by Caroline B. Glick
US President Barack Obama's warm endorsement of the plan to build a mosque by the ruins of the
Speaking during a Ramadan fast breaking meal at the White House to an audience of people affiliated with various Muslim Brotherhood- related groups in the
In his words, "As a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country. And that includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in
Of course, none of those who have voiced opposition to the mosque project at Ground Zero have claimed that the Islamic group behind the mosque project is acting unlawfully in seeking to construct a mosque. The nearly 70 percent of Americans who oppose building a mosque at Ground Zero oppose the mosque because they believe it is wrong to build a mosque at the site where less than a decade ago Muslims acting in the name of Islam murdered nearly 3,000 people in an act of war against the US and an act of terror against the American people.
Obama has been pilloried by his opponents for his position. And his fellow Democrats, facing the likelihood of massive defeats in the Congressional elections in three months, are reportedly deeply frustrated by his statements. Indeed, the uproar Obama's pro-mosque remarks has unleashed has been so harsh it raises the question of why he made it.
THERE ARE two possible explanations for Obama's move. Either he was motivated by politics or he was motivated by ideology. The view that Obama was motivated by politics is easily dismissed. With more than two-thirds of Americans telling pollsters they oppose the Ground Zero mosque project, it makes no political sense for a politician to strike out a position in favor of the mosque. Indeed, major Democrats have either refused to state a position on the issue or, like New York Governor David Paterson, they have recommended that the mosque builders construct their mosque elsewhere.
Perhaps Obama thought he could he could get away with making his statement. However, with his polling numbers consistently eroding, it is hard to imagine Obama's advisers would have told him that was a realistic view.
This leaves ideology. But what ideology motivates Obama to embrace such an unpopular initiative at such an explosive political juncture? Obama and his supporters would like us to believe this is a civil rights issue. In his defense of the Ground Zero mosque, Obama claimed his position was based on the American values such as, "The laws that we apply without regard to race, or religion, or wealth, or status. Our capacity to show not merely tolerance, but respect towards those who are different from us."
But if Obama is motivated by a belief in civil rights that is so strong it propels him to take on deeply unpopular causes in an election season, then one could reasonably expect that his support for civil rights would be absolute. That is, one could expect him to use the same yardstick for all groups, in all places and at all times.
But for Obama, there are some groups who must be denied the same civil rights he upholds as absolute in his defense of the plan to build a mosque at Ground Zero. As Obama has made clear since his first days in office, he believes that Jews should be denied the right to their property in
OBAMA IS so firm in his belief that Jews should be denied civil rights in
At the same time, Obama has insisted that
Next month the deeply discriminatory and legally dubious 10-month moratorium on Jewish building in Judea and
Obama claims to be embracing the nullification of Jewish civil right in the interests of peace. In his stated view, to forge peace in the
In a briefing with the Egyptian media last week Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas told reporters that no Jews will be allowed to live in a future Palestinian state. He also said that while he would agree to allow NATO forces to deploy in the future Palestinian state, he would not permit any Jewish soldiers to serve in the NATO units stationed on the territory of such a state. As he put it, "I will not agree that there will be Jews among NATO forces and I will not allow even one Israeli to live amongst us on the Palestinian soil."
The notion that an inherently anti-Semitic Palestinian state, predicated on Jew hatred that strong, could possibly live at peace with
SO THE ideology Obama holds so strongly that it provokes him to take positions antithetical to the political interests of his party during an election season is not civil rights. Rather it has to do with his commitment to advancing the interests of a specific group or groups over the interests of other specific groups. In the case of the Ground Zero mosque he prefers the rights of Muslims over the values of the overwhelming majority of Americans. In the case of the Palestinians, he prefers their anti-Semitic nationalism over the civil rights of Jews.
Obama's behavior tells
This lesson is particularly urgent on the eve of yet another round of direct negotiations with the Palestinians and as the freeze on Jewish property rights is about to expire. Obama's ideological fanaticism means that nothing
As Obama's media surrogates like Tony Karon at Time magazine have made clear in recent weeks, the anti-Israel narrative has already coalesced. Everything that happens regarding those negotiations is
What this means is that Netanyahu and his deputies must concentrate on defending
We are dealing with a self-consciously radical President who intends to remake the
Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East Fellow at the Center for Security Policy in
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