Let's support Israel and stay on the right side of history | PHIL WILLIAMS (2024)

Author and political commentator Noel Rothman once said, “Sometimes standing on the wrong side of history in defense of a cause you think is right is still just standing on the wrong side of history.”

Truer words could never be uttered to describe the Biden administration’s foreign policy.

This past week, the world watched as a major attack by Iran was launched against our longtime ally and close partner, Israel. Keep in mind that the first nation to recognize the sovereignty of Israel as a country on the world stage was the United States, and the first state to do so within the U.S. was Alabama. From its very origins, the U.S. has stood as a defender, a friend, an ally and a partner for the only true democracy in a region filled with unrest and questionable leadership.

It also bears noting that less than five years ago, the U.S. embassy was moved to Jerusalem in a bold move that signaled to the world that the U.S. would no longer dance around the fickle antisemitic whims of Iran, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and the myriad misfit groups who call for death to Israel as a matter of policy.

The Abraham Accords, an unprecedented landmark agreement authored and promoted by the U.S., was signed in 2020 establishing formal diplomatic relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco. It was heralded as a game-changing time in the Middle East, with new opportunities for economic development and government agreements.

A mere five years ago Iran was marginalized. The same Iran that avidly pursues nuclear ambitions while shouting “Death to Israel and death to America.” The same Iran that trained Shia militias to kill over 600 U.S. servicemembers. Iran foments trouble and mayhem across the region by funding and arming its proxies, the Houthis, Hezbollah and Hamas.

Just five years ago Iran was choked off by sanctions, and learned that even the head of their infamous Republican Guard Force, Gen. Qasem Soleimani, was not safe from reprisal.

Then came Biden, a man who ostensibly has decades of foreign policy experience.

Recall that former President Barack Obama said we should not “underestimate Joe's ability to _____ things up.” Robert Gates, a former secretary of defense who served under Bush and Obama, said of Biden “I think he has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades”.

What are we to think as we watch the current state of affairs in the Middle East? How does an administration get so much so wrong in so short a period of time? It is failure of epic proportions that in less time than it takes to build a bridge in America, Biden has burned every bridge in the Middle East.

It was Joe Biden who lifted sanctions on Iran, thus giving them the ability fund their radicalism. Biden took Iran’s puppets, the Houthis, off the international terrorism designation list ― the same Houthis who are now shooting at U.S. ships on a near daily basis. Biden pulled back from the Abraham Accords and gave billions to the ayatollahs, thereby ensuring Iran would have more money, more clout and more opportunities to sneer at the weak and f*ckless Americans.

As wrong-headed as Biden's foreign policy has been on Iran, what is perhaps more galling is the manner in which he has treated our ally, Israel.

On Oct. 7, 2023, terrorists from Iran’s proxy Hamas raped, pillaged, beheaded, laughed, scorned and burned their way across huge portions of Israel, killing over 1,300 people and dragging hundreds back to Gaza as human shield hostages.

This past week, for the first time ever, Iran launched an attack from its own borders to Israel's sovereign soil. No proxies, no plausible deniability, this was nation-on-nation and represents one of the gravest and most significant increases in regional instability in modern Middle Eastern history.

Biden followed the attack by canceling yet another vacation getaway, and calling Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu to talk out both sides of his mouth ― promising support on the one hand, while telling Netanyahu to limit retaliation. How far we have come in just four years. From stability to war. From support to restraint.

In 1981, President Ronald Reagan welcomed Israeli Prime Minister Menachim Begin to the White House. In his welcoming remarks, Reagan spoke glowingly of the relationship between the U.S. and Israel, saying:

“Israel and America may be thousands of miles apart, but we are philosophical neighbors sharing a strong commitment to democracy and the rule of law. … We have both sought to establish societies of law, to live in peace, and to develop the full potential of our lands. … Together, we seek peace for all people. In partnership, we’re determined to defend liberty and safeguard the security of our citizens. We know Israelis live in constant peril. But Israel will have our help. She will remain strong and secure, and her special character of spirit, genius, and faith will prevail.”

We don’t need to be on the wrong side of history here. We can support Israel from a position of foreign policy, and the standpoint of U.S. interests. We can support Israel from a position of strategic advantage and military force projection. We can support Israel as a matter of faith, believing it is the land of God’s promises. We can support Israel as a matter of common sense.

The Biden administration may not have the ability, desire, or wherewithal to correct course on its abysmal Middle East policy, but the American people do. We need to be on the right side of history here, or we may face war on a scale of biblical proportions.

Phil Williams is a former state senator from District 10 (which includes Etowah County), retired Army colonel and combat veteran, and a practicing attorney. He previously served with the leadership of the Alabama Policy Institute in Birmingham. He currently hosts the conservative news/talk show Rightside Radio on multiple channels throughout north Alabama. The opinions expressed are his own.

This article originally appeared on The Gadsden Times: Why the U.S. needs to correct its Middle East policy | PHIL WILLIAMS

Let's support Israel and stay on the right side of history | PHIL WILLIAMS (2024)
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