April 15, 2010
NYT makes it official - Obama has shifted U.S. policy 'against' Israel (Updated)Topics: Middle East News and Perspectives, Political News and commentaries
Barack Obama has shifted U.S. policy against Israel. So, let there now be no doubt, the NYT has spoken.
But should Obama's obvious disdain for Israel really a surprise to anyone? It shouldn't be.
Jonathan Tobin points out that the New York Times officially proclaimed the administration's "changed" attitude (?) in a front-page story this morning that ought to send chills down the spine of anyone (foolish enough to have believed) Barack Obama when he pledged in 2008 that he would be a loyal friend of Israel:
In the view of the paper's Washington correspondents, the moment that signaled what had already been apparent to anyone who was paying attention was the president's declaration at a Tuesday news conference that resolving the Middle East conflict was "a vital national security interest of the United States." Mr. Obama went on to state that the conflict is "costing us significantly in terms of blood and treasure," thus attempting to draw a link between Israel's attempts to defend itself with the safety of American troops who are fighting Islamist terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere in the world. By claiming the Arab-Israeli conflict to be a "vital national security interest" that must be resolved, the "frustrated" Obama is making it clear that he will push hard to impose a solution on the parties.Slack-jawed by the degree of Obama's convoluted logic? You should be - as Tobin goes on to explain:
The significance of this false argument is that it not only seeks to wrongly put the onus on Israel for the lack of a peace agreement but that it also now attempts to paint any Israeli refusal to accede to Obama's demands as a betrayal in which a selfish Israel is stabbing America in the back. The response from Obama to this will be, the Times predicts, "tougher policies toward Israel," since it is, in this view, ignoring America's interests and even costing American lives.(Emphasis added)
The problem with this policy is that the basic premise behind it is false. Islamists may hate Israel, but that is not why they are fighting the United States. They are fighting America because they rightly see the West and its culture, values, and belief in democracy as antithetical to their own beliefs and a threat to its survival and growth as they seek to impose their medieval system everywhere they can. Americans are not dying because Israelis want to live in Jerusalem or even the West Bank or even because there is an Israel. If Israel were to disappear tomorrow, that catastrophe would certainly be cheered in the Arab and Islamic world, but it would not end the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan, cause Iran to stop its nuclear program, or put al-Qaeda out of business. In fact, a defeat for a country allied with the United States would strengthen Iran and al-Qaeda. (Emphasis added)Continue reading here...
Tobin goes on to point out what Americans are, by now, acutely aware of, Obama never lets facts get in the way of his agenda, and sooner or later, hopefully much sooner than later, Democrats are going to have to decide whether partisan loyalties will trump their support for the Jewish state's survival. However, that train has already left the station.
And they should have known all along that Barack Obama would prove himself to be, not a friend of Israel, but rather an enemy. As Norman Podhoretz pointed out in his highly informative and extensive May 09 article at Commentary, during the 2008 presidential campaign, friends of Israel had ample reason for anxiety over Obama.
The main reason was his attitude toward Iran. After all, Iran under its current president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was vowing almost on a daily basis to "wipe Israel off the map" and was drawing closer and closer to acquiring the nuclear weapons and the ballistic missiles that would give the ruling mullocracy the means to do so. And yet Obama seemed to think that the best way to head off the very real possibility this posed of another holocaust was by entering into talks with Iran "without preconditions." Otherwise, except for campaign promises, his record was bereft of any definitive indication of his views on the war the Arab/Muslim world has been waging against the Jewish state from the day of its founding more than sixty years ago.But far beyond the Iran issue, there was more than ample evidence of Obama's hardcore enmity toward Israel:
Still - lest we forget - Obama did have a history of involvement with associates whose enmity toward Israel was unmistakable. There was, most notoriously, his longtime pastor, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. In addition to honoring the blatantly anti-Semitic Louis Farrakhan, Wright was on record as believing that Israel had joined with South Africa in developing an "ethnic bomb" designed to kill blacks and Arabs but not whites; he had accused Israel of committing "genocide" against the Palestinians; and he had participated in a campaign to get American companies to "divest" from Israel. None of this, however, nor all of it together, had elicited so much as a peep of protest from Obama, never mind provoking him into leaving Wright's congregation. He remained a member for twenty years, during which time Wright officiated at his marriage and baptized his children.In other words, Obama danced and lied his way around what should have been obvious - he held great disdain for Israel, and had no intention whatsoever of doing anything that wasn't favorable to Muslims. Yet still, in spite of warnings from Conservative Jews, the liberal Jews were totally in the tank for Obama:
Then there was Rashid Khalidi, holder of a professorship at Columbia named after his idol, the late Edward Said. As befitted a reverential disciple of the leading propagandist for Palestinian terrorism, and himself a defender of suicide bombing, Khalidi regularly denounced Israel as a "racist" state in the process of creating an "apartheid system." Nevertheless, Obama had befriended him, had publicly acknowledged being influenced by him, and, as a member of the board of a charitable foundation, had also helped to support him financially. And there was also one of Obama's chief advisers on national security and the co-chairman of his campaign, General Merrill McPeak, who subscribed to the canard that American policy in the Middle East was dictated by Jews in the interests not of the United States but of Israel. Others said to be advising Obama included a number who were no more notable than McPeak for their friendliness toward Israel: Zbigniew Brzezinski, Robert Malley, Susan Rice, and Samantha Power.
True, as the campaign proceeded, Obama either distanced himself from or repudiated the ideas of such associates. Yet he only got around to doing so when the political exigencies of his candidacy left him no prudential alternative. (Emphasis added)
Not surprisingly, a fair number of Jews who had never voted for a Republican in their lives were disturbed enough to tell pollsters that they had serious doubts about supporting Obama. Faced with this horrific prospect, Obama's Jewish backers mounted a vigorous effort of reassurance. No fewer than three hundred rabbis issued a statement declaring that his "deep and abiding spiritual faith" derived from "the teachings of the Hebrew Prophets."As though Barack Obama, who spent years as a Muslim, and 20 years in the pews of Jeremiah Wright's Black Liberation Church, could really give a crap about "the teachings of the Hebrew Prophets."
Several well-known champions of Israel also wrote articles explaining on rather convoluted grounds why they were backing Obama. There was, for example, Alan Dershowitz of the Harvard Law School: "The election of Barack Obama - a liberal supporter of Israel - will enhance Israel's position among wavering liberals." And Martin Peretz of The New Republic: "Israel's conflict with the Arabs ... is mostly about history, and Obama is a student of history." And Martin Indyk of the Brookings Institution: "I believe Obama passes the kishke [gut] test."But the majority of Jews just weren't paying attention to reality, and instead, voted as the loyal Democrats that they invariably turn out to be every election.
And despite the warnings of Conservative Jews, the election results proved just how solidly Democrat the Jews have been:
The small community of politically conservative Jews did what it could to counter this campaign, but to no avail. In the event, Obama received 78 percent of the Jewish vote. This was a staggering 35 points higher than the pro-Obama white vote in general (43 percent), and it was even 11 points higher than the Hispanic vote (67 percent). Only with blacks, who gave him 95 percent of their vote, did Obama do better than with Jews. The results were just as dramatic when broken down by religion as by race and ethnicity: Protestants gave 45 percent of their vote to Obama (33 points less than Jews), and Catholics gave him 54 percent (24 points less than Jews). (Emphasis added)Read more ...
With all of the evidence of Obama's true enmity for Isreael that Podhertz points out, one would think that Americans - both Jewish and non-Jewish, would not have been fooled. But Podhertz' points aren't the extent of the ignored evidence. The political perspective of the new left (Democrats - all, and which includes Barack Obama) has been vehemently anti-Israel, and the power and reach of this movement has long-represented a real threat to Israel.
What is it about Israel that brings forth this ill will from the left? Why this exceptionalism about Israel? Alan Dershowitz once wrote an article describing a visitor from another galaxy who comes to earth, and spends several weeks visiting major American colleges and universities. At the end of his tour, the visitor would learn that of all the nations of the world other than the one he was visiting, only one is subject to a divestment effort for a university's endowment, only one is viciously described in literature regularly distributed to students on campus, and in essays and editorials in college papers and magazines, and only one is discussed in classes across the humanities curriculum with relentless rebuke and scorn. And this country is not, say Sudan or Nigeria, where millions have died in vicious civil wars perpetrated for the most part by Muslims against Christians, or other countries in Africa that still practice slavery, or Saudi Arabia, where women have no rights, and those who try to practice a religion other than Islam are arrested or expelled, or the Palestinian territories, in which homosexuals or those suspected of being homosexual, are tortured or mutilated in the same way as captured Israelis. It is not in fact, any of the dozens of other unsavory places on the planet that provide little or no freedom for their citizens and ruthlessly exploit their country's workers and resources for the benefit of the ruling few. This much maligned country of course is Israel.Again, should the NYT's piece be considered a revelation? Should anyone really be surprised that Barack Obama's administration has enmity toward Israel while regarding Muslim nations and the Palestinians as friends?
Only if they haven't been paying attention to the facts that have been in full view all along. Hell, even the Palestinians saw Barack Obama was their friend, and not Israels - well before the 08 election. They apparently saw the reality behind Barack Obama's many years of hearing from Khalidi, Ayers, Wright and others about the "abuses" of the Israelis and the righteous nature of the Palestinians. How is it that they knew what the rest of us should have known all along?
Posted by Richard at April 15, 2010 12:48 PM
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