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Monday, March 05, 2012

The divide between a Democrat and an Israeli

In Jeffrey Goldberg's interview with President Obama, the President mentioned the differences between the democratic traditions with which he and Prime Minister Netanyahu grew up. Leaving aside for a moment the fact that Netanyahu spent much of his childhood in the United States, Jonathan Tobin has some prescient comments on Obama's claim.
Netanyahu knows Obama does not have his country’s back despite Goldberg’s cajoling this promise out of the president. But he will likely smile when he reads Obama’s answer to Goldberg’s question about the relationship between the two men. Though Obama has bragged of his close relationships with other leaders such as the Turkey’s Islamist Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, he makes little effort to disguise his contempt for Netanyahu. He tells Goldberg he and Netanyahu are too busy to discuss anything other than policy. Obama then slips up a bit and attempts to explain their differences as being the result of belonging to “different political traditions,” as if there was some sort of natural tension between being an American Democrat and an Israeli Likudnik. This actually tells us more about Obama than anything else.

The truth is, these two “traditions” are not natural antagonists because they are the result of two entirely different political systems and histories. If Obama sees them as inherently opposed to each other it is because his conception of American liberalism sees an Israeli nationalist faction dedicated to their nation’s security as somehow antithetical to his own view. In fact, the origins of both parties are “liberal” with a small “l” in the sense that they are based on the idea of democracy and opposed to socialism. Indeed, the Likud is far closer to both American major parties because it is dedicated to free market principles the Israeli left abhors.

The divide here is not between a Democrat and a member of the Likud but between an American who is ambivalent about Israel and an Israeli who is deeply sympathetic to the United States. That is why a close reading of Goldberg’s attempt to help Obama to portray himself as Israel’s best friend only reinforces the phony nature of the president’s Jewish charm offensive.
Read it all.

By the way, regarding the graphic above, who is going to do the heavy lifting to get the chip off Michelle's shoulder.

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At 1:09 AM, Blogger Leah said...

A forklift operator.

At 1:43 AM, Blogger Sunlight said...

I'm just waiting for the Start-Up Nation people to come up with a method of getting out of the claws of the Alinsky Marxists of the current Dem party. Can't believe it has taken me until the last month to figure out the Brightsource connections and position it has put Israel in. And I haven't even researched to see what other Start-Up Nation enterprises may have gotten ensnared - or maybe they are With these Dems who are ruining our children's future. Let me know which. Nothing is free. VOTE THEM OUT, Americans!


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