Where's the Outrage Among Liberal American Jews?
And if Israel is forced to act alone in order to prevent, or at least delay, a nuclear Iran (and it is certainly looking more and more likely that Obama has accepted the inevitability of a nuclear Iran), it is just as important to question whether Obama will back Israel up militarily with weapons supplies, intelligence, and deterrence (with cover in the UN Security Council, which will surely act to rebuke any strike). In an interview with FrontPage Magazine, Victor Davis Hanson suggested the possibility of just the opposite response from the administration:
Quietly [Israelis] must assume during the Obama tenure that the United States is no longer an ally in the same special sense as in the past, and thus not depend on American support for any of its initiatives. E.g., if Israelis feel that a strike against Iran is necessary for their very survival, they had better have a stockpile of spare military parts and supplies beforehand, and a sophisticated diplomatic and public relations reactive team ready. (You see I fear some in this administration want Israel to bomb Iran to at last give it the long-desired excuse to cut Israel loose entirely).
Furthermore, the situation for Israel is looking more precarious this month as the UN Security Council meets to discuss nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. The Gladstone Commission has singled out Israel for violations of international law in defending its citizens against Hamas attacks in Gaza during Operation Cast Iron last year. And the Obama administration has reneged on an existing agreement with its allies in Eastern Europe to provide missile defense. Thus, the decision to engage Iran on issues unrelated to its nuclear weapons program, coupled with this month’s events, does not bode well for Israel, let alone U.S. support of future Israeli defensive measures.
The real enigma is why liberal Jews find it an anathema to support their progressive values and Israel at the same time. Why must liberal values and support for Israel be mutually exclusive? American Jews did not have Israel at the top of their list of priorities when determining for whom to vote in this last election, but now that Obama is in office, I question their silent response to his clearly antagonistic approach to Israel. (A Pew Research Center poll conducted in January of this year indicated that almost twice as many conservatives as liberals sympathize with Israel in the Middle East conflict.)
One of the issues with which American Jews are concerned is racism. In particular, many Jews appeared to fall for the racism card prior to the election and continue to support the accusation by various Democrats and the biggest racist and anti-Semite of them all, Jimmy Carter. Those that do not blindly support Obama are racist. And yet with anti-Semitism on the rise and support for Israel decreasing the world over, it is unfathomable that Jews in this country remain silent.
Their guy is in office and just as he owes the unions, George Soros, and all of the other left-wing constituencies that voted for him, Obama owes American Jews more than just a meeting with the anti-Israel group J Street and a conference call with a carefully screened group of rabbis in which he presses them to plug his plans for socialized medicine in their Rosh Hashana sermons.
As I watch Americans of diverse socio-economic demographics come together to organize tea parties, protest at town hall meetings, and ensure that their voices are heard with regard to Obama’s destructive domestic agenda, I keep wondering when I will hear American Jews protest Obama’s Mideast agenda? While our president, who remains on a perpetual campaign tour, may not need the vote of American Jews any longer, he certainly has benefited from their financial support. American Jews need to ensure that their voices are heard and that they make it clear that the present policy emanating from the White House is unacceptable.
As Jews the world over celebrate the high holidays, I hope and pray that American Jews reflect on the events of the past year and the realities of the world in which they live. While the reformed rabbis that participated in Obama’s sales pitch in a conference call last month appeared to be asleep or intimidated at the time, I look forward to learning that instead of preaching liberalism to the choir that already blindly supports Obama’s misdirected policies, they choose to use their pulpit to address the dire situation for Israel and Jews globally.
As we listen to the sound of the shofar and usher in this New Year, I pray for the self-reflection by my fellow American Jews that will lead to their rekindled connection and absolute commitment to Israel.