Tags: America's Forum | Israel | Woolsey | Obama | Israel

Ex-CIA Chief: Obama Response to Attack on Israel 'Inadequate'

By    |   Wednesday, 19 November 2014 12:53 PM

Former CIA director James Woolsey tells Newsmax that President Barack Obama's response to the attack at the Jerusalem synagogue is not helpful.

"I don't regard two-sided statements of the sort that the president made — 'everybody has to calm down and so forth' — as particularly helpful or accurate in terms of what's going on in that part of the world," Woolsey told J.D. Hayworth on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV Wednesday.

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Following the attack in Israel, in which five people were killed, Obama said that it's "important for Israeli and Palestinian leaders and ordinary citizens to work cooperatively together to lower tensions, reject violence, and seek a path forward towards peace," Haaretz reported.

Obama's response is "inadequate, to put it mildly," Woolsey explained.

"One-sixth of Israel's population is Palestinian Arabs, most of them Muslims, a few of them Christian," he said.

"They have their own representatives in the Israeli Knesset, they had a Cabinet member not long ago, they had a Supreme Court justice, they have their own press and they go to sleep at night without worrying that anyone's going to kick down the door and kill them," he contends.

"If the Palestinians treated Jewish settlers in the West Bank as well as the Israelis treat the Palestinian Arabs, who are citizens of Israel, we wouldn't have any problem here," he added. "They would be living comfortably together."

According to the former CIA director, the president has a credibility problem not just when it comes to addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but also with other conflicts in the world.

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"The president says there's a red line that [President Bashar] Assad in Syria cannot cross, they cannot use chemical weapons against his people, it's unacceptable, and then Assad does it, and we kind of say, 'Oh, hmm, maybe it wasn't really a red line, let's let the Russians deal with it,’ " he explained.

"You have to be credible as the president of the United States," he contends.

"It's not just the words that are said — all of the stuff about leading from behind and so forth that calls into question that whether the president means what he says — that's the problem," he said. 

The problem with the way the Obama administration has handled the battle with the Islamic State (ISIS), according to Woolsey, is that "they are sounding as if this is just kind of another diplomatic problem with some violence added."

"They seem to be incapable of using the kinds of language with respect to terrorism and beheadings that would help," he explained.

And with "the cutbacks on military aid, the airstrikes, that are just a few and occasional and instead of solid assaults from the air against ISIS, all of those things undermine the credibility of what they say," he said.

"The thing that matters is defeating ISIS militarily, killing as many of them as possible and not holding back on the use of air power or not holding back on military aid to the Kurds," he added.

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Former CIA director James Woolsey tells Newsmax that President Barack Obama's response to the attack at the Jerusalem synagogue is not helpful.
Woolsey, Obama, Israel
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 12:53 PM
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