As Purim approaches, thousands of Israeli children and families grapple with poverty
A new book by foreign policy pundit Peter Beinart, The Crisis of Zionism, seems certain to reignite the debate over President Obama’s feelings toward Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But the focus will be a little different this time around. It will be not on his exposure to the likes of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, William Ayres or Rashid Khalidi but rather on the prominent members of the Chicago Jewish community who took him under their wing.
Mr. Beinart writes (in an excerpt of the book that appeared in Newsweek):
The story of Obama’s relationship to Netanyahu and his American Jewish allies is, fundamentally, a story of acquiescence. Obama took office with a distinctly progressive vision of Jewish identity and state, one shaped by the Chicago Jewish community that helped launch his political career. Three years later – after a bitter struggle with the Israeli government and the American Jewish establishment – that vision is all but gone.Obama entered the White House after an adulthood spent – more than any predecessor – in the company of Jews. Most of his key legal mentors were Jews (Abner Mikva, for example); many of his biggest donors were Jews; his chief political consultant, David Axelrod, was a Jew; he lived across the street from a synagogue. And for the most part, the Jews Obama knew best were progressives, shaped by the civil-rights movement and alienated from mainstream American Jewish organizations over Israel.
Mr. Beinart goes on to say that this all accounted for the fact that
Obama’s initial statements about Israel often mirrored the liberal Zionism of his Jewish friends. Like them, he embraced the progressive aspects of Israeli society and Jewish tradition while critiquing Israel’s occupation of the West Bank…. In the words of Rabbi Arnold Wolf, an earlier supporter who ran the synagogue across the street from Obama’s house, Obama “was on the line of [the dovish Israeli group] Peace Now.”
Indeed, during his 2008 run for the White House, candidate Obama said that being pro-Israel does not mean hewing the Likud line.
According to Mr. Beinart, political reality eventually set in and President Obama abandoned his push for a settlement freeze and no longer stated publicly that any Israeli-Palestinian agreement would have to be based on 1967 lines with land swaps. Of course, Mr. Obama’s new, more restrained approach ignores the issue of Israeli retention of the major settlements in any final agreement – something that had been recognized by President George W. Bush – and thus preserves his fealty to the vision of his early supporters.
And that is precisely why many of us will continue to wonder whether Mr. Obama will revert to form should he win in November and venture into a second term unconcerned with having to face the voters again.
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The president has made clear – I can’t state this more firmly – the policy is Iran will not get a nuclear weapon.
Obama has an apparent inability to understand Islam in particular and Mid-East culture in general
Pesach is a Torah-based holiday whose fundamental observances are rooted in Torah law; Purim is a rabbinic holiday whose laws and customs are grounded in the rabbinic tradition.
In honor of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s successful speech before Congress.
Mr. Spock conveys a message with painfully stark relevance to our world today, especially in the context of PM Netanyahu’s speech to Congress.
Obama created the “partisan politics” by asking Dem. party members to avoid Bibi and his address
Enough is enough. The Jewish community has a big tent, but the NIF should have no place in it.
I vote for the right and get left-wing policy. Every. Frigging. Time.
The Holocaust was the latest attempt of Amalek to destroy the special bond that we enjoy with God.
UN inspectors were flabbergasted when Iran allowed them full unfettered access to All nuclear sites
Obama’s real problem is that he knows Netanyahu has more credibility on the Iran issue than he does.
Kristof’s op-ed “The Human Stain” was flawed and wrong; more than anti-Israel, it was anti-Semitic.
The real issue is that in many respects the president has sought to recalibrate American values and our system of government.
Gone are the days when an anchorman sitting in a New York studio could, after sharing 22 minutes of carefully selected and edited news items, trumpet in stentorian tones, “And that’s the way it is.” No it wasn’t. It never was.
President Obama has frequently cautioned that Americans should take great care to avoid fomenting anti-Muslim passions in our reaction to the murderous activities regularly being perpetrated by terrorists in the name of Islam. One wonders why, though, he seems to have no concern with the potential for anti-Semitic fallout from his full-court press against Israeli […]
Typical of the administration’s milquetoast approach is the lack of any call for a substantial increase in military resources in order to crush ISIL, only a tepid mention of the need to “ultimately defeat” it.
He spent the first leg of his daylong visit to the French capital at Hyper Cacher.
In this particular case, the issue was whether the Arkansas prison system could prohibit, for security reasons, a devout Muslim’s maintaining a beard of a certain length as a matter of religious practice.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/new-focus-on-obama-and-israel/2012/03/21/
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