This past week, Jack Rosen the head of the American Jewish Congress hosted a fundraiser for President Obama at his home in NYC. With a straight face Obama explained
“I try not to pat myself too much on the back, but this administration has done more for the security of the state of Israel than any previous administration,” Obama said. “We don’t compromise when it comes to Israel’s security … and that will continue.”
Joining in on the fun, Rosen added that:
“America has never been as supportive of the state of Israel as President Obama and his administration.”
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One would expect President Obama to support his administration’s anti-Israel policies, but for the head of a Jewish organization such as the AJCongress to voice his support is nothing short of fraudulent. Just look at the past few days where three Stooges of the Obama administration spoke out against the Jewish State.
On the same day as Rosen’s little house party, the US Ambassador to Belgium Howard Gutman, spoke to a EU conference on Antisemitism and after saying how wonderful Obama is for the Jews, he said Israel and the Middle East conflict was a major reason for hatred against Jews.
What I do see as growing, as gaining much more attention in the newspapers and among politicians and communities, is a different phenomena. It is the phenomena that led Jacques Brotchi to quit his position on the university committee a couple of months ago and that led to the massive attention last week when the Jewish female student was beaten up. It is the problem within Europe of tension, hatred and sometimes even violence between some members of Muslim communities or Arab immigrant groups and Jews. It is a tension and perhaps hatred largely born of and reflecting the tension between Israel, the Palestinian Territories and neighboring Arab states in the Middle East over the continuing Israeli-Palestinian problem.
Gutman, the major Obama rainmaker conveniently ignores history.
As David Greenberg wrote in a 2001 Slate article, Antisemitism in the Muslim Middle East began in the late 19th Century:
That all started to change around 1900. First, colonialism brought a growing European influence into the region, and both political and religious authorities from Europe promoted the idea that Jews engaged in ritual murders. Second, traditional Islamic authority was under challenge from Western liberalism, and the Jews provided a convenient scapegoat. During the 1908 Turkish revolution, the so-called Young Turks seized power in the Ottoman Empire and installed a constitutional regime that expanded freedom of religion. In arguing against the revolution, Muslim conservatives latched onto anti-Semitic propaganda, claiming that secret Jewish machinations lay behind the new regime.
Next in our look at this week’s “support” of Israel by the Obama administration, is Secretary of State Hilary Clinton who, except for the brief period when she ran for and held the position of Senator for NY State, was never a supporter of the Jewish State.
Ms Clinton was the first person on any White House staff ever to call for the establishment of a Palestinian State, and don’t forget that famous hugging incident with Mrs Suha Arafat when the terrorist’s wife accused Israel of employing poisonous gas leading to an increase in cancer cases among women and children.” Suha also accused Israel of contaminating much of the water sources used by Palestinians with “chemical materials” and poisoning Palestinian women and children with toxic gases. Clinton’s reaction was to give the terrorist’s wife a hug and kiss.
As Secretary of State, her positions hardened by tens of millions of dollars her husband had received from places like Saudi Arabia and Dubai, Clinton was the architect of Obama’s policy against Israel being able to add homes to existing communities in Judea and Samaria. It was this policy of the administration that gave the Palestinians cover to avoid negotiations to this day.
Yesterday speaking at the at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the liberal Brookings Institute. She expressed concern for Israel’s social climate in the wake of limitations the recent controversy about female singing in the IDF and gender segregation on public transportation.
She spoke of her shock at the fact that some Jerusalem buses have assigned separate seating areas for women. “It’s reminiscent of Rosa Parks,” she said.
Clinton’s comments drew extensive criticism in Israel. Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said in response, “these voices are totally exaggerated. Israel is a living, breathing liberal democracy.” He added, “The issue of the exclusion of women and separation is unacceptable and must be stopped but to claim there is a threat on Israeli democracy is a big stretch.”
Referring to the decision of some IDF soldiers to leave an event where female soldiers were singing, she said it reminded her of the situation in Iran.
It did? Wow! In Iran the women would have been lashed or executed. In Israel they sang, but the people who felt it was against their religious beliefs left. Most senior officers in the IDF supported the women’s right to sing.
In recent years I have attended two concerts by a traveling group of singers from the IDF, sponsored by Friends of the IDF. At each concert female singers were well represented in the ensemble.
Clinton’s statement was simply part of the continued attempt by the Obama administration to de-ligitimize the Israeli democracy and destroy one of the reasons for American support of Israel, the fact it is the only democracy in the Middle East.
Finally there is the “support-Israel” speech of Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta. Speaking at the same Saban Conference on Friday, Panetta gave the typical Obama administration lip-service to support of Israel before he let loose with an anti-Israel tirade.
” I want to be clear that Israel can count on three enduring pillars in U.S. policy in the region, all of which contribute directly to the safety and prosperity of the Israeli people. First, our unshakable commitment to Israel’s security. Second, our broader commitment to regional stability. And third, our determination to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.”
For example, Israel can reach out and mend fences with those who share an interest in regional stability — countries like Turkey and Egypt, as well as Jordan. This is an important time to be able to develop and restore those key relationships in this crucial area. This is not impossible. If gestures are rebuked, the world will see those rebukes for what they are. That is exactly why Israel should pursue them.
…Meanwhile, even as turmoil continues to rock the region, Egypt’s current leaders, along with Jordan, have made very clear to me privately and publicly that they are committed to their peace treaties with Israel. We have been clear to all parties in Egypt that sustaining a peace treaty with Israel is in the critical interests of the United States. While we share Israel’s legitimate concerns about instability in the Sinai Peninsula and the attack on the Israeli embassy in Cairo, the best way to address these concerns is through increasing communication and cooperation — increasing communication and cooperation with Egyptian authorities, not by stepping away from it.
First of all Egypt’s current leadership will soon be the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist group that the Obama administration once called a secular group. They have said often that once they gain control the treaty is in trouble. As far as stepping away, does he mean that Israel increased patrols along the boarder after the Palestinians launched a terror attack over the Egyptian boarder?
….Ultimately, the dream of a secure, prosperous, Jewish and democratic Israel can only be achieved with two states living side by side in peace and in security with full confidence that the United States is willing and capable of ensuring that Israel can safeguard its security as it takes the risks needed to pursue peace. Now is the time for Israel to take bold action and to move towards a negotiated two-state solution.
Mmmmm bold steps…Hey I got one! What if Israel offered a ten month building freeze and when that was over they offered a permanent one of the Palestinians recognized Israel as the Jewish State. Oh wait, that was done and rejected.
I recognize that there is a view that this is not the time to pursue peace and that the Arab awakening further imperils the dream of a safe and secure, Jewish and democratic Israel. But I disagree with that view. I believe Israel will ultimately be safer when other Middle Eastern states adopt governments that respond to their people, promote equal rights, promote free and fair elections, uphold their international commitments, and join the community of free and democratic nations.
That may be the case, but what does that have to do with the Arab Spring which is installing Islamist governments throughout the Muslim world. My friend and teacher, Barry Rubin points out three problems with Panetta’s statement.
First, does the current “Arab Awakening” imperil Israel? Yes, of course it does. By changing a reasonably friendly Egyptian government into a totally hostile Muslim Brotherhood and Salafi dominated political system closely allied with Hamas, the Gaza Strip’s ruler, and by helping establish Islamist regimes in Tunisia and Libya allied with this Muslim Brotherhood International; the changes create a four-member alliance intent on wiping Israel off the map.
Add to that Islamist domination of Lebanon by Hizballah, an Islamist regime in Turkey, and the continuing threat from Iran and you’ve got quite a regional situation.
Second, and more interestingly, why is the above true?
The answer is as follows:
- Democracy in theory is admirable but when you have masses imbued with very radical views, strong Islamist movements, and weak moderate ones, the election winners will be extremely radical Islamists. By winning massive victories, facing a weak (even sympathetic) United States, and seeing even more extreme forces becoming so popular (the Salafists in Egypt), the Islamists are emboldened to be even more radical in their behavior. Who’s going to stop them?
- We are thus not facing a springtime of democracy but a springtime of extremism.
- The Islamists don’t want peace with Israel on any terms. They want its destruction. They will not be dissuaded by a peace agreement. They will do anything possible — starting with demagoguery and ending with terrorism or even war — to block such a diplomatic solution. How can Israeli action reconcile those who don’t want peace?
As of now, the following are governed or will soon be governed by Islamists who want Israel’s destruction and genocide against the Jews there: Egypt, the Gaza Strip, Iran, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Tunisia, and Turkey.
The following are governed by those who want peace with Israel: Jordan.
- Not only is the United States not opposing this development; it is supporting it. In other words, U.S. policy is intensifying the threat to Israel, not helping Israel.
Third, why are there no negotiations? As the history of the issue since January 2009 shows, it is the refusal of the Palestinian Authority to negotiate with Israel. If Panetta and the Obama administration were either wise or honest they would acknowledge this fact. Instead, they blame Israel. Once again, U.S. policy is intensifying the threat to Israel, not helping Israel.
Despite Obama’s three years of anti-Israel policy, despite even the recent performances of the the three anti-Israel Stooges, Jack Rosen of the AJCongress joins the leadership AJCommittee and the ADL as organizations that put their desire to be leaders in the progressive politics before the best interests of the United States and the interests of Israel. They should be ashamed of lying about Obama’s support of Israel in an attempt to win him the Jewish vote.
Note: In a previous article about Rosen, I described the AJCongress as the AJC. Kenneth Bandler Director of Media Relations American Jewish Committee [email protected] objected to the use of this acronym for the other Jewish organization even though there are over 160 other organizations using that acronym including the Atlanta Journal Constitution and the Ames Jewish Center in Iowa.
Allow me however to prevent confusion by explaining the difference between the two groups. Mr Bandler’s AJC (Committee) is the progressive politics come before the interests of the United States or Israel organization most famous for not wanting to anger non-Jews. When European Jews were dying at the hands of the Nazis, the AJCommitee discouraged open talk of the Holocaust, fearing that activism would create an anti-Semitic backlash. This was documented in Naomi Wiener Cohen’s book Not Free to Desist: The American Jewish Committee, 1906-1966, published in 1972.
From 1949 to the Six Day War of 1967, this AJC described itself as “non-Zionist,” fearing that by supporting the newborn Jewish state; it would inspire charges of dual loyalty in the United States.
The AJCongress version of the AJC is the progressive politics come before the interests of the United States or Israel Jewish organization lead by Mr Rosen. This organization was crippled because almost all of their money was invested with Bernie Madoff. This 90 year old organization has been attempting to recover ever since.
I hope that clears up any confusion between the two Jewish progressive politics come before the interests of the United States or Israel organizations. In my humble opinion, neither of these organizations should ever get a penny of donations from anybody who seriously cares about Israel.