When I first glanced at the headline on today's Jerusalem Online and reports in the Jerusalem Post and other Israeli newspapers, I thought they must have been a satire: "Washington officials have told Egypt that the US will guarantee Israel's commitment to any agreement signed." But it was not a satire. This was deadly serious, confirmed by other Israeli newspapers and sources in Cairo.
The US offering to Hamas to "guarantee" Israeli commitments to any agreement signed? As if anyone needed proof of the Obama administration's antipathy to Israel, here it was in black and white. If any party needed a commitment to enforce its agreements in any deal, it would have been Hamas, which has been known to break every commitment it ever made. To pick just a few at random:
Hamas recently violated 9 cease fire agreements, including two of its own.
Hamas illegally siphoned thousands of tons of cement and steel shipments it received from international donors and Israel that it had committed to use to build the civilian infrastructure in Gaza for hospitals, schools and apartment buildings; instead it spent upwards of $500 million of these humanitarian shipments to covertly build numerous tunnels buried deep underground into Israel in order to carry out murderous raids on Israeli civilian communities intended to kill tens of thousands of Israelis.
Hamas violated the terms of the 2012 ceasefire negotiated by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton together with Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi. Under the terms of that agreement, Hamas committed to stop firing missiles into Israel from Gaza. But in fact, Hamas never honored its commitment and continued to fire hundreds of missiles from Gaza into southern Israel during the entire year of 2013 and the first half of 2014. But then in July, Hamas initiated a full scale war against Israel in which it launched 4,000 missiles into 80 percent of Israel's population centers.
Hamas violated the commitment to the Palestinian Authority that it would never launch a coup d'état against the PA after Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005. But in 2007, Hamas did exactly that in a bloody takeover of Gaza, kicking out and killing PA officials.
Hamas violated a solemn commitment to its own civilians that it would uphold the rule of law (yea, right) when it took over Gaza only to subsequently execute hundreds of dissident Gazans, torture and imprison thousands of political opponents, violently persecute the minority of Christians still living in Gaza and imprison and prosecute suspected gay Gazans.
It violated a commitment it made in the Clinton-negotiated 2012 truce that it would cease its missile attacks on Israel.
And at the same time, it should be noted that President Obama personally signed an official letter at the time of the 2012 negotiated ceasefire to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the US would provide Israel with the technology to defeat and stop Hamas smuggling of weapons. But subsequent to that promise, Hamas soon received in massive quantities from Iran, Sudan, and North Korea. That promise was never carried out.
Israel, on the other hand, meticulously fulfilled its part of the bargain by significantly relaxing the blockade on Gaza, allowing tons of previously restricted cement and steel into Gaza, increasing the number of daily truckloads of food, medical stuff and building equipment through the two Israeli checkpoints into Gaza by more than 250 truckloads ( a commitment that continued during the Hamas war against Israel, a fact mostly ignored by the mainstream media blindly committed to the Hamas narrative that Israel was the aggressor).
Remember when Obama spoke to the annual AIPAC conference a few years back and ceremoniously declared, "I got your back"? This is the same president who, as the Wall Street Journal disclosed last week, personally held up the Israeli request for additional Hellfire missiles that it had depleted in its war with Hamas.
As far back as 1967, the United States made a firm promise to Israel that it would never allow the Egyptians to blockade the Straits of Tiran, considered the lifeline of Israel. But when the Egyptians blockaded the Straits of Tiran in May 1967, what did the US do? Nothing.
And in the current round of negotiations being held in Cairo now, according to leaked details in Egyptian newspapers reported by today's Jerusalem Online
Israel agreed to make the following astonishing concessions:
"Israel will stop its attacks in Gaza - in land, sea and air. No ground operations will be conducted."
Israel has agreed to the "opening of crossings between Israel and Gaza [in which] Movement of people and merchandise will be allowed, to rebuild Gaza."
"Eliminating the buffer zone in the North and East of Gaza and deployment of Palestinian military forces starting from January 1, 2015."
"Freedom of fishing and action in the territorial waters of the Palestinians in Gaza to a range of 6 miles. The range will gradually be increased, to no less than 12 miles…"
"Israeli authorities will assist the Palestinian Authority to restore the foundations in Gaza, as well as help provide the necessary living needs for those who were forced to leave their homes due to the battles. Also, Israel will provide emergency medical attention to the wounded and will supply humanitarian assistance and food to Gaza as soon as possible."
It should be noted that even during the recent murderous war waged by Gaza, Israel opened up its borders to treat wounded Gaza civilians in Israeli hospitals and continued to supply more than 500 tons daily of humanitarian assistance and food to Gaza daily, even as Hamas launched thousands of rockets and attempted mass murder of Israeli civilians, fortunately thwarted by Israel, to infiltrate dozens of fully armed Hamas terrorists into Israel via the tunnels dug by Hamas.
And what did the Hamas commit to?
"All Palestinian factions in Gaza will stop the attacks against Israel, in the land, the sea and the air; also, building tunnels from Gaza to Israeli territory will be stopped."
That was it. Virtually the identical commitments it agreed to in December 2012. Quite interestingly, Hamas insisted—which Israel did not agree to—to the immediate opening of a Gaza seaport and airport. But the party that suggested to Hamas that they insist on these demands was none other than the Qataris, the country—the top financial patron to Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and many of its terrorist offshoots—curiously selected personally by Obama to be the official diplomatic interlocutor in the Cairo talks. The role that Qatar was supposed to play was to convince Hamas to make concessions. But the opposite happened. Qatar, the country to which that the US just sold $11 billion worth of military weapons, actually sabotaged the negotiations. So far, the president has been silent on this betrayal.
In light of the fact that Hamas has never upheld any of its past commitments, the salient question that has to be asked is why did Obama feel compelled to assuage Hamas with an assurance that the US would "guarantee" that Israeli upheld its commitments? The word "guarantee" has a rather expansive and vague latitude for definition. The most recent demonstration of an American guarantee that Israel would halt its defensive war against Hamas was the suspension of critical military deliveries to Israel during the height of the conflagration instigated by Hamas.
Indeed, for all the public affirmations made last week—after the WSJ expose-- by the Obama administration that the U.S. was "totally committed to the security of Israel," Obama suddenly decides to make a promise to Hamas—whose covenant differs not one bit from the fascist radical Islamic doctrine adopted by ISIL—that it would enforce the commitments made by Israel, which in fact have historically been studiously upheld by Israel.
If Obama was truly sincere in his now obviously contrived promises to "watch [Israel's] back," he would have offered to guarantee Hamas commitments, a terrorist group that has repeatedly violated its commitments in previous agreements. But with his statement that he would "guarantee" Israeli commitments and not those made by Hamas, the president has revealed his true colors for everyone to see.
Steven Emerson is executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism (www.investigativeproject.org), a non profit group that investigates the threat of radical Islam, author of 6 book on terrorism and national security and executive producer of the award winning 2013 documentary "Jihad in America: The Grand Deception" (www.granddeception.com)