December 2, 2012
The world has become an infinitely more dangerous place in the four years since you first invited me to this annual luncheon.
• Iran is on the verge of a nuclear capability.
• Egypt and Libya are growing ever more strident in their embrace of Islamic fascism.
• Turkey grows increasing cold and hostile.
• Syria, which has been stable, hostile and passive is no longer stable and may in the future no longer be passive.
• Meanwhile, the bitter fruits sown by the Gaza accord are now being harvested. (To those who say we need a Palestinian state, I answer that we already have one – in Gaza – and the last thing we need is another).
Slowly emerging from this turmoil is the vague but unmistakable outline of a fascist-Islamic caliphate that could challenge the existence of Israel, and ultimately the peace and security of the entire world.
At this critical moment, the United States is being consumed by fiscal policies that could, if allowed to continue, reduce or destroy its ability to finance the measures that it may be called upon to take if world events continue to deteriorate.
In many ways, events in this nation and abroad begin to feel ominously reminiscent of the world in 1936 – an American nation increasingly besieged by its economic problems while fascism arises from poisonous conditions abroad.
But unlike 1936, we have the lessons of that era, which, if heeded, can change the course of events. Churchill said that World War II could have been prevented if the western Democracies had only shown the resolve necessary to resist the advance of fascist regimes early on.
“Is this a call to war?” He asked. “Does anyone pretend that preparation for resistance to aggression is unleashing war? I declare it to be the sole guarantee of peace.”
AIPAC has done an extraordinary job of fostering an understanding among our fellow Americans – from all political points of view -- of the importance of Israel to the security of the United States and to the upward progress of human civilization.
But this work will all be for naught if America’s resources are squandered to the point of insolvency, or if its martial focus is dissipated in secondary and tertiary distractions around the world. Ben Franklin reminded us that our enemies tell us our faults, and Ahmadinejad was right when he boasted that America cannot lead the world if America is broke.
So today, I rise to express the sentiment that American support of Israel depends not only on the good will of the American people, but upon the fiscal solvency of the American government – something that is now drifting into grave question. And part of that necessity is to re-focus our military commitments on those that truly matter.
If we can meet these two necessities: a strong economy and a focused defense policy, I believe time is our ally.
But if we fail in either of these imperatives, time will quickly turn on us and become an enemy. And the hour, as you know, is already late.
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