The pundits on both sides of the political spectrum are confused about President Obama's strategy for fighting terrorism, he seems to say one thing and then a few days later. But it's just like spelling, you have to understand the exceptions. However recent actions have made his strategy clear, so as a service to readers and the political punditry of America we will explain the one big exception to fighting terror which in the administration is known as "except when the terrorists are targeting Jews."
Allow me to explain how it works. While talking about ISIS and the murder of Jim Foley on Wednesday President Obama said:
They have rampaged across cities and villages -- killing innocent, unarmed civilians in cowardly acts of violence. They abduct women and children, and subject them to torture and rape and slavery. They have murdered Muslims -- both Sunni and Shia -- by the thousands. They target Christians and religious minorities, driving them from their homes, murdering them when they can for no other reason than they practice a different religion. They declared their ambition to commit genocide against an ancient people.A few hours after Obama's speech Israeli Prime Minster Netanyahu gave one of his own, accurately explaining that Hamas is guilty of the same horrific acts as ISIS.
Hamas is ISIS. ISIS is Hamas. They’re the enemies of peace, they’re the enemies of Israel, they’re the enemies of all civilized countries, and I believe they’re the enemies of the Palestinians themselves.Netanyahu explained that the Foley beheading “shows you the barbarism, the savagery of these people,” He added:
We face the same savagery. People who wantonly rocket our cities and conduct mass killings, and when they can, they murder children, teenagers, shoot them in the head, throw people from the sixth floor, their own people, and use their people as human shields.
During the daily State Department briefing that same day, Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf was asked about Netanyahu's comparison. Ms Harf she refused to concede that the two terrorist groups were similar.
I think by definition, they are two different groups. They have different leadership, and I’m not going to compare them in that way. I’ll let him [Netanyahu] speak for himself, but I’m not going to use that comparison.
Why would the Obama administration refuse to accept the Netanyahu comparison? There is one major difference between ISIS and Hamas. As the President said above, ISIS attacks people of all religions including their own. On the other hand, Hamas' primary target is the Jewish people. Their stated objective is killing all of the Jews in Israel and once that is done, killing all of the Jews in the rest of the world.
Civilian casualties is another example of the "Except when the terrorists are targeting Jews" strategy.
Since the start of the Gaza war, President Obama has constantly attacked Israel for the tragedy of civilian casualties despite the fact that Israel goes even further than the U.S. to avoid civilian casualties and that Hamas uses its population as human shields.
During an interview with the New Yorker this past January, Obama told David Remnick that he "wrestle[s]" with civilian casualties. But he also said he has..
a solemn duty and responsibility to keep the American people safe. That’s my most important obligation as President and Commander-in-Chief. And there are individuals and groups out there that are intent on killing Americans -- killing American civilians, killing American children, blowing up American blowing up American planes. That’s not speculation. It’s their explicit agenda.Why would Obama go out of his way to criticize this country's number one ally in the Middle East about civilian casualties when he knows that Hamas puts non-combatants in the line of fire and the lengths Israel goes, to avoid killing civilians? That's because the President believes Netanyahu's "solemn duty and responsibility" to keep his citizens safe is different than Obama's. Each of the countries have pluralistic societies recognizing the freedom of its people, but only one of them is comprised mostly of Jews.
Obama believes the civilized world should weed out and fight terrorism wherever they may find it, except of course if the terrorists are targeting Jews.
During that same Wednesday speech the President said:
From governments and peoples across the Middle East there has to be a common effort to extract this cancer, so that it does not spread. There has to be a clear rejection of these kind of nihilistic ideologies. One thing we can all agree on is that a group like ISIL has no place in the 21st century.Since the start of the Gaza operation, Obama has allowed Israel to go only so far in trying to destroy Hamas before demanding a cease fire. Contrary to his ally Israel, Obama's strategy is to bring Hamas to the negotiating table as opposed to extracting "this cancer, so that it does not spread."
Why is Obama's goal to eradicate ISIS but only to bring Hamas to the bargaining table? There can be only one answer as there is only one difference between the two terrorist groups, unlike ISIS who targets everybody, Hamas' primary target is the Jews, not only in Israel, but they have stated that their primary target is all Jews across the world.
Talking heads on both sides of the aisle have declared their consternation about President Obama's strategy for fighting terrorism. It's really easy to understand when one realizes there is one rule for the terrorists who want to kill the Jews and a different rule for the terrorists who target a broader range of people.
Now, if only spelling was that easy.