Obama's Jewish "Problem"
I just saw that, AJCommittee leaked a memo expressing unease with Obama’s candidacy.
The main concerns seem to have to do with Israel and Iran.
On Israel, Feuer, AJC’s Counsel for Special Projects and the author of the memo, says:
Obama “appears to believe the Israelis bear the burden of taking the risky steps for peace, and that the violence Israel has received in return does not shift that burden,” Feuer writes.
Friends of mine who have strong backgrounds in foreign affairs seem very comfortable with Obama’s stance on Israel. I personally find it more compelling than the seven-odd years Bush lolly-gagged around before stepping up to the plate. Obama rightly believes that Israelis and Palestinians have both erred substantially. Kudos to him for saying so when many, scared of the Israel lobby, blunted their criticisms for campaign dollars.
The memo also expresses concern about Obama’s potential approach to dealing with Iran, in the wake of a new National Intelligence Estimate, released in November 2007, which judged that the country had halted its alleged nuclear weapons program in 2003.
It seems the memo wishes he would interpret the NIE as evidence that we ought to invade Iran as well. Alas, it says Iran suspended its nuclear proliferation program several years ago. Obama suggested diplomacy before that report was released and still does. Again, Kudos to him. AJC, has the Iraq not taught you enough?
The other critiques involve friend-of-friend connections with Louis Farrakhan and an appearance at an event where Said spoke. I wonder if the Farrakhan issue has to do with race and the discomfort with leading black figures given the occasional fraying of Black-Jewish relations. Y-Love opined on this a few days ago. Alternative explanation for the Farrakhan angst: the resurgence of the bowtie threatens the direction the jewish haberdashery lobby has been pushing and Louis is a prime contributor.
Of course, most of us are familiar with the screed of an e-mail that has been widely disseminated insisting that Obama is an anti-semite, attended a madrassah, is a follower of radical islam, and various other lies. AJC to its credit signed on to a leteer expressing sadness at those e-mails and setting the record straight. Ruby K covered that last week.
I am curious whether anyone has seen poll numbers on Jewish prefernce in the Dem and Rep races for the presidential nomination. Nothing has crossed my desk on the topic.
Really, it seems like in addition to being AJC’s Counsel for Special Projects, Feuer is also their Counsel for Specific hatchet jobs. A sad moment in bigotry. In light of the e-mails going around the net, a major jewish organization taking pot shots at Obama after appearing to do the right thing and reject the anti-semetic claims is unconscionable and dirty. Let’s move on. Time for Feuer to provide a satisfactory explanation or resign.
Lastly, I suppose I should clarify that though I think this treatment of Obama is disgusting and have said as much, I am not sure who I will vote for on February 12th when DC residents get to vote. I am certain that if my vote comes down to israel-palestine (which is unlikely) Obama is likely to get it in spite of this AJC memo.