Overboard on Obama

Overboard on Obama

The Jewish Standard went way overboard in its Jan. 6 article on President Barack Obama. It appeared to be more campaign literature than honest reportage. I would be remiss if I let that article go by without response. Since becoming president three years ago:

• Obama has shifted U.S. strategy to place pressure on Israel for the failure of peace talks, rather than trying to bring both sides to the table.

• He has allowed Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to blame Israel for not getting “to the damn table.”

• He seemed to agree with Nicolas Sarkozy when the French president called Israel’s prime minister “a liar.”

• He views the Jewish settlers on the west bank as the obstacle to peace. “America does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements,” he told the United Nations General Assembly in his first speech to that body. He never explained why Jews would not be allowed to live in a Palestinian state. (For the record, over a million Palestinians are Israeli citizens living in undisputed Israel.)

• His White House removed all references to “Jerusalem, Israel” from its website and his State Department recently asked the Supreme Court to uphold its policy of not allowing those who are born in Jerusalem to have Israel written as their birthplace on official U.S. documents.

• Obama wants Israel to return to its pre-June 1967 borders.

• His ambassador to Belgium openly said Israel itself is to blame for Muslim anti-Semitism – instead of the actual anti-Semites.

In fact, it is Congress that is Israel’s friend. Obama certainly is not.

While Obama is correct to suggest that the United States is pro-Israel, the evidence would suggest that it is despite him, not because of him.

[The editor responds: Regarding whether our coverage was meant as a defense of President Barack Obama, see this week’s editorial on the subject. As to the claims made here: Obama blamed both sides for not coming to the peace table (something every president has done since Richard Nixon’s day); his press secretary repudiated Panetta’s off-the-cuff inappropriate comments; Obama never said Jews would not be “allowed to live in a Palestinian state”; opposing Israel’s settlement policy has been U.S. policy since 1967 (although former Secretary of State James A. Baker III insists Obama has tilted the policy towards Israel; as he said two months ago, “I don’t understand how the U.S. can oppose settlements for 30-plus years, then veto a U.N. resolution opposing settlements”); it was President George W. Bush who first rejected the “Jerusalem, Israel” designation; Obama’s ambassador to Belgium is a Shoah survivor and his remarks have been twisted shamefully out of context. The article in question dealt at length with both the Sarkozy and 1967 borders issues, so we will not summarize them here. Jewish voters have real reason to be concerned about Obama. When truth is so cavalierly tossed aside, however, so are those concerns.]