On Monday the Israeli army located the bodies of three kidnapped teenagers — Eyal Yifrach,19; Gilad Shaar, 16; and Naftali Fraenkel, 16, who is a dual American-Israeli citizen — in the disputed West Bank territory. Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said, “Hamas is responsible, and Hamas will pay,” adding the three teenagers “were kidnapped and murdered in cold blood by wild beasts.”
The Iranian-backed Hamas is an Islamic terrorist entity that rules the Palestinian enclave in Gaza but also has members in the West Bank. Hamas praised the abductions without explicitly claiming responsibility for the kidnappings. Palestinians reveled in the kidnappings by distributing candy and flashing victory signs.
Predictably, the Obama administration’s response mirrored European declarations: Express sympathy mixed with encouragements for restraint. Obama’s national-security adviser, Susan Rice, tweeted, “It is vitally important that all parties avoid steps that could further increase tensions and destabilize the situation.”
In short, the bizarre responses from the Obama administration were to urge non-action from the Israelis after a U.S.-designated terrorist organization murdered an American and two Israelis. Noah Pollak, the head of the U.S.-based Emergency Committee for Israel, neatly captured the yawning disconnect between Obama’s rhetoric and action:
And all the while the Obama administration insists on its “unshakable commitment to Israel’s security,” a phrase invoked with repetitive meaningless. The most important part of that commitment is being a source of moral clarity on days like today, and treating an ally like an ally , instead of a problem that must be contained. The administration has failed on both counts.
It is worth recalling that the State Department green-lighted the new Palestinian Authority–Hamas unity regime. American taxpayers are helping keep the Palestinian Authority–Hamas regime afloat to the tune of $400 million per year.
In a sharp jab at the Obama administration, Republican representative Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee, said, “The brutal murder of these boys should leave the administration with no illusion that a Hamas-backed Palestinian government will be a partner for peace. With these killings, the genocidal intent of Hamas has been laid bare again.”
To understand the role of Hamas and its main cheerleader, the Islamic Republic of Iran, it is useful to cite Andrew Hussey’s phrase “anti-civilization in action.” Hussey invokes the phrase in his new book about French citizens of Muslim origin who seek to dismantle the French state because it’s based on the principles of the Enlightenment.
It defies logic that the Obama administration believes it can domesticate regimes like Iran and Hamas whose anti-Western DNA is essential to their terrorist ideologies.
The article was first published on National Review Online.