Obama and Israel: Nothing Has Changed, Nothing Will Change

Amid the hoopla of the 2008 election campaign, when much of the world saw candidate Barack Obama as the very incarnation of the messiah, and some even openly proclaimed him so, the Israelis were not buying the narrative. Neither have they since.

Their skepticism was not to be disconfirmed. If Candidate Obama's embrace of the anti-Israel narrative of Rashid Khalidi or Edward Said was insufficient, there was President Obama's speech in Cairo, to which he insisted the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood be invited.

In this speech, Obama conveniently ignored the historic Jewish ties to the land of Israel and invoked the Holocaust as the reason for Israel's existence. Even the left-leaning Ha'aretz newspaper found this sufficiently objectionable to call for Obama to rectify his misleading statements.

This narrative, fashionable throughout the Islamic world and one that denies there were ever Jews in the land of Judea is now orthodoxy among the mindless, atheistic Left, with whom Obama shares ideological kinship.

To Obama, the Jews are intruders. Never mind that many of those who now call themselves Palestinians are descendants from Egyptian, Yemeni, Syrian, and other Arab families that migrated to the British Mandate of Palestine as returning Jews began developing the area in the 1920s. Where Jews began development, there was a strong influx of neighboring Arabs to meet the demand for labor.

Edward Said himself, as well as Yasser Arafat, were not Palestinians but Egyptians who falsified their birthplace.

The Arabs and their leftist allies make it appear that it was only after the Holocaust that Jews came to the land and had no connection with it. After all, Abraham was a Muslim as was Moses, and no amount of archaeological evidence will convince either the Muslims or the leftist allies that the Davidic dynasty actually existed.

Even the New York Times questioned the existence of the Jewish Temples -- later amended -- but never questioned whether Mohammed rose to heaven from the Al Aqsa Mosque on a steed that was half-human and half-animal.

Yet, the Arabs and their leftist allies fail to deal with the reality of the Arab migration to a land that was a mixture of swamp and desert transformed by Jewish immigration, the largest block of which were not Holocaust survivors but the Arab-speaking Jews, who were ethnically cleansed -- as the Christians are now -- from the Middle East.

Nurtured in a Muslim home, reared on leftist ideology, sitting at the feet of a minister who is a virulent anti-Semite, bonding with leftist Jews in his Hyde Park neighborhood, Obama comes to any negotiation about the Arab/Israeli conflict with a mindset that is no different from that of any Palestinian.

To Obama, the Jews are interlopers and deserve what the Palestinians give them. The Palestinians are the Kenyans of his forebears' struggle against the British. His mind is so wrapped in the dual culture of his maternal leftism and his paternal devotion to Islam that there is no way to break into it.

He really believes that it is the settlements that are the obstacle to peace, ignoring that before there was a single settlement there was no more peace than there is today. He ignores that the Palestinian leadership is both illegitimate and exploitative of the largess the international community provided to advance the economic interests of the Palestinian people.

The international community’s generosity has ended up in the personal coffers of Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas.

Obama's administration willfully ignores every form of Palestinian incitement, trying to find moral equivalence between Jewish victims of stab wounds and knife-wielding Palestinians.

Not since John Foster Dulles ran the Department of State have relations between the United States and Israel been at such a nadir. Obama's partisans will point out that arms sales to Israel continue, while ignoring that the vital strategic edge diminishes, that the Iranians are now free to acquire the world's most advanced weapons, and that arms sales to Israel are really a subsidy to American industry.

Obama strongarmed Netanyahu into apologizing to Turkey after its citizens tried to run a legal blockade of Gaza and some ended up dead as a result of a violent confrontation with Israeli soldiers legally boarding their ship. Yet, when Turkey recently and unnecessarily shot down a Russian aircraft, Obama closed ranks behind Turkey. There is not a remote chance, despite the dangers, Obama will compel Turkey to apologize to Russia.

As in 2008, Israelis understand who and what Obama is, while American Jews continue to refuse to acknowledge the reality before their eyes. Having voted overwhelmingly for Obama, not once but twice, the psychological dissonance is too great to acknowledge.

Obama's political socialization and ideology preclude him from ever being a friend of Israel. That is the inescapable reality that most Israelis understand now as they did in 2008.

Abraham H. Miller is an emeritus professor of political science at the University of Cincinnati, and a senior fellow with the Salomon Center for American Jewish Thought.