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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Is Obama an Anti-Semite?

We all know that Obama sat silently in his pew while his spiritual mentor, the Reverend Wright, ranted against Jews and Israel over the course of some 20 years. We also know that The Los Angeles Times refuses to release the video of Obama speaking at a 2003 going-away party honoring Rashid Khalidi, at which virulent anti-Semitism was expressed by other speakers. But is Obama himself an anti-Semite?

Wearing a white kippah at the Adas Israel Congregation in Washington, D.C. on May 22, 2015, and identifying himself as an "honorary member of the tribe," Obama declared:

"And it is precisely because I care so deeply about the state of Israel -- it’s precisely because, yes, I have high expectations for Israel the same way I have high expectations for the United States of America -- that I feel a responsibility to speak out honestly about what I think will lead to long-term security and to the preservation of a true democracy in the Jewish homeland."

Or stated otherwise, Obama holds Israel to a different standard. Now where have we heard these words before? In an article entitled "Nicholas Kristof, Israel, and Double Standards" ( for The Journal for the Study of Antisemitism, I wrote that Kristof routinely rails against purported Israeli injustices, while ignoring the improprieties of other democracies (my emphasis in red):

"Ignorance, however, has never prevented Kristof from foisting twaddle upon the Times’s readership, particularly with respect to Israel. In an August 2011 op-ed, “Seeking Balance on the Mideast” (http://www.nytimes
.com/2011/08/04/opinion/seeking-balance-on-the-mideast.html?_r=1&hp), Kristof lambasted Israel at a time when Assad’s tanks were massacring the inhabitants of the Syrian city of Hama. Kristof sought to excuse himself by observing:

'Whenever I write about Israel, I get accused of double standards because I don’t spill as much ink denouncing worse abuses by, say, Syria. I plead guilty. I demand more of Israel partly because my tax dollars supply arms and aid to Israel. I hold democratic allies like Israel to a higher standard—just as I do the U.S.'

True, Syria has not been a recipient of U.S. aid. But whereas Egypt has received billions of dollars of American aid, Kristof doesn’t write about the persecution and murder of its Coptic Christian minority . . . And while Pakistan, a democracy of sorts, has also benefited from billions of dollars of U.S. aid while abetting the Taliban in Afghanistan, Kristof has been seeking a reduction of tariffs on Pakistani garment exports to the United States, purportedly in order to fight extremism.

. . . .

According to the 'working definition of antisemitism' of the European Forum on Antisemitism: 'Examples of the ways in which antisemitism manifests itself with regard to the State of Israel taking into account the overall context could include: . . . Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.'"

However, it is not only the European Forum on Antisemitism which cautions against applying a double standard to Israel. The US State Department also has determined that the application of such a double standard to Israel amounts to anti-Semitism:

"What is Anti-Semitism Relative to Israel?

EXAMPLES of the ways in which anti-Semitism manifests itself with regard to the state of Israel, taking into account the overall context could include:

. . . .

• Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation"

Obama went on to say in his speech before the Adas Israel Congregation:

"And that same sense of shared values also compel me to speak out -- compel all of us to speak out -- against the scourge of anti-Semitism wherever it exists.

. . . .

And in recent years, we’ve seen a deeply disturbing rise in anti-Semitism in parts of the world where it would have seemed unthinkable just a few years or decades ago."

Well, concerning that "scourge of anti-Semitism wherever it exists," I would observe that Obama did not speak out against the Reverend Wright in Chicago. Moreover, we are not being allowed to hear what Obama said at Rashid Khalidi's going-away party. In addition, we are witnessing today "unthinkable" incidents of anti-Semitism at American colleges and universities. What does President Obama have to say about this ugly phenomenon? In fact, nothing.

And then there is that "very small" matter of Obama agreeing to allow a viciously anti-Semitic Iran, which is committed to Israel's destruction, to build an arsenal of atomic weapons within a decade.

Obama stated to the Adas Israel Congregation that America has Israel's "back." I have no doubt that the American people, the American Congress, and the American military all have Israel's back. On the other hand, I have serious doubts concerning Obama, who last summer attempted to impose the mediation of the anti-Semitic regimes of Turkey and Qatar upon Israel with regard to Israel's conflict with Hamas.

Not only does Obama not "have Israel's back," I sometimes wonder if he is a closet anti-Semite. Care to make public the tape of the Khalidi going-away party, Mr. President?

1 comment:

  1. No American should still be writing about his tax dollars going to Israel.

    China lends America all those billions that go straight to foreign military aid.

    I do not think Obama knows the meaning of "have your back". He does not understand the use of military power. His sees the military as a venue for social change, and deployment against climate change.