Obama’s Israel Crisis

Obama’s Israel Crisis

Posted By P. David Hornik On March 16, 2010 @ 12:05 am In FrontPage | 27 Comments

 

 

Israel Apartheid Week hadn’t yet run its course when Israel came in for a barrage of hostile characterizations also from the Obama administration. In the same brief time span there was also Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad [1]—“The Zionist regime is the most hated regime in the world…. with Allah’s help, this regime will be annihilated.” All this came hard on the heels of a wave of international outrage [2], and violent attacks by Palestinians, over Israel adding shrines in Hebron and Bethlehem to a list of national heritage sites.

If it seems like a lot of negative attention for one small, constantly pressured country, it is. Reacting to an announcement by the Israeli Interior Ministry on plans to build 1600 housing units—for Jews (if they had been for Arabs, no one would have protested)—in Jerusalem, Vice-President Joe Biden, who was in Israel for a visit, reportedly [3] told Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, “This is starting to get dangerous for us. What you’re doing here undermines the security of our troops who are fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. That endangers us and it endangers regional peace.”

Netanyahu apologized and, by Thursday last week when Biden’s visit ended, apparently thought the matter had been handled. But on Friday,  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called Netanyahu and gave him a 45-minute harangue in which she told him, as State Department spokesman P. J. Crowley put it [4], that “the United States considered the announcement a deeply negative signal about Israel’s approach to the bilateral relationship,” that “this action had undermined trust and confidence in the peace process and in America’s interests,” and that “she could not understand how this happened, particularly in light of the United States’ strong commitment to Israel’s security.”

Further harsh remarks came from Obama adviser David Axelrod, who called [5] the announcement about the residential units for Jews an “affront” and an “insult” and said it “seemed calculated to undermine” indirect Israeli-Palestinian talks—this after Biden had accepted Netanyahu’s explanation that the announcement was bureaucratic happenstance. And Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren received “the same message of American disapproval and outrage” [6] from Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg—it being clear by now that the anger was being “managed” from the top, that is, by President Obama himself.

The totally unwarranted nature of this anger was well summarized in a Wall Street Journal editorial [7], which noted that “this particular housing project… falls within Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries and can only be described as a ‘settlement’ in the maximalist terms defined by the Palestinians.” Indeed, when in November Netanyahu announced a ten-month construction freeze in the West Bank that did not include any part of Jerusalem, Clinton praised the move as “unprecedented.” As the Journal concluded: “this episode does fit Mr. Obama’s foreign policy pattern to date: Our enemies get courted; our friends get the squeeze. It has happened to Poland, the Czech Republic, Honduras and Colombia. Now it’s Israel’s turn.”

Still, whatever slights and betrayals those countries have suffered, Anti-Defamation League director Abraham Foxman was more on the mark when he stated [8], “We cannot remember an instance when such harsh language was directed at a friend and ally of the United States.” The United States could, for instance, well blame other NATO countries for sending only tiny, token forces to Afghanistan; or Germany for its ongoing thriving commerce with Iran. Yet such a public dressing-down of these allies as Israel gets for apartments in Jerusalem would be, of course, inconceivable.

What motivated the administration’s outburst? Speculations have focused on attempts to intimidate Israel out of attacking Iran; or to force Netanyahu to choose between his right-wing coalition partners and going along with the administration’s notion of a “peace process”—or even pressuring his government into a collapse. Neither aim would be logical: making Israel feel isolated and abandoned by the U.S. would increase the chances of a move against Iran; and the right to build in Jerusalem is not a “right-wing” but, rather, a consensus position in Israel that has a unifying rather than fragmenting effect.

Since the anti-Israeli rancor stems from Obama himself, speculation could also focus on his personal motives: an ongoing identification with Palestinian positions; poor personal chemistry with Netanyahu and an inclination to blame him; or, on a less personal basis, animosity toward Netanyahu as an Israeli leader who is perceived as “hard-line” and obstructing peace no matter how many concessions he makes; adherence to a mistaken belief that Middle East-wide instability stems from Israeli-Palestinian tensions; all or some of the above mixed with frustration at the difficulty of the “peace process” that Obama adopted so resolutely as a goal at the start of his term; or he could be motivated by whatever it is that makes the Jewish state the target of so much special malice and denigration.

Whatever stands behind this crisis, which Ambassador Oren has called [9] “the worst with the U.S. in 35 years,” Netanyahu appears to be reacting at this point by holding his ground, having stated [10] on Monday that “Construction in Jerusalem will continue in any part of the city as it has during the last 42 years…. In [that period], there was no [Israeli] government that limited construction in any Jerusalem area or neighborhood. Establishing Jewish neighborhoods did not hurt Jerusalem’s Arab residents and was not at their expense.”

Although Biden, in his speech [11] in Tel Aviv on Thursday, spoke of “an ironclad commitment to Israel’s security,” for this administration that does not include refraining from further vilifying Israel at a time of obsessive worldwide opprobrium and existential danger. As Washington pushes Israel to the brink of losing its autonomy as a state, Netanyahu knows there is a limit, a point at which Israel will have to stand up for itself and look out for itself.


Article printed from FrontPage Magazine: http://frontpagemag.com

URL to article: http://frontpagemag.com/2010/03/16/obamas-israel-crisis/

URLs in this post:

[1] Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: http://matzav.com/ahmadinejad-israel-is-worlds-most-hated-state

[2] international outrage: http://frontpagemag.com../2010/03/01/israel%E2%80%99s-latest-sin%E2%80%94honoring-its-heritage/

[3] reportedly: http://www.politico.com/blogs/laurarozen/0310/What_Biden_told_Netanyahu_behind_closed_doors_This_is_starting_to_get_dangerous_for_us.html#comments

[4] put it: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35838282/ns/politics/

[5] called: http://abcnews.go.com/ThisWeek/week-transcript-wh-senior-advisor-david-axelrod-sen/story?id=10085253&page=4

[6] “the same message of American disapproval and outrage”: http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=170999&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

[7] Wall Street Journal editorial: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704416904575121710380216280.html

[8] stated: http://www.adl.org/PresRele/IslME_62/5717_62.htm

[9] called: http://www.jpost.com/International/Article.aspx?id=171036

[10] stated: http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=171050

[11] speech: http://blogs.jta.org/politics/article/2010/03/11/1011046/bidens-speech

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Election ’08 Backgrounder

  

Financial Crisis | Iraq | Defense | Background & Character | Judges & Courts | Energy

 

FINANCIAL CRISIS

Quick Facts:

  • Democrats created the mortgage crisis by forcing banks to give loans to people who couldn’t afford them.
  • In 2006, McCain sponsored a bill to fix the problems with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  Barney Frank and other Democrats successfully opposed it.
  • Obama was one of the highest recipients of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac donations in Congress.

Related Editorials

 

IRAQ


Quick Facts:

  • When the U.S. was on the verge of losing in Iraq, McCain chose to stand and fight.  Obama chose retreat.
  • Even after the surge succeeded, Obama told ABC’s Terry Moran he would still oppose it if he had the chance to do it all over again.

Related Editorials

 

DEFENSE

Quick Facts:

  • Obama has promised to significantly cut defense spending, including saying “I will slow our development of future combat systems.”
  • John McCain has vowed: “We must continue to deploy a safe and reliable nuclear deterrent, robust missile defenses and superior conventional forces that are capable of defending the United States and our allies.”

Related Editorials

Obama Video: Watch Now

 

 

BACKGROUND & CHARACTER

Quick Facts:

  • Obama voted “present” 135 times as a state senator, and according to David Ignatius of the Washington Post, “gained a reputation for skipping tough votes.”
  • McCain has taken stances unpopular with his own party and/or the public on controversial issues, including immigration, campaign finance reform, judicial nominations, the Iraq War and more.

Related Editorials

 

 

JUDGES & COURTS


Quick Facts:

  • In a 2001 interview, Obama said he regretted that the Supreme Court “didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution.”
  • In the same interview, Obama criticized the Supreme Court because it “never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society.”
  • Obama has focused on empathy, rather than legal reasoning and restraint, as his basis for appointing judges, saying, “We need somebody who’s got the heart, the empathy…to understand what it’s like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old.”
  • McCain opposes judicial activism, saying, “my nominees will understand that there are clear limits to the scope of judicial power.”

Related Editorials

Obama 2001 Interview: Listen Now

 

ENERGY


Quick Facts:

  • McCain has proposed building 45 new nuclear plants by 2030 and is in favor of drilling in sectors of the Outer Continental Shelf.
  • Obama has refused to take a stand, saying only “we should explore nuclear power as part of the energy mix” and he will “look at” drilling offshore.

Related Editorials

»
McCain: The Energy Candidate

» McCain On Nukes: Yes We Can
» Breaking The Back Of High Oil

 

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HOW ACORN GOT ME INTO VOTE SCAM

NUTS!

HOW ACORN GOT ME INTO VOTE SCAM

  •  JEANE MacINTOSH, Post Correspondent
Christopher Barkley
Christopher Barkley
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Last updated: 8:01 am
October 9, 2008
Posted: 4:31 am
October 9, 2008

CLEVELAND – Two Ohio voters, including Domino’s pizza worker Christopher Barkley , claimed yesterday that they were hounded by the community-activist group ACORN to register to vote several times, even though they made it clear they’d already signed up.

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Barkley estimated he’d registered to vote “10 to 15” times after canvassers for ACORN, whose political wing has endorsed Barack Obama, relentlessly pursued him and others.

Claims such as his have sparked election officials to probe ACORN.

“I kept getting approached by folks who asked me to register,” Barkley said. “They’d ask me if I was registered. I’d say yes, and they’d ask me to do it [register] again.

 

“Some of them were getting paid to collect names. That was their sob story, and I bought it,” he said.

Barkley is one of at least three people who have been subpoenaed by the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections as part of a wider inquiry into possible voter fraud by ACORN. The group seeks to register low-income voters, who skew overwhelmingly Democratic.

“You can tell them you’re registered as many times as you want – they do not care,” said Lateala Goins, 21, who was subpoenaed.

“They will follow you to the buses, they will follow you home, it does not matter,” she told The Post.

She added that she never put down an address on any of the registration forms, just her name.

A third subpoenaed voter, Freddie Johnson, 19, filled out registration cards 72 times over 18 months, officials said.

“It feeds the public perception that there could be [fraud], and that makes the pillars fall down,” said local Board of Elections President Jeff Hastings.

Registering under a fake name is illegal. But officials usually catch multiple registrations and toss them.

The major risk of fraud growing out of mass canvassing involves the possibility of ineligible voters filing absentee ballots, and thus avoiding checks at polling places, said Republican National Committee chief counsel Sean Cairncross.

The subpoenas come as Republicans have ramped up criticism of ACORN. Officials in Nevada raided ACORN’s Las Vegas office Tuesday, accusing the group of signing people up multiple times – in some cases under phony names, like those of Dallas Cowboys.

ACORN’s Cleveland spokesman, Kris Harsh, said his group collected 100,000 voter-registration cards; only about 50 were questionable, he claimed.

As for workers, “We watch them like a hawk,” he said.

War Blog By FrontPage Magazine Lots of Good Stuff

Take just one minute

Obama’s Pastor and the Jewish “Ethnic Bomb”

Longtime pastor and spiritual mentor of Barack Obama

  • Considers the U.S. to be a nation rife with racism and disrimination
  • Blames American racism for provoking the 9/11 attacks
  • “Islam and Christianity are a whole lot closer than you may realize,” he has written. “Islam comes out of Christianity.”
  • Embraces liberation theology and socialism
  • Strong supporter of Louis Farrakhan
  • Likens Israel’s treatment of Palestinians to South Africa’s treatment of blacks during the apartheid era

It has been learned that on the “Pastor’s Page” of a newsletter published by Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ (TUCC), was an open letter from Palestinian activist Ali Baghdadi calling Israel an “apartheid” regime that was developing an “ethnic bomb” designed to kill “blacks and Arabs.”

Wrote Baghdadi: “I must tell you that Israel was the closest ally to the white supremacists of South Africa. In fact, South Africa allowed Israel to test its nuclear weapons in the ocean off South Africa. The Israelis were given a blank check: they could test whenever they desired and did not even have to ask permission. Both worked on an ethnic bomb that kills Blacks and Arabs.”

The letter appeared in the June 10, 2007 edition of the TUCC newsletter, which is still available at the church’s website. The publication described Baghdadi as someone who “acted as a Middle East advisor to the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, the founder of the Nation of Islam, as well as Minister Louis Farrakhan.”

The son of a Baptist minister, Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. was born in Philadelphia on September 22, 1941. On March 1, 1972, he became the pastor of Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ (TUCC), a position he held until February 2008.

After a tour of duty in the U.S. Navy, Wright went on to earn a master’s degree in English from Howard University in 1969. Six years later he earned an additional master’s degree from the University of Chicago Divinity School, and in 1990 he received a Doctor of Ministry Degree from United Theological Seminary.

The writings, public statements, and sermons of Rev. Wright reflect his conviction that America is a nation infested with racism, prejudice, and injustices that make life very difficult for black people. As he declared in one of his sermons: “Racism is how this country was founded and how this country is still run!… We [Americans] believe in white supremacy and black inferiority and believe it more than we believe in God.”

Wright laments “the social order under which we [blacks] live, under which we suffer, under which we are killed.”[1] Depicting blacks as a politically powerless demographic, he complains that “African Americans don’t run anything in the Capital except elevators.”[2] Similarly, on its website Wright’s church portrays black people as victims who are burdened by the legacy of their “pilgrimage through the days of slavery, the days of segregation, and the long night of racism,” and who must pray for “the strength and courage to continuously address injustice as a people.”

Wright attributes the high unemployment rate of African Americans to “the fact that they are black.”[3] Vis a vis the criminal justice system, he likewise explains that “the brothers are in prison” largely because of their skin color. “Consider the ‘three strikes law,'” he elaborates. “There is a higher jail sentencing for crack than for cocaine because more African Americans get crack than do cocaine.”[4]

In Wright’s calculus, white America’s bigotry is to blame not only for whatever ills continue to plague the black community, but also for anti-U.S. sentiment abroad. “In the 21st century, says Wright, “white America got a wake-up call after 9/11/01. White America and the western world came to realize that people of color had not gone away, faded into the woodwork or just ‘disappeared’ as the Great White West kept on its merry way of ignoring black concerns.”

Wright sees no reason to believe that Islam may be incompatible in any way with Western traditions. “Islam and Christianity are a whole lot closer than you may realize,” he has written. “Islam comes out of Christianity.”[5]

Wright detests America’s capitalist economic structure, viewing it as a breeding ground for all manner of injustice. “Capitalism as made manifest in the ‘New World,'” he says, “depended upon slave labor (by African slaves), and it is only maintained by keeping the ‘Two-Thirds World’ under oppression.”[6] Wright’s anti-capitalist perspective is reflected in TUCC’s “10-point vision,” whose ideals include the cultivation of “a congregation working towards ECONOMIC PARITY.” (Emphasis in original.) The TUCC mission statement plainly declares its goal of helping “the less fortunate to become agents of change for God who is not pleased with America’s economic mal-distribution!”

This view is entirely consistent with Rev. Wright’s devotion to the tenets of liberation theology, which is essentially Marxism dressed up as Christianity. Devised by Cold War-era theologians, it teaches that the New Testament gospels can be understood only as calls for social activism, class struggle, and revolution aimed at overturning the existing capitalist order and installing, in its stead, a socialist utopia where today’s poor will unseat their “oppressors” and become liberated from their material (and, consequently, their spiritual) deprivations. An extension of this paradigm is black liberation theology, which seeks to foment a similar Marxist revolutionary fervor founded on racial rather than class solidarity. Wright’s mentor in this discipline is James Cone, author of the landmark text Black Power and Black Theology. Arguing that Christianity has been used by white society as an opiate of the (black) masses, Cone asserts that the destitute “are made and kept poor by the rich and powerful few,” and that “[n]o one can be a follower of Jesus Christ without a political commitment that expresses one’s solidarity with victims.”

Wright commonly denounces the United States, which he views as a nation infested with racism and evil. In one noteworthy sermon, he paraphrased the assertions of another black preacher (with whose views he agreed entirely) as follows:

Fact #1: We’ve got more black men in prison than there are in college.

Fact #2: Racism is still alive and well. Racism is how this country was founded, and how this country is still run…. I don’t care how hard you run, Jesse, and no black woman can never be considered for anything outside of what she can give with her body.

Fact #3: America is the #1 killer in the world. We invaded Grenada for no other reason than to get Maurice Bishop. We invaded Panama because Noriega would not dance to our tune anymore. We are deeply involved in the importing of drugs, the exporting of guns and the training of professional killers. We bombed Cambodia, Iraq and Nicaragua, killing women and children while trying to get public opinion turned against Castro and Qadaffi.

Fact #4: We put Mandela in prison and supported apartheid the whole 27 years he was there. We believe in white supremacy and black inferiority, and believe it more than we believe in God.

Fact #5: We supported Zionism shamelessly while ignoring the Palestinians, and called anyone that spoke out against it as being Anti-Semitic.

Fact #6: We conducted radiation experiments on our own people. We’re just finding out about that. We care nothing about human life if the ends justify the means.

Fact #7: We do not care if poor black and brown children cannot read and kill each other senselessly. We abandoned the city back in the 60’s back when the riots started. And it really doesn’t matter what those “NNNNNNnnnnnnn…………… natives” do to each other, we gave up on them and public education of poor people who live in the projects…. We, with VCRs, TVs, CDs, and portable phones have more homeless than any nation in the world.

Fact #8: We started the AIDS virus. And now that it is out of control, we still put more money in the military than in medicine, more money in hate than in humanitar[ian] concerns. Everybody does not have access to health care, I don’t care what the rich white boys in the city say, brothers…. Listen up, if you are poor, black and elderly, forget it.

Fact #9: We are only able to maintain our level of living by making sure that Third World people live in grinding poverty.

Fact #10: We are selfish, self-centered egotists who are arrogant and ignorant and we prayer at church and do not try to make the kingdom that Jesus talks about a reality….

In light of these 10 facts, God has got to be SICK OF THIS SHIT! (emphasis in original) (Click here for video of this sermon.)

Many of Wright’s condemnations of America are echoed in his denunciations of Israel and Zionism, which he has blamed for imposing “injustice and … racism” on the Palestinians. According to Wright, Zionism contains an element of “white racism.”  Likening Israel’s treatment of Palestinians to South Africa’s treatment of blacks during the apartheid era, Wright advocates divestment campaigns targeting companies that conduct business in, or with, Israel.

Wright is a great admirer of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. “When Minister Farrakhan speaks, Black America listens,” says Wright. “Everybody may not agree with him, but they listen … His depth on analysis when it comes to the racial ills of this nation is astounding and eye opening. He brings a perspective that is helpful and honest. Minister Farrakhan will be remembered as one of the 20th and 21st century giants of the African American religious experience. His integrity and honesty have secured him a place in history as one of the nation’s most powerful critics. His love for Africa and African American people has made him an unforgettable force, a catalyst for change and a religious leader who is sincere about his faith and his purpose.”

Wright’s praise for Farrakhan was echoed in the November/December issue of TUCC’s bimonthly magazine, the Trumpet, which featured an interview with the NOI “icon” who, according to the publication, “truly epitomized greatness.” “Because of the Minister’s influence in the African American community,” the Trumpet announced that it was honoring him with an “Empowerment Award” as a “fitting tribute for a storied life well lived.”

Wright accompanied Farrakhan on a 1984 trip to meet with Farrakhan’s friend, the Libyan dictator Muammar Qadhafi.

Farrakhan’s October 16, 1995 Million Man March ranks among the events about which Rev. Wright has written most extensively and passionately. Wright attended the rally with his son, and has described it as “a once in a lifetime, amazing experience.”[7] When a number of prominent African Americans counseled fellow blacks to boycott the demonstration because of Farrakhan’s history of hateful rhetoric, Wright derided those critics as “‘Negro’ leaders,”[8] “‘colored’ leaders,” “Oreos,” and “house niggras”[9] who were guilty of “Uncle Tomism.”[10] “There are a whole boat load of ‘darkies’ who think in white supremacist terms,” added Wright. “… Some ‘darkies’ think white women are superior to black women…. Some ‘darkies’ think white lawyers are superior to black lawyers. Some ‘darkies’ think white pastors are better than black pastors. There are a whole boatload of ‘darkies’ who think anything white and everyone white is better than whatever it is black people have.”[11]

On its website, Wright’s church describes itself in distinctly racial terms, as being an “Unashamedly Black” congregation of “African people” who are “true to our native land, the mother continent, the cradle of civilization,” and who participate in TUCC’s “Black worship service and ministries which address the Black Community.”

Some have suggested that such assertions, coupled with Wright’s own racially loaded statements and his close affiliation with Farrakhan, indicate that Wright is guilty of racism. But Wright dismisses this charge, stating: “I get tickled every time I hear a ‘Negro’ call me a racist. They don’t even understand how to define the word. Racism means controlling the means.”[12]

TUCC promotes a “Black Value System” that encourages African Americans to patronize black-only businesses, support black leaders, and avoid becoming “entrapped” by the pursuit of a “black middle-classness” whose ideals presumably would erode their sense of African identity and render them “captive” to white culture.

Wright and his congregants offered Kwanzaa programs for the TUCC community.[13]  Kwanzaa is the holiday founded by Maulana Karenga, a self-identified “African socialist” whose “Seven Principles of Blackness,” which are observed during Kwanzaa, include not only the Marxist precepts of parity and proletariat unity, but are identical to the principles of the 1970s domestic terrorist group, the Symbionese Liberation Army.

When Rev. Wright took over as TUCC pastor, the church’s membership totaled 87. By 2007 it had become the largest congregation in the United Church of Christ, with more than 8,000 members. TUCC’s most well-known congregant is Barack Obama, who sought Wright’s counsel before formally declaring his candidacy for U.S. President in 2007. Obama and his wife had previously selected Wright to perform their wedding ceremony and, later, to baptize their two daughters.

Rev. Wright retired as pastor of TUCC on February 10, 2008. 


Notes:

[1] When Black Men Stand up for God (Chicago: African American Images), 1996, p. 17.
[2] Ibid., p. 102.
[3] Ibid., p. 17.
[4] Ibid., p. 17. (Notwithstanding Wright’s implication that the harsh anti-crack penalties were instituted by racist legislators for the purpose of incarcerating as many blacks as possible, the Congressional Record shows that such was not at all the case. In 1986, when the strict, federal anti-crack legislation was being debated, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC)—deeply concerned about the degree to which crack was decimating the black community—strongly supported the legislation and actually pressed for even harsher penalties. In fact, a few years earlier CBC members had pushed President Reagan to create the Office of National Drug Control Policy. See John DiIulio, Jr., “My Black Crime Problem, and Ours,” City Journal (Spring 1996), pp. 19-20.)
[5] When Black Men Stand up for God, p. 16.
[6] Blow the Trumpet in Zion (Minneapolis: Fortress Press), 2005, pp. 8-9.
[7] When Black Men Stand up for God, p. 10.
[8] Ibid., pp. 11, 37.
[9] Ibid., p. 80.
[10] Ibid., p. 11.
[11] Ibid., p. 81.
[12] Ibid., p. 102.
[13] Ibid., p. iv.

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