Friday, September 21, 2012

The Jewish Problem With Obama !

Jews  earn  like  Episcopalians  and  vote  like  Puerto  Ricans.
-Milton Himmelfarb

What is it with many American Jews and their blind commitment to the Democrats and their amateur president that insults Israel and its leader, Benjamin Netanyahu. Do I have to remind these very same people what we all overheard Obama replying to Sarkozy's remark at a conference in Europe, ''I can't stand him. He's a liar." by saying back ''You're sick of him? I have to work with him every day.''

The publication of Obama's impolitic comment provided a window into the president's true feelings about ''Bibi'' and his right-of-center government. Obama entered office with the professed goal of bringing about an independent Palestinian state before the end of his first term, and force the Jewish state to resolve the problem.  He blamed Netanyahu, rather than his own misguided policies and the pitfalls of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, for preventing him from reaching that objective.

Just six months before, Obama had set off a firestorm by calling upon the Jewish state to accept its 1967 borders, with agreed upon land swaps, as a basis for resuming negotiations with the Palestinians. Along with Jews everywhere, Netanyahu was shocked and appalled by Obama's display of rank amateurism in the art of diplomatic negotiations.  Like previous prime ministers, Netanyahu was prepared to negotiate on the basis of the 1967 borders, but he wasn't so naive that he would give away that key point without demanding that the Palestinians first agree to recognize the legitimacy of the state of Israel. One wonders what's in store for Israel if Obama gets re-elected.

This and further episodes of Obama's cold-shoulder to Bibi and roughhouse treatment of Israel should cause serious consequences for Obama's relations with the American Jewish community. Among the many factors driving down Obama's numbers among Jewish voters was the president's hostile attitude toward businessmen in general and also his past associations with the anti-Semitic Reverend Jeremiah Wright and the Israel-bashing Columbia University Professor Rashid Khalidi. As this year's presidential election drew near, Obama backed off from some of his public assaults on Israel and hired a Jewish outreach director to smooth over hurt feelings. How long that will last if he gets back in the White House is anyone's guess.

After decades of involvement in civil rights, Jews felt good about voting for Obama, for not only for a guy they liked but for their own personal redemption. To many Jews, it seemed highly improbable that this guy they liked would chose to alienate Israel, America's oldest and most loyal ally in the Middle East. But when President Obama made his first overseas trip, he chose to visit three Muslim countries--Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia (where he shockingly bowed to the King!). During a landmark speech in Cairo, he announced his intention to seek ''a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world.''

Understandably enough, American Jews were annoyed that the president had failed to include Israel in his Mideast visitations. What rankled them even more was that Obama seemed to adopt the Arab narrative to explain the existence of Israel--namely, that Israel was created because of past Jewish suffering in Europe, particularly during the Holocaust. Nowhere in his speech did he mention the fact that Jews had a 3,000 year long history in the Promised Land.  It slowly was becoming clear to his Jewish supporters that the inexperienced Obama had once again overplayed his hand. In part, the president had allowed himself to be influenced by the growing volume of anti-Israel anger coming from the left-wing of the Democratic Party, especially from radical students on campuses, where calls for the ''delegitimization'' of the Jewish state were almost de rigueur.

A perception began to spread throughout the Jewish community that the Obama administration was not only outwardly hostile to Israel, but perhaps, without even knowing it, hostile to Jews as well. This thesis was forcefully argued by Jonathan Kellerman, professor of clinical psychology at the University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine. He writes, ''The bifurcation of Israel and Judaism is structurally fallacious. The Land of Israel is an essential ingredient of Judaism practiced fully. Thus it is impossible to be anti-Israel and not be anti-Jewish. And in fact, the war being waged against Israel by the Muslim world is, at the core, a religious dispute. Radical Islamists no longer talk about Zionists; they come right out and broadcast their goal of eradicating worldwide Jewry.'' 

The Anti-Defamation League was the first mainstream Jewish organization to openly criticize the president on the issue of the Middle East. Soon, other groups began to join the chorus. However, the great majority of Jews still remained steadfast behind Obama and his administration's liberal (read Socialist/Marxist) agenda. These simple-minded people were not ready to criticize their country's first African-American president, a man in whom they had invested so many of their own hopes and dreams. To answer the criticisms Obama called together Jewish members of Democratic caucuses in the House and Senate and went through a list of reasons for his actions. He finished by saying, ''Our public disagreement with Israel gives us credibility with the Arab states and compels them to act.'' This disturbed those present, namely that by haranguing Israel in public and portraying it as a villain in the peace process, Washington gained credibility and influence with the Arabs. No one in the room believed that to be true. Quite the opposite, they believed that the bad blood between the Obama administration and Israel encouraged the Arabs to be more, not less, intransigent. Which has been very obvious to most people in the world in the past two years.

The Way I See It....Obama doesn't understand that ally-to-ally differences should not be aired in public. He is isolating Israel and putting Israel in a weakened position. The problem is the naivete of Obama and his advisers, including Valerie Jarrett, who made no secret of her close ties to the Jordanian royal family. They came into office with the assumption that the Israel-Palestinian conflict is by far the most central urgent problem in the region (which it is not) and that it is the key that unlocks everything else in the region. So he and his advisers believed the Israeli-Palestinian situation was ripe for progress, which it absolutely wasn't. Even Romney could see that...and said it.

In my opinion, Obama's problem in dealing with the Middle East conundrum doesn't come exclusively from his advisers, but rather from his one-man style and his inflated view of his own leadership talents. Obama believes that no matter what the odds against it, he can bring everyone together, kumbaya style, so that we can solve hitherto insoluble problems.  Perhaps even more egregiously, he seems to have an exaggerated sense of his on depth of understanding of the Middle East, which is simply not borne out by his background or experience. To all the American Jews out there...this week you celebrate Yom Kipper and it was 39 years ago that Israel fought for its life against Arab aggression....why would you even think of voting for a man who, by his various actions in the last 4 years, weakens Israel's existence for his own agenda. Don't be delusional like so many of those Jews in Florida......Get Angry, Get Up and Vote Republican and forget about the Puerto Ricans!

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