web analytics
April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

A Long Memory


Share Button

When the next U.S. presidential race kicks off in earnest in a year or so, we will remember today. When the Jewish electorate will be inundated with speech after speech iterating and reiterating what great friends Barack Obama and the Democrats have been to Israel, we will remember today.

The Jewish community will be reminded how the bond between Israel and the U.S. is “deep and unbreakable,” as Vice President Joe Biden declared scant hours before harshly condemning Israel for announcing plans for new housing units in the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood in north Jerusalem. (The announced plans were for a mere 1,600 units, out of the many thousands of units desperately needed by Jewish families in Jerusalem.)

Indeed, condemnation by the United States has been fast and furious against Israel for announcing this new apartment construction. Not in Judea or Samaria, which always seems to be a source of American agita, but in Jerusalem, which never was – until today.

The battle to reverse Israeli sovereignty over the Jewish holy city is underway and I will most certainly remember today.

Despite immediate Israeli apologies, the message from a seething Biden was followed, a day later, by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s harsh 43-minute reprimand to Prime Minister Netanyahu. Apparently not wanting to feel left out, Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg called in Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren to deliver yet another rebuke. And David Axelrod, Obama’s chief political adviser, said on “Meet The Press” that Israel’s action was both an “affront” and an “insult.”

We get it. Barack Obama is mad. Really mad. Things are not going so well economically in the United States; health care legislation is teetering on the brink; Democrats are facing a potential rout in upcoming elections, and now (much to Obama’s surprise, though certainly not a surprise for anyone paying any attention for the last 60-plus years) peace in the Middle East may not come as easily as he had promised.

But is Israel really the best place for Obama to focus his irritation with the current state of foreign affairs? If the power players in Washington really need to show they take their role of world superpower seriously, perhaps Iran, or North Korea, or Syria (or the UN) is a better place to direct this misplaced fury.

Israel has a history of absorbing never-ending American demands, insults and clarifications while rogue nations and terrorist entities get the royal treatment. This is nothing new with this administration. But what has been brewing for a while now appears to have reached a boiling point with Israel’s latest public relations fiasco. Yes, the construction announcement was ill-timed and, yes, it was not diplomatically expedient, but come on – Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.

What right does any country, friend or not, have to incite a public brouhaha over pending construction in another sovereign country’s capital? It is simply absurd.

That Israel apologized is equally disturbing. Israeli officials should have said, “We are not sorry for building homes for our people in Jerusalem, our capital.”

Netanyahu mistakenly thought the matter was put to rest after Biden accepted his public and private (personal) apologies. No. Obama and company have found it necessary to broadcast that they have been pushed to their limit by Israel. It appears the administration intends to use this Israeli diplomatic misstep to push Israel’s back to the wall. We cannot let the president continue down this path.

Things must be really serious; even the ADL’s Abe Foxman released a statement saying, “We are shocked and stunned at the administration’s tone and public dressing down of Israel on the issue of future building in Israel.”

Foxman continued, “We cannot remember an instance when such harsh language was directed at a friend and ally of the U.S. We can only wonder how far the U.S. is prepared to go in distancing itself from Israel in order to placate the Palestinians.”

Well said.

Observing the recent treatment of Israel by Washington, it becomes blatantly clear who is treating whom shoddily. Obama has traveled to more countries than any previous first-year U.S. president. He has visited Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Russia, Egypt (who can ever forget the Cairo speech?) and many other countries around the globe. Israel has so far not made the cut. The president’s failure to travel to Israel is consistent with the foreign policy of his administration, which goes to great lengths to pacify the Arab world at the expense of the Jewish state.

Share Button

About the Author: Chaskel Bennett is a writer, respected activist and member of the Board of Trustees of Agudath Israel of America. He can be contacted at chaskelbennett@gmail.com.


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.

No Responses to “A Long Memory”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
The interior of the El Ghriba synagogue on the island of Djerba, Tunisia, in 2009.
Tunisian Jew Stabbed in Djerba
Latest Indepth Stories
Haredim riot after draft-dodger is arrested.

The reporter simply reports the news, but it is greater to be inspired to better the situation.

Bitton-041814

The Big Bang theory marked the scientific community’s first sense of the universe having a beginning.

MK Moshe-Feiglin

Freeing convicted murderers returns the status of Jewish existence to something less than sanctified.

Dov Shurin

“The bigger they are the harder they fall” describes what God had in mind for Olmert.

We, soldiers of the IDF, who stand guard over the people and the land, fulfill the hopes of the millions of Jewish people across the generations who sought freedom.

How much is the human mind able to grasp of the Divine?

Jews have brought the baggage of the galut (exile) mentality to the modern state of Israel.

The Haggadah is an instruction manual on how to survive as strangers in strange lands.

It’s finally happened. New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan reported on her blog that “many readers…wrote to object to an [April 2] article…on the breakdown in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians,” claiming “[they] found the headline misleading and the article itself lacking in context.” Ms. Sullivan provided one such letter, quoted the […]

Nor did it seem relevant that according to widely circulated media reports, Rev. Sharpton was caught on an FBI surveillance video discussing possible drug sales with an FBI agent.

Jewish soldiers in the Polish forces often encountered anti-Semitic prejudice.

When the state was established, gedolim went to Ben-Gurion and asked him not to draft women and, later, yeshiva bachrim.

Perhaps worse than all the above is the acute lack of unity among Jews

At our seder we emulate the way it was celebrated in Temple times, as if the Temple still stood.

More Articles from Chaskel Bennett
Bennett-071312

A watershed moment took place in Brooklyn last month on primary night. Those who care about private school education should sit up and take notice.

Bennett-042012

The recent shooting of four police officers in the normally tranquil Sheepshead Bay neighborhood of Brooklyn (bringing the total to eight cops shot so far this year) has confirmed a dangerous double standard that threatens the safety of police officers and all New Yorkers throughout New York. It must be confronted.

Another horrific terrorist attack is perpetrated in Israel and we knew what to expect. A statement of outrage and condemnation from the White House, regrets from the Palestinian Authority, and from the UN a call for all sides to exercise restraint and remain committed to the (non-existent) “peace process.”

In short, yet another exercise in futility if ever there was one.

As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu finally left the U.S. after a week of exhausting, and surprising, diplomatic highs and lows, a number of unsettling questions were left in his wake.

High praise and gratitude are due Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and the NYPD’s intelligence Division for their extraordinary work in again uncovering and preventing a plot by Muslim fanatics to unleash terror against religious targets.

Last week’s historic “shellacking” suffered by the Democrats was a stark and humbling reminder to all elected officials of whatever party that they serve at the will of their constituents.

As millions of gallons of oil continue to leak into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the impatience and helplessness of Americans continue to grow. Never before has such a significant issue relating to our country’s environmental health been at the mercy of a faulty valve. This unprecedented experience has humbled engineers, scientists and bureaucrats alike.

After months of uncharacteristic silence, New York’s senior senator, Charles Schumer, finally voiced his concerns – and it could not have come at a more crucial time for American-Israeli relations.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/a-long-memory/2010/03/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: