Written by Caroline Glick
Israel has many passionate supporters on Capitol Hill, particularly on the Republican side of the aisle. These are men and women who are deeply committed to Israel and understand that Israel is the US's only reliable ally in the Middle East and America's most vital ally in the world today in light of the rise of radical Islamic regimes, movements and leaders.
Today as Obama officially enters his second term in office, Israel enters a period unlike any it has experienced before. It will face a hostile US president who does not fear the voters. Moreover, it faces a US president who is so hostile to Israel that his first serious act after his reelection was to appoint Chuck Hagel Defense Secretary, (and John Brennan CIA Director).
As I wrote last week, I believe that Israel will not be the hardest hit by Obama's "transformative" foreign policy over the next four years. As an independent state, Israel has the ability to diversify its network of strategic allies and so mitigate somewhat the hit it will take from the Obama administration. The US, and first and foremost the US military will not be so fortunate.
Not surprisingly, Israel's biggest defenders in the US Capitol are also the most outspoken allies of the US military and the most concerned about maintaining America's ability to remain the most powerful nation on earth both economically and militarily. They are as well, Obama's most outspoken critics on the Hill.
For their outspoken criticism, and their competence, these men and women have been targeted for political destruction by Obama and his allies. Last November we saw this leftist machine outgun and so defeat Cong. Allen West in Florida and Joe Walsh in Illinois. Both men were targeted by Obama's smear machine that included, among other things, J-Street endorsements of their opponents, and rancid attacks against them.
One of the voices that Obama's machine has spent millions of dollars trying to silence is that of Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.
As a member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, and as a contender in the Republican presidential primaries, Bachmann has been one of Israel's most passionate and articulate defenders and one of Obama's most effective critics on everything from federal spending to Obama's abandonment of the US-Israel alliance to his opening of the US federal government and intelligence apparatuses to members of the Muslim Brotherhood - that is to members of a movement dedicated to the destruction of the American way of life.
For her efforts, Rep. Bachmann has been the target of repeated media smear campaigns, often joined by skittish Republicans like John McCain who failed to recognize the danger of the Muslim Brotherhood's rise in Libya and Egypt, and failed to understand the danger that the penetration of the US federal government by Muslim Brotherhood members constitutes to US national security.
I have had the privilege and pleasure of meeting with Rep. Bachmann on several occasions over the years. She is one of the most intelligent women I know. And her grasp of the nature and importance of the US-Israel alliance is extraordinary. So too, her understanding of the challenges to US national security is clear, educated and sophisticated.
Watch for instance these speeches that she has delivered in recent months.
The day she announced her candidacy for President:
And at the Values Voters Summit shortly before the Presidential election.
In the past, every time that I have written about Cong. Bachmann, I have been bombarded with comments from readers who say that they cannot believe I can support her, since they claim, she is such an extremist. But Cong. Bachmann is not an extremist at all.
What she is is a victim of a very successful smear campaign undertaken by people who recognize her talent, conviction, intelligence and effectiveness. They set out to destroy and marginalize her, just as they set out to destroy and marginalize Mitt Romney and West and Walsh and many others, because they perceive these leaders as a threat to their agendas.
Today Cong. Bachmann is the target of a new leftist smear campaign, organized by the far Left People for the American Way. The campaign involves a petition that has reportedly been signed already by 178,000 people demanding that House Speaker John Boehner expel Rep. Bachmann from the House Select Committee on Intelligence.
The proximate cause for the petition is a series of letters Bachmann and five other (wonderful and similarly courageous) Congressional colleagues penned to the Inspectors General of the Departments of Homeland Security, the Defense Department, the State Department, Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Justice asking for the IGs to conduct an investigation of the ties senior officials in these departments have with the Muslim Brotherhood.
For her efforts, Bachmann was condemned not only by the Left, but by Senator John McCain as a bigot and a McCarthyite.
But she is none of these things. And last month, her concerns were borne out when the Egyptian magazine Rose al Youssef published an article about Muslim Brotherhood operatives in senior positions in the Obama administration. According to the article, these operatives have transformed the US "from a position hostile to Islamic groups and organizations in the world, to the largest and most important supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood." (Here is the Investigative Project on Terrorism's translation of the article.)
Among those mentioned in the articles are some of the officials that Bachmann named in her letters last July. Far from waging a McCarthyite, bigoted witch hunt against guileless American citizens, as the Egyptian article makes clear, her concerns were founded in fact and totally reasonable.
Before Obama was reelected, I heard repeatedly that supporters of Israel like Alan Dershowitz, Ed Koch, and Haim Saban who had properly criticized Obama's hostility towards Israel but then supported his reelection bid, did so because they believed that by supporting him, they would be in a position to pressure him to support Israel in his second term. According to this line of reasoning, these men and others like them believed that Obama would listen to them in his second term if - but only if - they supported his reelection against a candidate who was clearly more supportive of Israel than Obama.
By appointing Hagel as Defense Secretary, Obama made clear even before he was sworn in for his second term that this assumption was completely wrong. By supporting his reelection they supported giving Obama four years to lead American foreign policy unconstrained by the need to feign support for Israel. When you empower your enemies, your enemies are empowered.
By the same token, when you support your friends, your friends are empowered. Rep. Bachmann is a friend of Israel's. And she is an American patriot committed to doing everything in her power to protecting the US and defending and maintaining America as the indispensable nation.
In response to the PFAW's petition, the David Horowitz Freedom Center, with which I am proud to be formally associated as the Director of its Israel Security Project, launched a counter-petition to Speaker Boehner voicing support for Bachmann. If you are a US citizen, please take a few moments to sign the petition.
Caroline Glick Website © Caroline Glick Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East Fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, DC and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, where her column appears.