Politics

Obama's Jewish "Problem"

obama kipah
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.
On Iran:

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.

25 thoughts on “Obama's Jewish "Problem"

  1. > Friends of mine who have strong backgrounds in foreign affairs seem very
    > comfortable with Obama’s stance on Israel.
    So what. Other friend of mine comitted suicide by overdosing or jumping from tall buildings. Would I take there advice? No, sir.

  2. Obama (and most politicans) change their “view” based on what their strategists say will get them elected.
    And when the politicians are elected, the only thing they care about is getting re-elected.
    The only people who REALLY care about Israel are Christians and Jews who believe that GOD wants them to support Israel. They won’t sell that out, even to get elected.

  3. The only people who REALLY care about Israel are Christians and Jews who believe that GOD wants them to support Israel.
    Unfortunately, they don’t actually support Israel — they support their own outsider’s ideas about what Israel should be [doing].
    Remember how fast the “Godly” supporters of Israel disappeared when the Israelis starting pressing the peace process forward?

  4. Oy, more bullshit about the “israel vote”. The funny thing is, that aside from Super Jewy insiders, like the folks at AJC, and a segment of the grandparents generation, most Jews are NOT actually single issue voters, for israel or anything else. This is even more true of the youngest generation of voters. The “jewish vote” from actual Jews, not the communal “leaders” actually looks very much like the white liberal vote, a demographic among which Obama does very well. So, we’ll see how this all plays out. I think it has more impact on image and rhetoric than actual voting patterns, but perhaps this is just my wishful thinking that the amcha are actually smarter than our esteemed leaders give them credit for,

  5. The Jewish vote is not actually about votes so much as funding and unfortunately, the old, more praticularistic Jews, have an outsized portion of the dollars in the democratic party.
    Dave, are the friends you referenced expert in suicide prevention and structural engineering?

  6. Chorus of Apes-
    it’s the white educated liberal vote- amongst uneducated whites, hillary beats obama substantially.

  7. zt,
    I was just referring to the notion that from your US-centric point of view it is always the Israelis who have to make concessions – even if that means suicide.
    I don’t know about your geographic knowledge, but there is not really much space here for “risky steps”. Sorry, it’s a fact. And the rockets from Hamas controlled Shomron would hit Leftist and Rightist, Secular and Dos – bombs and terror don’t care for your political ideas or your religious believes.
    This is also true for counter attacks on terrorists like Hamas, of course. A lot of Arabs here suffer because of their murderous brothers. It is not good. But the way Israel is dealing with it, is arguable the lesser evil – to ignore it and to cave in to the exterminatory ideology of the Islamists would certainly be much much worse.
    So, until a sound defense and deterrence concept against attacks like those from right now Gaza is installed, this talk about ‘risky step’ is like advising an ill patient to commit suicide now instead of enduring further suffering.

  8. Dave, though i don’t agree with your notion of what constitutes a “fact” this is an argument worth responding too. Thanks for clarifying.
    Firstly, Obama’s record on israel is not substantially different from HRC’s. Secondly, any resolution over there will require some risks and no resolution is probably the riskiest outcome of all. The money being pored in to the broken apartheid system is crippling Israel’s, otherwise very promising, economy and the hard-boiled fear and anger is going to likely infect another generation of children.
    Golda Meir is said to have said that there would be peace when Palestinian parents loved their children as much as they hated ours. Whereas that may be true, the underlying sentiment that the hatred of peoples and constructing “facts” around fear of what they would do is the greatest roadblock of all. Palestinians do it and israelis do it.
    If we must continue the forced separation of the West Bank, let’s at least welcome settlers back to israel, build some economic engines, and hospitals so the checkpoints will stop killing people en route to the ER. If settlers don’t want to come home, fine, but tzahal shouldn’t put israeli men and women in harm’s way to protect them. Israel can be safe without morally and economically bankrupting herself.

  9. Bears, Jews, on the whole, are more educated than other whites, so your point reinforces mine.
    (oh, if only you were really the kind of “bears for Israel” that I want to see (though admittedly I would want those hairy hunks to be bears for Israel and Palestine).)

  10. Lost amidst the deep analysis of the precise “blackness” of Bill Clinton has been any examination into where the foreign policies of Hillary and Obama differ.
    Of course both Hillary and Obama’s foreign policy will differ from W’s, but the more interesting question is how it will differ from the first Clinton Administration, especially considering who is staffing their campaigns. On Israel, the most revealing question would be a candid analysis of why the candidates think Oslo failed and where the Clinton administration’s supervision of the process led to that failure.
    Who in the Clinton administration decided that photo ops should take precedence over institution building? Who decided that accountability over the funds given to the PA was a luxury rather than a necessity? Who thought that forcing Israel to sweeten its deal at Taba in the face of a wholly non-spontaneous 2nd Intifada was a good idea? Have they learned from their mistakes? If not, I certainly don’t want them in charge of the next effort to secure a Israeli-Palestinian peace.

  11. Does appearing at an event where Edward Said spoke preclude one from winning Jewish votes?
    Did I miss that part of the manual on being a Jewish voter in America?

  12. zt,
    what “broken apartheid system” system. I doubt you have ever been here. Israel is not just the Shomron but also Tel Aviv, Jerusalm, Haifa (where I live). Sorry, I don’t see any apartheid system here. You must have smoked from Jimmy Carter’s crack pipe.
    But I am not blaiming you. Probably you are being fed this BS by the media. Come, see for yourself. Actually you can meet people here who are in the Knesset and who call for the destruction of the Jewish State. You can meet people who live their own little Sharia state. You can meet all kinds of freaks.
    There is room for improvement about how Israel treats its citizens in general. There is room for improvement, no question. But “apartheid system”? This is arrogant and otherworldly trash you are taking, my friend.

  13. dave says:
    Israel is not just the Shomron but also Tel Aviv, Jerusalm, Haifa (where I live). Sorry, I don’t see any apartheid system here.
    If there’s no apartheid system in Haifa, then he probably wasn’t talking about Haifa.

  14. Since most American Jews are pretty much smarter than, say for example, out troll friends here, I’d say that “defending” Obama in the eyes of the Jews here is largely superfluous. It’s the moron-American “Christian Zionist” population we’re worried about here – the ones who “support” Israel with self-destructive policies. Thankfully, most of them aren’t Democrats, so there’s no need to worry about Obama losing any traction over Israel in the primaries. It’s only when he gets the nomination do we have to worry.

  15. Dave,
    Saying there is no apartheid system in israel because it isn’t present in Haifa is a little bit like saying you know that the ice cream container you just took a scoop from isn’t neopolitan because the scoop you got was only strawberry.
    A common definition of apartheid is a system resembling the one in South Africa typified by “segregation and political and economic discrimination”. It seems pretty clear that the status of the west bank is a pretty clear case of an apartheid-style relationship. The economy is crippled by a system of roadblocks which inhibit the flow of good services. The area is controlled by Israel though it’s Arab (non-Jewish) inhabitants are refused voting rights while it’s Jewish inhabitants have voting rights, receive military protection, government subsidies, and first water access. Oh yeah, and Arab folks in the area are generally refused building permits on land they have lived on for a generation or two, sometimes hundreds of years. The case seems pretty clear, no crack needed to put it together.
    This is not just an issue of shomron. Take a look at BZ’s factually based(though satirical) analysis of metropolitan jerusalem: http://jewschool.com/2007/11/27/breaking-news-jerusalem-divided/
    now, though i probably shouldn’t, a brief response to the marginally connected ad hominem attack: I spent time in Israel in 86, 94, 99, and 05. This may not make me an expert but I certainly have been in most major cities (never eilat), the shtachim, and 6 or 8 kibbutzim (spent the most time at Urim). So, no, i didn’t get my view of the role of settlements and the west bank from the media so much as seeing them first hand.

  16. And let me preempt a likely response to ZT by noting that “apartheid” is not a synonym for “bad”, and therefore explaining why you think these Israeli policies are necessary or justified is a complete non sequitur if you’re attempting to show that these policies do not constitute apartheid.
    Personally I happen to think that apartheid is bad, but that’s not inherent in the meaning of the word; many people in South Africa thought it was good. If you think apartheid is bad, then you may want to give the territories a second thought. And if you still think the policies in the territories are justified, then stand up for your convictions and say “I think apartheid is sometimes justified”, rather than “This is not apartheid (and anyone who says otherwise hates Israel)”.

  17. B.BarNavi writes:
    It’s the moron-American “Christian Zionist” population we’re worried about here – the ones who “support” Israel with self-destructive policies. Thankfully, most of them aren’t Democrats, so there’s no need to worry about Obama losing any traction over Israel in the primaries. It’s only when he gets the nomination do we have to worry.
    Most of them would have voted Republican in the general election anyway.

  18. THE fix for his problem is for Obama to concern himself with the USA. I’m trying to vote for the president of the USA, not Israel.
    What would you say if your father was always at your neighbor’s house, fixing their water faucet, their gun fights, sending your brothers to die for them and cheating your mom out of money to the point where you couldn’t afford healthcare and your home spiraled to shambles?
    Then one of your brothers ask your father to stop… but both your dad and the neighbor call you a terrorist, or an anti-semite. (an accusation which is seen as a sin by even your mom).
    That’s the world we live in here in the States. Not even God can change that, because it’s reading his Word that has made us believe daddy’s actions are those of a good Christian.
    Now come the psuedo-intellectual, claiming we can’t leave the Middle East alone else we perish, too.
    My friends. It’s a good show, but the David Copperfields in the White House must be exposed; someone has to think rationally and yell that the bunny didn’t really appear from the hat.
    Fear will always keep us in the Middle East. Fear propagated in everything you read, yet refuse, if for your own security’s sake, to CONSIDER whether we are being used as pawns, here.
    If you will not take that into consideration, then please contact me. I’d love to trade bonds with you!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.