Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Barack Obama: The Accidental Anti-Semite

Mike L.

{Cross-posted at the Times of Israel and News and Views from Jews Down Under.}

Giulio Meotti is a rare bird.

He is one of the few prominent non-Jewish journalists who covers the Arab-Israel conflict and who is unabashedly pro-Israel, but he's not the only one.  The Jerusalem Post's Khaled Abu Toameh, an Israeli Arab, immediately leaps to mind, but there are very few others.

In a recent piece for Arutz Sheva entitled, Obama is Sacrificing Israel on an Iranian Deal Offer, Meotti makes a rather blunt statement.
"Obama's record against Israeli Jews is long and abundant. He is the most anti-Semitic US president ever."
I am someone who, having voted for Obama in 2008, became highly critical of his foreign policy, particularly around the Arab-Israel conflict, because the contradictions and tensions within his foreign policy were counterproductve and corrosive toward the well-being of the Jewish people in the Middle East.  For example, demanding a "total settlement freeze" ruined any possibility for a negotiated conclusion of hostilities, or even the easing of tensions between the Jews and the Arabs in the Land of Israel, during his first term.  His support for the Muslim Brotherhood, and the rise of political Islam throughout the Middle East as a matter of "democracy" was enough to make any semi-conscious human being want to empty their stomach in the wrong direction.

But, I have to say, while I have considered some of Obama's policies to be anti-Semitic, I never considered the man, himself, to be anti-Semitic.  The truth of the matter is that if Obama is anti-Semitic, he is an Accidental Anti-Semite.  One of Obama's most anti-Semitic policies is in his demand to end settlement activity among Jews in Judea and Samaria.  There are few things in this world, both today and historically, more bigoted against Jews than demanding that Jews be allowed to live - and thus build housing for themselves - in one place, but not another.  Obama's attitude concerning this, along with Mahmoud Abbas's attitude, very much smacks of medieval Europe in which the various princes and potentates felt free to circumscribe Jewish lives to particular areas of which they approved, which is to say, into the ghetto.

Obama's policy in regards the so-called "settlements," however, did not emerge in a vacuum or out of conscious malice for the Jewish people.  It emerged because the Palestinian Authority claimed that Jewish Israelis were stealing "Palestinian land" and because his American Jewish advisers agreed with Abbas that Israeli Jews must cease building housing for themselves on the land that the Palestinian Authority claims for its own.  This is why Obama called for "total settlement freeze."  He did so because the idea was given the seal of kashrut by his Jewish advisers who told him that the Jews in Judea and Samaria represented obstacles to peace.

Thus one of the foremost blunders of the Obama administration came upon the advice of his Jewish counselors.

Meotti writes:
Obama sees the Israeli Jews as “disturbers of the peace.” He wants to see them so disheartened that in the end they will choose not to fight, but to surrender.

Obama has become very dangerous for the Judeo-Christian civilizations and values. He backed Egypt's Islamist president Mohammed Morsi, who called Jews "apes" and "pigs", and appeased Iran's leaders, who want to incinerate the Jewish State and its people.
My, my.  Those are harsh words, aren't they?

Perhaps I am just too polite, but I don't think that I would go quite so far.  Of course, it is true that Obama backed Morsi and Morsi does call Jews "apes" and "pigs."  It's also true that Obama will not likely prevent the Iranian regime from gaining nuclear weaponry, although I am willing to hold out hope on that question.
Under the Obama Administrations, a malignant growth has raised its head: anti-Jewish legislation in Judea and Samaria, “the occupied territories”. By imposing a freeze on “settlement”, Obama's Trojan horse against the Jews, the White House sent Islamists the message that this is a right which the Israelis are willing to waive under threat (his) and force.
That's actually a very good point.  By imposing a "freeze" on settlements Obama sends the message that Arab anti-Jewish racism is well-founded and that, therefore, Arabs should not have to live among Jews in the region of Judea.  Did he make such a move out of disdain in his heart for the Jewish people?  I honestly do not think so.   He did it because he falsely believed that it was practical policy-making and the reason that he falsely believed that it was practical policy-making is because his pro-Israel Jewish advisers told him it was so.

If future historians conclude that Barack Obama was the most anti-Israel president in American history they will need to give considerable credit to his Jewish friends and advisers.  The problem with his Jewish friends and advisers is not that they are anti-Israel or, in any way, anti-Semitic, but that they yet labor under the Delusions of Oslo.  They still believe that the Palestinian Authority wants a state for itself in peace next to the Jewish one and that it is primarily the Israelis who are preventing any such outcome.

And that is how they turned Barack Obama into the Accidental Anti-Semite.

Giulio Meotti, unlike Barack Obama, is a good friend to both the Jewish people and to the Jewish State of Israel, but he is too harsh in his assessments because he focuses those assessments on Obama, himself, while giving Obama's Jewish advisers a pass.

Until such a time as American Jewish political leadership internalizes the truth that the problem is not with the minority Jewish population of the Middle East, but with the far larger, racist Arab majority, then we will continue to conjure up Accidental Anti-Semites, like golums, out of the imaginations of diaspora Jewish political kabbalists.

If Barack Obama is an anti-Semite, he is an anti-Semite mainly of our own creation.


  1. Meotti goes overboard often, and this is a prime example of same. Not only is the charge untrue, it's also completely unhelpful, if you ask me. There are much better ways to approach, and deal with, the issue...

    1. Meotti, whatever his intention, is widening the Overton Window.

      I think that we need to get comfortable with the fact that this demand, that Jews not be allowed to live and thus build housing for themselves on traditionally Jewish land, is racist on its face.

      It is a policy that tramples on the civil liberties and basic human rights of the Jewish people within living memory of the Holocaust.

      I cannot say that Obama holds contempt in his heart for the Jewish people - and my suspicion is that he does not - but, nonetheless, he has insisted on a policy that is racist towards Jews and that justifies the hatred of the great Arab majority toward the tiny Jewish minority in the Middle East.

      Part of the reason that he came to that policy is because both Jews and Arabs told him that it was good policy.

      I honestly just do not think that it is, Jay.

      They have us so convinced of our guilt, despite 1,400 years of persecution toward us, that we even tend to think that the very presence of Jews on Jewish land is a crime against the "Palestinians."

      That is how messed up the conversation has become on the western left.

      Am I wrong?

    2. I agree with everything you say here, Mike. My quibble is with calling the president of the United States an antisemite. Even if he was (which he isn't), it's a poor strategy, to say the very least. Not the least of which, is granting real-life vicious antisemites like Diane Gee the opportunity to screech things like "see, 'they' call us all antisemites,' etc etc...

      Let's call the antisemites antisemites, and let's call the idiots idiots, is I guess my point...

    3. Mr. Zell, an anti-semite you may well be.
      Nobody here was talking about Jews being superior - you made that claim yourself. We're talking about Jews having the same rights any other people is presumed to have - self-determination, the rights to life and liberty, the right to not be attacked or oppressed, etc.
      Israel's neighbors are trying to deny Jews of all of those rights. Many in the West support those efforts and criticize Israel for standing up for her rights.
      If you want to consider the occasions that Israel must fight back against terrorists who violate her rights as "crimes", and you want to smear Jews with the claim that their complaints can be dismissed because they're grounded in a supremacy attitude (which you made up), then it does not speak well for your intellectual honesty.
      A person who is biased against, for example, black people without any rational reason for doing so is a racist.
      And a person who is biased against Jews without rational basis is called...

  2. I have to say, I don't think that Obama is an anti-Semite in the sense that I do not believe he harbors ill-will toward Jewish people.

    But that's not the definition of the word.

    It's a matter of repeating certain tropes that have led to violence against the Jewish people. So, for example, when someone on dkos or the UK Guardian claims that "Zionists" control the media or the government to the detriment of the people, that is an anti-Semitic statement.

    I consider Obama the Accidental Anti-Semite in that he believes that he has the right - like some medieval prince - to tell Jews where we may, or may not, be allowed to live on Jewish land. That is, without question, an anti-Semitic stance, but I also believe that it is one that he adopted at the encouragement of his Jewish advisers.

    I blame them more than I blame him.

    But let's make no mistake. Demanding that Jews not be allowed to build housing for themselves in Judaea or Samaria is racist on its face.

    Obama capitulated to Arab anti-Semitism and did so on the advisement of his court Jews.