Jews can’t vote for Obama and be pro-Israel at the same time

By Ted Belman (July 22/08)

In the poll of Jewish voters (conducted April 1-30), it showed Obama getting 61% of the Jewish vote against John McCain (32%). Yet in the same poll Hillary Clinton beat Obama among Jewish voters 62% – 38%. So obviously Jews are lifelong democrats who will vote for Obama, whom they rejected in the primaries, rather than vote for McCain. Thus, for them, party loyalty is preferable to Israel loyalty.

Recently I posted two articles by Yarom Ettinger, former Israeli Ambassador to the US, The Prospects of a Palestinian State and National Interests of the United States and It’s American interests, stupid, both of which clearly demonstrate that keeping Israel strong is to keep America strong. Thus to be pro-Israel is to be pro-America.

Now some would argue that most Jewish Americans are not one issue voters but they must realize that to favour a basket of issues or the Democratic Party above favouring Israel, makes them less pro-Israel and thus less pro-American. This I am sure will get howls of protest from the J-Street Lobby which represents progressive Jewry, who would have you believe that by forcing Israel to capitulate, they are acting in the best interests of Israel and the US. I hope you don’t buy their thinking. These articles fly in the face of such thinking. Consider them carefully it is important.

While most Jews favour Obama in a run off with McCain because he is a Democrat, they ignore how pro-Palestinian and anti-American he is.

Let me list the ways.

    – Obama said “Nobody is suffering more than the Palestinian people,”

    – Obama said “If there is an Arab American family [in the US] being rounded up without benefit of an attorney, those are my civil liberties!”

    – Everyone on Obama’s foreign policy team, McPeak, Hamilton, Kurtzer, Brezezinski, are anti- Israel and The Israel Lobby. Their policies are closely aligned with Carter’s and Baker’s.

    – Obama has been in bed with Jew haters and Islamic jihad for years. Farrakhan and his dear friend Reverend Wright, Obama’s spiritual guru, is a vile Jew hater.

    – Obama is the first Presidential candidate endorsed by Hamas. He is the toast of the Islamic world. Obama’s church posted a Hamas manifesto.

    – Obama has been endorsed by William Ayers (Weatherman Underground bomber, unrepentant domestic terrorist) (Member Communist Party USA, Early mentor to Obama) Jeremiah Wright (Black Liberation militant, racist, and Pastor) Tony Rezko (Corrupt Financier, ties to Terror Financing) Louis Farrakhan (Nation of Islam Leader, racist, anti-American) Hamas Terrorist Organization (Islamic Terrorist Organization) Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades (Islamic Terror Irganization) Raila Odinga (Fundamental Islamic Candidate, Kenya, Obama’s Cousin) Daniel Ortega (Marxist Sandinista Leader. Nicaragua Raul Castro (Hard-line Communist Leader, Communist Party Illinois (US Communist Political Party) Socialist Party USA (Marxist Socialist Political Party) The New Black Panther Party (Black Militant Organization, anti-American and racist Mosques are preaching for Obama (muslims vote inshallah!)

    – We know from this blog entry by the pro-Palestinian blogger Ali Abunimah at The Electronic Intifadah, that Obama has moved to a move pro-Israel position as his national aspirations developed. “The last time I spoke to Obama was in the winter of 2004 at a gathering in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood,” Abunimah writes. “He was in the midst of a primary campaign to secure the Democratic nomination for the United States Senate seat he now occupies. But at that time polls showed him trailing. “As he came in from the cold and took off his coat, I went up to greet him. He responded warmly, and volunteered, “Hey, I’m sorry I haven’t said more about Palestine right now, but we are in a tough primary race. I’m hoping when things calm down I can be more up front.’ He referred to my activism, including columns I was contributing to the The Chicago Tribune critical of Israeli and US policy, ‘Keep up the good work!”

    – Ralph Nader agrees.“(Obama) has run a brilliant tactical campaign. But his better instincts and his knowledge have been censored by himself….He was pro-Palestinian when he was in Illinois before he ran for the state Senate, during he ran–during the state Senate.”

    – Obama served as a paid director on the board of a nonprofit organization that granted funding to a controversial Arab group that mourns the establishment of Israel as a “catastrophe.” (Obama has also reportedly spoken at fundraisers for Palestinians living in what the United Nations terms refugee camps.). The co-founder of that Arab group, Columbia University professor Rashid Khalidi, is a harsh critic of Israel who reportedly worked on behalf of the Palestine Liberation Organization when it was labeled a terror group by the State Department. Khalidi held a fundraiser in 2000 for Obama’s failed bid for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

    – Ten years ago Obama went to a pro-Palestinian dinner at which Edward Said was the guest speaker and they sat at the same table.

    – Obama employed and continues to employ several Farrakhan acolytes in high positions on his Illinois and U.S. Senate campaign and office staffs.

    – Obama very recently and previously referred to the “cycle of violence” in the Middle East. He thereby equates Arab criminal violence with legitimate Israeli self-defence.

    – Obama’s Church reprinted the outrageous claim that Israel planned an “ethnic bomb” to kill blacks and Arabs.

All items listed above cannot be characterized as a smear as they are all true.

How can Jews ignore all this or dismiss it as inconsequential? I don’t get it.

ADDENDUM ( found this article after writing mine.)

A Curious Kind of Friendship; Barack Obama’s dubious record on Israel

MARK HEMINGWAY, NRO

On April 21, Barack Obama found himself at a diner in Scranton, Pa. The Illinois senator hadn’t been available to the press in ten days, so a reporter approached him.

Perhaps Obama was in a bad mood because he foresaw a drubbing — the next day, Pennsylvanian primary voters went for Hillary. Or maybe he just didn’t like the reporter’s question: “Senator, did you hear about Jimmy Carter’s trip? He said he could get Hamas to negotiate.”

Looking down at his breakfast, the senator snapped back, “Why can’t I just eat my waffle?”

The week before, two important things had happened. One, Obama had declined to condemn Carter’s meeting with Hamas, though Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had opposed the trip. Two, the Palestinian terrorist group took the unusual step of endorsing him. When asked about the endorsement, Obama’s chief strategist, David Axelrod, was flattered that Hamas compared his candidate to JFK: “We all agree that John Kennedy was a great president, and it’s flattering when anybody says that Barack Obama would follow in his footsteps.”

Republican nominee John McCain quickly took note. “We need change in America, but not the kind of change that wins kind words from Hamas,” he said.

The day following Wafflegate, Obama told the press it was a “bad idea” for Carter to meet with Hamas, as it gave the group “a legitimacy that was unnecessary.”

It’s understandable that Obama would rather do just about anything than talk about the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. Questions about Obama’s support for Israel have percolated in Jewish publications and elsewhere for more than a year, and now they threaten to spill over into the mainstream media. In March, speaking to reporters in Texas, Obama defended his record: “Nobody has ever been able to point to statements that I made or positions that I’ve taken that are contrary to the long-term security interests in Israel and in any way diminish the special relationship we have with that country.” Trouble is, this claim is simply not true.

Obama has been battling the perception that he is insufficiently supportive of Israel since last year, when he told the Des Moines Register, “Nobody is suffering more than the Palestinian people.” An Iowa Democrat and member of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), David Adelman, called Obama’s comments “deeply troubling.” Obama claimed the remark was taken out of context, but the Politico noted that talk of Obama’s comment was one of many reasons that a “real, if kind of inchoate, skepticism” dominated discussions of Obama at AIPAC’s annual policy conference in March of last year.

Whatever the context of that specific remark, many subsequent revelations have given ample reason for skepticism: Obama has repeatedly claimed to support Israel, but his record doesn’t jibe with his rhetoric. Last year, he announced he would vote against an amendment in the Senate declaring Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps — which has long supported Hezbollah terrorists and otherwise abetted the murder of Israelis — a terrorist group. The resolution passed 76–22, with the support of Hillary Clinton, Illinois senator Dick Durbin, and a host of other reliable liberals. Obama missed the vote while campaigning in New Hampshire, but he attacked Clinton on the issue, saying the non-binding amendment might exacerbate tensions with Iran.

What’s more, his life is marked by ties to anti-Israeli causes. A recent report in the Los Angeles Times detailed Obama’s close relationship with Rashid Khalidi, a professor of Arab studies at Columbia University. In the late 1970s Khalidi worked with WAFA, the official news agency of the Palestinian Liberation Organization; during this period, the PLO and its factions
engaged in acts of terrorism. In 2005 Khalidi gained national attention when he argued that, under international law, Palestinians have a right to violently resist Israeli occupation.

While teaching at the University of Chicago, Khalidi co-founded the Arab American Action Network (AAAN), an organization with a history of churning out anti-Israeli propaganda. AAAN’s current projects include “The Arab American Oral History Project.” The group’s website asks, “Do you have photos, letters or other memories you could share about Al-Nakba-1948?” “Al Nakba” translates as “the catastrophe,” and 1948 is the year in which Israel became a
state.

Khalidi held a fundraiser for Obama’s failed congressional bid in 2000, while Obama was a state senator representing the liberal Hyde Park area of Chicago. In 2003, Obama attended a tribute dinner for Khalidi where, according to the Los Angeles Times, a speaker likened “Zionist settlers on the West Bank” to Osama bin Laden.

The largess flowed in both directions. From 1999 to 2002 Obama served on the board of directors of the Woods Fund, a grant-making foundation with assets of $68 million whose nominal goal is “to increase opportunities for less advantaged people and communities in the [Chicago] metropolitan area.” According to tax forms and annual reports, in 2001 and 2002 the Woods Fund gave AAAN a total of $75,000 in grants. Bill Ayers, a former (and unrepentant) member of the left-wing terrorist group the Weather Underground, sat on the board with
Obama.

The aforementioned Politico article also noted “[anti-Israeli] sentiment . .. circulating largely on private email lists and in chatter about a posting on the pro-Palestinian blog Electronic Intifada, which claimed (with little evidence) that Obama was once on the Palestinian side.” For some time Electronic Intifada co-founder Ali Abunimah has been saying that, in private
conversations, Obama expressed unequivocal pro-Palestinian views. Abunimah is an activist in Chicago’s Palestinian community, and is on the board of AAAN, with which he has a long history of involvement. Given Obama’s own involvement with Khalidi and AAAN, Abunimah’s claim to have had such conversations with Obama seems plausible.

There have also been flaps over campaign advisers. Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser, has recently endorsed and campaigned with Obama. Brzezinski was singled out recently for defending The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, a book arguing that “the United States has been willing to set aside its own security in order to advance the interests of another state [Israel].” After a campaign press release described Robert Malley, an adviser to the Clinton administration on the Arab-Israeli conflict, as an Obama adviser, the campaign sought to distance itself from Malley — whom New Republic editor-in-chief Marty Peretz has called “a rabid hater of Israel.”

When it comes to Israel, perhaps the most controversial member of Obama’s campaign is his chief military adviser and national-campaign co-chairman, Gen. Merrill McPeak. In 1976, McPeak wrote an article for Foreign Affairs criticizing Israel for not returning to its 1967 borders and handing the Golan Heights back to Syria. McPeak accused Jewish and evangelical voters of placing their interest in Israel above U.S. interests in a 2003 interview with the
Oregonian. When asked what was holding back world peace, McPeak responded, “New York City. Miami. We have a large vote . . . here in favor of Israel. And no politician wants to run against it.” Obama disavowed McPeak’s stance on Israel, but stands behind the campaign’s relationship with the general.

Then there’s Obama’s pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright: “The Israelis have illegally occupied Palestinian territories for over 40 years now. . . . [We need to] wake Americans up concerning the injustice and the racism under which the Palestinians have lived because of Zionism.” Last year, the bulletin at Wright ’s church reprinted an article by a Hamas official.

Given Obama’s past and current relationships, the Jewish community is taking his rhetoric with hefty portions of sodium chloride. One well-known Jewish Democratic strategist says that with Obama running, McCain could equal or even surpass the 39 percent of the Jewish vote that Ronald Reagan captured against Jimmy Carter in 1980. This could be a major factor in swing states with significant Jewish populations, notably Florida and Pennsylvania. According to Pennsylvania-primary exit polls, Jews went for Hillary, 62 to 38 percent.

There are two ways of looking at all this. Perhaps Obama is privately hostile to Israel. Or perhaps he comes from a Hyde Park milieu so leftist that he saw these relationships as normal political connections. In a sense it doesn’t matter: Regardless of why Obama tolerates terrorist sympathizers, the fact that he has a history of doing so could destroy his candidacy. On the national stage, and particularly in the Democratic party, Jews play a prominent role.

“A normal liberal politician wouldn’t get near this — the political instinct would be, ‘I don’t want to touch this’ — but none of it offended his sensibilities,” the Jewish Democratic strategist said. “He sat there in rooms where Israel was likened to Osama bin Laden. He didn’t walk out.”

October 24, 2008 | 108 Comments » | 32 views

Subscribe to Israpundit Daily Digest