web analytics
December 27, 2014 / 5 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



A Response to Senator Lautenberg’s Attack on the Republican Position on Israel

Rabbi Shmuley

I consider Senator Frank Lautenberg a personal friend and a distinguished Jewish leader. My criticism, therefore, of his furious attack on Republican attitudes toward Obama on Israel is offered very respectfully.

Senator Lautenberg says that Republicans ought to be ashamed of themselves for criticizing President Obama’s policies on Israel. The senator is of the opinion that Obama is the best American presidential friend Israel has ever had. But if that’s true, then no one has told the Israeli people, where President Obama’s approval rating once sank to about four percent compared, say, to President Bush who enjoyed immense popularity among the Israeli people for his stalwart support of the Jewish state.

In addition, a recent Israeli poll asked who assigns more importance to defending Israel’s national interests. While Mitt Romney was rated at forty percent, Obama came in at less than half that. Likewise, American Jewry has also missed the message that Obama is the best thing ever for Israel since polling is showing that while Obama took 78% of the Jewish vote in 2008, he now stands at an approval rating of 60% among Jewish voters. That is a very substantial fall. So either we Jews are immensely ungrateful to the best friend Israel has ever had, or we simply disagree with the senator’s assessment.

Of course, American Jews vote for president on a variety of issues. But the truth of the matter is that while President Obama is certainly a friend of the Jewish people, he is an unreliable friend of the State of Israel.

Obama has an orthodox Jewish Chief of Staff in Jack Lew and his former Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, is also Jewish. The President hosts a seder in the White House every year. He has had close Jewish relationships throughout his life and I have no doubt that he feels a sincere closeness to the Jewish people. I have said in the past that President Obama deserves high marks for continuing America’s strong military and intelligence cooperation with Israel and especially his rejection of unilateral Palestinian statehood at the UN. Those who say Obama is anti-Semitic are guilty of malicious character assassination.

But on Israel our President has demonstrated a hostility that is troubling. Arriving in the White House and declaring his intent to put ‘daylight’ between the United States and Israel, President Obama immediately demanded a total freeze on settlements which, as Charles Krauthammer has noted, no American president had ever requested and which sent the message to the Palestinians that Obama would pressure Israel to make peace while making no reciprocal demands on them. This one-sided policy was bound to fail miserably, which it did. But more importantly, it contributed to the deligitimization of Israel as a rogue state that illegally usurps other people’s lands.

President Obama added to this deligitimization when he shocked the American Jewish community to its core by insisting, in March 2011, that Israel should return to its indefensible 1967 lines, albeit with land swaps. President Obama knew that Israel would react explosively to the suggestion on the part of American president that it return to suicide borders. Indeed, he was lectured on the subject in the Oval Office by Prime Minister Netanyahu, who was forced to break with diplomatic niceties and rebuke an American president before the world’s media, given the President’s outrageous demands.

Senator Lautenberg: With these particular events, how exactly has our President demonstrated his friendship to Israel? He declared Israel’s settlements to be illegitimate, put near-unilateral pressure on Israel to make peace without any expectations from the Palestinian side, declared that Israel should return to the arbitrary 1967 borders, and treated Prime Minister Netanyahu shamefully at a March 2010 meeting where he refused even a photo op with the elected leader of the Middle East’s only democracy. More ominously, there was the shameful incident of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dressing down the Prime Minister before that meeting and intentionally leaking the harsh tone of the conversation to the media in an effort to pressure the Prime Minister.

It is not just Republicans who have expressed extreme discomfort with Obama’s policies on Israel. When the Obama administration publicly upbraided Israel over its policies of building in Jerusalem in May 2010, Senator Schumer, as reported in Politico, went public in April 2010, calling the Obama’s stance “counter-productive.” He threatened to “blast” the Administration if the State Department did not back down from its “terrible” rebuke of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

About the Author: Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, “America’s Rabbi” whom the Washington Post calls “the most famous Rabbi in America,” is the international best-selling author of 29 books, including The Fed-up Man of Faith: Challenging God in the Face of Tragedy and Suffering. Follow him on Twitter @RabbiShmuley.


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.

6 Responses to “A Response to Senator Lautenberg’s Attack on the Republican Position on Israel”

  1. Felisha Witt says:

    I knew obama has not done right by Israel but I didn't know it was this bad.

  2. Charlie Hall says:

    It isn't this bad, in fact it isn't bad at all. Boteach is now a partisan Republican candidate for office; he is not a reliable source.

    And don't believe me. Israel's Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, has twice in the past year praised Obama effusively. Here is the most recent example, from just a few weeks ago:

    "this administration, under President Obama, is doing, in regard to our security, more than anything that I can remember in the past."

    http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1207/30/sitroom.02.html

  3. Felisha Witt says:

    well,obama has not set foot in israel during his term and he was in egypt only 30 min away-and he'll support the muslim brotherhood in egypt-i think that says a lot-go see 2016-great film-i will bet u now if he is re-elected he will turn his back on Israel in his 2nd term

  4. Charlie Hall says:

    Ronald Reagan never visited Israel while in office.

    George H. W. Bush never visited Israel while in office.

    George W. Bush did not visit Israel while in office until he had been in office almost seven years.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I do not believe it is appropriate for an Orthodox Rabbi to be involved in party politics.
    Which Halachic authority gave Rabbi Boteach permission to enter the coming elections.
    Did he ask a Rav?

  6. Felisha Witt says:

    Charlie Hall -well if he is re-elected it will be interesting to see what happens

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Ayala Shapira, 11, is fighting for her life after suffering burn wounds when an Arab terrorist threw a Molotov cocktail at the car in which she was riding.
‘Slight Improvement’ in Life-threatening Condition of Firebomb Victim
Latest Indepth Stories
Bill Cosby

It shakes our sense of justice when allegations against a famed role model are covered up or ignored

MK Moshe-Feiglin

Feiglin: Only true liberty will allow us to genuinely connect to our Jewish identity.

Knesset Logo

The silver lining with early elections is the chance to change the current dysfunctional government.

Cohen-122614

The Holocaust Educational Trust Ireland informed the host he could not say “Israel or Jewish state”

It’s fascinating how sources attain the status “traditional,” or its equivalent level of kashrus.

The West needs to ensure Russia understands that aggression comes at a significant cost.

What benefit is a learning experience that leaves kids confused,disillusioned&harms self confidence?

Girlfriend and double cop-killer Ismaaiyl Brinsley apparently was influenced by Islamic extremism.

We see pictures of mosques, monuments for terrorists, illegal schools, and hundreds of apartments being built on Jewish land without repercussions. We are losing Jewish property, so it is up to us to protect it.

Thus, despite the increasingly serious problems for the mayor arising out of the current anti-police protests, Mr. de Blasio apparently will be cut no slack by those who seem to be aiming for a significant role in running the city from the streets and who will do whatever they can to prevent their momentum from ebbing.

Also left unsaid was the fact that the menorah and its oil were in the Beit HaMikdash, which of course was located on Har HaBayit – the Temple Mount that present-day Muslims claim as their own.

Despite strong pressure to throw the book at the accused, Mr. Thompson allowed him to plead guilty to assault.

A revolution is taking place between good and evil; light and darkness. Make the light activism!

Obama’s comments calling Israeli settlements “unhelpful”are harsher than prior US administrations’

More Articles from Rabbi Shmuley Boteach
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu meet in the Kremlin, Nov. 20, 2013.

On the one hand, Putin has been a friend to Chabad and to Israel. On the other hand, Putin is a brutal dictator.

The gradual trickle of self-hatred into the Jewish soul is evidencing itself in the American Jewish public.

Rabbi Schochet wrote the Johannesburg Beis Din: It is totally prohibited and unacceptable to hear someone like Boteach.

If you’re feeling down, stop reading right now. You’re only going to be more depressed.

The world and the United State continue to give Rouhani a pass.

American Jews – especially those working on campus – don’t accept that we have a battle on our hands.

But the most painful part of an otherwise illuminating and extraordinary Forum was Iranian President Rouhani’s speech.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/america-rabbi-shmuley-boteach/a-response-to-senator-lautenbergs-attack-on-the-republican-position-on-israel/2012/08/19/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: