I admit the title of this article is incendiary, but these are incendiary times — not just because the U.S. consulate in Benghazi has been torched and the embassy in Cairo attacked by Islamic fanatics protesting a movie no one ever heard of, let alone saw, but because, in the midst of this, the president of the United States declined to meet with the prime minister of Israel when Benjamin Netanyahu is in the U.S. next week for the convening of the General Assembly.
Not surprisingly, the White House has branded this a false report and — mirabile dictu in this election season — Obama did speak with the Israeli prime minister for an hour Tuesday evening.
Was this a hurried arrangement to avoid a public relations debacle for the president?
Most likely. The result was a fairly bland announcement by the White House. And we all know Obama despises Netanyahu. He said as much to Sarkozy on an open mike. Our president prefers the likes of the charming Russian leadership (also available on open mike) and the quasi-Islamist prime minister of Turkey who massacres Kurdish civilians and opposes the equality of the sexes.
But Netanyahu, like him or not, has a weight on his shoulders far greater than has the president of the United States. For the prime minister of Israel, it’s not the economy, stupid. It’s the preservation of his people. In other words, it’s genocide, stupid.
At the same time as Obama is refusing or not refusing to talk with Netanyahu, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is arriving in New York for his annual pilgrimage to the UN, once more undoubtedly to spew his propaganda before the world as the centrifuges continue to whirl back in Iran, bringing the Islamic Republic closer and closer to a nuclear weapon.
As we all know, the bien pensants at the New York Times and elsewhere think that this is natural evolution, that the Third World (okay, the developing world) will all be getting the bomb soon — that we should just learn to live with it and ignore statements of racial and national extermination made on a daily basis by the mullahs. They have to be kidding, right? It’s just a pose. No one would actually do that.
Of course, people did — and they were “civilized” Europeans — not so very long ago. And for Benjamin Netanyahu to ignore that would be criminal madness. No wonder, at this point, practically every Israeli, right or left, has lined up behind him on the issue. It would be insane to do otherwise.
Barack Obama, as we also know, has not. He has refused Netanyahu’s request for a nuclear “red line” beyond which Iran cannot cross, even though, without such a line, sanctions are meaningless. (Iran clearly treats them that way.) And, at least according the Jerusalem Post, Obama has continued this refusal in his latest conversation with Netanyahu, no matter how that was arranged. The resulting statement has no reference to it.
(BTW, isn’t it odd that Obama would suddenly be having a conversation with Netanyahu in the evening in D.C.? That would make it roughly one or two AM in Jerusalem, depending on when they started.)
In any case, this refusal is not in the slightest bit surprising. Obama, after all, is the man who had no discernible feeling for the brave democracy demonstrators in Tehran, abjuring them in favor of self-serving (and ultimately useless) dialogue with Ahmadinejad. The way Obama ignored the Iranian Green Movement is the most morally and emotionally disconnected act by an American president in my lifetime. Why should Netanyahu trust a man like that?
Which leads me to the incendiary part of this article.
I address it to my fellow Jews who are currently in the Democratic Party or supporting it.
How do you sleep?
I’m talking to you David Axelrod, Charles Schumer, and even you, Alan Dershowitz, who made such a big (and welcome) noise when Jerusalem, Hamas, and the “law of return” were left out of the Democratic Party platform for the first time in years and then went suddenly silent when only the first of the three was reinstated.
How about you, Rahm Emanuel, son of the Irgun and one-time volunteer with the IDF? How would you feel if a dirty nuke, slipped by the Revolutionary Guard into the hands of their buddies in Hezbollah, detonated on Dizengoff Street?
And then there’s Jack Lew, Orthodox and the president’s very own chief of staff, sometimes referred to as “The Gate Keeper” or “The Co-President.”
I could go on. There are so many more. But you get the point. (I deliberately omitted Deborah Wasserman Schultz in order to not be accused of attacking the cognitively challenged.)
Nasty words exist in the Jewish tradition for those who collaborated with the enemy during World War II. These people are not nearly as bad as that. Most of them are well-meaning though hidebound by a tradition dating from the time of FDR and earlier, making them emotionally unable to acknowledge the corruption of the Democratic Party, corruption that was made painfully apparent by the shouts of “boos” from the floor of last week’s convention.
But imagine those “boos” in another time and place… on the floor of the Reichstag in the 1930s or the floor of the Majlis last week… and you may not be so emotionally blocked, may not find it so easy to sleep, as I said.
So to my Jewish brethren: difficult times ahead. Time to make some tough decisions that call a lot of old assumptions into question. I know it’s not easy. But it’s necessary.