Photo Credit: Rabbi YY Rubinstein
Rabbi YY Rubinstein

Think of some the greatest saints of the Jewish people – the sorts of men and women that command our deepest respect and awe. Perhaps Moshe Rabbeinu, Miriam, and Aharon come to mind. Perhaps more recent figures like the Chofetz Chaim, Rav Moshe Feinstein, or the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

But for many Jews, no such list is complete without the inclusion of Barack Obama. I am not being facetious. I am quite serious. For the majority of American Jews, Obama possesses the aura and demeanor of a messiah. And for many of those Jews, nothing he has done since – absolutely nothing – has shaken their conviction that he entered politics walking on water and walks on it still.


I do not share this perspective even the teeniest, weeniest bit. In fact I am quite convinced that Obama harbors less than favorable views of Jews, the Jewish people, and most certainly the Jewish state. You see, there is that troublesome itsy-bitsy fact about him and his family sitting week after week in a church where a blatant anti-Semite, Jeremiah Wright, spewed anti-Jewish invective over and over and over again.

Those Jews who are convinced Mr. O. is a saint believe – in fact, they know – that none of the nasty stuff Wright said affected Obama in the slightest. He “missed church” when Wright attacked Jews; alternatively, Wright’s remarks simply swept over him. I suppose they also believe his children were protected from all that Jew-hatred by their father’s saintliness.

I don’t buy any of this for a second – nor do I accept the pitiful excuses of the leader of Britain’s Labour Party when he was recently exposed as having belonged to a closed “by invitation only” Facebook group. This particular group shares raw Holocaust denial and the vilest sort of anti-Semitism. Corbyn was a member for years, but he and his apologists claim he never read anything even a tiny bit anti-Semitic. If he had, why, by Jove, he would have left quicker than you could say “Jew boy.” He’s a jolly good chap, our Jeremy.

No one believes it for a second. No one believes Corbyn is anything but a nasty Jew baiter – and no one cares. Brits on the Left are allowing him to get away with this derisible lie, thus showing themselves to be happily complicit in his anti-Semitism.

If I knew some white guy who took his family over decades to an American church where the preacher railed weekly against African Americans using the “n” word, it would be reasonable to conclude he was a racist. It is not unreasonable for someone to draw the same conclusion regarding Obama and Corbyn considering the churches they attended and the Facebook groups they belonged to.

I recently deployed this argument in an online debate with some Jews who are big into beatifying Barack. One of the “faithful” simply couldn’t believe I was “dragging up” Jeremiah Wright and the IRS’s targeting of Jewish charities under Obama, among other issues that trouble many Americans. He had a tantrum and pointed to anti-Semitism within the Republican Party –without offering any specifics – as though that somehow absolved or justified anti-Semitism’s much more profound existence within the current Democratic party.

He then concluded that if I failed to appreciate Mr. Obama’s utter faultlessness, it could only be because I am a racist. He said so using a very un-Jewish expression.

My Obama cynicism, though, recently got an unexpected endorsement. A suppressed photograph of Obama smiling alongside notorious anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan surfaced. Whereupon no less a personality than the famous Jewish Democrat Alan Dershowitz declared that, had he known about the picture and the meeting it depicts, he would never have campaigned for Obama.

Dershowitz explained, “There must be zero tolerance for anti-Semites, whether they are David Duke or Louis Farrakhan…the suppression of that photo is a disgrace.” I suppose Mr. Dershowitz is a racist for challenging Obama’s immaculateness.

And we now learn that many key figures in the Democratic Party lined up to have their picture taken hugging the racist Farrakhan – e.g., Maxine Waters, Barbara Lee, Al Green, William Jefferson. Rep. Keith Ellison, who nearly became chair of the Democratic National Committee, even had dinner with Farrakhan five years ago – and Iran’s president, too, whose Revolutionary Guards are now stationed on Israel’s border thanks to Obama’s Iran deal. Over 20 members of the Congressional Black Caucus are currently being investigated over their ties to the Nation of Islam and its leader, Louis Farrakhan.

That anti-Semitism has flooded into the mainstream American left is obvious to anyone with an IQ higher than that of a sandwich. The other day, we even heard a D.C. Democrat – and noted moron – Trayvon White say that “the Rothschilds” were controlling the climate and causing natural disasters.

Anti-Semitism is clearly on the rise, and, no matter what apologists for Jeremy Corbyn, Barack Obama, or the Congressional Black Caucus claim, it is not racist to condemn and confront it wherever it exists and from whomever it emanates – whether the person is black, white, or even Jewish. To make distinctions – to only condemn it when it comes from people of a certain skin but not when it comes from those of another – is to act like a racist.


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Rabbi YY Rubinstein is a popular lecturer, a regular broadcaster on BBC National TV and Radio, and the author of 10 books (including, most recently, “Jewish Life and Jewish Laughter”).