Jews, and the Obama Administration
By Victor Davis Hanson
some Democrats in Congress have come to the conclusion that after the brouhaha
over Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech before Congress, President
Obama wants to radically downgrade the long American special relationship with
democratic Jewish Israel — and perhaps has a dislike of the idea of Israel.
Add up the administration’s initial disparagement on the matter of Israeli
settlements, untoward administration remarks during the Gaza War, its
assumptions that a future autonomous West Bank had a right to insist on becoming
Judenfrei, its downplaying the Iranian nuclear threat, John Kerry’s various
editorializing about Israeli supposed overreactions, the constant hectoring of
Israel, and rumors of a slowdown in military aid to Israel during the Gaza war,
and so on and so on.
acts seem to fit into a prior landscape of the administration’s anti-Jewish
and anti-Israeli supposed slips, gaffes, and smears.
thought it a bit strange that in 2008 the Obama campaign lobbied
the Los Angeles Times  not to release a
tape of Obama’s remarks at a 2003 dinner honoring Palestinian activist Rashid
Khalidi when then-state senator Obama supposedly thanked the latter for
reminding him of his own “biases” and “blind spots” on the Middle East.
Why not just release the innocuous tape I thought. But then again things happen
thought it a bit strange when would-be national security advisor to the 2008
Obama campaign, Zbigniew Brzezinski, hinted that he might think it a good idea to
shoot down Israeli jets  should they go over
U.S.-controlled Iraqi airspace on their way to hit Iran’s nuclear facilities.
But then again everyone says strange things now and then.
thought it a bit strange that Samantha
Power  would become such a prominent Obama advisor
after she hypothesized about sending
U.S. forces into the Israeli-Palestinian dispute  to
keep both sides honest. But then again it is easy to take things out of context.
And who, after all, would even envision U.S. and Israeli soldiers shooting at
thought it a bit strange that Barack Obama’s minister, whose “audacity of
hope” sloganeering became the title of Obama’s second book, whined shortly
after his former protégé assumed the presidency, “Them
Jews ain’t going to let him talk to me .” But then
again one should not fall into the guilt-by-association trap of “birds of a
feather flock together.”
thought it was strange when Obama’s
first call as president  went to Palestinian Authority
leader Mahmoud Abbas. But then again I shrugged that his first interview went to
the newspaper Al-Arabiya, and he declared a “special relationship” with the
virulently anti-Israeli Prime Minister and now President of Turkey Recep Erdogan.
thought it strange that Obama in 2009 called in Jewish leaders only to lecture
on the need to
put “daylight” between Israel and the United States .
But then I assumed that these leaders did not seem too disturbed about such
thought it strange when Barack Obama stormed out of a White House meeting with
Prime Minister Netanyahu and left him to
stew alone for over an hour . But then again I noted
that he was hungry and wanted to step out for a while to dine alone with his
thought it strange that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would leak the fact
43 minutes  — not 42 or 44 — she berated Prime
Minister Netanyahu about settlements on the West Bank. But then who really
counts minutes on the phone?
thought it a bit strange that Al Sharpton became Obama’s chief contact with
the African-American community and a habitual visitor to the Oval Office, given
that he has a
long history  of anti-Semitism slurs, highlighted by
eerie quotes like “If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their
yarmulkes back and come over to my house!” But then again, I wrote that
off as just another Jesse Jackson-like Hymietown off-the-cuff quote.
thought it strange that Obama trashed the Israeli prime minister in an open-mic
putdown. But then I note that so did French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and thus
thought it strange when Obama’s ambassador to Belgium seemed to justify
Islamic anti-Semitism as
if it were the fault of Jews in Israel : “A
distinction should be made between traditional anti-Semitism, which should be
condemned, and Muslim hatred for Jews, which stems from the ongoing conflict
between Israel and the Palestinians…an Israeli-Palestinian peace treaty will
significantly diminish Muslim anti-Semitism.” But then I note that ambassadors
are often not an impressive bunch.
thought it strange that aides to the president in unattributed remarks would
smear the combat veteran Netanyahu as
both a “coward” and “a chickensh-t.”  But then
again, who knows what is actually said off the record?
thought it strange that after radical Islamic terrorists deliberately targeted a
Jewish Kosher market in Paris to kill Jews the president would characterize the
attacks cavalierly and inaccurately as terrorists who “randomly
shoot a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris.”  I
thought all that strange — and yet perhaps the pattern now not so strange.
six years, all this — and far more examples — makes perfect sense. There is
only one pattern to supposed gaffes and slips: they always go against the state
of Israel and give the benefit of the doubt to its numerous enemies. The
administration’s words about Israel naturally explain its deeds, and then
again its deeds its words: Barack Obama is not and has never been fond of
Israel, both the reasoning for its existence and the vigilance necessary for its
time Americans accept this radical detour from 70 years of American foreign
policy. It is what it is — and it is far from over yet.