[Rushtalk] American Jewish leaders fail to respond to Obama’s threats

Carl Spitzer lynux at keepandbeararms.com
Sun Jul 5 19:20:30 MDT 2015


American Jewish leaders fail to respond to Obama’s threats
        
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It is time to stop making excuses for American Jewish leaders and their
failure to respond to U.S. President Barack Obama’s latest despicable
efforts to turn the Jewish community against Israel. This time he
employed a charm offensive, expressing “admiration” for Jews and “love”
of Israel as a mantle to distort, malign and unashamedly employ double
standards to cast moral aspersions on the sole democracy in the Middle
East.

Obama is clearly determined to undermine the standing of the newly
elected Israeli government by embarking on a campaign to promote an
utterly fictional narrative of the Arab-Israeli conflict, even in
advance of the June 30 deadline of the “negotiations” with Iran.

He orchestrated interviews with journalists Jeffrey Goldberg and Tom
Friedman, whom he uses regularly to convey his distaste for Israeli
policies – and Ilana Dayan of Israel’s Channel 2 TV. Considered a tough
investigative journalist, Dayan on this occasion, acted as though she
were launching an Obama fan club. She failed to pose any challenging
questions and instead provided openings for him to benevolently display
his loathing for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Obama also gave a
major address to a Jewish audience at Washington’s Conservative Adas
Israel congregation.

One of his acolytes, David Axelrod, recalls Obama – who for many years
belonged to a church with an anti-Semitic pastor – describing himself as
“the closest thing to a Jew” who has ever served as an American
president. At Adas Israel, Obama even described himself as “an honorary
member of the tribe” and called on Israelis and Jews to concentrate on
“tikkun olam – repairing the world,” implying that universal humanistic
values are more in keeping with Judaism than nationalism. He repeatedly
stressed the linkage between African-Americans and Jewish Americans and
the struggle for civil rights and equality – deviously contrasting this
with the manner in which Israelis supposedly treat Palestinians.

Stressing that he considers Israel’s security paramount and that he
“understands Israeli concerns and fears,” he insisted that the Jewish
state needed tough love from its friends, assuring his audience that he
felt he had a better understanding of Israel’s needs than Israelis
themselves. He effectively called on American Jews to choose between his
flawed evaluation of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the concerns about
security and survival shared by the majority of Israelis.

Obama had the chutzpah to warn that the current Israeli government would
alienate the people of America and the global community because it was
diverging from the noble sentiments expressed in Israel’s Declaration of
Independence.

Intensifying his vendetta against Netanyahu, he effectively described
him as a deceitful liar who could not be trusted. He constantly harped
on two statements that Netanyahu had uttered in the heat of the election
and had subsequently repeatedly repudiated. However, not even once did
he condemn the Palestinian Authority for its daily incitement of hatred,
sanctification of mass murderers, or criminalization of Israel at the
U.N.

He warned that Israel has become obsessed with fear, claiming
ludicrously that the U.S. had proposed solutions by which, given
goodwill, Israel’s security concerns could have been overcome. He urged
Israelis to adopt “the politics of hope.”

He chided Israel for being obstinate and inflexible, thus preventing the
peace process from moving forward, and clearly held Israel responsible
for the breakdown of negotiations – conveniently ignoring the fact that
it was Abbas who terminated the talks and breached the Oslo Accords by
unilaterally seeking recognition at the United Nations and uniting with
Hamas. He failed to make mention of Israel’s major concessions,
including a 10-month settlement freeze, to pave the way for negotiations
– to which Abbas only responded in the 10th month – and the wretched
release of mass murderers who were subsequently fêted as heroes and many
of whom renewed their terrorist activities.

And to top it off, Obama even made the outrageous observation that
Netanyahu “had so many caveats, so many conditions” that the Palestinian
officials and others might not see Netanyahu as a reliable negotiating
partner.

Melodramatically, he added that the “rights of the Jewish people compel
me to think about the rights of a Palestinian child in Ramallah who
feels trapped without opportunity,” yet omitted any mention of Israel’s
withdrawal from all of Gaza and that in the main cities of Judea and
Samaria, beyond issues directly related to security, Arabs have complete
autonomy.

Obama postulates that Israel must be more flexible in order to convince
the world that it genuinely favors a Palestinian state. In fact, the
vast majority of Israelis would be overjoyed if they could separate
themselves from the Palestinians but realize that to do so now could
result in self-destruction. For Obama to make such a call under the
current circumstances is not merely disingenuous, it is effectively a
clear message to the Arabs to intensify their demands and continue their
policy of “we take, you give.”

Obama is well aware of the mayhem and barbarism that prevails in the
region. He knows that were Israel to cede additional territories, they
would almost certainly be taken over by Hamas or even the more radical
Islamic State group, leading to a breakdown of security and challenging
the very existence of the Jewish state. No Israeli government would
compromise security in this manner.

But the truly chilling aspect of Obama’s interviews was his undisguised
threat that, unless Israel accepted his dictates, the U.S. would cease
employing the veto at the United Nations Security Council. In other
words, a total diplomatic abandonment of Israel. In stating this, he is
also openly encouraging the Europeans to intensify their campaigns to
pressure and extend sanctions against Israel.

The most disconcerting aspect of these developments is that, aside from
the Zionist Organization of America, there has been a total lack of
response from the American Jewish leadership. Obama has floated trial
balloons to test the American Jewish community’s reaction to extending
his confrontation with Israel. He clearly anticipates their support and
recognition that he knows better than Israelis what is good for them.

Public opinion in the United States and the Republican-dominated
Congress is highly favorable and strongly supportive of Israel. However,
if Jewish communal leaders remain silent in response to such a frontal
biased attack against Israeli policies based on false premises, they are
giving Obama the green light.

The role of a Jewish leadership is to lead and represent the Jewish
community which is committed to the survival and security of the State
of Israel. Unfortunately, however, many American Jews have become so
acculturated that they have no understanding of Judaism or the crucial
relevance of Israel to their Jewish identity.

Moreover, it is unreasonable to expect Congress and friends of Israel to
be more supportive of the Jewish state than the Jewish leadership. It
will also send a message to future presidential candidates that they
will not be penalized by the Jewish community if they continue treating
Israel in a similarly contemptuous manner.

The Jewish leaders’ defense is that public criticism of the president
would jeopardize the bipartisan approach of Congress toward Israel.
However, if bipartisanship becomes an end in itself, the Jewish
community will become paralyzed, lose its political influence and be
considered politically impotent.

To maintain a modicum of self-respect and dignity, Jewish leaders must
respectfully but forcefully condemn and criticize the propagation of
factual errors, bias and threats conveyed by their president. If they
fail to act, history will judge them harshly. When in 1944, in one of
the most shameful chapters in American Jewish life, Rabbi Stephen Wise
failed to confront President Franklin Roosevelt’s refusal to come to the
aid of European Jews, the Jewish community was weak and faced enormous
anti-Semitism. The situation is very different today and there are no
grounds for the Jewish community to be less outspoken than other
Americans in criticizing their president when they consider he is acting
against the best interest of the nation.

A failure by the American Jewish leadership to vigorously speak out
against their president after he has effectively undermined and
distorted Israel’s role could have untold negative consequences, not
only for Israel but for American Jewry itself. The time has now come for
Jewish leaders to stand up and be counted.

This column was originally published in the Jerusalem Post and Israel
Hayom




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