At least four times this past week, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush was asked about the start of the Iraq war, “Knowing what we know now, would you have authorized the invasion?” And each time he gave a different answer – beginning with yes and finally, days later, ending with no.
We can undoubtedly see that Gov. Bush is struggling with an identity crisis. Here at NJDC, we have some similar questions for the would-be presidential candidate—also about the Middle East and his brother former President George W. Bush’s legacy regarding Israel’s safety and security.
- Gov. Bush, knowing what we know now about Hamas’ full takeover of Gaza and its constant attacks on innocent Israelis since its victories in the 2006 Palestinian election, would you have pressured Israel to allow Hamas to run in those elections, as your brother did?
- Gov. Bush, knowing what we know now about Iran’s determined pursuit of nuclear weapons, including its successful development of thousands of critical centrifuges (until President Obama engaged them in ongoing diplomatic negotiations), would you have allowed Iran to continue its nuclear research and development unimpeded, as your brother did?
- Gov. Bush, knowing what we know now about Israel’s standing at the United Nations, where the Arab states and much of the third world and Europe routinely vote against Israel, would you have looked the other way as the UN passed a resolution attacking Israel’s legitimacy, as your brother did?
- Gov. Bush, knowing what we know now about the constant burden of daily threats that Israelis live under, where rocket and missile threats surround them, would you freeze nearly all U.S.-Israeli joint defense projects, as your brother's administration did in 2005? Would you refuse to accept Israel’s request of specialized bunker-busting bombs, as happened in 2008? Would you provide the same “frosty reception” and discredit of Israel’s rocket defense capabilities for Iron Dome, as your brother's administration did?
So if you don’t want to be directly associated with your brother, we completely understand. However, before you decide to directly summarize the current administration’s foreign policy as “weak and uncertain,” you may want to take a few moments of self-reflection and think about your own views and family influence regarding U.S.-Israel policy. We do hope our questions provide some insight and reflection on the inherited views you are struggling to communicate.