Although I voted for John McCain in 2008 and will probably vote for Mitt Romney in November, I have a difficult time understanding the disdain – nay, the absolutely pathological hate – for Obama found in many frum circles.
(To the credit of The Jewish Press, you’ve always voiced your disagreements with Obama in a calm, fact-based manner; your editorials, as far as I can recall, have never resorted to the kind of name-calling and baseless charges that have become almost routine on the Right.)
In visiting Orthodox websites and listening to casual conversations in pizza shops and on the street, one constantly reads and hears things like “Obama is a secret Muslim” and “Obama wants to destroy Israel” and “Obama is an anti-Semite.”
On what grounds can anyone make any such assertions? Is it because Obama doesn’t get along with Netanyahu? Neither did Bill Clinton when he was president and Netanyahu was prime minister in the late 1990s, and nobody accuses Clinton of wanting to destroy Israel. (Clinton, if you’ll recall, disliked Netanyahu so much that he actually sent political aides to Israel to work against Netanyahu’s reelection. Can you imagine the outcry if Obama would try something like that?)
Is it because Obama has increased the level of military aid and intelligence sharing with Israel to unprecedented levels?
Is it because even in his 2009 Cairo speech that everyone loves to criticize, Obama told an Arab audience in the heart of the Arab Middle East that the U.S. will never abandon its close ally Israel?
Is it because Obama stood by Israel during the Goldstone Report and Gaza flotilla controversies?
Is it because Obama single-handedly stopped the UN from proclaiming a Palestinian state last year?
If those are the actions of a man who wants to destroy Israel, I’d like to know how one spots a real anti-Semite.