A friend of mine living in Sderot and recently married, now pregnant, spoke to me after the rocket attack, telling me how the rocket alarm caught her completely off guard. She wonders how she will raise a child in an environment of bomb shelters and rocket sirens. “These rocket launchers fire these rockets and hope to indiscriminately target anything,” she told me.
But if President Obama says that the war on terror is over, then it must also be over for Israel as well. In a Middle East without jihad and Islamic extremism, Jews and Christians are all on equal footing and Israel’s borders are magically secure. What exactly unifies Iran, Syria, Libya and Lebanon? Along the Obama narrative, it must be their love for Israel and a Mideast education system that recognizes Israel as a legitimate Jewish state.
The truth is that as long as Israel “occupies” Al Quds (Jerusalem), Al Majdal (Ashkelon), Al Najd (Sderot), Al Khalil (Hebron), Tel Ar Rabee (Tel Aviv), as shown on tourist maps from the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, extremist elements will continue to fuel the Arab-Israeli conflict. A Jewish state in the Levant is no more tolerated today in the Arab world even under Barak Obama’s policy shift, than it was in 1948. As Iranian President Ahmedinejad made very clear this past February when meeting with Syrian President Bashar Assad, “the Arab world will usher in a new Mideast without Zionists.”
But has the Obama administration’s friendly policies changed its image among Muslims in the Middle East, as the U.S. President has tried so hard to do?
According to an international survey conducted by the Pew Global Attitudes Project, released in June, Muslim nations’ approval of President Obama has dropped, although numbers in some countries like Pakistan were quite low to begin with. What the survey did show is that there was a slight rise in the number of Muslims who said that suicide bombings and other forms of violence against civilians were justified to protect Islam from its enemies.
At the end of the day, President Obama’s attempts to create a new Middle East through mere rhetoric, downplaying radical Islamist ideology in a war against terror that does not exist, seems to have convinced no one beyond the Oval Office and U.S. State Department.
Anav Silverman, a native of Maine, writes from Jerusalem, Israel where she is an instructor at Hebrew University’s Secondary School of Education. She also works as an international correspondent at Sderot Media Center: www.SderotMedia.org.il.
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