“This has to stop,” Schumer said of the administration’s policy of publicly condemning Israel’s construction of housing in Jerusalem:
I told the President, I told Rahm Emanuel and others in the administration that I thought the policy they took to try to bring about negotiations is counter-productive, because when you give the Palestinians hope that the United States will do its negotiating for them, they are not going to sit down and talk… Palestinians don’t really believe in a state of Israel. They, unlike a majority of Israelis, who have come to the conclusion that they can live with a two-state solution to be determined by the parties, the majority of Palestinians are still very reluctant, and they need to be pushed to get there… If the U.S. says certain things and takes certain stands the Palestinians say, ‘Why should we negotiate?
While Senator Schumer called out President Obama for his unfair and continued pressure on Israel, Senator Lautenberg is prepared to give the President an EZPass.
And surely we all remember the incident in November 2011 when French President Nicolas Sarkozy, not knowing his microphone was hot, expressed his contempt for Prime Minister Netanyahu, calling him a liar. Rather than contradicting him and rising to the Prime Minister’s defense, President Obama jumped in to commiserate, lamenting the fact that he has to deal with Netanyahu even more than the French. This display of Presidential contempt for the democratically elected leader of the Israeli people was unnerving and unfortunate.
At Cairo in June 2009, the President analogized the Holocaust to Arab “dislocation” that resulted from Israel’s creation:
The Jewish people were persecuted for centuries, and anti-Semitism in Europe culminated in an unprecedented Holocaust. … Six million Jews were killed…. On the other hand, it is also undeniable that the Palestinian people — Muslims and Christians — have suffered in pursuit of a homeland.
While I have no intention of minimizing Arab suffering, which was the consequence of their rejection of the original UN partition plan of 1947 and their commitment to destroy Israel instead, I find it unacceptable that President Obama would liken such suffering to the gassing of approximately 10,000 Jews per day through the years of the Holocaust.
Turkey is a member of NATO and America is the very anchor of the NATO alliance. Yet President Obama has been silent while an ostensible ally daily demonizes Israel and accuses it of murder in genocidal proportions, as Turkey has unfortunately done.
The administration’s rhetoric has been just as bad. Defense Secretary Robert Gates called Israel an “ungrateful ally.” President Obama’s new defense secretary Leon Panetta said Israel needed to “get back to the damn table” when it comes to peace negotiations, without pointing out that Israel should hardly be expected to negotiate with a Palestinian Authority that has teamed up with Hamas whose charter calls for Israel’s annihilation and the murder of Jews throughout the world.
Finally, let’s not overlook the fact that Obama has visited, as President, countries all over the world but has steadfastly refused to visit Israel, even when he was only a half hour away in Cairo.
In sum, Senator Lautenberg, whose support for Israel is legend, needs to look less at the rhetoric of Mitt Romney and the Republicans and more at the rhetoric of the leader of his own party and the ostensible leader of the free world, who ought to be showing unqualified support for the Middle East’s only truly free country.
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.
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