by Larry Greenfield
Before clicking Like of President Barack Hussein Obama, who seeks a public relations benefit on the eve of Holy Week and Passover, Israel and its supporters might consider how much Obama has UnLiked them to date.
Obama’s background, worldview, and policies make him no friend of the Jewish state.
Obama’s boyhood in Indonesia brought him to Islam, the religion of his controversial father, step-father, and half-brothers in Kenya, and he retains warm feelings toward the Muslim faith. Obama has fantasized wrongly that the American Founding Fathers read the Koran in sympathy, rather than for clues, during our military wars against the Mohammedian Barbary Pirates, who rejected peace entreaties from the infidel.
Americans proudly affirm religious pluralism, and admire Muslim reformers and moderates, but most insist on truth telling about the third Jihad, violent assaults on Americans at Benghazi, Al Qaeda’s resurgence, and homegrown Islamic terrorism at Fort Hood and elsewhere.
Obama has been in denial about all of this, and about the brutality of Sharia governance, the Islamic culture of oppression of women through honor killings and female genital mutilation, and the continuing Muslim assaults on Christians throughout the Middle East and Northern Africa.
Mr. Obama has not led on human rights, failing to act against Arab torture and slavery, or against the use of child soldiers. Dissidents desperate for moral clarity from the White House, in 2009, chanted in Tehran: “Obama, Obama, are you with us our our dictators?” Neda died, Obama denied.
So, while most Americans cherish Israel as a free, pluralistic, dynamic, and noble moral and strategic ally, Obama asserts a neutrality between the threatened Jewish state and those who reject the “Judaization” of Israel, and who fight an unrelenting war of terrorism, economic sanctions, and public abuse against the “Zionist”/“Apartheid” state.
From where does this mindset arise?
Obama received ideological training as a youth in Hawaii from radical communist, Frank Marshall Davis, who detested Western colonialism. Obama inhaled a virulent anti-Americanism that led him to attend Socialist conferences as a college student, and to seek out academic mentors like the late Orientalist Edward Said and the radical Rashid Khalidi, two impassioned Middle East specialists hostile to the Jewish state.
As a community organizer, Obama served on the Board of the Woods Fund of Chicago, which made large grants to Khalidi’s anti-Israel Arab American Action Network.
Earlier in his political career, Obama was close to another radical friend, Ali Abunimah, co-founder of the Electronic Intifidah, with whom Obama castigated Israel’s successful anti-terror security fence as “a wall dividing the peoples.”
Although Palestinian leadership for years encouraged and rewarded terrorists who butchered families, and blew up buses full of old women, discos full of young people, and Passover Seders that included American tourists, candidate for President Barack Obama counseled pro-Palestinian Abunimah that “I haven’t said more about Palestine right now, but we are in a tough primary race. I’m hoping when things calm down I can be more up front.”
During his campaign for President, in 2008, Obama publicly picked a fight with Israel’s center-right Likud political party, then out of power, but known for making past painful territorial compromises such as withdrawal of Israeli authority over the Sinai and Gaza.
Rarely do American politicians pick sides in the internal party politics of allies, but President Obama has been regularly hostile to and dismissive of Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, a leader robustly applauded across the American political spectrum by both the U.S. Congress and citizenry.
Agreeing with French President Sarkozy’s nastiness towards the Israeli leader, President Obama famously said: “I have to deal with him every day.”
Initial Obama foreign policy made the classic mistake of linking the Palestinian-Israeli dispute to larger U.S. foreign policy interests in the Middle East. By focusing on Israeli “settlements,” including second story apartment building in areas of Jerusalem that even many Palestinians never claimed as disputed territory, Obama essentially doomed possible peace negotiations. Vice President Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton then famously dressed down our ally over its own housing policies.
Once the Palestinians saw the Obama Administration beating up on Israel, they dismissed Netanyahu and re-continued educating their children toward hate, violence and traditional Palestinian irredentism.
Early in his first term, Obama visited Egypt, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia, offering effusive praise and bows. The downgrading of U.S. special alliances and friendships with England, Poland, the Czech Republic, and the people of Honduras, who opposed a would be dictator; the clamoring for engagement with U.S. enemies; the unreciprocated re-setting of relations with Russia; all sent signals of an end to the long tradition of American resolve in standing with close allies.
Islamists, authoritarian allies, and friendly monarchies in the Middle East all noticed Obama’s weak foreign policy. So did revolutionaries plotting their day in an Arab Spring.
In Cairo, Obama went so far as to draw parallels between Palestinian suffering and the genocide of the Jews of Europe. Obama abandoned centuries of American support for a restored Jewish sovereignty in their ancient homeland by adopting the Islamist narrative that the only reason for a modern Jewish state was recompense for the 20th century European Holocaust.
Note to Obama: Arab regimes were complicit in the Holocaust, and some state-run Arab media, madrassas, and mosques continue the Nazi campaign to this day.
Obama’s policy advisers have been a disaster for regional peace, security, and human rights. They encouraged the overthrow of U.S. ally Muburak, resulting in instability on Israel’s border and the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood, who have moved Egypt from peace partner to enemy of Israel, destroyed the Egyptian economy, oppressed Coptic Christians, and challenged over 30 years of U.S. – Egyptian political-military alliance.
Obama officials have argued in favor of the burka, for bringing terrorists to trial in New York, and for a Grand Mosque to be built near Ground Zero, site of the 9/11 destruction of the World Trade Center.
The recently confirmed CIA director calls Jerusalem, Al Quds. The new U.S. Defense Secretary opposed naming Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Council as terrorist groups, and claims U.S. foreign policy is dominated by the Jewish lobby. And the new Secretary of State continued a long history of foreign policy blunders by seeking engagement with Syria’s Assad, who has murdered tens of thousands of his own citizens.
The Obama Administration consistently shows respect for the United Nations, dominated by the Arab League and its third world allies, featuring selective demonization of Israel while ignoring human rights abuses by nations such as Sudan, Iran, North Korea, et al. The Obama Administration pressured Israel to answer to the kangaroo court that is the U.N. Human Rights Council, and did not act to support Israel’s admission to an international conference on counter-terrorism.
All of this only encouraged Palestinian efforts toward seeking unilateral declaration of statehood, violating previous agreements with Israel.
Obama’s Middle East policy has been to lead from behind, or simply watch stability collapse in the region. And, against Congressional will, to send unconditional monies to the Palestinians, massive amounts of monies and F-16s and Abrams tanks to the anti-American and anti-Israeli Morsi government in Egypt, and to sign off on the largest U.S. weapons sale ever to the Saudis.
The revolutionary Republic of Iran, the sworn enemy of the United States, funder of Hezbollah, and supporter of Hamas, combines eliminationist rhetoric toward Israel with a previously clandestine nuclear weapons programs. Yet, Mr. Obama has repeatedly sought engagement and negotiation with this regime, and watered down and waived Congressional sanctions.
Responding to Israeli hopes for allied unity, Obama advisers have kept Israel at arms length and leaked Israeli cooperation with Azerbaijan, on Iran’s border. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff publicly announced that the U.S. would not be complicit in any Israeli pre-emptive strike on Iranian weapons of mass destruction facilities.
Iran therefore fears neither a credible threat of military force, nor U.S. support for Israeli decision-making, making a military confrontation more likely as red lines are approached.
Israel is a nation surrounded by 1.4 billion Muslims in 57 countries, and some 400 million Arabs in 22 states. Israel is so small that it comprises half of one percent the land mass of the Middle East, with a mere .1% of global population.
But Israel has 8 borders to defend: Syria, collapsing into chaos and with potentially loose chemical weapons; Lebanon, home to Hezbollah which has a massive arsenal of delivery systems capable of reaching all of Israel’s homefront; Jordan, nervously eyeing Arab revolution and Syrian refugees; the West Bank, source of terror; the Gaza strip, source of terror; the Red Sea; the long Sinai Peninsula border with Egypt; and now Israel’s extended Mediterranean coastal energy assets off shore.
Israel has repeatedly made wildly imbalanced trades of committed terrorists for IDF soldiers, or even the dry bones of its dead warriors. Yet Obama publicly criticized Israel as not taking bold measures for peace, and insisted that Israel negotiate without any preconditions, such as Palestinian renunciation of terrorism and recognition of Israel’s very right to exist as a Jewish state. The Obama administration has encouraged Palestinian radicalism by advocating that Israel return to indefensible pre-1967 (1949 Armistice) borders.
Insulting American supporters of Israel, Obama declared, “For eight years [i.e., during the Bush administration], there was no light between the United States and Israel, and nothing got accomplished.” Obama suggested Israelis engage in serious self-reflection.
This lecture to a nation which has been repeatedly attacked, by multiple enemies who do not exactly follow humane rules of engagement, from a man with no executive experience, and no military background, and who called U.S. troops CORPSEMEN. How about some serious humility of your own, Mr. President?
Obama’s political team oversaw a 2012 Democratic Party convention whose platform removed previous language in support of Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital, against Hamas as a terror organization, and against Palestinian refugees right to return to Israel proper.
Obama’s Democratic Party has firmly abandoned the tradition of JFK, “Scoop” Jackson, and former Vice Presidential candidate Joe Lieberman.
In Israel, Obama will not speak at the Knesset (Parliament), for fear of being challenged by articulate Israelis who know their own history, and who seek to defend a population that is stunned and bruised by Obama’s leftism.
Instead, Obama will visit a gathering of university students, and receive an award from his ideological comrade, Israeli President Peres, who is reciprocating his own recent honoring at the White House. This is a cleverly orchestrated dance for those who applaud the Nobel Prizes won, without peace, by Shimon Peres, Barack Obama, and Yasir Arafat.
Obama doesn’t like the real Israel or its real, re-elected leadership. So he completely avoided visiting Israel during his first term. His visit now invites honesty about the mirage of friendship he will proclaim.
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