President Barack Obama's failure to stand up for Israel and Ukraine has encouraged their respective enemies, Hamas and Russia, to think they can cause chaos in both countries without fear of consequences, former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore said on Newsmax TV
"This problem is, once again, an uncertain voice that's come out of the United States," said Gilmore, president and CEO of the Free Congress Foundation.
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"The president is so mild and so indefinite and so uncertain — he's such an uncertain trumpet of America today — that he is going to send messages of uncertainty in the world, and it's going to create more and more problems," Gilmore said Monday. "And that's the problem that we have to face today: President Obama is too weak."
Gilmore said U.S. economic sanctions
leveled against Russia are "vital" and must continue in order to punish President Vladimir Putin for his aggressive empire-building in Ukraine.
But Gilmore said sanctions have to be paired with a tougher line.
"We also have to begin to make a statement here about whether or not the people of Ukraine have a right to territorial integrity and the right to self-determination," he said.
"There's no need for them to necessarily be drawn into a NATO alliance, but if their desire is to have further economic attachments to the European Union and to the Western world, we should not permit them to be dragged back into an Eastern community that really is not really forward-looking in the 21st century," Gilmore said.
On Israel, Gilmore said Obama — in lamenting civilian casualties
on the Palestinian side and calling for a cease-fire — has not emphatically supported the most stalwart U.S. Mideast ally.
Israel faces criticism as it pushes into the Gaza Strip
in a bid to subdue the Palestinian terror group Hamas and stop a barrage of Hamas rockets into Israel.
"I think we have to reassert our strength and our support for the nation of Israel," Gilmore said. "And then at that point, you're going to begin to send messages to people in the Arab community that it is not acceptable to have this kind of conduct.
"Otherwise, what choice does Israel have?" Gilmore said. "We would never tolerate missiles being fired from an adjacent country and terrorizing our people and causing them to have to live in cellars. They have to do what's necessary. But in the long run, what is essential is American leadership to once again reaffirm our commitment to the existence of the Israeli state."
Gilmore also said the president has failed to challenge conventional wisdom on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
"There's an international norm here that is anti-Israel, and it's causing a coloration of reality." said Gilmore. "The reality is that this is not a case of some type of resistance by somebody to Israel. This is an assault upon another people. If the missiles stop, the incursions will stop."
Gilmore said the United Nations is playing to that anti-Israel bias when it ought to seek a settlement "that's good for the Palestinian people, makes peace with the Arab world and also allows Israel to flourish and exist as the nation that they are in reality."
The U.N.'s abdication makes America's role that much more critical, he said.
"Strong, American leadership is called for," said Gilmore. "We're not getting that out of President Obama."
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