Individuals suffering from colour blindness are unable to distinguish between red and green. This of course can be a dangerous situation if they drive and have to know when to stop or go at traffic lights. In serious cases those afflicted may be denied a driving license.

Politicians who in many cases can hardly tell the difference between fact and fantasy and who suffer from this colour blindness malady are particularly dangerous not merely to themselves but also to all of us. Manifestations of this problem are currently evident in various international situations. Red lines which were demarcated are suddenly either moving or not recognised and those who previously firmly stated that these red lines would never be crossed are suddenly suffering from some sort of ophthalmic malfunction. Most of us by now are used to political double vision but these latest examples should be ringing warning bells. Here are some examples of red line blurring.

North Korea was allowed to cross all red lines and achieve nuclear capability. As a result we now face a rogue State which threatens its neighbours, exports nuclear and rocket technology to Iran amongst others and at the same time represses its citizens. The weak international response and the limp wrist slapping reaction of the Obama Administration which merely is a rerun of previous pathetic US Administration reactions, emboldens the North Koreans to continue on its maniacal path. Moreover and even more critical are those other countries which are watching on the sidelines and observing how easy it is to thumb ones nose at will.

Iran of course is laughing all the way to the nuclear reactor. They know that with the help of China, Russia, Turkey and Pakistan they can continue their steady march towards nuclear weapons. Watching all of the red lines disappear and Obama and the EU blind to red warning lights, the Mullahs in Tehran are confident that they can cross any and every line using subterfuge and delaying tactics. The European Union which despite overwhelming evidence can still not bring itself to declare Hezbollah a terror organisation has long ago abandoned any pretence and simply has erased the very idea of red lines.

President Obama stated prior to his re-election that Syrian use of chemical weapons would be crossing a red line which would demand a severe and serious response. Lo and behold the colour red has mysteriously vanished. Despite mounting evidence that Sarin gas has been used by the Assad regime the White House is now prevaricating. It is pathetic to watch the humming and hawing emanating from all and sundry whose vision has become so blurred that they cannot even see the red line when they stumble over it. It brings back an eerie and haunting memory from days not so long ago when those leading the fight against Nazi Germany refused to react when the full horror of Jews being gassed en mass was revealed. This morally bankrupt policy of ignoring, indeed deliberately turning blind eyes to lines which should never be crossed, is something which can no longer be allowed to continue.

Unfortunately it is not only the international community and much of the media which suffers from this blindness. Many Jewish Israelis and those living in the Diaspora are likewise afflicted. How else does one explain those who avoid the “IT” word. Islamic terror is out there for all to see in all its manifestations on every continent. Those of us in Israel who have been on the front line of this latest plague to afflict civilized societies can only look on in weary bewilderment as officials from the White House down, supported by Jews who should know better, refuse to confront the obvious. Not all Muslims are terrorists but almost all terrorists happen to be followers of or influenced by Islam. Those who promote terror, laud terrorists and deny the Jewish historical claim to Israel can always find plenty of Jews joining those politicians who deny, ignore and are colour blind to the warning signals flashing in front of them.

A final example of how many politicians somersault over any red line. During the US Presidential campaign, Barak Obama vowed to call the Armenian Holocaust “genocide”. A simple and straightforward pledge concerning this historical fact. What did he actually say on the anniversary of this event?

“ The Ottoman Empire is guilty of one of the worst atrocities of the 20th. Century….”

The “G” word has disappeared and the Turkish refusal to admit any culpability is ignored. Instead the Secretary of State pandering to the latter day ambitions of a regime trying to revive the Ottoman Empire’s influence wants Turkey to be a mediator in the Israel/Palestinian Arab dispute and likens those killed on the Gaza bound ship to the innocent victims of the Boston bombings. Of course when the bombers are described as originating from some Eastern European country and the “IT” word is avoided we shouldn’t be surprised at the number of red lines being crossed and ignored.

The only cure for this colour blindness is a radical operation. It calls for the blinkers to be removed and eyes widened enabling those afflicted to finally face reality and act accordingly.

Michael Kuttner is a Jewish New Zealander who for many years was actively involved with various communal organisations connected to Judaism and Israel. He now lives in Israel and works for The Israel Resource News Agency in Jerusalem.