The best way to counter terrorism, the Obama administration has decided, is to counter it without Israel. Thus, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last September launched the Global Counterterrorism Forum sans Israel. This month, the GCTF came together, ludicrously, for an Israel-free conference on "victims of terrorism."
This exclusion was clear from the forum's start last year when, seated next to her Turkish co-chairman, ensconced amid ministers from Algeria, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Morocco, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and 18 other miscellaneous member-states, Hillary Clinton said the magic words: "From London to Lahore, from Madrid to Mumbai, from Kabul to Kampala, it's innocent civilians who have been targeted ..."
And 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 - belong to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, a bloc of 56 Islamic countries working to impose Islamic law (Sharia) on the world. Six of those 11 members additionally belong to the Arab League. Both groups have defined "terrorism" to exclude Israelis (and sometimes U.S. soldiers) as victims, and "terrorists" to exclude groups dedicated to the destruction of Israel, such as Hamas and Hezbollah. It is no wonder that their Arab-Islamic members would now unite in "counterterrorism" without Israel. What is both shocking and shameful, however, is that the United States would, too.
As in Libya, where the U.S. supported the jihad-linked side, as in Egypt (same), as in Syria (same), this side-switching sparks little comment. Yes, 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 U.S. senators (Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., and Mark Kirk, R-Ill.) wrote her a letter to complain. 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 hadn't we thought 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 pretend that Islam has no role in the global jihad against Israel and the wider West.
Such appeasement was a long time coming. Looking back to the Gulf War in 1990-1991, we see this same denial of Israel's existence take shape in President George H.W. Bush's "international coalition" -- without Israel. The same is true in 2003 with the formation of President George W. Bush's "coalition of the willing" in Iraq (also Afghanistan) -- without Israel. These omissions were in no way due to Israel's reluctance to join the "war on terror." They were due to the same Islamic pressure in force today. Both Bushes bowed to it in exchange 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.
But at least under both Bushes, Israel was still recognized for withstanding decades of Islamic terrorist attacks. Today, under the Obama administration, Israel no longer rates mention even as a victim. In effect, "Big Satan" has thrown "Little Satan" to the sharks. Which says two thing about "Big Satan." Our institutions now see the world from the Islamic perspective; and, as far as the sharks go, we're next.
Examiner Columnist Diana West is syndicated nationally by United Media and is the author of "The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization."