Published by The Freeman Center
The Maccabean Online
Political Analysis and Commentary
Top Security Experts Concerned Over Obama Freezing Israel out of Counter-Terror Conferences
By Michael Widlanski
15 July, 2012
Top security experts in Israel are worried about the Obama Administration’s
attitude to radical Muslim governments in the region and by Obama’s
willingness to freeze Israel out of two recent high-level counter-terror
Israel broke the back of Arab suicide terror attacks in 2002, reducing them
to near zero, but the US did not invite Israel to a counter-terror
conference in Turkey last month, nor to a similar parley in Madrid last
week, apparently to placate the Islamist government of Turkey, which has
itself supported the Hamas terror group in Gaza.
The US was so concerned about offending Turkey, it seems, that
Under-Secretary of State Maria Otero, one of the top State Department
officials, specifically did not mention Israel among the countries that have
been victims to terror attacks.
“Israel has been one of the key counterterrorism allies of the United States
for 30 years,” observed Dr. Dore Gold, Israel’s former ambassador to the
United Nations in an interview with The Algemeiner.
“Its absence from an American-sponsored counter-terror conference raises
questions that need to be answered,” said Dr. Gold, an expert on the Persian
Gulf region who was born and educated in the US.
Both counter-terror conferences were attended by more than two-dozen allies
of the US, including such counter-terror powers as the United Arab Emirates,
whose leader was personally greeted by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,
who is now visiting the region.
Israeli officials say the Obama Administration has a naïve or even
uninformed view of recent upheavals in Arab-Islamic states, particularly
events in Egypt and Turkey, believing that the Erdogan government in Turkey
and the new regime of Muslim Brotherhood leader Muhammad Morsi are both
forces for moderation.
Visiting Turkey was one of the first major foreign trips of President Obama,
and he delivered a dramatic public speech in Egypt that seemed to undermine
the regime of Husni Mubarak, the old president, while inviting participation
from the extreme Islamist khwan al-Muslimoun: The Muslim Brotherhood.
President Obama has said that he considers Turkish leader Recep Erdogan a
model of moderation, even asking him to moderate between the US and Iran on
the issue of Iran’s presumed atomic bomb project, while top Obama aides have
said they think Egypt’s Brotherhood is also moderate.
“Morsi says ‘I want an Islamic caliphate (empire) whose capital is
Jerusalem,’ and what do they say: ‘Don’t believe him. He doesn’t really mean
it.’ Well, he does mean it,” observed Maj. Gen. (Res.) Amos Gilad, in a
briefing to students in Herzliya.
Egyptian President-Elect Morsi and his aides made many inflammatory
statements about Israel and Jews in recent appearances, according to MEMRI,
the multi-language analysis organization which has released texts and films
of the events.
“Jihad is our path, and death for the sake of Allah is our most lofty
aspiration,” yelled Morsi in a widely televised campaign appearance only two
months ago. Morsi repeated the words several time to the tumultuous
reception of a crowd of backers.
“This is not secret information. They say it openly,” declared Gilad, an
Arabic-speaker who has traveled widely to secret talks with Arab leaders and
who directed the gathering arm of Israeli military intelligence.
The silver-haired general said US officials were in a kind of state of
psychological denial when it came to their whole view of the so-called “Arab
Spring”—the major upheavals in Arab countries.
“We talk to the Americans about the ‘Arab Spring’ as if Jefferson was
chosen as the head man of some village, but there is a tradition here of
reactionary regimes,” said Gilad, who is director of the political wing of
the Ministry of Defense.
Gilad said the US had a naïve view of the upheavals, noting that “democracy”
often released “satanic forces” under which “women don’t count for
anything” and where “marriages are forced on youngsters who are 14 or 15
years old—the kind of practice that in the end leads to an Islamic empire.”
Many Israeli analysts worry that the new Egyptian power structure threatens
Israel directly on its southern border. Terror attacks—from Gaza and
Sinai—jumped ten-fold last month, from ten to 99. Some of the attacks were
infiltrations on the border fence, while others involved multiple-rocket
barrages, including 197 rockets.
Two Israelis were killed and four injured in last month’s attacks, according
to Israeli figures, and there appears to be a trend of using more
sophisticated and heavier weapons in the assaults, such as a multiple rocket
assault this week on the commercial hub of Yad Mordechai, a major kibbutz
* * * * * * *
Dr. Michael Widlanski, an expert on Arab politics and communications, is the
author of Battle for Our Minds: Western Elites and the Terror Threat, just
published by Threshold/Simon and Schuster. He is a former reporter,
correspondent and editor respectively at The New York Times, Cox Newspapers,
and The Jerusalem Post, and he served as Strategic Affairs Advisor in Israel’s
Ministry of Public Security and as an advisor to Israeli negotiating teams
in 1991-92 at the Madrid Summit and thereafter.
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