Monday, November 21, 2011

Obama's Jews Are Faithless

President Barack Obama is perceived by many Jews to be, at best, ambivalent not only on the issue of Israel, its security needs and even its national ethos, but also a waverer on Judaism as a religion.

Just over a month ago, the ZOA came out criticising Obama on his Rosh Hashana message:

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has again raised the issue of President Barack Obama’s attitude towards Jews and Israel, following the latest presidential Rosh Hashanah Message, addressed strangely to “everybody,” and in which he never actually mentioned ‘Jews’ or ‘Judaism’ even once, referred to ‘Jewish tradition’ only once, and said nothing about the Jewish contribution to American life or anything else. (This is in stark contrast to President Obama’s August 2010 Ramadan Message, in which he referred to ‘Muslims’ six times and to ‘Islam’ twice, stated that “American Muslims have made extraordinary contributions to our country,” and praised “Islam’s role in advancing justice, progress, tolerance, and the dignity of all human beings … a faith known for great diversity and racial equality”).

President Obama has a new website and I checked the "Groups" section and saw:

and then I took a second, closer look:

Jews, it would appear, are religion-less.  No faith.

I am not sure exactly what Obama's thinking is on this but I am willing to presume that the Jews closest to him are uneasy with themselves being identified as those of faith.  I would guess they are the cultural/ethnic variety of Jewish atheist-socialists, who delude themselves that they can obtain a standing of aloof assimilation while maintaining that chic Jewish definition of "yes, but...".

Is there another explanation?

As for the political message, we read

From the beginning of his administration, Barack Obama has consistently exemplified America’s unbreakable commitment to Israel. He has worked tirelessly to ensure Israel’s security, and in light of recent turmoil in the region, has dramatically increased America’s support for Israel’s security and qualitative military edge. The President has a deep understanding of the grave threats Israel faces and he has been steadfast in supporting Israel’s right to defend itself. He has worked closely with Israel and the Arab world on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to facilitate a resolution that protects Israel’s core interests, addresses Israel’s security needs, and recognizes Israel as a Jewish state and the homeland for the Jewish people. The Obama administration has executed a robust multilateral strategy to counter efforts to de-legitimize Israel.

Okay, if you believe that without any questions or need for clarification, you can stop reading here, if you've reached this far.

But let us add:

- Obama has not visited Israel since being elected although being in the area.

- Obama has sought to wrench Jerusalem's new neighbohoods out of Israel's sovereignty.

- Obama has termed Jewish residency in Judea and Samaria, the heartland of the Jewish national home as defined in international law which guaranteed the facilitation of close settlement on the land, as "illegitimate".

- Obama brushed off Israel Prime Minsiter Netanyahu in the infamous "in through the backdoor no-picture" incident.

- Obama never condemns, as he does Jewish construction, any Arab construction.

- Obama implied that Netanyahu is a liar and encouraged France's Sarkozy's personal hostility toward Netanyahu.

- Obama has not done much about Iran's nuclear weapons program.

- Obama had Hillary Clinton berate Netanyahu in an embarassing phone call.

- Obama has demanded that Israel's new borders must "start" at the Green Line, leaving open the possibility that the 1947 lines are still legitimate or that Israel must go backwards even.

There's much, too much more.

Here's just one view:

From the get-go, Obama adopted a hostile posture toward Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu...At every chance, Obama sought to portray him as intransigent when it came to forging a peace agreement with the Palestinians.

Obama decided that Jews building homes outside of Jerusalem was the biggest threat to Middle East peace...[but] when Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced plans to form a unity government with Hamas earlier this year, Obama would not cut off aid. This even though Hamas has been designated a terrorist group...

• February 2008: When running for president, then-Sen. Obama told an audience in Cleveland: "There is a strain within the pro-Israel community that says unless you adopt an unwavering pro-Likud approach to Israel that you're anti-Israel." Likud had been out of power for two years when Mr. Obama made this statement...As for Likud governments, it was under Likud that Israel made its largest territorial compromises—withdrawals from Sinai and Gaza.

• July 2009: Mr. Obama hosted American Jewish leaders at the White House, reportedly telling them that he sought to put "daylight" between America and Israel...
...In the same meeting with Jewish leaders, Mr. Obama told the group that Israel would need "to engage in serious self-reflection." This statement stunned the Americans in attendance: Israeli society is many things, but lacking in self-reflection isn't one of them...

.• September 2009: In his first address to the U.N. General Assembly, President Obama devoted five paragraphs to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, during which he declared (to loud applause) that "America does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements." He went on to draw a connection between rocket attacks on Israeli civilians with living conditions in Gaza. There was not a single unconditional criticism of Palestinian terrorism.

...Secretary of State Hillary Clinton berated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on a now-infamous 45-minute phone call, telling him that Israel had "harmed the bilateral relationship." (The State Department triumphantly shared details of the call with the press.) The Israeli ambassador was dressed-down at the State Department, Mr. Obama's Middle East envoy canceled his trip to Israel, and the U.S. joined the European condemnation of Israel.

...on ABC, Mr. Axelrod called Israel's planned construction of apartments in its own capital an "insult" and an "affront" to the United States. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs went on Fox News to accuse Mr. Netanyahu of "weakening trust" between the two countries.

Ten days later, Mr. Netanyahu traveled to Washington to mend fences but was snubbed at a White House meeting with President Obama—no photo op, no joint statement, and he was sent out through a side door.

• April 2010: Mr. Netanyahu pulled out of the Obama-sponsored Washington summit on nuclear proliferation after it became clear that Turkey and Egypt intended to use the occasion to condemn the Israeli nuclear program, and Mr. Obama would not intervene.

• March 2011: Mr. Obama returned to his habit of urging Israelis to engage in self-reflection, inviting Jewish community leaders to the White House and instructing them to "search your souls" about Israel's dedication to peace.

• May 2011: The State Department issued a press release declaring that the department's No. 2 official, James Steinberg, would be visiting "Israel, Jerusalem, and the West Bank." In other words, Jerusalem is not part of Israel. Later in the month, only hours before Mr. Netanyahu departed from Israel to Washington, Mr. Obama delivered his Arab Spring speech, which focused on a demand that Israel return to its indefensible pre-1967 borders with land swaps.

One more:

...No U.S. president has explicitly endorsed the '67 lines as the basis for negotiating a final border, which is why the University of Michigan's Juan Cole, not exactly a shill for the Israel lobby, called it "a major turning point."  Mr. Obama would also know that in 2009 Hillary Clinton had described this formula as "the Palestinian goal." Now it's Mr. Obama's goal as well, even as he insists that "no peace can be imposed."

...on Thursday Mr. Obama called for Israel to make territorial concessions to some approximation of the '67 lines before an agreement is reached on the existential issues of refugees and Jerusalem. "Moving forward now on the basis of territory and security," he said, "provides a foundation to resolve these two issues in a way that is just and fair, and that respects the rights and aspirations of Israelis and Palestinians."...the essence of his proposal is that Israel should cede territory, put itself into a weaker position, and then hope for the best. This doesn't even amount to a land-for-peace formula.

...Mr. Obama got some applause Sunday by calling for a "non-militarized" Palestinian state. But how does that square with his comment, presumably applicable to a future Palestine, that "every state has a right to self-defense"? Mr. Obama was also cheered for his references to Israel as a "Jewish state." But why then obfuscate on the question of Palestinian refugees, whose political purpose over 63 years has been to destroy Israel as a Jewish state?

And then there was that line that "we will hold the Palestinians accountable for their actions and their rhetoric." Applause! But can Mr. Obama offer a single example of having done that as president, except perhaps at the level of a State Department press release?

Jews are good for a web site design graphic and their votes but that just may be all in Obama's vision.


UPDATE on 2010 Hate Crimes

Hate crimes motivated by religious bias accounted for 1,409 offenses reported by law enforcement. A breakdown of the bias motivation of religious-bias offenses showed:

65.4 percent were anti-Jewish.
13.2 percent were anti-Islamic.
9.5 percent were anti-other religion, i.e., those not specified.
4.3 percent were anti-Catholic.
3.8 percent were anti-multiple religions, group.
3.3 percent were anti-Protestant.
0.5 percent were anti-Atheism/Agnosticism/etc. (Based on Table 1.)

Jonathan Tobin writes - :

The report is not perfect, since not all parts of the country do a good job compiling the data, but it provides an important snapshot of the state of the nation regarding bias crimes. But the numbers speak for themselves. In 2010, only 13.2 percent of religion-based attacks were directed at Muslims. By comparison, 65.4 percent of such crimes were directed at Jews. This shows a slight increase over the last two years (the raw numbers show 887 anti-Jewish attacks with only 160 anti-Muslim attacks), but is not a statistical fluke. In 2009, the FBI reported that 70.1 percent of religious-based hate crimes were anti-Jewish while only 9.3 percent were anti-Islamic. In 2008, the FBI said 66.1 percent were anti-Jewish while 7.5 percent were anti-Muslim. This has been true of every year in the past decade, even in 2001 when anti-Muslim crime spiked in the wake of 9/11. For all of the breast-beating about Islamophobia in this country, anti-Semitism remains a far greater problem.

David Gerstein adds:

Keep in mind that anti-Jewish crimes make up about 1/2 the amount of anti-black crimes, but the Jewish population is 1'/7 of the African-American population.

Jewish targets are hit roughly 3 to 3 1/2 times the rate of African American targets.

Over the 10+ years of this survey that ratio has more or less held.



Anonymous said...

Then you've got another problem - the flake jobs the Republicans seem to be curiously attracted to. There was a time when Kennedy being a Catholic raised the question of if he'd listen to the Pope. Now we've got Bachmann, whose husband, at the command of his deity told her to become a tax attorney. I think she's also made claims that this deity told him to tell her to run for president. I wouldn't trust her to park my car. I won't even mention Palin. The rest of them are just as nuts or incompetent. For a time it looked like the Mormons were the best of the bunch, but now we've got Romney who destroyed all of the email from the last year he was governor? Huntsman isn't conservative enough for them. Cain? Apart from pretending he'd ever get his tax plan (gen 1 or 2) through congress, we've got another man who thinks executive power gives him the right to put his hands on anything he likes. Perry is governor from a state that thinks education is for wimps and they don't need any of it. If you're going to diss Obama, you'd better come up with a recommendation.

Daniel said...

this is no surprise. Obamas backers in the Jewish community tend to be of the secular intermarried , octopus on Friday night types.certainly not the ones whose kids do gap years in Israel.