewish state in Palestine, to be called Israel,” prompting applause and tears from the crowd gathered at the museum. Ben-Gurion became Israel’s first Prime Minister.

As he spoke, gunshots could be heard in the distance. The Arabs were serving notice: This “declaration of independence” will not stand.

Fast Forward 61 Years

President Barack Obama traveled to Egypt on June 4, 2009. He said:
I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world. One based upon mutual interest and mutual respect; and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap and share common principles—principles of justice and progress, tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.…

So let there be no doubt: Islam is a part of America. On the other hand, it is also undeniable that the Palestinian people—Muslims and Christians—have suffered in pursuit of a homeland. For more than 60 years, they have endured the pain of dislocation.

Many wait in refugee camps in the West Bank, Gaza, and neighboring lands for a life of peace and security that they have never been able to lead. They endure the daily humiliations—large and small—that come with occupation.

So let there be no doubt: The situation for the Palestinian people is intolerable. America will not turn our backs on the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity, and a state of their own.

On that June date, President Obama ceded America’s moral leadership in the Middle East and completed our nation’s overwhelming shift from a full-fledged ally of Israel to a supporter of the Palestinian cause, which led to a collection of military and political blunders that set America’s interests, and those of Israel, back several decades.

These blunders included the withdrawal from Iraq by American troops that, in the political and military vacuum, gave birth to ISIS and the ill-conceived overthrow of Libya, resulting in a mass migration of displaced Africans to Europe, leaving Libya a failed state.

President Obama then embarked on setting a “Syrian red line.” This line codified Syria as a literal killing field, sending an endless stream of refugees into Europe and America.

If these diplomatic and military failures were not enough to destabilize the seething cauldron of the Middle East, Obama attempted to put the nail in the coffin of the Jewish state by crafting a deal with Iran, allowing them to, over time, acquire nuclear power.

Eight Years Hence, The Gauntlet Has Been Thrown Down

On Sunday, May 21, President Donald Trump rose to address 50 Arab heads of state in the Saudi Arabian government, after receiving a King’s welcome. This moment was unprecedented for an American president.

Among those present were the president of Egypt, Al-Sisi, and King Hussein of Jordan. They, along with the other 48 heads of Arab states, were yearning for American leadership. And they got it in dramatic spades.

Former President Obama had left the Middle East in a vacuous shambles. Every American ally had been left to scramble for survival against the relentless threat of ISIS and the ever-expanding Persian Empire.

President Trump called for aggressive repudiation of Islamic extremists:
Drive them out....Drive them out of your places of worship. Drive them out of your communities. Drive them out of your holy land, and drive them out of the earth.

He went on to lay down a hard marker when he said:
There can be no tolerating it, no accepting it, no excusing it, and no ignoring it. Every time a terrorist murders an innocent person and falsely invokes the name of God, it should be an insult to every person of faith. Terrorists do not worship God; they worship death.

If we do not act against this organized terror, then we know what will happen and what will be the end result. Terrorism’s devastation of life will continue to spread, peaceful societies will become engulfed by violence, and the futures of many generations will be sadly squandered.

If we do not stand in uniform condemnation of this killing, then not only will we be judged by our people, not only will we be judged by history, but we will be judged by God.

This is a battle between barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life and decent people, all in the name of religion. People (who) want to protect life and want to protect their religion. This is a battle between good and evil.

But we can only overcome this evil if the forces of good are united and strong, and if everyone in this room does their fair share and fulfills their part of the burden.

President Trump has laid the ground work for the establishment of a NATO-style organization to face ISIS and Iran head on. Upon its implementation, it will be the single biggest game changer since Churchill carved up the map of the Middle East in the 1930s. The President’s mission: a direct assault on Persian hegemony.

Where Does This Leave Us?

In the 69 years since Israel was “born in a day,” there has been a notable shift in the region. The once lethal enemies of Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia are developing close ties and points of military cooperation and intelligence sharing. Ten years ago, this would have been politically unthinkable. And yet, the Arab idiom, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend,” has proved true. The common enemy is Persia.

And now, President Trump steps into the role of the undisputed leader. America is back. Israel is now fortified. The rules of Middle East engagement are being rewritten.

The road ahead will be fraught with many trials and tribulations, to be sure. However, there is hope in Jerusalem. Let us be vigilant and persistent in prayer for our leaders as this realignment takes shape to deal with the Persian threat and the daily violence of ISIS.

Editor’s Note: While many of our contributing authors have clear political positions, it is the policy of Jewish Voice to remain politically neutral. We do, however, steadfastly and unashamedly support Israel

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