Everybody’s Asking ‘Is Obama Mentally Present?’

Everybody’s Asking ‘Is Obama Mentally Present?’

M Catharine Evans

 


Conservatives aren’t the only ones befuddled
by the President’s Gridiron dinner antics, March madness picks and his strange
Saturday radio address focusing on the Paycheck Fairness Act when a government
shutdown has been looming for weeks.

Daily
Mail’s Max Hastings
calls Barack Obama “cool, cold, cerebral, and arrogant”
in a March 14 lament.

Hastings, like millions of Europeans, fell in lust
with the U.S President back in 2008 and now that the bloom is off the stem, he
wants to break up. Like most of Obama’s star-struck groupies he’s racking his
brain trying to understand what happened to the knight “mantled in a glittering
white cloak…the great speechmaker.”

On the Mideast, Afghanistan, the
debt, unemployment, and myriad domestic and international crises the One appears
“remote” displaying “a curious lack of interest.” Curiously, Hastings cites
Obama’s post-massacre Arizona speech when he “rose to extraordinary heights of
rhetoric” as the single exception to the president’s otherwise glaring
indifference in the face of so much turmoil.

Hastings contention that
Obama is “missing in action” makes us wonder whether the President was ever ‘in
the action’ to begin with. By now, those paying attention know the Chicago
trained community organizer did not come to lead but to act as a mouthpiece for
those who desire to change the founding fathers’ vision of America. And he needs
four more years to finish the job. Hastings all but admits this may be the
case:

While the world welcomed Obama as a transformational figure, he
shows no sign of wishing to fulfil any such grand role.

Indeed, the White
House is obsessed with a single issue: how to get its man re-elected in November
2012.

A Washingtonian who has studied the President at close quarters
said to me: ‘I think I understand him now. He’s a “pol” – a politico – who
learned his business in the Chicago machine.

In trying to
make sense of it all Hastings, being a good liberal Brit, scapegoats the
American people as “nutters” and dutifully bashes Sarah Palin as that “moose
hunting air-headed vice presidential candidate” whose “hick followers still
love” her, but “Lord, be thanked, the White House now seems safe from her.”

The reporter insists that the majority of Americans who live in the real
world reject the “Republican excesses,” and appreciate a “brilliant man” who
never says or acts “irrationally.”

Hastings refuses to speak ill of his
former idol, but by the end of the piece he expresses frustration at the
President’s refusal to man up and “fight tough fights.” But it can’t be the
President’s fault; he “was bound to succumb to the sordid demands of machine
politics.” Was that before 2008 or after?

The reporter can’t seem to
bring himself to admit he was powerless over the Obama machine, taken in by the
phony Axelrodian reality. Instead Hastings blames the “hicks” that did their
homework. Weren’t they the ones who  googled ‘Alinsky;’ were aghast when they
listened to Reverend Wright’s anti-American, anti-Semitic, anti-white speeches;
and who discovered the “brilliant man” voted ‘present’ 129 times in the Illinois
State Senate?

A “Washington admirer” urges Hastings to “not lose faith”
in Barack Obama, that he “may still lay claim to greatness.” What a twisted and
doomed love story this presidency is turning out to be.

Read
more M.Catharine Evans at www.potterwilliamsreport.com

Thoughts from a conservative in hiding (Not Me)

Thoughts from a conservative in hiding

Neil Braithwaite

I try my best to get my conservative friends to stand up for the cause; unfortunately, the one with the best writing skills lives among the liberals in the great Pacific Northwest and actually fears that being outed may cause him and his family irreparable harm.So, under his alias, Dave McGuire, I present to you his conservative words of wisdom:

“Since someone broached the subject of Obama’s recent comments about his Christianity I am compelled to offer the following comment on that subject.

Obama and his wife spent 20 plus years at the feet of a guy that is as hate filled as any man can be. The Rev. Wright vented his vile spirit every Sunday but our president thinks he can regale throngs of potential voters with lip service and half-truths about his desire to be a Christian. Don’t make me laugh – I’m not in the mood.

The United Church of Christ, of which Mr. Obama was a member, does not hold to any form of the traditional view of Jesus. The organization as a whole is nearly agnostic in terms of a belief in a higher power. Truth be known, the organization across America is merely a liberal political movement masquerading as a church – not unlike so many other progressive liberal and so called Christian churches in America. These are the type of spiritual groups that Lenin or Stalin, if they were alive, would hail as the perfect State Sanctioned Church; and the only church anyone would be allowed to attend.

Beyond that fact, the notion that Mr. Obama wants to be his sister’s and brother’s keeper is laughable and at the same time just a little concerning. You see, after Cain killed his brother God asked him where his brother Able was. Cain replied, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Now, I don’t care one way or the other how you feel about the veracity of the story, but taken in its context the answer Cain gave was conceived by a guilty conscience and smacked of insolence – or at best disingenuousness.

Now, consider that the concept of being your brother’s keeper is not mentioned again in either the Old or New Testament. That fact begs the question – just whose voice was calling out to Obama and whose precepts were ringing in his ears?

To make the point one more time: there are no other references to a command or inference to suggest that anyone need be another’s keeper. Think about it, why would there be and who would want to be kept if there were? I suppose Karl Marx might enjoin the idea given his view of life, after all, the governments his ideology spawned are all about keeping people, aren’t they?

As for doing unto others as you would have them do unto you, – this president has been heading off in the wrong direction and dragging the country along with him. If Obama really cared about our lives he would not be running the country into the ground – wasting our money doing it – and promising more of the same if we give him what he wants. Given the ground we’ve covered thus far, with our leader at the wheel, I am certain that given the opportunity Obama will continue to take us to the ultimate destination to a land of hopelessness and despair.

As he stands now, the best you can say about Obama is: he may not have provided the transparency in government he promised – but he certainly is a man that is easily seen through – if you have eyes to see that is.”

Excellent job Dave.


Neil Braithwaite writes political commentary and satire.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/09/thoughts_from_a_conservative_i.html at September 30, 2010 – 11:43:55 AM CDT

Liberal Narcissism and Anti-Christian Phobia

Liberal Narcissism and Anti-Christian Phobia

By Deborah C. Tyler

Americans have always expected national television broadcasters to steer clear of degrading epithets. On April 14, 2009, CNN’s Anderson Cooper established a new low in television journalism when he labeled millions of Americans in the Tea Party movement with a vulgar sexual term. Other mainstream media journalists and personalities gleefully followed suit. There was no outcry from the “anti-hate community.” Many liberals do not merely tolerate contumelies against conservatives, but they delight in them.
In the years after World War II, psychologists (many of whom were European Jews who had escaped Nazism) intensively studied how fascist and authoritarian states could bring ordinary people to commit extraordinary crimes against minorities. The two dominant personality theories of the twentieth century, the Freudian and Adlerian psychoanalytic models, provided theoretical frameworks for understanding bigotry and fascism as forms of individual and collective neurotic delusions. The Freudian model attributed these neuroses to a frustrated “will to pleasure,” while Adler pointed to an unhealthy expression of the “will to power” over others.
For the most part, psychologists today deny or ignore anti-Christian prejudice in the American conversation. This is because psychologists are overwhelming politically liberal and spiritually humanist. In social science, bias in is bias out. In addition, America’s dominant psychological model, behaviorism, has always been anti-theoretical and has not produced an integrated theory of personality equal in influence to either Freud or Adler.
Although Freud and Adler agreed on the existence of unconscious fear as the core of neurotic anxiety, they had different explanations for it. Freud posited that bigotry arises when a child internalizes the prejudices of the father in order to resolve unconscious sexual conflicts in the process of superego formation. This thwarted “will to pleasure” is projected as hatred onto a scapegoat minority. Culturally, fear becomes fascistic, involving rigid group conformity against a common enemy. Freud’s model is obsolete. Anderson Cooper, and the Manhattan micro-niche he typifies, is not anxiously reacting to an overbearing father-figure. It is the extreme opposite. Mr. Cooper is the son of a fantastically permissive brand of humanism. The only thing he has to feel guilty about is guilt itself.
But the Freudian model does have utility in one dimension. The aggression resulting from thwarted narcissism is gratified when projected onto a devalued minority — e.g., Tea Party participants. The core phobia is that non-approving conservatives are thwarting the “will to pleasure.” The need for perfect admiration and approval is the hallmark of narcissism, which is by definition insatiable. Narcissistic pleasure is the precursor to inevitable narcissistic rage. In the narcissistic liberal imagination, Christian conservatives stand in the way of a human heaven of sexual freedom.
Alfred Adler coined the term “inferiority complex.” He held that the neurotic complex arises from harm inherent in the “will to power” over others. His model explains liberal prejudice as an overreaction against unconscious self-doubt that projects intellectual, moral, and cultural inferiority onto others. Uppity and unmanageable conservatives, who, oblivious to their own stupidity, doggedly stand up for their inferior beliefs anger the narcissistic liberal.
Applying either Freudian or Adlerian analysis to liberal phobic structure requires updating the concept of individual anxiety, or neurosis, to the contemporary concept of group-based social phobia. Both Freud and Adler were middle-class Jewish men who assumed that neurosis developed in reaction to imbalances in the paternalistic nuclear family — the only normative child-rearing form either had ever seen.
In 1980, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders III dropped neurosis as a diagnosis and replaced it with culturally based phobias. The father-led nuclear family was no longer the social structure for incorporating values, morals, and role expectations. “Inadequacy adjustment” in relation to that family system was no longer the source of mental imbalance. Values, norms, and the power of social conditioning were moving outside the home and into the hands of “experts,” government schools, universities, and mass media — in other words, liberals.
Liberal phobic structure is a fascinating innovation in the history of prejudice and cultural fascism. It is a dread of specific forms of sin-cognizant religious belief.
Both anti-Christian phobia and narcissism result from the humanist denial of sin, heaven, and hell. Liberals believe the narcissogenic idea that they create their own heaven or hell on earth. The denial of God-defined sin leads to self-deification and the anxious business of high-stakes, self-directed life-styling. Liberals live with their eyes glued to mass media to learn what is and isn’t sin this season. People who believe that such behavior can lead to a nasty outcome beyond this life are detested. Although liberals accuse Christians of being homophobic, true Christians are hellphobic. Regardless of religious self-identification, people who are betting their immortal souls on a denial of sin and its effects beyond this life have to be crazy not to be phobic.
Every permanent theistic religion of the last seven thousand years — Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam — provides an understanding that spiritual wastefulness is sin. These religions seek to protect people from the consequences of sin beyond this life. Traditions that assume reincarnation, such as Hinduism and Buddhism, teach that sinfulness in one life leads to suffering in the next. Religions that do not incorporate reincarnation, such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam, explain life as a fleeting preparation before divine judgment.
The pathognomic sign that the liberal reaction to sin-cognizant belief systems is a symptom of phobic complex is that it selectively rejects the teachings of its own traditions — Judaism and especially Christianity. These cultural heritages pose a threat to the liberal wills to pleasure and power. Liberal phobia includes a complex delusional system that exempts some sin-cognizant religions. For example, liberals adore their own version of a morally permissive, designer Buddhism. Nor are they phobic toward Islam, which is based on fiercely sin-cognizant scripture. Liberals maintain mechanisms of denial regarding Islam that rise to the level of psychotic dissociation.
G.K. Chesterton wrote, “Bigots are people who have no convictions at all.” Screaming-meemies like Keith Olbermann, Rosie O’Donnell, Sean Penn, Janeane Garofalo, and all the porn-thumping preachers railing against the sin of sin-cognizance are the voices of the new cultural fascists, spittle-flinging celebrities unconsciously raging against their own fear.
I recently evaluated a 53-year-old man who has been unable to recover psychologically or physically from what appeared to be a minor accident. He was born into a devout Christian family in a small Midwestern town. He was also born gay. At about 30, he adopted a gay mode of life. His family continued to love him, but they did not alter their religious beliefs. When he discovered in 1990 that both he and his partner had contracted HIV, his family took this as a sign of the sinfulness of his lifestyle. This man’s friends, counselors, therapists, and humanistic-Christian pastors have for twenty years encouraged him to believe that his family is bigoted. His family has visited him through the years. They sit in the front room and do not stay the night. He acquired a settled resentment toward his people and never went home again. By the grace of God, he and his partner have survived for twenty years, while all of their friends have died. Ironically, he believes that this is because his family back home is praying for him. This man moved from an unyielding belief system based in divine forgiveness to a man-made culture that does not seem to value it.
Dr. Tyler can be reached at deborahtyler@intylergence.com.

Obama Removes Jesus from Easter Message?

President Obama literally edited Christ out of his “holiday greeting” today when he excerpted a sermon given by a military chaplain on Iwo Jima on Easter Sunday 1945.

Below is the relevant paragraph from Obama’s holiday greeting today:

The rites of Passover, and the traditions of Easter, have been marked by people in every corner of the planet for thousands of years. They have been marked in times of peace, in times of upheaval, in times of war.

One such war-time service was held on the black sands of Iwo Jima more than sixty years ago. There, in the wake of some of the fiercest fighting of World War II, a chaplain rose to deliver an Easter sermon, consecrating the memory, he said “of American dead – Catholic, Protestant, Jew. Together,” he said, “they huddled in foxholes or crouched in the bloody sands…Together they practiced virtue, patriotism, love of country, love of you and of me.” The chaplain continued, “The heritage they have left us, the vision of a new world, [was] made possible by the common bond that united them…their only hope that this unity will endure.”

Their only hope that this unity will endure.

Now read below the same paragraph again, but this time note the additional bolded language that comes from the original audio of the 1945 sermon and its context, but which President Obama decided not to include:

There, in the wake of some of the fiercest fighting of World War II, a chaplain rose to deliver an Easter sermon, consecrating the memory, he said:

He has risen. With all due reverence, we apply these words to our beloved dead. 

There are too many air call wings encrusted with the stain of their owners’ life blood, too many marine trousers upon the graves, too many symbols of American dead – Catholic, Protestant, Jew. Together,” he said, “they huddled in foxholes or crouched in the bloody sands under the fury of enemy guns here on Iwo Jima. Together they practiced virtue, patriotism, love of country, love of you and of me. Together they stand before the greatest soldier of them all – Jesus Christ, to receive the token of our triumph.  For Christ has said: “Greater love than this no man hath then that he lay down his life for his friends.”

And so our beloved dead have gone from the world of hate to the world of eternal love. 

The chaplain continued, “The heritage they have left us, the vision of a new world, [was] made possible by the common bond that united them in the drudgery of recruit training or here in the chaos of bursting shouts.  Their only hope: that this unity will endure.”

And so our dead have risen to glory.

The American President is president of all the people, believers and non-believers alike.  So when presidential messages are delivered to mark the special observances of major religious groups, it is understandable that a president will strive to provide some measure of explanation of how a particular religious observance honors values that all Americans can share.

But there are limits. A president cannot possibly hope to be a grand synthesizer of all religious traditions in the United States. Despite his skills, it is above President Obama’s pay grade to construct some kind of civic religion that stands above traditional religions and which should guide Americans going forward.

Instead of providing separate messages to Jews and Christians on the observance of Passover and Easter, President Obama said in this holiday greeting that “while we worship in different ways, we also remember the shared spirit of humanity that inhabits us all – Jews and Christians, Muslims and Hindus, believers and nonbelievers alike.”

Obama then went on to say that “on this Easter weekend, let us hold fast to those aspirations we hold in common as brothers and sisters, as members of the same family – the family of man.”

The problem is that when you start to water down what people actually believe in an attempt to construct a religion of the “family of man”, you start to misrepresent fundamentally the nature of the hope that is at the center of lives of believers.

In the case of Christians, Christ is our hope.  Our hope is in the risen Christ, which we celebrate on Easter Sunday.

But if a president wants to water down religious beliefs in an attempt to find a synthesized religion of the ‘family of man’, you end up removing Christ from Easter, which is, strangely, exactly what President Obama did today in his Easter message. 

Is this the first American president to dechristianize Easter?

Vince Haley is vice president for policy at American Solutions. The observations made herein are personal

Obama’s Victim: The “Peace Process”

Obama’s Victim: The “Peace Process”

Posted By Alan M. Dershowitz On April 5, 2010 @ 12:07 am In FrontPage | 5 Comments

The apparently escalating conflict between the US and Israel did not have to occur. It must be resolved now, before it does irreparable harm to prospects for peace.

The conflict was largely contrived by people with agendas.  The initial impetus for the brouhaha was an ill-timed announcement that permits had been issued for building 1,600 additional residences in a part of Jerusalem that had been captured by Israel in the 1967 war.  The Netanyahu government had been praised by President Obama for agreeing to a freeze on building permits on the West Bank, despite the fact that the freeze did not extend to any part of Jerusalem.  Thus the announcement of new building permits did not violate any agreement by Israel.  Nonetheless, the timing of the announcement embarrassed Vice President Joe Biden who was in Israel at the time.  The timing was neither an accident nor was it purposely done by Prime Minister Netanyahu to embarrass Biden.  Many believe that the announcement was purposely timed by opponents of the peace process in order to embarrass Netanyahu.  Whatever the motivation, the announcement deserved a rebuke from Vice President Biden.  It also warranted an apology and explanation from the Israeli government, which immediately came from Netanyahu.  That should have ended the contretemps.

But some in the Obama Administration apparently decided that they too had an agenda beyond responding to the ill-timed announcement, and they decided to take advantage of Israel’s gaffe.  They began to pile on and on and on.  Instead of it being a one day story, the controversy continues to escalate and harden positions on all sides to this day and perhaps beyond.  The real victim is the peace process and the winners are those–like Iran, Hamas and extremist Israelis–who oppose the two-state solution.

The building permits themselves were for residences not in East Jerusalem, but rather in North Jerusalem, and not in an Arab section, but rather in an entirely Jewish neighborhood.  This neighborhood, Ramat Shlomo, is part of the area that everybody acknowledges should and will remain part of Israel even if an agreement for a two state solution and the division of Jerusalem is eventually reached.  In that respect, it is much like the ancient Jewish quarter of Jerusalem, which was illegally captured from the Jewish residents by the Jordanian army in the 1948 war.  The Jordanians then desecrated Jewish holy places during its illegal occupation, and the Israelis legally recaptured it during the defensive war of 1967.  No one in their right mind believes that Israel has any obligation to give up the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem, including the Western Wall, the holiest Jewish site in the world, despite the fact that it was recaptured during the 1967 war.

Because the Palestinians understand and acknowledge that these entirely Jewish areas of Jerusalem will remain part of the Jewish state even after an agreement, the ill-timed announcement of building permits during the Biden visit generated a relatively mild and routine complaint, rather than a bellicose response, from the Palestinian Authority leadership.  The bellicose response came from the American leadership, which refused to let the issue go.  Once this piling on occurred, the Palestinian leadership had no choice but to join the chorus of condemnation, lest they be perceived as being less Palestinian than the Obama Administration.

Now positions have hardened on both sides, due largely to the public and persistent nature of the American condemnation.  This rebuke culminated in the very public dissing of Prime Minister Netanyahu by President Obama during their recent White House meeting.  Obama treated Netanyahu far worse than he treated Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who is corrupt to the core and who had invited Iranian dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to deliver an anti-American tirade inside Afghanistan’s presidential palace.  According to a high ranking Afghan source, Karzai “invited Ahmadinejad to spite the Americans.”  Nonetheless, President Obama flew to Afghanistan and had a very public dinner with Karzai, according him the red carpet treatment, thus granting him legitimacy following his fraudulent re-election.

Prime Minister Netanyahu, on the other hand, has been treated with disrespect in what many Israelis see as an effort to delegitimize him in the eyes of Israeli voters who know how important the US-Israeli relationship is in the Jewish state.

The shabby treatment accorded Israel’s duly elected leader has also stimulated an ugly campaign by some of Israel’s enemies to delegitimize the US-Israeli strategic relationship, and indeed the Jewish nation itself, in the eyes of American voters.  The newest, and most dangerous, argument being offered by those who seek to damage the US-Israel alliance is that Israeli actions, such as issuing building permits in Jerusalem, endanger the lives of American troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This phony argument–originally attributed to Vice President Biden and General David Petraeus but categorically denied by both of them–has now taken on a life of its own in the media.  A CNN headline on the Rick Sanchez Show blared “Israel a danger to US Troops.”  Other headlines conveyed a similar message:  “US Tells Israel: ‘You’re undermining America, endangering troops.’”  Variations on this dangerous and false argument have been picked up by commentators such as Joe Klein in Time Magazine, Roger Cohen in The New York Times, DeWayne Wickham in USA Today and not surprisingly, Patrick Buchanan and Professors Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer.

It is a dangerous and false argument.  It is dangerous because its goal is to reduce support for Israel among mainstream Americans who understandably worry about our troops fighting abroad.  This is ironic since the major pillar of Israel’s policy with regard to US troops is that Israel never wants to endanger our troops.  That’s why it has never asked US soldiers to fight for Israel, as other allies have asked our soldiers to fight for them.  By seeking to scapegoat Israel for the death of American troops at the hands of Islamic terrorists, this argument blames those who love America for deaths caused by those who hate America.

Most of all, it is an entirely false argument.  There is absolutely no correlation between Israeli actions and the safety of American troops–none.

No one has ever shown any relationship between what Israel does and the rate of American casualties, because there is no such relationship–none

Consider two significant time periods.  The first is the end of 2000 and the beginning of 2001, when Israel offered the Palestinians virtually everything they could have wanted:  a state on 100% of the Gaza and 97% of the West Bank, a capital in a divided Jerusalem and a $35 billion reparation package for refugees.  Virtually the entire Arab world urged Arafat to accept this generous offer, but he declined it.  During the very months that Israel was doing everything possible to promote peace with the Palestinians, Al Queda was planning its devastating attack on the World Trade Center.  No correlation between Israeli actions and American casualties.

Then consider the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009 when Israel was engaged in Operation Cast Lead, which caused significant Palestinian casualties.  During that difficult period, there was no increase in American casualties.  Again, no correlation.

Those offering up this phony empirical argument have an obligation to present evidence in support of this fallacious correlation, or else to stop making this bigoted argument.

The reason there is no correlation is because extremist Muslims who kill American troops are not outraged at what Israel does, but rather at what Israel is–a secular Jewish, democratic state.  As long as Israel exists, there will be Islamic extremists who regard that fact as a provocation.  The same is true of the United States:  as long we continue to exist as a secular democracy with equal rights for women, Christians and Jews, the Osama Bin Laden’s of the world will seek our destruction.  Certainly as long as American troops remain in any part of the Arab world–whether it be Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iraq or Afghanistan–Muslim fanatics will try to kill our soldiers.  Blame for the murder of American troops should be placed on those who kill them, rather than on those who stand for the same values of democracy and equality as America does.

In considering the relationship between the United states and Israel, several points must be kept in mind.  First and foremost, the US and Israel are on the same side in the continuing struggle against Islamic extremists who endanger the lives of American troops and American civilians.  Second, Israel is one of America’s most important strategic allies, providing us with essential intelligence, research and developments and other important assets.  Third, there is nothing that Israel or the United States can do that will turn these extremist enemies into friends.  It is what we are, rather than what we do, that enrages those who wish to turn the entire world into an Islamic caliphate and subject us all to Islamic Sharia law.  Fourth, any weakening of the alliance between the United States and Israel will make it far less likely that Israelis–who get to vote on these matters–will take significant risks for peace.  Fifth, the Obama Administration’s public attacks on Israel will harden Palestinian demand and make it less likely that they will accept a compromise peace.  Sixth, if Israel’s enemies were to lay down their arms and stop terrorist and rocket attacks against Israel, there would be peace.  Seventh, if Israel were to lay down its arms, there would be genocide.  And eighth, when the Palestinian leadership and population want their own state more than they want there not to be a Jewish state, there will be a two-state solution.

It is in the best interest of the United States, of the peace process and of Israel for disagreements between allies to be resolved quietly and constructively, so that progress can be made toward achieving a two-state solution that assures Israel’s security and Palestinian statehood.

Obama’s Hardened Heart

Obama’s Hardened Heart

 

Posted By Moshe Dann On March 30, 2010 @ 12:01 am In FrontPage | 6 Comments

As if Jews needed a reminder about what a modern rendition of “Pharaoh’s heart hardened,” President Obama is providing an example, emphasizing an important lesson: the Egyptian dictator/king was part of the process of liberation and, ultimately, of God’s will and the destiny of the Jewish People.

Despite Obama’s nasty treatment of Israel’s Prime Minister and unreasonable demands, Hillary Clinton’s condemnations and suggestions that Israel is responsible for war crimes, human rights violations and hindering America’s war efforts in Pakistan and Afghanistan; despite Israel’s demonization at the UN and Arab/Muslim boycott and isolation, the Israeli government and the Jewish People are stronger and more united.

In Egypt, three millennia ago, Hebrews (as Jews were then called) not only suffered as slaves, but believed that slavery was their lot. Not yet a people, they had descended to the lowest rung of human existence, spiritually as well as physically; they lived in a state of unconsciousness.

Moses and Aaron awakened Jewish awareness; but it took ten plagues to convince Pharaoh to allow the Jews to leave, a process of realization that involved suffering and destruction, especially for the Egyptians. Had Pharaoh allowed the Jews to leave immediately, there would not have been a revelation of divine power, in contrast to Pharaoh’s phony ego-trip.

Not only was it necessary for Jews to understand that Pharaoh was not God, it was also important for Egyptians. Only when the Egyptian army was engulfed and destroyed was the meaning of The Exodus revealed. But that was only the beginning of freedom.

The great Jewish Liberation Movement that inspired countless others to resist subjugation and oppression was connected to two objectives: the Covenant at Sinai, which was the beginning of the Jewish People, and the conquest and settlement of the Land of Israel as the fulfillment of divine commandments, the struggle towards Jewish destiny.

Galut (exile) is part of Geulah (redemption); both are necessary parts of the process of developing consciousness. Without a vision of Geulah, Galut is meaningless tragedy.

Obama’s hard-heartedness towards Israel and the Jewish People is now obvious to all. As difficult as that seems, however, it is yet another omen of good things to come. That does not mean that there won’t be hard times; there will be – for sure. But this is only a test.

It would have been more comfortable if Obama and Pharaoh had treated the Jewish People more kindly. But that would have obstructed the process of spiritual awareness.

Jewish liberation is not only physical, but is a creative process of self-discovery, as an individual, as part of a family, a nation and a People. The historical episodes are markers on a path towards a grander purpose. With miracles and tragedies along the way, we need to be attuned to both.

Pharaoh became obsessed with destroying the Jews, and, in the process destroyed his own country; many other tyrants followed his example. And the Jewish People are still around.

The story of The Exodus reminds us that there are no easy roads to self-discovery – as individuals and as a People. We eat “the bread of affliction” in comfort, thinking we are free and independent, yet, hesitant to be committed; full of accomplishments, we are paupers of responsibility.

Obama puts it to us: what rightfully belongs to the Jewish People in the Land of Israel?

Obama and his friends may not like Israel, and it’s disappointing, but it may also be a way of clarifying what is important for us, and for finding our integrity.

Passover/Pesach – the celebration of freedom – begins with an act, but evolves into an ongoing drama of immense proportions. Obama’s wrath turns us back to meaning of The Exodus: we are in God’s hands.

The author is a writer and journalist living in Jerusalem.

Obama’s Ire, Not U.S. Interests, Direct Israel Policy

Obama’s Ire, Not U.S. Interests, Direct Israel Policy

By Jonathan F. Keiler

It is now beyond cavil that Barak Obama personally dislikes Israel and harbors an affinity for the Muslim/Arab world, to include the so-called Palestinian Arabs.  This is no surprise given Obama’s background and associations, which range from school days in Muslim Indonesia to close friendships with Palestinian militants, radical leftists, and his conversion to the idiosyncratic anti-American and anti-Zionist Christianity of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright.
Obama, like any American, is entitled to his personal preferences and prejudices.  He was elected by the American people in spite of them, and for some of his supporters, particularly on the hard-core left, because of them.
However, President Obama has a duty to act in the best interests of the American people, regardless of his personal prejudices.  In the case of his administration’s relations with Israel, the Arabs, and Iran, these prejudices are damaging American interests and indeed, putting the American people and military personnel in harms way. 
Obama is not the first president to have differences with Israel.  For example, supporters of Obama point to President Eisenhower’s intervention in the 1956 Suez Crisis to justify the Administration’s recent hard line with the Jewish state.  The comparison is, however, unjustified.  In 1956 America faced simultaneous crises in Hungary and Suez, and in an increasingly bi-polar world Eisenhower saw the multilateral Anglo-French-Israeli action as interfering with American prerogatives in the Middle East and vis-à-vis the Soviet Union.  Eisenhower pressured the Anglo-French to abandon Suez, which they did promptly.  It took a year of American threats, guarantees of Israeli access to the Straits of Tiran, and the demilitarization of the Sinai, force Israel to withdraw. 
Even so, this American “success” only resulted in eventual disaster.  Nasser, instead of being grateful for American intervention, fell even further into the Soviet camp, dragging Syria and much of the Arab world with him.  Eleven years later Nasser made a hash out of Eisenhower’s guarantees by booting U.N. peacekeepers from Sinai and blockading the Straits of Tiran.  In 1967, with little or no help from America, Israel retook Sinai from Egypt and expelled hostile Syrian and Jordanian forces from the Golan and the West Bank.  The Johnson and Nixon administrations, seeing the error of Eisenhower’s policies, allied the United States with Israel for the first time, and replaced France as its principle supporter and arms supplier. 
Still, Eisenhower acted against Israel not out of any personal animosity but from the sincere, if mistaken, belief that American interests required a return to the status quo in the area.  Since 1967, other American presidents have had occasional policy differences with Israel, as one would expect when an ally in a tough, dangerous neighborhood vital to U.S. interests, must sometimes act in its own interests.  Nonetheless, U.S. presidents have for the most part, pressured or confronted Israel only when international circumstances and important American interests seemed at stake. 
Nixon and Ford got tough at times in the context of the Cold War and 1973 oil crisis.  Carter, no friend of Israel, acted (mostly) to secure the critical peace agreement between Egypt and Israel, aggrandize himself, and (however incompetently) in the context of the Soviet Afghan invasion and the 1979 oil shock — venting his full anti-Israel animosities after leaving office.  Reagan initially condemned Israel for its strike on the Osirik reactor in Iraq, although he privately recognized (“boys will be boys”) it was a boon to the free world.  Reagan also mistakenly got drawn into the aftermath of the first Lebanon War following the hysterical international reaction to the Christian Phalangist attack on the Palestinian camps of Sabra and Shatila that also caused U.S.-Israel tensions.
Neither George H.W. Bush nor his principal advisors were personally inclined toward the Jewish state, but pressured her (justifiably) to stay out of the Gulf War, and thereafter in the mistaken belief (Madrid) that after America’s Gulf victory, a comprehensive Middle East peace beckoned. 
Clinton, like Carter, sought to finalize accords (Oslo) negotiated outside American ambit and glorify himself, but in so doing critically misjudged (as did many Israelis) the true intentions of Yasser Arafat. 
Finally, George W. Bush, the president most personally sympathetic to Israel, nonetheless balanced American interests in the region and became the first American president to publicly call for the establishment of a Palestinian state.     
Obama, on the other hand, came into office at a time of relative quiescence in the area.  The two most radical Arab forces (Hezb’allah and Hamas) were at least temporarily cowed by Israeli offensives, as was Syria thanks to an Israeli strike on a clandestine nuclear facility.  The somewhat less radical Palestinian Authority was making strides toward establishing a functioning proto-state and talking directly to Jerusalem.  Only Iran posed a real threat to stability in the area and rationally Obama should have directed American pressure and wrath against Tehran.   
But Obama’s personal prejudices and desires direct policy.  Instead of focusing on Iran, Obama almost immediately called for a freeze on Israeli construction in the West Bank, without making corresponding demands on the Palestinians.  The Palestinians predictably sat back — as they do still — anticipating American pressure against Israel will allow them to pocket gains without giving anything in return.  The resulting stalemate irked Obama and his largely amateur and often buffoonish coterie of close advisors who, following the leader, blamed Israel for the impasse. 
Obama struck over the silly issue of Jerusalem housing permits, a matter over which no great power ought care one whit, never mind the fact that the construction was perfectly legal and aligned with mutually articulated understandings and promises between the two countries. 
No critical American interests were at stake, so Obama and his crew invented a blood libel.  First, Vice President Biden accused Israel of putting American servicemen in harms way via apartment construction — a charge he now unconvincingly denies.  
In addition the White House stood idly by when a blogger for Foreign Policy incorrectly claimed that General David Petraeus said something similar during a classified Pentagon briefing in January that was forwarded to the White House.  Testimony by Petraeus before the Senate Armed Services committee was also widely mischaracterized in the tumult.  But when close Obama advisor and political hack David Axelrod was asked directly on ABC’s “This Week” whether the libel concerning danger to U.S. personnel was true, he did not deny it, and heaped more calumny on Israel. 
The White House allowed Petraeus to dangle in the wind for several days while critics from the left and right assailed him for comments he never made.  He clarified the situation in a press briefing, phoned Israel’s friendly and cooperative Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, and even sent Ashkenazi a supportive blog post by writer Max Boot.
The only fair way to describe the affair is malfeasance on the part of the White House.  Obama deliberately created a severe crisis with a close and key ally where no vital American interests were at stake.  He compounded the wrongdoing by knowingly and falsely implying that such interests were at risk, most notably a direct danger to American service personnel.  And finally, he exposed the country’s most decorated and important Army general to unwarranted attack because it served his own narrow, personal prejudices.