Sunday, August 22, 2010

Obama Is No Civil Rights Champion


by Caroline Glick


President Barack Obama would have us believe that his endorsement of the plan to build a mosque at Ground Zero is a testament to his firm belief in civil rights. In one of the White House's attempts to temper the furor elicited by his statement Friday night, White House spokesman Bill Burton said that it wasn't that the President was endorsing the mosque. It was simply a civil rights issue.


In Burton's words, "It is not his role as President to pass judgment on every local project. But it is his responsibility to stand up for the Constitutional principle of religious freedom and equal treatment for all Americans. What he said last night, and reaffirmed today, is that if a church, a synagogue or a Hindu temple can be built on a site, you simply cannot deny that right to those who want to build a Mosque."

This position would be defensible if it were genuine. But for the President's claim that he was moved to endorse the plan to build a mosque at a place where Muslims murdered nearly 3,000 people to be credible, then his devotion to the cause of civil rights would have to be absolute and non-discriminating. That is, for it to be credible, we would want to see evidence of him staking out similarly unpopular positions for other groups.

Take Jews for example.

Many people in Obama's own political camp take umbrage at the thought of Jews having the civil rights to exercise their property rights in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. They claim that Jews must be prohibited from building and even living in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria just because they are Jewish.

If the President was a real civil rights defender, he could be reasonably expected to call his colleagues out for their bigotry and roundly defend the rights of Jews to exercise their lawful rights.

But of course, the opposite is the case. Obama's signature Middle East policy since his first days in office has been his absolute dedication to the nullification of property and civil rights for Jews in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. Since his earliest days in office, Obama has placed massive pressure on the Israeli government to illegally abrogate the right of Jews as Jews to build on their private property in Judea and Samaria as well as Jerusalem. Obama coerced Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to take the unprecedented and legally dubious step of freezing all Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria nine months ago.

Netanyahu's freeze was for a ten-month period and is due to end next month. In anticipation of the expiration of the Jewish construction ban, Obama has again been placing massive pressure on Netanyahu to renew the prohibition on Jewish building.

As for JerusalemIsrael's sovereign capital city and the city that has been the core of Jewish religious and national identity for 3,000 years – Obama fomented a crisis of relations with Israel in March when the municipal planning commission approved a plan to build new homes in a Jewish neighborhood in the city.

It is impossible to square Obama's claim of devotion to civil rights with his rejection of Jewish civil rights in the Jewish state. Indeed, when you compare his willingness to endanger his party's electoral prospects in order to advance the construction of a mosque at Ground Zero with his willingness to destroy relations with Israel to deny Jews their property rights in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria it is all but impossible to avoid the conclusion that it is not the cause of civil rights that moves him. Likewise, it is all but impossible to avoid the conclusion that he is willing to take great political and strategic risks to advance the interests of Muslims against those of the American people and their stalwart ally Israel.


Caroline Glick

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.


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