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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Al-Beeb says World would love the US if only it would abandon Israel

Al-Beeb has published the results of its annual survey of what some of the World's denizens think of certain selected countries. You can see a graph of the results on the left side of this post. The big news is that those who view the US as "mainly positive" have risen from 31 to 35%, while those who view the 'Big Satan' as "mainly negative" have declined from 52% to 47%.

Like last year, Israel receives some of the worst ratings. It is viewed as "mainly positive" by only 19% - a rating that bests only Pakistan's 18% and trails the evil regimes of Iran (20%) and North Korea (23%). Israel was viewed as having a "mainly negative" influence by 52% of the respondents, a rate only exceeded by Iran's 54% and worse than North Korea (44%) and Pakistan (50%). That was actually an 'improvement' from last year when 57% said Israel had a "mainly negative" influence.

But the big story is the US, where statistics improved in 11 of the 23 countries polled and declined in only three: Canada, Lebanon (where the US supports the incumbent government of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora against Hezbullah and Syria) and Egypt (where a portion of the massive foreign aid for the US's third largest recipient has been made contingent). Helpfully, Al-Beeb suggests how the US can further improve its position: By abandoning Israel. In fact, Al-Beeb says that the 'World' believes that the US has already begun to do so due to the success of Barak Hussein Obama's Presidential campaign. Let's go to the videotape (yes, New Yorkers, I LOVED Warner Wolfe when I lived there).

If Al-Beeb understands that the reason the 'World' loves Barack Hussein Obama is that it believes that he'll change American policy in the Middle East to be less pro-Israel (to put it kindly), why can't the self-proclaimed 'Jewish leaders' of Pennsylvania get it? The short answer is that if you read the letter, you will understand that they do get it. They have replaced Judaism with 'Liberalism' as their religion, and therefore, the fate of Jews matters less to them than being politically correct. Here:
Senator Obama has earned our respect and gratitude because of his support for traditional Jewish values and his commitment to a peaceful and prosperous Israel. His support for Tikkun Olam – “repairing the world” – and social justice is evident through his accomplishments in the Illinois Senate and the U.S. Senate. Without exception, Senator Obama has voted 100% consistently with the position of AIPAC on foreign aid and all other legislation and resolutions affecting Israel. These are the kind of actions for which we are grateful as a community. And, these are facts. For a more in depth look at the Senator’s strong record on issues that matter to our community, please click here.

Earlier this month, responding to withering criticism of the pastor of his church, Senator Obama delivered a courageous and powerful speech that demonstrated his unique ability to talk frankly about the continuing racial tension in our country. His speech itself will not lead to racial reconciliation or a complete understanding of our different religious and cultural traditions, but it has opened a new door for Americans of all backgrounds to begin speaking openly with one another. It is a speech that will serve as a teaching tool for all our citizens and will surely serve the interests of the Jewish community. In trying to place the speech in historical context, The New York Times editorialized that the “Inaugural addresses by Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt come to mind, as does John F. Kennedy’s 1960 speech on religion…”

While we are profoundly disturbed by the unpatriotic, bigoted and anti-Semitic comments of the retired pastor of Senator Obama’s church, we are moved that Barack stood up at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia earlier this month, and “condemned in unequivocal terms the statements of Reverend Wright” and expressed his own views on issues near and dear to the heart and soul of the Jewish community.

Specifically, in repudiating the remarks of his former pastor, Senator Obama said Reverend Wright “expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country…a view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam.”
First of all, the Jewish version of 'social justice' is very different from the Lerneresque nonsense these people are promoting. (By the way, not surprisingly, Lerner is supporting Obama). Not every 'liberal cause' is reconcilable with Judaism. But it's clear that these 'leaders' have decided to replace the Jewish version of social justice with their own.

Second, there is no 'rating' from AIPAC that gives Obama 100%, and even if there were, AIPAC just supports whatever Israeli government happens to be in power at any given moment. AIPAC's stand is not determinative on the issues, and even it would not pretend that it has any voice in determining Israeli government policy. AIPAC's raison d'etre is to make sure that the United States continues to support Israel regardless of what government is in power here.

I have discussed my own misgivings about Obama and his positions on Israel before and my misgivings are widely shared within the Jewish community. Here's an excerpt from a relatively balanced article that appeared just after Obama's speech before AIPAC a little over a year ago that shows I'm not the only one who loathes the possibility of an Obama presidency by a long shot:
The root of the matter, as some observers of American Jewish politics see it, may be that Obama’s rhetoric and themes of reconciliation and common ground – the heart of his national popularity – sound off-key and even naïve in the context of a grim, confrontational moment in the Middle East.

Obama’s substantively hard line on Israel has cost him friends among Chicago’s Palestinian activists. But his rhetoric has given the pro-Israel side pause. As Israel’s most vocal American allies see it, the divisions there aren’t about partisan name-calling: they’re about murder and the survival of a Jewish state. Faced with apparently implacable enemies like the Palestinian group Hamas and the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, backers of Israel see little room for reconciliation, and little reason for hope.

Obama “fails to understand the totalitarian politics and sensibilities of the folks over there, who are not well meaning,” said E.J. Kessler, a New York Post editor who’s a longtime observer of American-Jewish politics. “His approach will appeal to a lot of lefty Jews, but it won’t appeal to the serious players,” she said, referring to the better-organized and better funded groups like the American Israel Public Affairs Council, AIPAC, at whose conference Obama put in an appearance earlier this month.

One of the attendees at that conference, in fact, said he was taken aback by elements of Obama’s rhetoric in an unscripted address to an evening reception.

“It was mystifying to me when [Obama] said that one of the reasons there isn’t peace in the Middle East is because of ‘cynicism.’ Cynicism? That’s the reason?” asked Morton Klein, the president of the Zionist Organization of America, a hard-liner who often gives voice to sentiments other Jewish leaders are more comfortable whispering “It makes me think that Barack Obama doesn’t understand the continuing Arab war against Israel.”

In those remarks, Obama worked his domestic assault on cynicism and hopelessness into an address on the Middle East. His attack on cynicism, and another line about the “cycle of violence” struck hard-line supporters of Israel as suggesting that the Israeli and Palestinian sides are equally to blame – something Obama himself has rejected in other, prepared remarks.

Klein said he found the notion of an Obama presidency “frightening.”
By the way, Kessler's remarks sound a lot like what Republican Presidential nominee John McCain said about Obama yesterday.

Third, on the question of Reverend Wright, the real issue is not what Wright said but why it took Obama more than twenty years to repudiate Wright and his views, and why should anyone now believe that repudiation is sincere. Obama's condemnation of Wright "in unequivocal terms" is far too late to be taken seriously - except by those who are looking for an excuse to do so. The time for repudiating Wright was certainly no later than the "chickens have come home to roost" speech shortly after 9/11.

Would the 'World' love the US more if it stopped supporting Israel? Absolutely. But abandoning Israel would go against the principles that have made the United States the great country that it is. Would President Barack Hussein Obama radically change American policy in the Middle East to be less favorable towards Israel? God forbid we should ever have to find out.


At 8:18 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Agreed. The American Jewish Community is hopelessly liberal. They won't abandon support for a black presidential candidate surrounded by advisers with Marxist, black nationalist and anti-Israel biases. All we can do is pray America doesn't wind up with an Obama administration.

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