Sunday, March 1, 2015

Obama Insults AIPAC, American Jews

Michael L.

While the Obama administration seeks to delegitimize Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, directly before his upcoming speech to Congress this Tuesday - and just prior to his re-election bid - it also allowed rumors to swirl that it would boycott the AIPAC conference scheduled for this week.

Given that AIPAC is the single most important pro-Israel organization in the United States, to not send a high ranking official to the conference would be considered an insult to American Jewry, as well.

The much ballyhooed Obama boycott of AIPAC has turned out to be false, however.

The Obama administration is not boycotting AIPAC.

Obama intends to send national security adviser, Susan Rice and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, both of whom are high level Obama administration officials.   Rice, however, claims that Netanyahu, in the speech that he has yet to give, is "destructive of the fabric of the relationship" between the United States and its foremost Middle Eastern ally.  Power, on the other hand, has pondered aloud about the circumstances in which the US might be compelled to fight Israeli Jews on behalf of the Palestinian-Arabs.

In a piece for the Jerusalem Post, Michael Freund asks, Is Obama stirring up anti-Semitism?
This is a sure sign that not only does the Obama administration lack message discipline, but can barely conceal its unmitigated hostility toward the Jewish state and the man who leads it. Indeed, to decry a speech by a close US ally to the elected representatives of the American people as “destructive” is not only offensive, but it crosses the lines of diplomatic decency. It is the kind of remark that Israel’s enemies will be more than happy to exploit in an effort to paint the Jewish state, and Jews themselves, as undermining America.
I would argue that, in fact, Barack Obama is stirring up anti-Semitism and has been for years.

It is not that Barack Obama is himself, necessarily, anti-Semitic, but that his disdain for the Jewish State of Israel tends to justify the hatred of those who are.  By continually making unreasonable demands upon the Jews of the Middle East - such as that they not be allowed to build housing for themselves and their children in Judea and Samaria, the traditional homeland of the Jewish people, even within existing townships and villages - he helps create an atmosphere wherein anti-Semitism thrives and Jews around the world are put on the defensive.

To invite Susan Rice to AIPAC is a kick in the head to all of us who care about the well-being of Israel.  Obama is mocking AIPAC, if not American Jews, more generally, because now that he has won his second term there is little that we can do about it.

During the previous two presidential elections, American Jewry got down on its hands and knees and gave Barack Obama a big, wet smooch on the tush.  In response, Obama has turned around and, with a smile, kicked us directly in the teeth... but he has been doing that, more or less continually, in a variety of ways for many years now.

However counterproductive and false Susan Rice's views of Benjamin Netanyahu might be, she never discussed on camera the circumstances necessary for conquering Israel, as Samantha Power did.

The conversation took place entirely as a hypothetical in which she was asked, in the event that either side undertook genocide against the other, what should be the US response?

Needless to say, she automatically - and insultingly - assumed that the Jews would commit genocide against Arabs.

This is the exact question:
Let me give you a thought experiment, here, without asking you to address the Israel-Palestine problem.  Let's say that you were an adviser to the President of the United States, how would, in response to current events, would you advise him to put a structure in place to monitor that situation least one party or another be looking like they might, uh, be moving toward genocide?
Under such circumstances, she said, the US would need to "put something on the line," i.e., be willing to make hard sacrifices.

And what might putting "something" on the line mean?
Putting something on the line might mean alienating a domestic constituency of (giggles) tremendous political and financial import.
Power muses that the US would need "a mammoth protection force" in Israel.  It would have to be a "meaningful military presence" because "you have to put something on the line."

Obama chose Rice and Power precisely to send a message to American Jewry.

Were that not the case he would have chosen individuals who do not stir up hatred for Netanyahu and Israel, nor those who ponder aloud the circumstances under which the United States would have to militarily crush Jewish opposition in the Middle East.

He didn't.  Instead he chose Rice and Power... Power and Rice.

Clearly Obama was aware of the feelings of these close advisers before he chose them to represent his administration at the current AIPAC conference.  Given the manufactured hostility from Obama toward Netanyahu and, by extension, Israel, his appointment of Rice and Power to represent his administration at AIPAC 2015 could not have been accidental.

Obama is driving a wedge between American Jews and the Democratic party, while trying to drive a wedge between American Jews and the State of Israel.

The only question is, why?


  1. "Obama is sending these two because he only has a few years left to get his shots in"

    Actually, only 22 months. We're at least definite on that. Now whether the 115th US Congress and the 45th President will prove to be capable of acting any more grown-up than our current body / administration is another matter altogether.

    Looking forward to primary season, and I'm even fortunate enough to have Philadelphia politics to keep me busy this year. Our current mayor, Michael Nutter, who I like more than most Philadelphia politicians (rather faint praise, but praise nonetheless!), is term-limited. I was hoping for City Controller Alan Butkovitz to run, but he disappointed me by seeming to back out to make way for City Council President Darrell Clarke (who I do NOT like), who decided not to run after all. So now I'm all in for Jim Kenney, who seems to have the early edge at the moment.

    I'll be voting for the first Republican of my life in the Sheriff's race, if my neighbor Christopher Sawyer manages to make the ballot. Can't vote for him in the Primary, since we're a closed primary state, but if he makes the general he's absolutely got my vote. He's also not a 'real' Republican by any means, but in the two party system we have, the only way to smash the rotten machine (and the Philadelphia Sheriff's Office is possibly the single stinkiest part of that machine right now) is to take advantage of its soft parts. Like running candidates on the line of a party which essentially doesn't exist at the moment.

    A whole bunch of other fun stuff going on here to keep me occupied this year, segueing nicely into the 2016 election season. Good times for a political junkie like myself. :)

    1. I honestly feel bad for Jewish Democrats.

      I went through a long period of soul searching before I jumped ship.

      It's a very difficult thing.

      On the one hand, the Dems tend to be better, imo, on most domestic issues.

      On the other hand, what we are seeing - viz-a-viz Democrats and progressives - is a continuing erosion of support for Israel and, therefore, of necessity, toward Jews.

      I will remain an independent until the Republicans give me a compelling reason to join their party beyond Israel.

    2. I prefer to feel bad for a two-party system which has lived long-past its use-by date, myself.

      Yeesh, listen to me... I sound like the Nader voter I was in 2000 again! ;)

      It takes a lot to cross party lines anymore. My father was a lifelong Republican, until he voted for Kerry in 2004. He probably voted for Obama in 2008, but won't admit it. I know for sure he's been back in the Republican fold since 2010, though he despises NJ Governor Chris Christie. My parents and sisters are four of the thirteen Republicans in New Jersey. Heh.

      The extreme partisanship in the activist base of both parties is indeed the problem these days, I think we'd both agree.

      I really can't argue against your leaving our party due to the increasingly troubling stance on Israel that seems to be emerging from certain leaders and parts of the base. Me, I prefer to stay here and fight from the inside.

      It would be nice if there was somewhere else to go, but as you also note, the other side is currently very unpalatable on most other issues. I will personally NEVER stand with, or support, a party opposed to Labor, and one which accepts amongst itself Christian Right and anti-urbanist, anti-transit types, etc.

      Where have all the moderates gone?

      As for going independent, Pennsylvania is a closed primary state, and Philadelphia is a 90%-ish Democratic city. So even if I was inclined to become an Independent (which I'm not), I still wouldn't choose to unilaterally disenfranchise myself, since the only election that matters in this city is the Democratic Primary, anyway.

  2. Mike,
    Samantha Power is repulsive. And as we know Obama had to dump her from his campaign, but then of course brought her back aboard ship once he won. This, for me, was an early warning sign. Let's not forget about his house Republican, Chuck Hagel.
    Do you really think that the overwhelming majority of Jewish Democrats don't get Obama even at this late date? I do think the Obama team masked their intentions well from those who don't look too hard, i.e., most people.
    Upon reading your BTL comment after this really excellent article I must tell you that I'm about where you are. I no longer feel in my heart as part of a Democratic Party that sells out the Jews, yet I'm certainly no Republican either. The wilderness is a lonely place, but not unknown to our people.
    It takes a lot of chutzpah to screw the Jews and claim to be liberal.

    1. P.S. Delete the apostrophe in the first paragraph. It should read "Israelis," not Israeli's."

    2. Samantha Power is, by far, the single worst American government representative who has not yet visited an SS graveyard.

      There's still time for the Obama administration to prove that they have far worse humans than Reagan, I suppose.

  3. How many Hezbollah and Hamas flags you think will be at the Democratic convention in Philly next year? How many speeches on the main stage will praise Allah? And who will be the first one to call for rapprochement with ISIS who are clearly the victims in all of this? :

    To me at least it's like driving past a horrific car crash. You just can't look away. The Jews in the Democratic party are going to either have to publicly denounce their own faith and ethnicity or they're going to be kicked out of the party in a Soviet style show trial and the looks on their faces is going to be, well, it's going to be priceless.

    There's going to be a parade of speakers at the convention who openly call for a Jewish genocide.

    1. Well, that's a rather pessimistic view. I'm hopeful that party leadership will head back in a more reasonable direction. For somebody who likes to paint himself as the adult in the room, his administration sure has often taken a quite petulant and childish tone toward those who refuse to acknowledge his genius and awesome-sauce-ness.

    2. The last national political convention held here, the 2000 RNC nominating George W. Bush, was dubbed in some quarters "The Executioner's Ball," and was met with large protests, which were in turn met by a not insignificant amount of police skull-thumping and protest infiltration.

      John Timoney was chief of police here at that time, and he pretty much built his reputation and later career around that. He soon managed to turn it into a sweet gig down in Miami.

      Fun fact - he now works as a police consultant for Bahrain's interior ministry, where his tactics are smiled upon and given rather more free reign than here in the US.

      Anyway, I would note that the inside isn't the place to watch. The protests outside will be.

      You can bet I'll be monitoring any potential antisemitic 'anti-Zionist' rallies here. We've got an Israeli consulate in Center City, and Stand With Us opened an office here last year. Our Federation and plenty of other groups do a good job of keeping on top of things. Local progressive hero, and Democratic Pennsylvania State Senator, Daylin Leach, is a strongly pro-Israel Jew. During the war with Hamas last year, we crushed the Jew haters.

      There will be no worries in Philly, and we will not be nominating President Obama again, so that's another point in our favor.

  4. I see that Obama actually managed to lose the support of Politico on this. Politico. That's like Die Sturmer going rogue on Hitler. Once you lose Politico then you've descending into the paranoid swamp of insanity that can result in Caligula or Pol Pot.

    I'm thinking there's a terrorist attack on Congress tomorrow and it's run out of the White House operations room. Reichstag fire, here we come!