I was honored to take part in the launch of Freedom Matters! – “a supplemental curriculum developed to help high school students connect the foundations of freedom to today’s global struggles for liberty,” prepared by the wonderful people at the Bush Institute.
Now that our plight has become the butt of jokes on late night comedy shows in the United States and Europe, and a variety of “light” newspaper editorials, we can rest assured that our misery will not end any time soon, and that our aspirations for freedom will have to be consigned to the farthest of the backburners currently burning. Pardon me if I cannot bring myself to laugh. The pain of it all aside, the joke is simply too old and predictable.
American and Israeli hubris over the last decade has allowed Iran to dictate the rules on engagement in the Levant and the Middle East. The crises in Syria, Iraq and now Gaza are cases in point.
So Hamas has broken a ceasefire to kidnap an Israeli soldier. It happens in wars: ceasefires are often broken and soldiers captured. The best response Israel can do at this stage, as counterintuitive this will seem to its current leaders and their myriad supporters in Israel and across the world, is to immediately accept a new ceasefire. Then, Israeli officials should explain to their people what everybody seem to know at this stage but few dare talk about, that the real battle in Gaza is actually part of a larger regional proxy war with Iran. For this reason, Israeli officials should tell their people that rather than rush into undertaking actions designed to satisfy a certain popular need for revenge, Israel needs to take the time and think in strategic terms, lest it keeps playing into Iran’s hands.
Using my criticism of President Obama as a way to ascertain my political affiliation will not wield accurate results, as my criticism is not motivated by ideology. Indeed, the primary driving motive behind my vociferous criticism of Obama is my desire to see America live up to her values, potential and responsibilities as the world’s only superpower, and in a manner that can serve both her interests and those of the people who share her values across the world.