Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, warned attendees at the ADL’s 100th anniversary conference on Thursday in New York City that it is “America and its role in the world” today that causes him to “lose some sleep” as U.S. leaders embrace a more isolationist approach to world affairs.

Addressing the conference Foxman provided a sweeping analysis of U.S. interaction with the world and drew parallels between today’s approach to Syria and to Iran. “If what we are seeing now is the beginning of a deep change in American foreign policy it will be bad for the Jews,” Foxman said.

He said, “Before World War II, when America retreated from the world, it enabled the greatest disaster ever to the Jewish people. And, since, American leadership has helped produce the exceptional accomplishments we spoke about. Now we are seeing growing indications of a desire for America to retreat from the world.”

“Interestingly, the bi-partisan support for America leadership came about after WWII when Republican isolationists from the 20’s and 30’s were transformed, led by Senator Robert Vandenberg, into internationalists in order to combat the Soviet threat,” he said. “When the Berlin wall came down, there was talk that a new isolationism would rise up. Now that Republicans didn’t have the communist threat to contend with, it was argued, they might return to the old ways. It happened in some instances, note Pat Buchanan. Overall, however, it didn’t take.”

“Now, however, some two decades later, more serious trends are developing. The combination of America’s unsatisfactory involvement in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq together with the financial crisis at home have generated a broader opposition to American military involvement overseas.”

“The recent issue surrounding Syria’s use of chemical weapons highlighted this trend. When President Obama announced he would attack Syria and then decided to obtain Congressional approval, he met a wall of resistance on both the Democratic left and the Republican right. Mistrust of government and entanglements overseas abounded. Members of Congress seemed merely to reflect the wishes of their constituencies. And when the President then turned to a Russian solution of ridding Syria of chemical weapons, a huge sigh of relief was heard throughout the nation. But what was also heard was questioning around the world whether America could be counted on – it was bad enough that the American people understandably wanted out, but where was the leadership in Washington to stand up?”

“In Syria, chemical weapons aside, allowing [President Bashar al] Assad the murderer of many thousands, to stay in power supported by Iran and Hezbollah, with America largely on the sidelines will send a terrible message. Iran will emerge the victor. Allies of America are wondering, the good potential outcome on Syrian chemical weapons notwithstanding, whether America’s desperation at all costs to avoid a military confrontation signals a dangerous weakening of American resolve.”

“And then on top of that comes this drive to find agreements with Iran on the nuclear issue. Now let me be clear: if we can reach a satisfactory deal with Iran that ensures that if Iran is deceptive or abnegates …read more
Source: The Algemeiner


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