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Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Will Congress revolt over Obama's Mideast policy as it did over Gitmo?

Frank Gaffney is a lot more optimistic than I am that the Congress will eventually revolt against President Obama's Middle East policy, as it revolted over his efforts to close the Guantanamo prison last month. Gaffney's only question is whether the revolt will come in time. I'm skeptical that it will come at all (for reasons I will go into after the excerpt).
Taken together with the U.S. administration's refusal to come to grips with what truly is the most serious threat to peace in the Middle East - Iran's rising power and growing aggressiveness, reflecting in part its incipient nuclear weapons capabilities - the stage is being inexorably set for the next, and perhaps most devastating, regional conflict.

Whether the signals Mr. Obama is sending are intended to communicate such a message or not, they are going to be read by Israel's enemies as evidence of a profound rift between the United States and the Jewish State. In this part of the world, that amounts to an invitation to an open season on Israel.

It is hard to believe that the Obama Middle East agenda enjoys the support of the American people or their elected representatives in Congress. Historically, the public and strong bipartisan majorities on Capitol Hill have appreciated that an Israel that shares our values, that is governed democratically and that is in the cross-hairs of the same people who seek our destruction is an important ally. Quite apart from a sense of moral and religious affinity for the Jewish people's struggle to survive in their ancient homeland, most of us recognize that it is in the United States' strategic interest to stand with Israel.

It is worrisome in the extreme that Mr. Obama does not appear to share this appreciation. To those who worried about his affinity for the Saudi king and Islam more generally and his longstanding ties to virulent critics of Israel like Columbia University professor Rashid Khalidi and former Harvard professor-turned-National Security Council staffer Samantha Power, the President's attitude is not exactly a surprise. His administration's posture may have been further reinforced by Arab-American pollster John Zogby's recent Forbes Magazine article arguing that friends of Israel made up John McCain's constituency, not Obama's. (This raises an interesting question about the sentiments towards Israel of the 78% of American Jews who voted for the latter in 2008.)

My guess, however, is that, as the implications of President Obama's Mideast policies - for the United States as well as Israel - become clearer, he is going to find himself facing the sort of popular and congressional revolt that has confronted him in recent weeks on Guantanamo Bay. The question is: Will such a reaffirmation of American solidarity with and support for Israel come in time to prevent the winds of war being whipped up by Mr. Obama's posturing and rhetoric - and driving Israelis into bomb shelters - from wreaking havoc in the Middle East, and perhaps far beyond?
I believe that the vast majority of the American people support Israel. As one of my oldest friends - a long-time Jewish activist in the US - put it to me when I saw him last Monday night, "all those representatives from the bible belt don't support Israel out of the goodness of their hearts. They do it because we have a lot of Christian friends. We should be grateful for that." In fact, it is the bible-toting Christians who bring most of Israel's American support. Those of you sitting here in Israel should not kid yourselves that it is otherwise.

I believe that a large minority of American Jews - especially young American Jews who don't remember the Holocaust, who have no connection to Israel and who have never been here - are indifferent to Israel's continued existence, and are more concerned with 'global warming,' gay marriage, putting George Bush and Dick Cheney on 'trial,' and turning America into a socialist country. In other words, they have replaced Judaism (and support for Israel) with 'liberalism.' Some of those Jews may even be related to people who read and write this blog. I'm sure most of you have a moonbat or two in your family. And there's little or nothing we can do to change their views.

Look at two of Obama's most prominent court Jews, Bob Wexler and Gary Ackerman. Wexler represents the 19th district in Florida, possibly "the most Jewish congressional district in the country." Ackerman represents New York's 5th congressional district, which includes such heavily Jewish areas as Corona, Flushing, Jamaica Estates, Bayside, Whitestone, Douglaston, and Little Neck in Queens, as well as Great Neck, Sands Point, Port Washington, Searingtown, Albertson, Manhasset, and Roslyn in Nassau County. Why aren't their constituents up in arms over Wexler's and Obama's support of Obama's threats against Israel? Have they so totally bought into the rhetoric of Israel needing a 'Palestinian state' that they are willing to see Israel choked off in the process? Unfortunately, I believe that many of them are simply indifferent.

More than a million people showed up at Sunday's Salute to Israel parade. But more than one person has written to tell me that the vast majority of those who were there are Orthodox. If Jews are a small minority of Americans, Orthodox Jews are an even smaller one. If it's only the Orthodox Jews among their constituents who are pressuring the likes of Wexler and Ackerman, is it any wonder that they are continuing to participate in Obama's campaign to crush Israel?

And even if the Jewish community and the Democrats in Congress wake up in a month or two or three and realize that maybe something has to be done about Iran (Obama himself is unlikely to do anything before at least mid-2010 - six months for 'talks' and six months for 'sanctions'), will there still be time for anything to happen other than possibly cooperating with an Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear facilities? Can Congress force the Commander-in-Chief to do that? At what price?

My guess is that an Israeli attack will have happened by mid-2010. We cannot wait for these people to wake up.


At 3:45 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Orthodox Jews are now a minority in the US. But given the fact the Conservative and Reform Jews will become extinct within a generation or so, Jews in Israel should simply write off the vast majority of non-observant Jews as a lost cause. In the end, Israel will have to count itself and it should not expect Jews in the Diaspora who are indifferent if not antagonistic to the Jewish State to care much about its fate.

At 5:58 AM, Blogger Kae Gregory said...

I believe that most people who are against Obama's policies, do not realize and possibly cannot comprehend, the depth of the reverence his supporters hold for him. If the left ever finds the courage to oppose him, it will take years for them to summon it. I do not believe that sacrificing Israel will be a significant enough trigger to summon it. Despite whatever Jews anywhere believe, it is becoming fashionable to be suspicious of Jews in America. Before long, it will become ok to openly show dislike for them - and so on. I've said this before; the abandonment of Israel is a process - a quick one - but none-the-less a process. Most people will not have realized what has happened until Israel has already been abandoned and by then, it will be made to look like Israel's fault. And most people will believe it.

At 7:03 AM, Blogger christine said...

i don't believe congress well revolt.........their so beholden to obama that they don't care what happens to israel or america.look at the maddness thats going on here in america...they the dems no nothing about obama except two books he written,and one may say he didn't write the books but willam ayers did.but still they blindly follow and noone know nothing about this man.he refuses to release his college records or anything need to show us who he really is.the only thing we have to go on is his friends rev. wright louis farrakhan..willam ayers......and that my friends is the problem.they are all anti semetic...........so obama opens his fist to iran while closing it to israel.we well fight him but since we no longer have a free press it's pretty hard...israel well have to go it alone and donot give up any more land....when well the palis have to give up something???never underobama ..remember his cousin in kenya is a muslim and he campaigned for him.........trust only in your selves.and may god help us all..................


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