web analytics
July 29, 2014 / 2 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Rubin Reports:Too Bad Obama Didn’t Listen to His Rabbi About Political Islam

President Barack Obama

Photo Credit: Edi Israel/Flash90

http://rubinreports.blogspot.co.il/2012/06/too-bad-obama-didnt-listen-to-his-rabbi.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+Rubinreports+(RubinReports)

President Barack Obama’s view of Judaism, Zionism, and Israel was very much shaped by his liberal and left-wing Jewish contacts in Chicago, some of whom became key members of his entourage. Among these influential acquaintances was Rabbi Arnold Jacob Wolf.

Wolf was of a type familiar in American Jewish circles. While in principle pro-Israel, he had certain views that made him highly critical. As what I would call a moral perfectionist, Wolf could not view Israel as good enough to live up to Jewish values that had been honed during a long galut during which Jews had no political responsibility and did not have to meet the real world demands of political power. At the same time, he was more attuned to Israel’s reputedly more idealistic era of Labor Party hegemony.

For Wolf, Israel was arrogant, not nice to the Palestinian Arabs, obsessed with the Holocaust, and thus simultaneously paranoid and over-confident. Not understanding the realities of Israel’s strategic situation, the compromises necessary in having a state, the actual facts on the ground, and other factors, Wolf thought that he and those who thought as he did knew better how to protect and morally improve Israel more than did its voters and leaders. One can glimpse many of these themes in Obama’s thinking today.

I’m not writing this article, however, to criticize Wolf, who was a serious and sincere thinker who tried to apply his standards consistently and does not deserve to be stereotyped in a negative fashion. Indeed, Wolf had some fascinating insights that deserve to be recalled today. Indeed, it would be wonderful if his most famous non-Jewish “disciple” was to understand them.

In the April 13, 1979, issue of Sh`ma, a tiny but then influential liberal Jewish newsletter, Wolf wrote an article entitled, “Islam in Power.” At the time, Wolf was arguing that the PLO was ready to make peace with Israel and should be engaged in dialogue. Yet his arguably naïve optimism in that direction—a thesis only disproven retroactively when it would be put to the test more than a dozen years later—by no means blinded him when he was directly confronted with evidence to the contrary on a related issue.

Wolf wrote in that article about his participation in an interfaith dialogue along with Professor Fazlur Rahman of the University of Chicago and Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, chairman of the Muslim World League. Wolf recounted:

“They lectured us brilliantly on the world significance of the ummah (Muslim nation) and unashamedly asserted that world peace depends finally on Islam’s ability to impose its system of justice on all mankind….Carefully distinguishing themselves from the Saudi [version of Islam] and from any desire to suppress other religious communities, they nevertheless gave no place to pluralist schemes or social democratic options. Islam, they said, is, of course, the only way.”

In short, they spoke about their views with far more candor than Muslim clerics employ today, especially in that kind of meeting.

Wolf continued:

“I asked Professor Rahman, a subtle and genial scholar, if he meant, for example, that Egyptian Muslims would forever be willing to die for the return of Jerusalem to Islamic control and he answered yes. I demurred that it seems to me that President Sadat was riding a wave of pacifist sentiment from among his war-weary people and that they had no more heart to make war for Palestinians. He did not agree. He said that the Muslim view of death was still very powerful and that no Muslim fears to die in a jihad, a holy war.

“Jerusalem is and always will be, he said, such a sacred cause. Muslims, he insisted, are not really like other people.”

Note that Wolf’s reaction to hearing these things—like many Westerners today—was to assert that he knew more about Islam than did his Muslim interlocutors. Of course, Wolf was right that the example of Sadat and of Egyptian policy at that time showed that the Islamist or harder-line traditionalist interpretation was not the only one. Still, of course, the power of that radicalism so deeply rooted in normative Islam, should never be underestimated. The Islamist revolution in Iran, that achieved power only a few days before the meetings Wolf describes, proved to reignite such ideas and the world has been living—and often dying—with them ever since.

About the Author: Professor Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. See the GLORIA/MERIA site at www.gloria-center.org.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

Please use the Facebook Tab below to leave your comment:

5 Responses to “Rubin Reports:Too Bad Obama Didn’t Listen to His Rabbi About Political Islam”

  1. YEP TO BAD INDEED!!!!!

  2. Eve Folley says:

    Obama knows exactly what he is doing! There’s no mistake! He is a Muslim n anyone who says he is a Christian is deceived! Actions speak far louder than words!

  3. Obama has no idea of how to deal with the Zionist regime! Or how to embrace Islamic tradition, he's a Constitutional Law Attorney, and knows nothing about Abrahamic values and traditions!

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Bibi: ‘Death From Above, Death From Below’ Will Not Continue
Latest Indepth Stories
Young children 'recruited' by the Al Qaeda-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams (ISIS) terrorist group for a Shari'a jihadist army in Iraq and Syria.

ISIS poses a great threat to the entire civilized world in general and liberal democracies in particular.

kerry clown

Kerry is preoccupied with pressuring Israel, notwithstanding the transformation of the Arab Spring .

journalism

With no shortage of leftist media that seek to distort the news, what should our Torah response be?

Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett

Because let’s face it: Hamas obviously can’t defeat the IDF in the field, soldier against soldier

As Peres retires, Israel fights sour legacy: Insistence on setting policy in line with hopes, rather than with reality.

Our capital was not arbitrarily chosen, as capitals of some other nations were.

UNHRC High Commissioner Navi Pillay accuses the IDF of possible war crimes in Gaza again, cutting slack to Hamas.

There is much I can write you about what is going here, but I am wondering what I should not write. I will start by imagining that I am you, sitting at home in the Los Angeles area and flipping back and forth between the weather, traffic reports, the Ukraine, Mexican illegals and Gaza. No […]

Should Jews in Europe take more responsibility in self-defense of community and property?

It is time for a total military siege on Gaza; Nothing should enter the Gaza Strip.

Germany’s The Jewish Faith newspaper ominously noted, “We Jews are in for a war after the war.”

The truth is we seldom explore with kids what prayer is supposed to be about.

Almost as one, Jews around the world are acknowledging the day-to-day peril facing ordinary Jews in Israel and the extraordinary service of the IDF in protecting them.

More Articles from Barry Rubin
Youssef Ziedan

The interviewer responds, “There was also Balfour.”

peace_clowns

If the Obama/Kerry peace deal does go through, what would the risks be?

Let me make it plain. There will be mass murder, even genocide in Syria.

A large number of pro-Obama and radical or even anti-Israel cadre are Jews.

Does anyone think the Palestinian Authority will resist daily attacks from Hamas and Fatah radicals?

Secret Service security arrangements were overruled.

The Obama Administration plan is very simple, assuming that everything goes smoothly–which of course it will not.

The less you know about Islam, the better. Ignorance is strength.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/rubin-reports/rubin-reportstoo-bad-obama-didnt-listen-to-his-rabbi-about-political-islam/2012/06/26/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: