By Ronn Torossian
In 2016, America will have elections. As a Jewish-American who cares deeply about Israel it has been sad to see such poor relations between America and Israel throughout the administration of President Barack Obama. This administration has been openly hostile towards Israel.
Allies –including America and Israel– will not always agree, and sometimes they will openly disagree. Yet, when both sides agree there are shared values and interests, the dialogue and trust is different.
A different time existed during the Gulf War in 1991 when there was also tension between both countries. At the time, Israel’s Prime Minister was Yitzhak Shamir, also a member of the right-wing Likud Party which Benjamin Netanyahu today leads.
Shamir stood down at the request of the White House, as there was a trusted partner in President George H. Bush.
To brush up on the details of that incident, here’s a few quotes from a speech former New York Governor George Pataki said in a speech at the Republican Jewish Coalition some years ago:
“In the first gulf war, I don’t know how many of you remember when we were leading this coalition to remove Saddam Hussein. Israel was being attacked by scud missiles and no one knew if those missiles may have contained chemical or biological weapons.
“I remember the images of Israelis in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem wearing gas masks, old men and babies, not knowing if they were going to have their lives risked, not because of anything they had done, other then being Jews.
“Those who don’t understand how important it is that we stand with Israel, because of its values and its greatness and because its such a wonderful ally, don’t understand what Israel has done for us.
“I again think back to 1991 first Gulf War, when those scuds were raining down on Jerusalem and on Israel. The Israeli army –and American people have to remember this– had the ability to go into Western Iraq and take out those missiles, before they were able to hit the people of Israel.
“But Israel was such a strong and loyal ally, that they couldn’t jeopardize the coalition that President Bush put together, so they allowed their civilians to be attacked, so our military and coalition could succeed.
“What better example of an ally, who will go beyond the call of duty in support of us, then Israel showed us in 1991.”
Ronn Torossian is an author, philanthropist and entrepreneur. Read more of his writings at ronntorossianupdate.com