Obama: Pro-Israel talk, anti-Israel walk

Barely a month into the presidency of Barack Obama, a profound realization is spreading among the pro-Israel community: we do not have an ally in the White House. The growing threat that Israel and the Jewish People now face demands an immediate acceptance of the "facts on the ground" regarding President Obama's perspective and agenda, and decisive action to prevent the frightening reality that he may play a leading role in creating.

So how exactly did this get by most Jewish voters during last year's election? While some, including this author, warned of his dubious associations and likely course of action regarding Israel, Obama brilliantly pandered to Jewish crowds around the country with his scripted and amorphous proclamations of support for Israel, while utilizing an array of prominent Jewish surrogates in order to avoid any real accountability.

Under the new Obama administration, our federal government is now beginning to comfortably operate within the realm of the anti-Israel perspective espoused by the likes of Mearsheimer and Walt, who argue that the political clout of American Jews is used to manipulate U.S. foreign policy in favor of Israel at the expense of broader American interests.  On one hand, President Obama receives advice on Israel, Iran and the entire Middle East from advisors such as Zbigniew Brzezinski, Samantha Power, and Chas Freeman, all of whom possess strong anti-Israel biases that are well documented.  Freeman, whose nomination to a top intelligence post faces growing criticism, was quoted as saying "the primary reason America confronts a terrorism problem today... is the brutal oppression of the Palestinians by an Israeli occupation."  As if that were not bad enough, even Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is apparently now joining the fray with her recent remarks intended to unduly pressure Israel.

On the other hand, there is also a faction of prominent Jewish politicians who don't seem willing to speak out against the President's judgment or the actions we are now witnessing. While allowing President Obama to tout their Jewish identities for political gain, these politicians are also helping the Administration to confer mainstream status and legitimacy upon treacherous new Jewish agencies like J-Street, whose vision for Israel more readily identifies with that of her enemies. Combined, the forces at work within the Executive branch are helping to create conditions that will allow President Obama to force dangerous concessions upon Israel.  

The policies put forth by President Obama during his first 30 days in office paint a disturbing picture as well. In light of his first Presidential news interview having been granted to the Al-Arabia television network, his first head-of-state phone call placed to Mahmoud Abbas, and his allocation of $20 million dollars of taxpayer money to resettling Palestinians with ties to Hamas in the United States, what we have witnessed is a clear pattern of taking the pressure off terrorist groups, the Islamist regimes that support them and other tyrants who hate Israel and America in favor of offering them legitimacy and leniency.  The growing danger of the Iranians and their nuclear weapons program, along with the network of villains they are organizing and arming, are without a doubt today's greatest threat to America, Israel and the Western World.   As President Obama offers the Iranians more time, despite plenty of credible evidence that their nuclear weapons program is speeding ahead, he is also granting a reprieve to their vicious surrogates. For example, numerous overtures and contacts are taking place between the Administration and the Al-Assad regime, less than a year and a half after Israel was forced to destroy Syria's secret nuclear reactor facility built by the North Koreans.

Another Iranian proxy, the Hamas terror organization, is also benefiting from President Obama's appeasement and accommodation. Special Middle-East Envoy George Mitchell recently signaled U.S. approval for Hamas to join in governing the Palestinian Authority. That is in addition to the $900 million in U.S. taxpayer money that will shortly be gifted to Hamas-controlled Gaza for "aid," which will only help to ensure that the terrorists need not spend their own money on anything other than arms and death. Once Hamas is finally legitimized, which now appears to be likely, one can only imagine how their international acceptance will adversely impact the prospect of peace.

Anti-Israelism and other forms of latent anti-Semitism have also received a boost from President Obama's initial decision to send a delegation to the negotiation sessions of the upcoming Durban II conference. The U.S. representatives' silence in the face of repeated attempts to demonize Israel and vilify Zionism did plenty to gratify the gathering of wolves, before the President ultimately realized that America's presence was making things worse rather than better. The damage has been done however, and while the U.S. has indicated after the fact that it likely will not participate in the plenary session, many nations that would have otherwise followed the U.S. in boycotting Durban II will now be lending their credence.  Israel's supporters must understand that this set of circumstances significantly helps our enemies' effort to delegitimize Israel's right to exist by harkening back to the "Zionism is racism" days of U.N. Resolution 3379.

In looking squarely ahead to the grave challenges we face on the horizon, it is important to keep in mind that we are still early in the new President's term, and that there are a variety of ways to demand action on the promises we were assured of during his campaign.  To begin, we must call upon pro-Israel Congressional leaders and Jewish activists - those who supported President Obama and those who didn't - to hold him to his word and protect the America-Israel relationship. We cannot afford to be passive in performing this task. Where there is inaction or resistance, we must withhold all support from politicians who won't stand up to the Administration's harmful policies. The solemn oath of "Never Again" must not be forgotten in our time.

Florida State Representative Adam Hasner (R-Boca Raton) is the Majority Leader of the Florida House of Representatives. He served as the Jewish Outreach Chairman in Florida for McCain/Palin during the 2008 election. He can be reached at adamhasner@hasner.org.
Barely a month into the presidency of Barack Obama, a profound realization is spreading among the pro-Israel community: we do not have an ally in the White House. The growing threat that Israel and the Jewish People now face demands an immediate acceptance of the "facts on the ground" regarding President Obama's perspective and agenda, and decisive action to prevent the frightening reality that he may play a leading role in creating.

So how exactly did this get by most Jewish voters during last year's election? While some, including this author, warned of his dubious associations and likely course of action regarding Israel, Obama brilliantly pandered to Jewish crowds around the country with his scripted and amorphous proclamations of support for Israel, while utilizing an array of prominent Jewish surrogates in order to avoid any real accountability.

Under the new Obama administration, our federal government is now beginning to comfortably operate within the realm of the anti-Israel perspective espoused by the likes of Mearsheimer and Walt, who argue that the political clout of American Jews is used to manipulate U.S. foreign policy in favor of Israel at the expense of broader American interests.  On one hand, President Obama receives advice on Israel, Iran and the entire Middle East from advisors such as Zbigniew Brzezinski, Samantha Power, and Chas Freeman, all of whom possess strong anti-Israel biases that are well documented.  Freeman, whose nomination to a top intelligence post faces growing criticism, was quoted as saying "the primary reason America confronts a terrorism problem today... is the brutal oppression of the Palestinians by an Israeli occupation."  As if that were not bad enough, even Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is apparently now joining the fray with her recent remarks intended to unduly pressure Israel.

On the other hand, there is also a faction of prominent Jewish politicians who don't seem willing to speak out against the President's judgment or the actions we are now witnessing. While allowing President Obama to tout their Jewish identities for political gain, these politicians are also helping the Administration to confer mainstream status and legitimacy upon treacherous new Jewish agencies like J-Street, whose vision for Israel more readily identifies with that of her enemies. Combined, the forces at work within the Executive branch are helping to create conditions that will allow President Obama to force dangerous concessions upon Israel.  

The policies put forth by President Obama during his first 30 days in office paint a disturbing picture as well. In light of his first Presidential news interview having been granted to the Al-Arabia television network, his first head-of-state phone call placed to Mahmoud Abbas, and his allocation of $20 million dollars of taxpayer money to resettling Palestinians with ties to Hamas in the United States, what we have witnessed is a clear pattern of taking the pressure off terrorist groups, the Islamist regimes that support them and other tyrants who hate Israel and America in favor of offering them legitimacy and leniency.  The growing danger of the Iranians and their nuclear weapons program, along with the network of villains they are organizing and arming, are without a doubt today's greatest threat to America, Israel and the Western World.   As President Obama offers the Iranians more time, despite plenty of credible evidence that their nuclear weapons program is speeding ahead, he is also granting a reprieve to their vicious surrogates. For example, numerous overtures and contacts are taking place between the Administration and the Al-Assad regime, less than a year and a half after Israel was forced to destroy Syria's secret nuclear reactor facility built by the North Koreans.

Another Iranian proxy, the Hamas terror organization, is also benefiting from President Obama's appeasement and accommodation. Special Middle-East Envoy George Mitchell recently signaled U.S. approval for Hamas to join in governing the Palestinian Authority. That is in addition to the $900 million in U.S. taxpayer money that will shortly be gifted to Hamas-controlled Gaza for "aid," which will only help to ensure that the terrorists need not spend their own money on anything other than arms and death. Once Hamas is finally legitimized, which now appears to be likely, one can only imagine how their international acceptance will adversely impact the prospect of peace.

Anti-Israelism and other forms of latent anti-Semitism have also received a boost from President Obama's initial decision to send a delegation to the negotiation sessions of the upcoming Durban II conference. The U.S. representatives' silence in the face of repeated attempts to demonize Israel and vilify Zionism did plenty to gratify the gathering of wolves, before the President ultimately realized that America's presence was making things worse rather than better. The damage has been done however, and while the U.S. has indicated after the fact that it likely will not participate in the plenary session, many nations that would have otherwise followed the U.S. in boycotting Durban II will now be lending their credence.  Israel's supporters must understand that this set of circumstances significantly helps our enemies' effort to delegitimize Israel's right to exist by harkening back to the "Zionism is racism" days of U.N. Resolution 3379.

In looking squarely ahead to the grave challenges we face on the horizon, it is important to keep in mind that we are still early in the new President's term, and that there are a variety of ways to demand action on the promises we were assured of during his campaign.  To begin, we must call upon pro-Israel Congressional leaders and Jewish activists - those who supported President Obama and those who didn't - to hold him to his word and protect the America-Israel relationship. We cannot afford to be passive in performing this task. Where there is inaction or resistance, we must withhold all support from politicians who won't stand up to the Administration's harmful policies. The solemn oath of "Never Again" must not be forgotten in our time.

Florida State Representative Adam Hasner (R-Boca Raton) is the Majority Leader of the Florida House of Representatives. He served as the Jewish Outreach Chairman in Florida for McCain/Palin during the 2008 election. He can be reached at adamhasner@hasner.org.