As Purim approaches, thousands of Israeli children and families grapple with poverty
At the same time the Obama administration was condemning the lawful construction of apartments in a Jewish section of Jerusalem, the president was giving his blessing to illegal settlement elsewhere, seemingly unaware of the troubling irony.
In a major story that received little notice, Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano announced on November 13 that the administration plans to grant amnesty to approximately 14 million people living in the U.S. illegally.
Illegal immigration is an exceedingly complex issue with no easy answers (and even some leading conservatives like former President George W. Bush and Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham favor what Napolitano euphemistically called “a fair pathway to earned legal status”). But what no one disputes is that such immigrants broke the law. They are illegal settlers.
In striking contrast, when it comes to Jews in Jerusalem, President Obama’s policy is to stigmatize legal residents as trespassers. A mere four days after the amnesty-for-illegals announcement, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs issued a statement that “we are dismayed” at plans to add 900 apartments in the Jewish neighborhood of Gilo. (President Obama delivered a conspicuously more tolerant message to the Muslim world in his celebrated Cairo speech when he said, “America does not presume to know what is best for everyone.”)
Obama added another layer of irony when, the same day his administration warned Jews not to build in Jerusalem, he stood alongside Chinese President Hu Jintao and announced U.S. recognition “that Tibet is part of the People’s Republic of China.”
American supporters of Tibet reacted by carrying protest signs accurately proclaiming, “Tibet is not a part of China.” The non-governmental organization Free Tibet points out that a half-century of illegal occupation and genocide “has resulted in the death of over one million Tibetans, the destruction of over 6,000 monasteries, nunneries and temples, and the imprisonment and torture of thousands of Tibetans . Tibet, before occupation, was a nation with an established sovereign government, currency, postal system, language, legal system, and culture. Prior to 1950, the Tibetan government also signed treaties with foreign nations ”
While past administrations have signaled acceptance of the status quo through normalized relations with the communist regime, Obama is the first president to publicly endorse the illegal occupation.
One day later, still in China, Obama told an interviewer that apartment construction for Jews in Jerusalem “embitters Palestinians in a way that could end up being very dangerous.” His warning seemed to preemptively blame future victims of terrorism for bringing it upon themselves. It chillingly echoed the reaction of Islamic Jihad leader Daoud Shihab to last year’s terrorist murder of an 86-year-old man in Gilo: the killing was “a natural response [emphasis added] to crime of the occupation in the city of Jerusalem ”
If Obama had been president 50 years ago, would he have reprimanded African-Americans as troublemakers for moving into a particular neighborhood because it would offend dangerous racists who would rather lynch them than co-exist with them?
Yet it should come as no surprise to see Obama chastise Jerusalem’s Jews for lawful construction while conferring legitimacy on actual illegal settlers in the U.S. and elsewhere. Perhaps the simplest explanation is the correct one – that he has been guided for most of his life by mentors with a callous anti-Israel bias, and we are now seeing the predictable results.
After all, incredible as it might sound, there is no substantial difference between the pro-terror “missed warning signs” displayed by Fort Hood mass murderer Nidal Hasan and the conduct of Obama’s longtime pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who gloated over the 9/11 attacks as richly deserved payback.
Wright’s pro-terror advocacy, as Hillary Clinton pointed out in a little-noticed campaign debate, included “giving the church bulletin over to the leader of Hamas to put a message in” that included a defense of suicide bombings as “legal resistance” and praise for the Hamas charter. Another church bulletin disseminated bizarre anti-Semitic blood libels – “Israeli death squads” hunt down civilians; Israel commits “genocide and ethnic cleansing every hour of the day” and “worked on an ethnic bomb that kills blacks and Arabs.”
Unfortunately, Wright, whom Obama revered as “a sounding board for me to make sure that I am speaking as truthfully about what I believe as possible,” was not an aberration.
It is easy to lose track of all the Obama advisers, past and present, who hold similar views, including Zbigniew Brzezinski, who said he would urge Obama to shoot down Israeli planes to protect Iran’s nuclear facilities, and Samantha Power, who advocated sending a “mammoth protection force” to defend Palestinians from Israel (citing the Rwanda genocide as a cautionary example of insufficient force being sent in).
Obama appointed Power as director for Multilateral Affairs at the National Security Council.
Similarly, when one mentions that the president had a longtime mentor/fundraiser who dedicated a book to a Palestinian terrorist, you have to ask, “Which one?” Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers dedicated a book to Sirhan Sirhan; Rashid Khalidi dedicated a book to Yasir Arafat.
Questioned by a voter about his closeness with Khalidi, a professor and former PLO spokesman, Obama defended him as a “respected scholar” and noted the value of hearing differing viewpoints. Implicit in his answer is that anti-terror and pro-terror views both have merit, and one might understandably wonder if we are now seeing the results of his Mideast tutor having provided “consistent reminders to me of my own blind spots and my own biases.”
Khalidi, who has characterized terrorist atrocities as understandable responses to “Israeli aggression,” labeled Israel as racist, and mocked “hysteria over suicide bombers,” co-founded the Arab American Action Network, an organization that laments the creation of Israel as a “nakba” (catastrophe). The AAAN received $75,000 in grants from the Chicago-based Woods Fund when its directors included Obama and Ayers.
The three men would converge again in 2003, at a farewell party for Khalidi marked by anti-Israel vitriol that the Los Angeles Times described in part. But the newspaper left out what Obama said when he spoke at the event, as well as his reaction to other speakers, and refused to release the videotape.
The phrase “missed warning signs” resonates today on so many levels.
Anyone aware of concerns raised during the presidential campaign; anyone who saw these concerns disturbingly confirmed in the contrast between Obama’s coldness toward Benjamin Netanyahu and his affectionate, playful greeting of Hugo Chavez, an enthusiastic supporter of Ahmadinejad and Hizbullah, would not be surprised by policies that seemingly treat friends as foes and vice versa.
About the Author: Edward Olshaker is a longtime freelance journalist whose work has appeared in various publications and websites including History News Network, American Thinker, FrontPageMagazine and The Jewish Press.
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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.
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.
“Remember what Amalek did to you on your journey after you left Egypt-how undeterred by fear of G-d”
After spending two years condemning Israeli checkpoints and roadblocks as impediments to peace, President Obama congratulated Egyptian demonstrators – reportedly members of the Muslim Brotherhood – for setting up checkpoints and conducting body searches.
When radio host Don Imus crudely insulted the young African-American ladies on the Rutgers women’s basketball team, then-Senator Barack Obama called for Imus to be fired.
Repeat anything often enough, regardless of accuracy, and eventually it becomes engraved in people’s minds as the truth: “Lizzie Borden took an ax” and butchered her parents; Mama Cass choked to death on a ham sandwich; Israel launched a war on Lebanon in 2006.
Today’s skinheads of the Left are not confined to the streets; they also enjoy an active media presence.
After years of monitoring the hate speech disseminated by conservative radio and Internet (one of my reports is cited in David Brock’s recently released The Republican Noise Machine), I am forced to conclude that the “politically correct” vitriol of the Israel-hating activist Left makes the venomous rhetoric of right-wing ideologues seem mild by comparison.
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