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?