The Washington Free Beacon reported this week on the continuing omission of Israel from a U.S.-sponsored organization called the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF). At a recent forum meeting in Spain, Maria Otero, U.S. undersecretary of state for civilian security, democracy and human rights, delivered a speech titled "Victims of Terrorism," but, in her roll call of victims, she didn't mention Israel. The conference at which she spoke was described as a "high-level conference on the victims of terrorism," but Israel wasn't a participant.
It bears repeating because it is so fantastic: At an international conference devoted to victims of terrorism, the world's leading victim or, better, leading target of terrorism -- Israel -- was nowhere in sight, or mind.
Welcome to the GCTF -- U.S. counterterrorism's new "normal." This 30-member organization got its official start last September as a "major initiative" of the Obama administration when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced its launch in New York.
It was quite an occasion; Hillary curled her hair. Seated next to her Turkish co-chairman, ensconced amid ministers from Algeria, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Morocco, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and 18 other miscellaneous member-states plus the European Union, she then said the magic words: "From London to Lahore, from Madrid to Mumbai, from Kabul to Kampala, it's innocent civilians who have been targeted ..."
Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Ashkelon? Poof, gone. And that's the point: This new counterterrorism organization, with its related counterterrorism center coming soon to Abu Dhabi, is Judenfrei. Not coincidentally, it is also heavily Islamic. Eleven member-states -- slightly more than one-third of the organization's membership -- also belong to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), a bloc of 56 Islamic countries working to impose Islamic law (Shariah) on the world. Six of those 11 members additionally belong to the Arab League. Both groups have defined "terrorism" to exclude Israeli victims (sometimes U.S. soldiers), and "terrorists" to exclude groups dedicated to the destruction of Israel, such as Hamas and Hezbollah. It is no wonder the Arab-Islamic members would now unite in "counterterrorism" without Israel.
What is both shocking and shameful, however, is that the U.S. would, too. It shows that the U.S. has implicitly but clearly accepted the Arab League/OIC definitions of terrorism and terrorists. As in Libya, where the U.S. supported the jihad-linked side, as in Egypt (same), as in Syria (same), this side-switching sparks scant comment. Oh, sure, there was some media yapping last month when Hillary jetted to Istanbul to pronounce another Israel-free incantation about efforts to "defeat extremist ideology." Two -- count 'em, two -- U.S. senators (independent Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Republican Mark Kirk of Illinois) wrote her letters. But such complaints are nothing next to the smiles and cooperation coming our way from the Islamic core of the GCTF. And it was so easy! Why didn't we think of this before? All we have to do is see things the way the Islamic world does; pretend things like Israel don't exist (just as maps in Arab countries already indicate); and insist that Islam is a boon to mankind -- not the animating doctrine of global jihad against Israel and the wider West.
I would like to say this is all something President Obama initiated, but such appeasement goes back a long way. If we look to the Gulf War in 1990-1991, we see this same denial of Israel's existence take shape in the makeup of President George H.W. Bush's "international coalition" -- sans Israel. The same is true in 2003 with the formation of President George W. Bush's "coalition of the willing" in Iraq (also Afghanistan) -- sans Israel.
These omissions were in no way due to Israel's unwillingness to join the "war on terror." They were due to the same Islamic pressure in force today. Both Bushes bowed to it, accepting a state of dhimmitude (inferiority of non-Muslims under Islam) for the high privilege of spilling American blood and treasure into the ungrateful desert. Israel, both Bushes agreed with their Islamic "allies," just wasn't fit to fight on Islamic sand. Thus, Israel was excluded from these wartime alliances.
Such dhimmitude only intensifies, as the latest developments show. Under the Bushes, after all, while Israel was not permitted to fight alongside coalition forces, at least it was still recognized for withstanding more than 60 years of Islamic terrorist attacks. Today, under the auspices of the Obama administration, Israel no longer rates mention even as a victim. "Big Satan" has thrown "Little Satan" to the sharks. Which says two things about Big Satan. Our institutions now see the world from the Islamic perspective, and, as far as the sharks go, we're next.
Diana West can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.