web analytics
December 21, 2014 / 29 Kislev, 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.



Home » InDepth » Monitor »

The Book On Bush


Media-Monitor-logo

David Frum, the former White House speechwriter who coined the “Axis of Evil” phrase for President Bush’s 2002 State of the Union address, is out with an engaging behind-the-scenes look at his time in the White House.Of particular interest to the Monitor, Frum devotes a full chapter in The Right Man: The Surprise Presidency of George W. Bush to the president’s relationship with Israel. From the outset Frum acknowledges the extraordinary level of popularity that Bush’s predecessor, Bill Clinton, enjoyed in the American Jewish community, noting that Clinton’s “most trusted aides were Jewish, his administration was crammed with Jewish appointees, both his nominees to the Supreme Court were Jewish – even his most famous girlfriend was Jewish.”

And Frum contrasts the support for Clinton with the low regard in which Jews held Bush, who, he writes, “entered office with fewer Jewish friends and supporters than any president since perhaps Dwight Eisenhower.”

All of which, according to Frum, makes it “really quite a stunning turnabout of history that George W. Bush should have emerged as one of the staunchest friends of Israel ever to occupy the Oval Office – not (as the paranoiacs of Europe and the Middle East believe) because of the Jews, but almost entirely despite them.”

We learn from Frum that Bush, at his first meeting with his National Security Council, stated that “a top foreign-policy priority of my administration is the safety and security of Israel,” and how Bush, seeking to allay the fears and suspicions of the liberals at the American Jewish Committee, addressed an AJC dinner and said, “I am a Christian. But I believe with the Psalmist that the L-rd G-d of Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps.”

(An amusing, if somewhat depressing, sidebar to the AJC story is that the climactic line of Bush’s speech, the one about the G-d of Israel, was met with something less than approval from the secular Jews in attendance: “There was nothing,” writes Frum. “Not a clap, not a cheer. Silence. Maybe even a rather disapproving silence.”

(Frum believes – and who will argue the point? - that “the American Jewish community is so terrified of non-Jewish religiosity that any reference to G-d by a non-Jew, no matter how friendly its intent, unnerved them. They do not trust people who talk too much about the ‘L-rd G-d,’ and they do not like it any better when such people remind them that the L-rd G-d in question is their L-rd G-d, too.”)

In the early months of his administration Bush ceded control of Middle East policy to Colin Powell and his State Department pencil-pushers. Even in the immediate after-math of 9/11 it was apparent that, in Frum’s words, “those foreign-policy bureaucrats most eager to appease the Arab oil states” were still articulating the U.S. position.

In October 2001 Bush even voiced his support for a Palestinian state “so long as the right to an Israeli state is respected” – though the announcement was not, as some suggested at the time, a break with previous U.S. policy; every American president going back to Jimmy Carter had, in fact, paid some manner of lip service to the idea of Palestinian independence or statehood.

But something was happening, at first almost imperceptibly, to the very warp and woof of U.S.-Israel relations: George W. Bush was developing an unusually warm relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon at the same time that he was being confronted with numerous examples of Yasir Arafat’s duplicity.

Arafat, Frum writes, “sorely misunderstood” the president: “Bush does not lie to you. You had better not lie to him.”

By the time Bush gave his much-anticipated June 24 Rose Garden speech on the Middle East, he had, to the stupefaction of New York Times editorialists and others of like mind, decided that “the United States will not support the establishment of a Palestinian state until its leaders engage in a sustained fight against the terrorists and dismantle their infrastructure.”

The UN and the European Union, Frum notes, had expected Bush to give a “speech that would at last smack down Israel and announce the date by which Arafat would get his state.”

Instead, Bush had dramatically recast American Middle East policy and turned his back on decades of government-sanctioned moral equivalence.

Jason Maoz can be reached at jmaoz@jewishpress.com 

About the Author: Jason Maoz is the Senior Editor of The Jewish Press.


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.

No Responses to “The Book On Bush”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
funny rocket joke
Israel Retaliates: Hits Terror Tunnel Cement Factory
Latest Indepth Stories
UN Flags

If the UN Grants national recognition to Palestine, why stop there? Tibet, Chechnya, Basque…

The annual  Chabad menorah lighting in Sydney has been called off this year because of the murders in the Lindt cafe.

The decision to not publicly light the Menorah in Sydney, epitomizes the eternal dilemma of Judaism and Jews in the Diaspora.

Greiff-112814-Men

Am Yisrael is one family, filled with excruciating pain&sorrow for losing the 4 kedoshim of Har Nof

Two dreidels from the author’s extensive collection.

What is its message of the dreidel?” The complexity and hidden nature of history and miracles.

Police play down Arab terrorism as mere “violence” until the truth can no longer be hidden.

The 7 branches of the menorah represent the 7 pillars of secular wisdom, knowledge, and science.

Obama obtained NO verifiable commitments from Cuba it would desist from acts prejudicial to the US

No one would deny that the program subjected detainees to less than pleasant treatment, but the salient point is, for what purpose?

For the past six years President Obama has consistently deplored all Palestinian efforts to end-run negotiations in search of a UN-imposed agreement on Israel.

It’s not an admiration. It is simply a kind of journalist fascination. It stands out, it’s different from more traditional Orthodoxy.

For Am Yisrael, the sun’s movements are subservient to the purpose of our existence.

Israelis now know Arab terrorism isn’t caused by Israeli occupation but by ending Israeli occupation

Anti-Semitism is a social toxin that destroys the things that people most cherish and enjoy.

Amb. Cooper highlighted the impact of the Chanukah/Maccabee spirit on America’s Founding Fathers

More Articles from Jason Maoz
Comptroller DiNapoli celebrates Sukkot with Crown Heights Jewish community leaders at the sukkah of Rabbi Chanina Sperlin of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council.

The New York State comptroller manages the state’s $180.7 billion pension fund, audits the spending practices of all state agencies and local governments, oversees the New York State and Local Retirement System, reviews the New York State and City budgets, and approves billions in State contracts and spending.

Front-Page-102414

While not all criticism of Israel stemmed from anti-Semitism, Podhoretz contends the level of animosity towards Israel rises exponentially the farther left one moved along the spectrum.

When you grow up in a home where your parents went through what my parents went through, you realize that life has to be meaningful. You have to be there for other people.

“It’s a lousy column and a dishonest one,” Halberstam wrote. “So close it. Or you will end up just as shabby as Safire.”

Wye would be seen to have set the groundwork for the creation of a Palestinian state

These are not necessarily the best all-around biographies or studies of the individual presidents listed (though some rank right up there), but the strongest in terms of exploring presidential attitudes and policies toward Israel.

The Clintonan “engagement” liberals remember with such fondness did nothing but embolden Arafat and Hamas and Hizbullah as they witnessed Israel’s only real ally elevate process ahead of policy.

What really makes one wonder about the affinity felt by certain Jews for Grant was the welcome mat he put out for some of the country’s most pernicious anti-Semites.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/media-monitor/media-monitor-76/2003/02/12/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: