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May 13, 2008
Obama's New Best Friends: Jews
Barack Obama wants to talk away some serious doubts the pro-Israel community has about the candidate's support of a strong U.S.-Israel relationship. Obama's anti-Israel advisors (some disavowed after public embarrassments) McPeak, Brzezinski, Malley, and Power, Obama's close association with pro-Palestinian activists Ali Abunimah and Rashid Khalidi, Obama's allegiance to Reverend Wright, Obama's reluctance to criticize Jimmy Carter's meeting with Hamas, the Hamas endorsement of Obama, and then the discovery that Obama's own advisor was engaging Hamas in talks are a few of the things that cause many Jews to lose sleep at the thought of President Obama.
As he did in his address to Cleveland's Jewish community leaders in February, Obama sought to reassure Jewish voters in his interview with Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic. Did his words overcome some of their trepidation?
First, Obama relied on a variation of the tried and true formula "Some of my best friends are Jewish."
Maybe he even likes bagels and lox when waffles aren't available.
Then he claimed "enormous emotional attachment and sympathy for Israel..." What did he do with this "enormous" attachment while he sat in church listening to diatribes of hate against Israel or at fund-raisers with pro-Palestinian friends? Did he hide his feelings then or now?
In a veiled reference to his anti-Semitic church, Obama bemoans
Maybe he does need to elaborate on why he contributed to that estrangement by not speaking up against the award his church gave to Farrakhan and by quietly acquiescing to Hamas op-ed pieces in his church newsletter.
Of course Obama pays lip service Israel's need to "preserve a Jewish state that is secure." And how do we know that he really means it?
Can he cite nothing that he has done? Are we to place six million lives (the current population of Israel) in his hands just because his Jewish friends defend him?
How reliable are these same Jewish friends when they are not taken aback by Reverend Wright's animus towards Israel?
So now the reader must question why a person with such admiration for Israel and so many Jewish friends would choose the most anti-Semitic associates. Obama gives a clue to why he distanced himself from his Jewish influences. When he started his political life in Chicago,
It was thus politically expedient to be less close to Jews and how better do that than by ingratiating himself to members of a powerful and anti-Israel church and Pro-Palestinian academics?
Obama claims that he has "been in the foxhole with my Jewish friends." Yet it seems that when members of the African-American community questioned his association with Jews, Obama did not come to the defense of his Jewish friends when they were cursed in his new social milieu. Of course, Obama sought those discarded friends when he started a serious run for political office. The question lingers of who will be dropped should the Senator become President.
So how does Obama really feel about Israel now that he has re-found Jewish friends? In response to a question if Israel is "a drag on America's reputation overseas," Obama says "no," but elaborates with "yes."
So Israel is the reason that there are jihadists threatening American security? If the problem of Israel goes away, will there be no more radical Islam?
Why does Obama think that he has a problem with the Jewish community?
That means it is the powerful Jews who demand blind adherence to a policy that is not in the best interest of the United States? Wait Barack! I think I have some new friends for you: John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, whose book The Israel Lobby makes the same accusations against Jews and others who do not want Israel forced into self-destructive compromises.
If his interview with Jeffrey Goldberg is the strongest case that Barack Obama can offer to allay the misgivings of the pro-Israel community, then the insomnia has only begun.