TeeJaw Blog

More On American Jewish Support For Obama’s Policy Toward Israel

Posted in Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Sunday, April 11, 2010, 11: 19 PM

I’ve posted several of my fulminations about the way Obama treats Israel, our most important ally. Type “Israel” in the search box on the right and hit enter to find them all. Jennifer Rubin at the Contentions blog has posted some of the best commentary on Obama’s petulant behavior toward Israel:

    The Obama administration has embarked on an assault on our ally Israel that can no longer be chalked up to a minor gaffe or a misunderstanding. The Obami have been unrelenting and consistently hostile toward the Jewish state. The Obama administration started off by ignoring the Bush administration’s agreements on settlements and making a settlement freeze the cornerstone of its Israel policy. That managed to alienate both sides. Last month, the temper tantrum over a routine housing permit was followed by Hillary Clinton’s 43-minute lecture to the prime minister. This was followed by the abusive and inexcusable treatment of Israel’s prime minister at the White House. That, in turn, was followed by leaks of the potential for an imposed settlement plan. No administration has ever treated Israel in this fashion. None.

In Do They Know What Obama Is Up To? Ms. Rubin laments the recent survey by the American Jewish committee finding that American Jews still heavily support not only Obama but also his handling of U.S.-Israeli relations:

    The latest AJC poll on American Jewish opinion is a reminder that there is a disturbing tendency among my co-religionists, as one commentator poignantly put it, to “despise their familiars and love The Stranger who hates them — and hates them all the more for their craven pursuit of him.” What do American Jews think of Obama’s Israel policy? 55 percent approve and only 37 percent disapprove. And they still are among thee presidents’ most loyal supporters: 57 percent of Jews approve of Obama’s performance. (By contrast, his RCP poll average is hovering around 47 percent.) But then this gets really wacky.

I have said in my recent posts on Obama’s treatment of Israel and the AJC survey of American Jews that I think Obama has displayed an attitude toward Israel and even toward Jews in general that comes closer to sheer hatred than mere disagreement or even disdain. It appears Ms. Rubin might agree with that. It’s always nice to find agreement when floating an idea that might be considered radical by some but I’m certainly not glad to be right about this. I’d much rather Obama were rational. I wish he liked our democratic allies at least much as he appears to admire authoritarian dictatorships that deny freedom to their own people. I’d rather Obama understood that anti-semitism is a disease that ultimately destroys those who allow themselves to become infected by it, no matter how much harm it brings to its targeted victims.

Ms. Rubin has now received from one of her readers some further information on at least some American Jews who are well informed on what Obama is up to and are not pleased. In a follow up to her previous post asking, “Do They Know What Obama Is Up To?”, she writes:

    Well, some American Jews plainly do. A reader passes on this account of a recent gathering in California, suggesting that there is a motivated group of Jews not at all pleased with Obama’s Middle East policy:

    Last night I went to a town hall meeting on Israel featuring Congressman Brad Sherman at Temple Aliyah in Woodland Hills, CA, called by the rabbi in response to the concern over the deteriorating relationship between President Obama and the State and the people of Israel. Sherman is a 7th-term Jewish Congressman with strong ties to the Jewish community, who has always been considered very pro-Israel. Sherman must have expected a hostile crowd, as he did not allow anyone to talk to him directly. Questions were submitted in writing and chosen and paraphrased by the moderator (Rabbi Stewart Vogel of Temple Aliyah, who did do a very good job expressing the written concerns of the audience while also being fair and hospitable to Sherman).

    Nearly all the questions dealt with the controversy. The meeting hall of this large congregation was packed, and the temple’s parking lot was entirely full, forcing people to park on the street nearby. Nearly all questions and audience feedback were negative, with virtually no applause for Sherman’s answers. There was lots of clapping for hostile questions, lots of hostile rumblings as he tried to answer charges, and some answers were booed. Even the moderator at the end basically accused Sherman of not actually answering a lot of the questions. The audience was not sold on Obama being pro-Israel, nor on Sherman’s excuses for the current situation.

Here, here.

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