Friday, June 25, 2010


There is nothing wrong with criticizing the President of the United States -- be it Barack Obama, or George W. Bush, or any other. We know there are the whack jobs out there -- I just didn't think that so many of them would be Jewish...even friends of mine. One example: At the UN "Human Rights Council" (a totally inapt name) a Syrian representative uttered a blood libel against Jews and the U.S. representative failed to respond. One of my friends sent the "story" out to his mailing list with the header: "Obama silent as Syrian rep spouts 'blood libel'..." Come on!!

And one of my buddies sends around the anti-American and, curiously, frequently anti-Israeli Government, anti-Israei Defense Forces leaders, of Caroline Glick's screed. Glick is great at anticipating the horrors that will be inflicted by the Obama Administration...and then aren't. I know my friend knows that Glick lacks any credibility but she is an Obama hater, lived in Hyde Park, hated it,, it's OK.

The shame of it all is that so much of this stuff emanates from "writers" in Israel. There is no need for embellishment, yet one guy wrote Obama's Plan to Destroy Israel. The "author," Daniel Greenfield, has discovered, among other things equally astonishing, and without citation that "Obama has chosen to cut backdoor deals with the Mullahs in Iran, offering them power over Iraq and Afghanistan." This stuff is then distributed by American Jews who themselves are condemned by this Greenfield to purgatory.

Or, how about this, one of my dear friends, an Israeli with American roots, never misses a chance to attack Obama for perfidy real and imagined. Most recently -- Obama Backstabs Israel -- what Else Is New? A link to a column written by a source who is always finding evil where no one else can.

Then there is the latest -- a photo of the President alighting from a plane holding a book in his hand the title of which is clearly visible -- The Post-American World. The book is identified by those sending this one around as "written by a fellow Muslim." We are admonished by the anonymous writer -- "We must expose Obama's radical ideas and his intent to bring down our beloved America." The author of this best-seller -- Newsweek's Fareed Zakaria, who, among his other speaking engagements, was featured at a Plenary at the Philadelphia GA in 2002. Worse, this piece of dreck has been circulated on a federation's letterhead.

The President deserves the straightforward criticism he has received for turning his back on agreements reached by Israel with his predecessors, for apparently accepting the counsel of the Arabist John Brennan (promoting access to the "moderates" within Hezbollah) and for apparently charting a course that would, if carried out, further isolate Israel from the family of nations and overturn 62+ years of partnership between the Jewish State and the United States. His actions have encouraged and fed the mistrust of his words. He must be called out and we must work assiduously to turn that policy around. But what so many fail to understand is that we damage our cause when we resort to the utter nonsense and hatred of no credibility cited above. Do I expect it to stop -- hardly.



paul jeser said...

As one who does circulate much of what you have cited, I am sorry that you are blind to the real danger that Obama has created.

We Jews are so forgiving, so trusting, so supportive of minorities, that we fail to see that Obama's actions (forget his great rhetoric)are laying the groundwork that could lead to the destruction of Israel.

You may not like Glick and the others who are not afraid to speak the truth, but they have much more credability than those who still think Obama is a friend.

Our (great)grandparents made the same mistake.

paul jeser said...

And, while I'm on a roll, your attack on Caroline Glick is misguided. She is one of Israel's best advocates. She is the one who put toghter the group that did "We Con The Wrold." Most importantly, she, unlike all of 'us', put her life where her mouth is and made aliyah...

You should be attacking the likes of M.Lerner and those connected to J Street.

RWEX said...

Dear Paul,

Thanks for your Comments (at least 2 of the 3). As you know I find Glick to havde no credibility -- she has attacked the Government of Israel, the leaders of the IDF, Obama, my City and the Hyde Park neighborhood (the home from which she "escaped")-- usually without a fact in support. She is not a credible "advocate" for anything.

The Post to which you object suggested ONLY that those who twist facts (or even make things up)to argue against Obama and believe that in doing so they "protect Israel" do that cause a great disservice.

Reread the Post, please.

Used to be important said...

We rarely disagree but how much better things would be were Barack Obama to have been influenced in his positions on Israel and the Jews by the likes of Fareed Zakaria and Fouad Ajami, as opposed to his and Michelle's close friend Rashid Khalidi. How any Jew in America could know of the depth of that relationship and still think Obama would champion Israel at the UN and the UNHRC and after that foul Turkish flotilla fiasco, boggles the mind. And you know I am no "birther" or "tea party" member.

Jon said...

Richard, as one who frequently disagrees with you, I want in this case to rise to your defense. The attacks against Obama with respect to the administration's policies toward Israel are, as you write, frequently hysterical and without basis in fact. There are many, myself included, who believe that this administration is quite right in pressing the current Israeli government to move assertively to try to reach agreements with the Palestinian Authority, since failure to do so can only lead to a further deterioration in Israel's security and standing in the world. But, even if one disagrees on specific policy positions, to accuse the administration of having placed Israel in danger as we continue to support it with billions in aid as well as diplomatically can only be regarded as hyperbolic fantasy. Caroline Glick is indeed a far right ideologue who throws around accusations of treasonous behavior all too lightly. I respect those like Daniel Gordis who take positions different than my own, but do so thoughtfully and without rancor. But, anyone who starts speaking about Obama and "fellow Muslims" deserves no credence. Good for you for standing up to such voices and restoring some sanity to the discussion.

Lisa B said...

That's how paranoia is developed in Israel every day, and how it is attempted to spread that same paranoia throughout the Diaspora. All the better to influence peoples politics with.

Anonymous said...

Fareed Zakaria also spoke at a plenary at the 2007 GA in Los Angeles. Apropos of nothing specific in this post, but still fun to read, is this Leon Wieseltier attack on Zacaria last week in the Washington Post:

Anonymous said...

Used To Be Important,

I am a Zionist AND a former student of Rashid Khalidi and I find your disparaging (or worse) post about Professor Khalidi to be misguided, unfair, and offensive. Professor Khlaidi and his wife Mona are beautiful people, and although you (and I) may not share all of their views (particularly in regards to the Palestinian / Israeli conflict), I found that there is much that we DO agree upon.

your personal attacks merely perpetuate conflict while precluding engagement and meaningful debate.

You, Paul Jeser and others can roll around in hyperbolic and mean spirited fear mongering, while demonizing those you disagree with if you want, but please know that there are millions of other American Jews and others that think you're full of bile.

Shame on us for embodying the intolerance and hatred we claim to oppose.

RWEX said...

A clarification -- the use of a federation's logo on e-mail screed was clearly done (a) without the knowledge or consent of the particular federation and (b) most likely was another example of phishing by the sender