Thanks to Obama, I Now Worry Less about Israel

It is my firm belief that the predisposition to worry is an undeniable part of human DNA. To begin with, I worry about my immediate family members and myself, and my worries usually deal with health, finances, work, and my writing. My worrying also maintains a much larger circle that includes societal issues and politics -- and even the question, "How am I doing in God's eyes?" Sometimes, I worry that I worry too much.

Certainly, we all would be much happier if we could adopt Alfred E. Neuman's famous, "What, me worry?" nonchalant attitude. Since that does not seem to be in the cards, in order to keep my sanity, I try to minimize my worrying to about an hour a day.

As a Jewish American, I have always strongly identified myself with Israel and her people. After the 1967 Six Day War rout of the Arab armies, I carried a teenage pride and confidence with me: "Who says Jews can't fight? The IDF is invincible!"

After the 1973 Yom Kippur War, my confidence balloon deflated quite a bit. Sure "we won," but we could have lost -- and the thought of defeat encouraged the darkest of ideas to enter my mind: the destruction of Israel and another Jewish Holocaust could happen. From then on, I began my "worry about Israel" sojourn.

I worried about Israel during the 1982 Lebanon War and every conflict, rocket attack, and suicide bombing to follow. I did not just worry about the violence; I worried about worthless peace agreements, the Arab oil embargo, world opinion, what the U.N. was up to, the value of the shekel, the Jonathan Pollard arrest, media bias, the two-state solution, the Iran nuclear program, historical revisionism, the Gaza expulsion, and the Gladstone report. Last, but not least, I worried about what my current American president's policies towards Israel were, and about how the next president will stand in that regard.

Although I was always interested in American politics, I never did spend a lot of worrying time on my own country. For me, American greatness was a given. My freedom was a given, as was my opportunity for prosperity. Without a doubt, I mistakenly took the blessings of this country for granted.

All that changed, however, with 9/11.

After 9/11, I realized that even Americans could be at risk within our own borders. Say what you may about President Bush, but he did one heck of an excellent job protecting our country from further terrorist attacks, and as time passed, I began to once again relax regarding American safety at home. Consequently, I went back to my old ways of worrying about Israel.

Then Barack Obama became president. With his election, I inherited a landslide of new worries to molest me. I worried about a burgeoning deficit and national bankruptcy and government takeovers, with the added threat of a national health care debacle. I stressed about the demise of the American dollar and future inflation.   cringed with the anticipation of economy-crippling cap-and-trade legislation. I became vexed over ten-percent unemployment, Iran on the verge, the closing of Gitmo, Miranda rights and civilian trials for terrorists, and yet another stimulus bill on the horizon.

With all that is on President Obama's plate for me to worry about, is it any wonder that I have less time to worry about Israel? That, of course, is not to say that Israel is safer with Obama as president. To the contrary, just the opposite is true. When I do worry about Israel, the self-tormenting thoughts are darker than ever. Because of this president, I worry about the unprecedented behind-the-scenes arm-twisting and intimidation that I know is taking place. I am troubled by a presidential shadow that further isolates our loyal friend Israel in the ever-dangerous Middle East and emboldens her hostile neighbors. In addition, a president who, in my opinion, has made up his mind that he can live with a nuclear-armed Iran worries me to no end.

As the saying goes, "Worry is like a rocking chair -- it gives you something to do, but it doesn't get you anywhere." I might worry an hour a day but, that still leaves me with twenty-three hours that can be used in a positive and constructive way. 

Worrying about what Barack Obama is doing to America and our democratic ally and friend Israel is about as beneficial as an eight-hundred-billion-dollar Democrat stimulus bill. There is work to do. There are conservatives needed to lead the Republican Party and an upcoming 2010 Republican election for the taking. 

If I am going down, I'd rather go down fighting (than worrying).
It is my firm belief that the predisposition to worry is an undeniable part of human DNA. To begin with, I worry about my immediate family members and myself, and my worries usually deal with health, finances, work, and my writing. My worrying also maintains a much larger circle that includes societal issues and politics -- and even the question, "How am I doing in God's eyes?" Sometimes, I worry that I worry too much.

Certainly, we all would be much happier if we could adopt Alfred E. Neuman's famous, "What, me worry?" nonchalant attitude. Since that does not seem to be in the cards, in order to keep my sanity, I try to minimize my worrying to about an hour a day.

As a Jewish American, I have always strongly identified myself with Israel and her people. After the 1967 Six Day War rout of the Arab armies, I carried a teenage pride and confidence with me: "Who says Jews can't fight? The IDF is invincible!"

After the 1973 Yom Kippur War, my confidence balloon deflated quite a bit. Sure "we won," but we could have lost -- and the thought of defeat encouraged the darkest of ideas to enter my mind: the destruction of Israel and another Jewish Holocaust could happen. From then on, I began my "worry about Israel" sojourn.

I worried about Israel during the 1982 Lebanon War and every conflict, rocket attack, and suicide bombing to follow. I did not just worry about the violence; I worried about worthless peace agreements, the Arab oil embargo, world opinion, what the U.N. was up to, the value of the shekel, the Jonathan Pollard arrest, media bias, the two-state solution, the Iran nuclear program, historical revisionism, the Gaza expulsion, and the Gladstone report. Last, but not least, I worried about what my current American president's policies towards Israel were, and about how the next president will stand in that regard.

Although I was always interested in American politics, I never did spend a lot of worrying time on my own country. For me, American greatness was a given. My freedom was a given, as was my opportunity for prosperity. Without a doubt, I mistakenly took the blessings of this country for granted.

All that changed, however, with 9/11.

After 9/11, I realized that even Americans could be at risk within our own borders. Say what you may about President Bush, but he did one heck of an excellent job protecting our country from further terrorist attacks, and as time passed, I began to once again relax regarding American safety at home. Consequently, I went back to my old ways of worrying about Israel.

Then Barack Obama became president. With his election, I inherited a landslide of new worries to molest me. I worried about a burgeoning deficit and national bankruptcy and government takeovers, with the added threat of a national health care debacle. I stressed about the demise of the American dollar and future inflation.   cringed with the anticipation of economy-crippling cap-and-trade legislation. I became vexed over ten-percent unemployment, Iran on the verge, the closing of Gitmo, Miranda rights and civilian trials for terrorists, and yet another stimulus bill on the horizon.

With all that is on President Obama's plate for me to worry about, is it any wonder that I have less time to worry about Israel? That, of course, is not to say that Israel is safer with Obama as president. To the contrary, just the opposite is true. When I do worry about Israel, the self-tormenting thoughts are darker than ever. Because of this president, I worry about the unprecedented behind-the-scenes arm-twisting and intimidation that I know is taking place. I am troubled by a presidential shadow that further isolates our loyal friend Israel in the ever-dangerous Middle East and emboldens her hostile neighbors. In addition, a president who, in my opinion, has made up his mind that he can live with a nuclear-armed Iran worries me to no end.

As the saying goes, "Worry is like a rocking chair -- it gives you something to do, but it doesn't get you anywhere." I might worry an hour a day but, that still leaves me with twenty-three hours that can be used in a positive and constructive way. 

Worrying about what Barack Obama is doing to America and our democratic ally and friend Israel is about as beneficial as an eight-hundred-billion-dollar Democrat stimulus bill. There is work to do. There are conservatives needed to lead the Republican Party and an upcoming 2010 Republican election for the taking. 

If I am going down, I'd rather go down fighting (than worrying).

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