Well it looks as if President Obama is going to keep a promise. From his twisted Cairo speech of last June:
“…it is also undeniable that the Palestinian people-Muslims and Christians-have suffered in pursuit of a homeland. For more than 60 years they have endured the pain of dislocation. Many wait in refugee camps in the West Bank, Gaza, and neighboring lands for a life of peace and security that they have never been able to lead. They endure the daily humiliations-large and small-that come with occupation. So let there be no doubt: the situation for the Palestinian people is intolerable. America will not turn our backs on the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity, and a state of their own.”
True to his word Obama pushes this misguided understanding of the Middle East forward fully realizing that what he promises the Arabs of Palestine must be taken away from Israelis and Israel.
At the same time he’s moving this agenda forward he’s also constructing a narrative for political opposition to Israel inside the U.S. This gives him the cover he needs to move more aggressively against Israel. He aligns himself with groups like J Street, the new faux pro Israel organization created by George Soros and dedicated to changing the power equation of the Middle East; and he has gathered around himself the very people he disavowed during the election, when he was in the hunt for Jewish votes and approval. Once again, Rashid Khalidi, Zbignew Brezinski, and Robert Malley all are near the seat of power, despite their well known animus towards Israel.
The most recent statement of Arnaud De Borchgrave, president of United Press International (UPI), a once powerful international newsgathering organization, not only exhibits his normal venom towards Israel, but also echoes the views of the recently awakened anti Israel elements of our polity. Not satisfied with twisting the facts pertaining to the building of apartments in Ramat Shlomo, (wrongly calling this north of Jerusalem area “East Jerusalem”) and linking ‘settlements’ to the unrest that is endemic to the region, he finds it necessary to gratuitously disparage U.S. Jews calling them “armchair warriors” who have never “heard a weapon fired in anger.” This is the base dual loyalty charge that targets Jews and Israel, but not others. Arab groups – a disruptive element in our society as they continually push us towards adopting elements of Sharia law – suffer no similar accusations. I will remind myself of De Borchgrave’s inference the next time I visit a Jewish cemetery on Memorial Day, as I note all those American flags flying beside Jewish headstones. Many of those interred may not have heard “weapons fired in anger,” but many surely did. Those were the ones who brought home their scars and wounds from Europe, the Pacific, Korea, Viet Nam and Iraq.
Arnaud, however, isn’t the only one who seethes with resentment towards Jews and Israel.
At higher levels, the Jim Bakers, Lee Hamiltons and Brezinskis seem to be major influences once again on the direction of U.S. policy towards Israel. This while our Jeremiah Wright educated president handles the coarser particulars of that policy by rudely scolding Israel’s democratically elected prime minister at a White House meeting…then abruptly cutting it short by walking out.
All of this opposition to the Jewish State would be much less likely if America’s Jews spoke in a strong voice. Aside from the staunch friends of Israel in the Jewish and non-Jewish community, some former Obama backers have come forth and are critical of the president’s policy against Israel. Ed Koch, Elie Weisel and Abe Foxman to name a few. But we need to hear from more. We need to hear from the Reform movement, the Conference of Presidents and the many rabbis who unwisely used their pulpits to seek Jewish votes for Obama. In the absence of a strong Jewish voice, this administration can abuse Israel with impunity and further the interests of those who would harm her without objection.
Amid the turbulence whirling around Israel, a major survey released by McLaughlin Associates evidenced an awakening of concern over Israel amongst America’s Jews. The survey says Jews are starting to recognize the danger of their silence and are beginning to reshape their opinions. Conventional wisdom says that Israel as a concern has fallen lower on Jewish agendas, but we would note that this ambivalence was prevalent when Israel seemed safely secure and there was little strain in her relationship with the United States. Israel today is positioned quite differently and American Jews are becoming aware that Israel stands alone and in mortal danger. An active and vociferous Jewish community would help bridge the gap between a population of Americans who overwhelmingly cherish and support Israel and this country’s leaders who do not.
In pursuing his Middle East policies, President Obama is indeed keeping his promise to the Arabs of Palestine and Muslims around the world. Jews are similarly obligated to revive their promise to Israel by revisiting their commitment to her safety and security, and by dedicating themselves once again to her continued existence.