Where's the Outrage Among Liberal American Jews?
In a blog posted on American Thinker, Ed Lasky suggested that criticism of “Obama’s stance towards Israel has [finally] gone mainstream.” And while that may be true with regard to some in the mainstream media, I believe that mainstream liberal Jews do not recognize the harmful effects of Obama’s promised change to America’s relationship with Israel.
Lasky questioned where Obama’s Jewish defenders have been hiding, noting that:
Their silence is deafening and also says a great deal about their prior views and how they feel right now.
I agree that the silence of America’s Jewish population has been deafening with regard to Obama’s Mideast policy. However, I am concerned that the silence does not only indicate continued support for Obama and his policies. I fear that it also encourages Obama to continue his bullying of Israel, our staunchest ally and friend in the Middle East.
Obama’s recent awarding of the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Mary Robinson is a prime example of the deafening silence from America’s Jewish population. Jonathan Tobin, writing in Commentary, recognized the following:
But friends of Israel, especially those Jewish Democrats who have been doing their best to ignore the White House’s increasingly belligerent tone toward the Jewish state, would do well to note what happened this week. Obama honored one of the most virulent enemies of Israel. ... He has gotten away with it with hardly a scratch on his reputation. Though some will dismiss this incident as a mere blunder that will soon be forgotten, I doubt that Obama and his advisers will forget how easily they were able to dismiss a nearly universal Jewish dismay. …
If anyone thinks the administration can be deterred from taking future stances that are clearly invidious to the security of Israel, the Robinson episode may well have taught Obama that he can get away with anything when it comes to Jewish Democrats.
However, as an American Jew, I hope that Tobin is wrong. Obama’s actions to date do not reflect well on his approach toward Israel and the American Jews that helped elect him. With his first phone call to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, video to the Iranian people, speech in Cairo, appointment to senior positions of people with blatant hostility towards Israel, and linkage of the Iranian nuclear program with a cessation of natural growth in Jewish settlements, Obama has made it clear that he favors the Palestinians and will continue to do so even if it means the ultimate destruction of the state of Israel.
The State Department’s continual harassment of Israel over plans to build apartments in sovereign Israeli territory, plans to evict Palestinian families from homes illegally built in sovereign Israeli territory, and issues related to natural growth in the settlements has had the effect of empowering the Palestinians and convincing the world that the Israelis are the bad guys. P. David Hornik noted in FrontPage Magazine:
[T]his administration’s spotlighting of Israel as the alleged bad boy … causes unnecessary frictions in the relationship and does nothing to promote peace or U.S. interests, while continuing to chip away at Israel’s already badly maligned image.
However, the most critical decision of the administration to date is the announcement that Obama has agreed to face-to-face discussions with Iran, a dictatorship committed to Israel’s destruction. Obama has agreed to unconditionally accept Iran’s conditional offer to discuss everything under the sun except Iran’s nuclear weapons program, which it has proclaimed is non-negotiable. Bret Stephens writing recently in the Wall Street Journal questioned why the administration is taking every step possible to push Israel closer to war with Iran when it certainly is not in the best interests of either Israel or the United States.