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Sunday, October 02, 2011

With 'friends' like this, who needs enemies?

The New York Times reports that the Obama administration is using Joe Biden to reassure the Jewish community. A heck of a lot of good that is doing. The headline in the JPost reads (I've screen capped it in case they change it) "Obama mulled freeing Pollard but Biden opposed." And in YNet its "Biden torpedoed Pollard's pardon" (got that one screen capped too). And in fact, the Times reports that, but that's only one small part of the report. Here's more (from the first link).
Topping the list, though, is Mr. Biden, who on Wednesday will host a Rosh Hashana party at his residence for Jewish leaders. Mr. Biden has taken on the job of fund-raising among Jewish Democrats, at the same time that he has been seeking to assure the party’s base that the Obama administration remains a loyal friend to Israel. At a fund-raiser Sept. 20 at a home in Shaker Heights, Ohio, all but one of the questions that Mr. Biden took were about foreign policy — namely Israel. Ditto for many other fund-raisers where Mr. Biden has been the top attraction, administration officials said, as he has sought to soothe, clarify and reassure.

“Am I going to the party on the 5th? Yes,” said Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League. Mr. Biden, Mr. Foxman said, “is comfortable with the community, and the community is comfortable with him.”

“He’s seen as a friend,” Mr. Foxman said.

Administration officials say that the White House clearly agrees, and it needs all the Jewish friends it can get; American Jews have long been a dependable source of campaign contributions for Democrats. Mr. Biden has been encouraged to provide a narrative for Jewish constituents that offers a counterpoint to Republican presidential candidates who have accused the administration of being too tough on its foremost ally and too sympathetic to the Palestinians and Israel’s other Arab neighbors.


Mr. Biden, who through his foreign policy work in the Senate built lifelong ties with Israeli politicians, is able to sprinkle his remarks with asides about how he first met Yitzhak Rabin back in 1973 when Mr. Rabin was working with Golda Meir, then the Israeli prime minister, and how Mrs. Meir once confided to Mr. Biden that Israel’s secret weapon is that it has “nowhere else to go.” He talked about having dinner at the home of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and about how he autographed a photo for Mr. Netanyahu with “love you, love you, love you, but we don’t agree on anything,” Mr. Klein said.

It is a level of comfort with all things Israeli in general and Jewish in particular that Mr. Obama simply cannot convey, White House officials acknowledge.

“Joe Biden has been in the Senate for 30-something years,” Mr. Klein said, “while I think Obama probably did take every right vote on Israel when he was in the Senate, he just hasn’t been around that long.”

Mr. Biden told the rabbis that the administration had made a few missteps in its handling of the Israel relationship, including Mr. Obama’s decision not to go to Jerusalem as president, after he made his famous Cairo speech in 2009 in which he elevated the plight of the Palestinians to equal status with the Israelis’. (In fact, it was Mr. Biden who traveled to Israel that year, in what ended up being a disastrous trip in which the Israeli government announced new settlements just before his meeting with Mr. Netanyahu, prompting a sharp response from the Obama administration that included an irate 45-minute telephone call from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to Mr. Netanyahu.)
Am I the only one who keeps noticing that the Obama administration keeps sending people to say that Obama should have gone to Israel, and yet Obama continues to stay away? I guess that's because he's afraid of the massive demonstrations that would accompany any visit here by the one. Sorry, if he comes here, I'm going to stop blogging for a few hours, and you'll all have to follow me on Twitter instead. Unless I get a press pass... in which case I'll tell all of you how many hundreds of thousands show up to protest.

Obama still has problems here and problems with American Jewish support. Having Biden take the fall for his failure to release Pollard isn't going to help much. They really can't shoot straight, can they?

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At 5:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to mention the substantial anti-Zionist/anti-Semitic new left contingent that keeps parasticially burrowing into the Democratic base--oh, that would include demonizers of Israel and its supporters like, hmmm some guy named Khalidi.

Can't O get the money he needs from CAIR?


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