Obama and the Jewish State
In August 2008, then-Senator Barack Hussein Obama put forth a list of actions he had taken to support Israel in the U.S. Senate and the Illinois Senate. In light of Obama's consistent vacillations on so many important issues, it is worth considering how much of this list was pure political rhetoric and how much truly describes Obama's concern with the State of Israel.
The list maintains that in 2000, Obama said that "the US must be Israel's ally in her quest for peace and that 'Israel can take risks for peace only because of unwavering American support.'" More recently, in his 2014 State of the Union, Obama reiterated the need for a "lasting peace and security for the State of Israel – a Jewish state that knows America will always be at their side." But do his words match his deeds?
One needs to ask the president why he would permit State Department Jen Psaki to conduct a March 8, 2014 interview with al-Quds, a Palestinian newspaper, and assert that "[t]here is no need for the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state." Allies don't ask a country to surrender her existential focal point in order to appease an enemy.
In 2002, "Obama passed a resolution that condemned terrorist attacks against Israel." In this resolution, Obama agreed that "[m]embers of the Illinois State Senate support the policy of the United States government in resisting terrorism throughout the world[.]" Yet this president refuses to call terrorism by its name and instead uses "man-caused disasters" to describe horrific acts of terror. Furthermore, the Obama administration eased restrictions on immigrants with ties to jihad terror groups. And what of the Christian persecution that emanates from the Muslim world – the world that is supposed to make peace with Israel? This YouTube video highlights the hatred of this Islamic world.
Is this the same Obama who tells Israel to accept Holocaust-denier Mahmoud Abbas as a peace partner and threatens Israeli president Netanyahu by claiming that if the latter fails to "make peace" soon with the Palestinians, Israel will be rendered "more isolated internationally"? Is this the same Senator Obama who never calls out polling data that indicate that "46.8 percent of Palestinians say that "they will never recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people[,]" with "4l.1 percent assert[ing] that they support a full return to armed violence against Israeli Jews"?
In 2004, as reported in the Chicago Daily Herald, Obama said that "[America's] first and immutable commitment must be to the security of Israel." Yet, in his July 2008 speech in Berlin, when he spoke of the need to "dismantle the [terrorist] networks that have struck in Madrid and Amman; in London and Bali; in Washington and New York[,]" he made no mention of Israel. Furthermore, why does Obama's Secretary of State John Kerry continue to squeeze the Jewish state to make a deal with the Palestinians? There is no let-up to the one-sided demands.
Caroline Glick has written that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry tries "to extort Israeli concessions to the PLO by threatening [Israel] with a Western economic boycott." There is, in fact, the clear understanding from Obama's supporters that "if they escalate their economic and political persecution of the Jewish state, their actions will be met with quiet understanding, and even support from the Obama administration."
If Obama previously claimed an "immutable commitment" to Israel's security, why does he surround himself with people who make public their anti-Israel and anti-Jewish sentiments? Consider:
- Obama's support of Derrick Bell, who has stated that Louis Farrakhan types should be appreciated; Merrill A. McPeak, co-chair of Obama's 2008 campaign who believes the canard that "Jews control the government"; Sen. Chuck Hagel, who has asserted that "the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people"; and Khalid al-Mansour and Al-Waleed bin Talal, both of the anti-Semitic Nation of Islam.
- President Obama's talking heads refusing to publicly acknowledge that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.
- The line-up of "Israel bashers who boasted that Kerry would "face down" Israel and AIPAC.
- Nary a word from this President about the "provocative statement by Palestinian Authority Minister of Religious Affairs Mahmoud Al-Habbash" who has said that "any peace agreement reached with Israel is just the first step towards defeating Israel[.]"
- Obama welcoming declared enemies of Israel and America to the White House. El Watan, one of Egypt's most widely read newspapers, discusses the Muslim Brotherhood's influence over this administration. Steve Emerson and John Rossomando ask, "[J]ust how far is the Obama administration willing to go to court the Muslim Brotherhood both at home and abroad?" Consider that Yusuf Qaradawi, who has called for the killing of Jews and Americans, met with senior Obama administration officials at the White House on June 13, 2013.
- Robert Malley, a foreign policy adviser to Obama who advocated negotiations with Hamas and provided international assistance to the terrorist group.
- Samantha Powers, Obama's choice for ambassador to the UN, who, in 2002, recommended "installing a U.S.-led military occupation of Israel" when "Israel was defending itself from the Palestinian terror campaign of the second intifada."
- Obama's close ties with George Soros's Center for American Progress (CAP), whose group's Middle East progress director Matt Duss wrote in 2010 that "the entire Israeli occupation" of the Gaza Strip is a "moral abomination." This, despite the fact that Israel had vacated the Gaza Strip in 2005.
In 2006, Obama "cosponsored and passed the Palestinian anti-terrorism act which would discourage international aid to Hamas unless it recognizes Israel, disarms and renounces violence." Yet Investor's Business Daily (IBD) documented in November 2012 how "Hamas rocket plus mortar attacks on Israel have increased each year since Obama took office." IBD credits this to Obama having given Hamas "every reason to feel it can act with relative impunity." Recall that Obama "defied Congress and unfroze $147 million in aid to the Palestinians" and "some 600,000 Gazans now receive nearly $100 million worth of USAID assistance (even though they voted into power a U.S.-designated terror group)." It is now "clear that as much as 45% of U.S. and other foreign aid to Gaza and the West Bank is diverted to fund terrorism and buy rockets, mainly from Iran."
And in June of 2010, after the Mavi Marmara incident, Obama offered to send an "extra $400 million in 'humanitarian aid' to the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza Strip" even though anti-Israel activists worked in concert with the Turkish organization known as the IHH, which has ties to Hamas, al-Qaeda, and the Muslim Brotherhood, all of whom collaborated with the Free Gaza Movement.
And despite "Israel's acceptance – in principle of a Palestinian state, its readiness to negotiate[,]" and its historical surrender of land for peace, Obama maintains that Israel has made no "bold gestures" for peace. On May 18, 2011, Obama called for a return to the pre-1967 borders, often referred to as "Auschwitz borders."
So which Obama do we believe? Is it the man who claims that he tries "not to pat [himself] too much on the back – but [his] administration has done more in terms of the security of the state of Israel than any previous administration" or the one who, in fact, emboldens the enemies of Israel?
Eileen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.