NY Post Editorial – Obama deserts an ally in wartime
By Post Editorial Board
August 17, 2014 | 10:24pm
What kind of ally refuses to send you desperately needed weapons when you’re smack in the middle of a war?
Apparently, that’s what the Obama folks did with Israel, which is caught up fighting with Hamas. It’s unforgivable.
The decision came, it seems, after White House officials learned that, unbeknownst to them, Israel had gotten mortar shells and grenade-illuminating rounds from the Pentagon to use against Hamas, as The Wall Street Journal reported last week.
Officials say they were “blind-sided” by the transfer. But it turns out that it was done as a matter of routine: No OK by the president or secretary of state was needed.
Still, the White House suddenly put all future transfers on hold, including a scheduled shipment of Hellfire missiles. And it ordered the Pentagon to consult with the executive branch and State Department before approving any future requests.
Obama folks downplayed the move and claims of a new tiff with Israel. They say reports that they held up missile shipments “does not indicate any change in policy.”
If true, though, what kind of a policy is it?
In any case, the animosity between President Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is no secret. Just last week, the Journal reported, the men had a “particularly combative phone call.”
No doubt, the White House is irked by the fact that its efforts to mediate an end to the fighting have fallen flat and that it’s been pushed to the sidelines as others, like Egypt, take up the role.
It also resents the fact that Israel insists on pursuing its right to self-defense and won’t give in to US pressure to make more concessions.
Yet none of that justifies lashing out against Israel — and holding up weapons — in the middle of a war.
If Israel suffers, and its terrorist enemies are emboldened, America’s own security interest abroad will be harmed. And if any ally still trusts us to have their back, they won’t any more.
The president is letting his personal pique get the better of him. It’s unwise. And certainly no way treat a friend in wartime.