The current level of anti-Barack Obama rhetoric borders on the hysterical and even the dangerous, as emails to The Jewish Standard attest (including fresh attempts to paint him as a Muslim). It reminds us of the rhetoric heard in the final months of Yitzchak Rabin’s life, which contributed to his death.
We are not taking sides in the presidential election. As we wrote in an editorial last week, “Israel will be in good hands regardless of who wins in November.”
We believe that, but we also believe that it is time to stop demonizing the president as an enemy of Israel. Israel’s president, Shimon Peres, calls Obama a true friend. Ehud Barak, Israel’s defense minister, lauds Obama for the unprecedented levels of security cooperation between the two countries.
And now Israel’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, has weighed in as well. Twice during his brief General Assembly address last week he gratuitously complimented Obama. “Under the leadership of President Obama,” Netanyahu said at one point, “the international community has passed some of the strongest sanctions to date.”
Near the end of his speech, he added, “I very much appreciate the president’s position [on Iran], as does everyone in my country.”
Vote for Obama, or vote for Romney. There are reasons for both choices, but Israel is not one of them in either case. As for the demonizing, it must end now, before it passes a point we all may regret.