Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Sunday, 29 May 2011

A Veteran American Jewish Leader On Obama And Israel ...

In my previous post I mentioned the high levels of support among American Jews for Israel, and although I focused on the recent CAMERA poll conducted by Frank Luntz, I provided the link to an article posted last month by Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick.

In that article, Ms Glick observes, inter alia:
'Over the past year or so, American Jewish opponents of Israel like writer and activist Peter Beinart have sought to intimidate and demoralize Israelis by telling us that American Jews either no longer support us or will stop supporting us if we don't give in to all the Arabs' demands.
But statistical evidence exposes these threats as utter lies. According to mountainous survey evidence, the American Jewish community writ large remains deeply supportive of Israel. Two surveys released last year by the American Jewish Committee and Brandeis University's Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies showed that three quarters of American Jews care deeply about Israel and that Israel is an important part of their Jewish identity. The Brandeis survey notably showed that young American Jews are no less likely to support Israel than they were in the past.
In fact, American Jews under 30 are more hawkish about the Palestinian conflict with Israel than Jews between the ages of 31-40 are.
According to the Brandeis survey, 51 percent of American Jews oppose a future division of Jerusalem, while a mere 29% would support it.
Younger Jews are more opposed to the capital's partition than older Jews are.
It is notable that the Brandeis survey found that political views do not impact American Jews' support for Israel. This is striking because among Americans at large, polls show Republicans are significantly stronger supporters of Israel than Democrats. But not among Jews.
"Liberals felt no less connected than conservatives and were no less likely to regard Israel as important to their Jewish identities. These observations hold true for both younger and older respondents," the Brandeis survey report explained.
Across the board, American Jews blame the Palestinians for the absence of peace and believe there is little chance that there will be peace between Israel and the Palestinians in the foreseeable future. Seventy-five percent agreed with the statement, "The goal of the Arabs is not the return of occupied territories but rather the destruction of Israel"; 94% said the Palestinians should be required to accept the Jewish state's right to exist.'
She then goes on to deplore the fact that, despite these figures, across America  "Jewish communities are failing to prevent anti-Zionist Jews from hijacking communal funds and facilities to finance anti-Israel activities", and gives many examples of such lamentable occurrences.

For the two polls cited see:

It remains to be seen, of course, whether the overwhelming majority of American Jews will persist in their love affair - to many dedicated Zionists their liaison dangereuse - with Barack Obama into next year's presidential election, but, for good or ill, it seems likely.

One man who fears so is veteran communal leader Harvey Schechter.

Before his retirement in 1993, following a career of over 40 years, Mr Schechter was the Anti-Defamation League's Southwest Region Director.  Below are extracts from his "Open Letter to My Fellow Jews and to All Americans" which he wrote on 27 May in his newsletter Schechter Sez. (Hat tip: DW)

Explaining that from President Obama he "never expected anything good, particularly with respect to ... Israel," he notes that about 78 per cent of American Jews voted for Obama in 2008, and predicts, with regret, that  "Obama will get the lion's share" of their votes in 2012, Schechter continues:

'.... This attachment to the Democratic Party traces back to the passionate love America's Jews developed for President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932 because of the liberal things he said and did during the Great Depression and his vigorous opposition to Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan.  Before 1932, large numbers of Jews voted Socialist and even Republican, the party of Abraham Lincoln, because in New York where more than a million Jews lived, the Democrats were under the control of corrupt Tammany Hall.  That changed with Roosevelt's victory in 1932.

     Right now there is great turmoil in the American Jewish community and especially in Israel because of the speech President Obama delivered at the State Department a few days ago when he made reference to the 1967 borders as the starting point for land swaps between Israel and the Palestinians.   As Rabbi Shmuley Boteach just wrote,
". . . the president's claims to naiveté are ridiculous.  To his detractors Obama is many things, but he is no fool.  He knew full well that to publicly call for a return to the '67 lines was a bomb waiting to detonate.  Obama knew the demand to return to the pre-Six Day War borders spoke directly to the Palestinian narrative."
I agree completely with Rabbi Boteach.....

     When Obama did his 1967 shtick, Mort Zuckerman, publisher of U.S. News & World Report, angrily accused Obama of "betraying Israel." Former Democratic Congressman and famous New York City former Mayor Ed Koch said he will not vote for Obama in 2012.  Of course, November 2012 is almost eighteen months away and anything can happen.

     If you watched Obama's face and body language when Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke at the White House when Obama had to listen to a lecture about the realities in the Middle East, he was obviously boiling mad as Netanyahu in essence told him he didn't know what he is talking about....

     Several liberal commentators and columnists were outraged and said that Netanyahu was ungracious and inappropriate for delivering those comments in a public setting.  [Al Beeb reporters and presenters, predictably, made barbed comments of that sort, from Jeremy Bowen and Mark Mardell down - D.A.] It must also have been very painful for Obama even though he was in England to hear about the brilliant, passionate, and informative speech Netanyahu delivered to a joint meeting of the Congress to genuine thunderous applause and getting about twenty-five standing ovations from Democrats and Republicans alike.

     And good old Hillary Clinton, our esteemed Secretary of State, looks like an absolute fool hav[ing] said a week or so ago that Bashar Assad, the murdering, brutal dictator of Syria is a "reformer."  Yes, she called Assad a "reformer."  How can anyone ever believe them?

     When Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid spoke to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), he was magnificent.  I never thought I would say this about Senator Reid, but he was outstanding in his understanding of what is at stake in the Middle East between Israel and her Arab neighbors, and he said it forcefully and convincingly.  Maybe the man in the White House ought to sit down with his Senate Majority Leader and have him explain the situation between Israel and the Arabs.

     Again and again, we Jews are asked to explain the devotion of so many Jews to the Democratic Party which has paid and still pays homage to the likes of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton who in my opinion are enemies of the Jewish people and of Israel.  Would they be so tolerant of the equivalent of Jackson and Sharpton in the Republican party?  Of course not. Our Liberalism came to us with our mother's milk.  For most American Jews, their synagogue is the Democratic party;  their faith is Liberalism;  and their Moses is Obama.

     TO MY FELLOW AMERICANS:  Please know that the hatred of Israel in the Arab world is equaled only by their hatred of you and of America.  The Jews may be their first target, but all of us are on their hit list.  The 9/11 attack was an attack on America!

     For the record, Israel gave up land for peace.  It gave back the Sinai Peninsula.  Now there is the possibility of serious threats from the Sinai.  What did Egypt's President Anwar Sadat get for signing a peace treaty with Israel?  He got back the Sinai Peninsula, a Nobel Prize for Peace, and deadly bullets from members of his own army.

     Israel gave Gaza to the Palestinians.  What did it get in return?  Thousands of deadly rockets raining down on its citizens.  If President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority repudiates his alliance with Hamas, he knows he will suffer Sadat's fate - a hail of bullets.

     Israel also gave back territory in Southern Lebanon.  What did it get in return?  Thousands of deadly rockets fired by Hezbollah on Israel.

     Dear Friends:  How long would we sit quietly while thousands of rockets poured down on us from Mexico and from Canada? Now you know what Israel is living with.

A friend sent me a marvelous cartoon of Obama meeting with the Queen of England who says to him, "I believe the borders of Britain and the U.S. should be based on the pre-1776 lines with mutually agreed swaps."

One picture is sure worth a thousand words.'


  1. It saddens me to hear you go along with the lie that Obama called for a simple return to the '67 lines.

    Obama said exactly what Netanyahu said last November: "...BASED on '67 lines with mutual swaps..."

  2. I was told about this jaundiced view of Bibi by Michael Walzer

  3. As you say : "One picture is sure worth a thousand words"

  4. People - and Bibi seem to forget -- Israel and its PM (even if he is a good bullshitter) doesn't determine what's good for America. America does. Israel is just a client state.

  5. Ooooh, Joseph - you're talking about the man I love!

  6. See results of a new Poll among Israelis re Obama here: