web analytics
July 25, 2014 / 27 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Obama’s Jewish Enablers Can’t Keep Quiet Much Longer


When President Obama met with 15 representatives of American Jewish organizations on July 13, he told them, Haaretz reported, that he wanted to help Israel achieve peace but that if they were to benefit from his well-intentioned counsel, Israelis must “engage in serious self-reflection.”

The breathtaking condescension toward the Jewish state that this remark betrays as well as the implicit dismissal of the past 16 years of Middle East history says a lot about Obama and the direction in which American foreign policy is heading. The fact that Israel has already gone through several periods of serious self-reflection and made costly sacrifices in terms not only of territory but in blood has no significance for the president.

Here a just a few items the president seems to think don’t matter in assessing the situation: The failure of a generation of peacemaking including the Oslo Accords and the successor agreements associated with that process, the 2000 Camp David Summit, the second intifada, Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza, the subsequent use of that territory as a terror base and the failed attempt just last year to get the Palestinian Authority to take yes for an answer on statehood for their people.

Rather than play down his penchant for quarreling with Israel, Obama is proud of it. Indeed, he asserts that such conduct is actually a virtue, since his hammering of Israel is merely “honest talk” that should be interpreted as the highest form of friendship.

Though Obama speaks to Jewish groups of equal pressure on the Arabs, everything the administration has done and said in its short time in office makes it clear the president’s sole target is the government in Jerusalem, not the terrorists running Gaza or the corrupt Fatah functionaries in Ramallah.

Taken together with his appeasement of the Arab and Muslim world as reflected in his Cairo speech and a feckless policy of engagement with Iran that continues to extend legitimacy to a regime that has already forfeited its credibility with its own people, one might think Obama would be in trouble with his Jewish supporters. Though there have been rumblings from some Jewish leaders expressing worries about Obama’s attitude to Israel, the passive response to the downgrading of the alliance with Israel cannot be denied.

There are those who believe the continued support for Obama can be traced to a lack of enthusiasm on the part of most American Jews for Israel’s current government and settlements though others go so far as to say that it also shows a general lack of interest in, let alone support for Israel, among liberal Jews.

It is true that unlike the Israeli left, which has been completely marginalized by the Palestinians’ rejection of peace, the Jewish left in the United States is currently riding high. The spectacle of the small J Street lobby – a group that exposed its extreme nature last December when it opposed Israeli military efforts to stop missile attacks on its southern towns from Gaza – strutting into the White House alongside representatives of large mainstream groups illustrates the new political reality of Washington in 2009.

But the overwhelming majority of American Jews who voted for Obama last year did not back him because they anticipated he would pick pointless fights with Israel to advance a peace process that Palestinians scorn. Most did so because they are partisan Democrats and share his views on domestic issues. But there is no way he would have won as much as three-quarters of the Jewish vote had not most believed him when he claimed he was a supporter of Israel. Contrary to the boasts of the left and the fears of the right, most Jewish Democrats still care deeply about Israel.

Some of those who vouched for Obama during last year’s campaign have said the president’s offenses are not yet egregious enough to warrant a rebuke. Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz, a man whose long and honorable record of support for Israel is beyond question, attempted to defend Obama’s positions in a recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal and then later in responses to critiques of that article.

While Dershowitz continues to believe that having a popular liberal Democratic president who claims to be a supporter of Israel is good for the Jews even if some of his policies are open to question, his half-hearted apologias betray a worry that perhaps he was fooled by the president’s campaign promises.

Jewish Democrats don’t have to jump to the Republicans. If, as Dershowitz avows, pro-Israel Democrats have influence on the administration, then let them use it before things get even worse.

Had a Republican done and said the same things Obama has in the last six months, who can doubt he and other Democrats would be demanding that Jewish Republicans repudiate their party’s leader?

The question remains: What will be the tipping point for Jewish Democrats at which it will be impossible for them to go on pretending they did not elect the most hostile president to Israel since the first George Bush?

About the Author: Jonathan S. Tobin is senior online editor of Commentary magazine and chief political blogger at www.commentarymagazine.com, where this first appeared. He can be reached via e-mail at jtobin@commentarymagazine.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.

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 “Obama’s Jewish Enablers Can’t Keep Quiet Much Longer”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
John Kerry
Entire Israeli Cabinet Rejects Kerry’s Proposed Ceasefire, Talks Continue
Latest Indepth Stories
Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett

Because let’s face it: Hamas obviously can’t defeat the IDF in the field, soldier against soldier

Shimon Peres meets with the family of fallen IDF soldier Max Steinberg.

As Peres retires, Israel fights sour legacy: Insistence on setting policy in line with hopes, rather than with reality.

Keeping-Jerusalem

Our capital was not arbitrarily chosen, as capitals of some other nations were.

UNHRC High Commissioner Navi Pillay accuses the IDF of possible war crimes in Gaza again, cutting slack to Hamas.

There is much I can write you about what is going here, but I am wondering what I should not write. I will start by imagining that I am you, sitting at home in the Los Angeles area and flipping back and forth between the weather, traffic reports, the Ukraine, Mexican illegals and Gaza. No […]

Should Jews in Europe take more responsibility in self-defense of community and property?

It is time for a total military siege on Gaza; Nothing should enter the Gaza Strip.

Germany’s The Jewish Faith newspaper ominously noted, “We Jews are in for a war after the war.”

The truth is we seldom explore with kids what prayer is supposed to be about.

Almost as one, Jews around the world are acknowledging the day-to-day peril facing ordinary Jews in Israel and the extraordinary service of the IDF in protecting them.

So on the one hand Secretary Kerry makes no bones about who is at fault for the current hostilities: he clearly blames Hamas.

King Solomon said it long ago: “Cast your bread upon the waters” because you don’t know when you’ll hit something. Our job is to do.

The anti-Israel camp does not need to win America fully to its side. Merely to neutralize it would radically alter the balance of power and put Israel in great jeopardy.

More Articles from Jonathan S. Tobin
Bomb Shelter

One of the key talking points by apologists for Hamas in the current conflict is that it isn’t fair that Israelis under fire have bomb shelters while Palestinians in Gaza don’t have any. Among other factors, the lack of shelters accounts in part for the differences in casualty figures between the two peoples. But somehow […]

Jonathan S. Tobin is Senior Online Editor of Commentary magazine.

How will all this end? Hamas seems to think it will be Netanyahu who will blink first.

Nothing short of a stroke that will decapitate the leadership of this group will convince the Arabs that Hamas has made a mistake.

Z STREET will have the ability to compel IRS officials to testify as to their practices and produce all records.

“Death of Klinghoffer” opera frames the issue as Israel’s existence being the real crime.

Palestinian leaders claim the kidnapping is an Israeli hoax or the act of Jewish criminals rather than terrorists.

If Peres has outlasted some of his critics and is still considered popular, he cannot outrun history.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/obamas-jewish-enablers-cant-keep-quiet-much-longer/2009/06/22/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: