Time and time again, Israel has proven to be America's closest, most reliable ally in the Middle East.
Last week we saw the latest example of Israel's dedication to America as an ally when Israel's Shin Bet security service announced that it had arrested Al Qaeda terrorists who were part of a cell plotting to launch an attack on the US embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Shin Bet indicated that the three terrorists, two from Jerusalem and one from the West Bank, were recruited by an Al Qaeda terrorist operative based in the Gaza Strip who worked directly for Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.
The suicide bomb attack on the US embassy was to be part of an audacious plan to conduct simultaneous attacks on three targets in Israel, the other two targets being an Israeli transit bus and a neighborhood in East Jerusalem.
While there have been fears of an Al Qaeda presence in Israel for some time now, this plot is the first indication of actual, active Al Qaeda terrorists inside Israel.
What is particularly upsetting about the aftermath of the takedown of this Al Qaeda cell has been the muted U.S. reaction.
First, in Washington, Obama State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said U.S. investigators and intelligence officials were not yet able to corroborate the Israeli information and declined to comment on specifics of the case. Harf even told reporters, "I don't have reason to believe it's not true. I just don't have independent verification."
Meanwhile, senior U.S. officials elsewhere, speaking to reporters anonymously, were confirming the plot, while the Obama State Department was essentially giving no comment.
One wonders just exactly what the State Department meant when it said it did not have "independent verification."
Who would the State Department be looking to for that "independent verification"?
Eventually, the Obama State Department did "acknowledge" the plot and Israel's arrest of the terrorists, claiming that they had been in touch with the Israelis on the matter for some time.
What has been completely absent from any statement on the matter from the U.S. has been any expression of gratitude toward Israel for breaking up a plot by our sworn enemy, Al Qaeda, to bomb our embassy.
That silence comes just days after President Obama told the New Yorker, that the current Al Qaeda was the "jayvee" team, once again dismissing the threat from jihadist terrorism.
The only strong statement acknowledging Israel's key role in heading off this Al Qaeda attack came from Illinois Representative Peter Roskam who released the following statement:
"The plot to attack our embassy in Israel reminds us why we must remain vigilant against the continued and evolving threat from Al Qaeda. With the tragic deaths of American personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi still fresh on our minds, the Israeli intelligence community's work to stop this attack in its tracks once again demonstrates the mutual importance of our close security cooperation with Israel."
It certainly appears that the Obama administration is actively ignoring this entire event. And no wonder; after all, it's a bad situation for Obama in three ways:
1. It indicates that the "on the run," "jayvee" Al Qaeda that Obama keeps dismissing is still out there plotting against U.S. targets;
2. Israel, the country Obama seems to dislike and throw under the bus more than any other U.S. ally, came to the rescue;
3. Israel seems to have done a better job of looking out for the security of our diplomatic personnel and facilities than we have ourselves. It's too bad that Israel's security services weren't in charge of security in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, instead of Hillary Clinton, Obama's then-secretary of state!
All of this serves as a painful reminder that the U.S. and its allies continue to be the target of the jihadists and that we must remain ever-vigilant.
Most importantly, we must work to maintain close, friendly relations with our allies, such as Israel, who have stood by us for decades.
President of ACT for America
- ACT for America is an issues advocacy organization dedicated to effectively organizing and mobilizing the most powerful grassroots citizen action network in America, a grassroots network committed to informed and coordinated civic action that will lead to public policies that promote America's national security and the defense of American democratic values against the assault of radical Islam.