By Alan Caruba
When candidate Obama was courting the “Jewish vote” he donned a yarmulke, went to the Wailing Wall in Israel, and said all the right things. He needn’t have bothered because the American Jewish community, estimated to be approximately 5.5 million, was largely in his pocket. They have voted overwhelmingly Democrat since the days of FDR.
This is, if you think about it, fairly astonishing because his middle name is Hussein, his birth father was a Muslim, and so was his Indonesian step-father who reportedly would take him on occasion to the mosque. It is even more astonishing because he was a member for twenty years in a church whose pastor was close friends with the notorious anti-Semite, the leader of the Nation of Islam, Louis Farrakhan.
Any American Jew paying any attention should surely have harbored some doubts and, six months into his presidency, a lot of American Jews are asking themselves what they were thinking when they voted for Obama.
In an article in The Jerusalem Post, Anne Bayefsky wrote, “President Barack Obama last Monday met for the first time with leaders of selected Jewish organizations and leaks from the meeting now make one thing very clear. The only free country in the Middle East no longer has a friend in the leader of the free world. Obama is the most hostile sitting American President in the history of the state of Israel.”
Surprise, surprise. Among the leaders of major Jewish organizations not invited to the July 13 meeting was one from the Zionist Organization of America. As Bayefsky noted, “The oldest pro-Israel group in the United States, with a Washington office second in size only to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, was not a voice Obama wanted to hear. This leaves the President willing to engage Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but not ZOA President Mort Klein.”
In a July 21 editorial, The Washington Times criticized the U.S. State Department noting that, in the previous week, it had “delivered a demarche (a protest) to Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, to hold construction on twenty residential units on the site of the Shepherd Hotel, which stands on the edge of an Arab neighborhood in East Jerusalem.”
Does it strike anyone as odd that the State Department whose policies are set by the Oval Office is upset over a bit of housing in Jerusalem? It was, of course, the kind of Kabuki theatre in which diplomats engage to make a larger point. If the point was that the U.S. has the right to tell the sovereign nation of Israel where it can and cannot build housing it is an entirely absurd notion.
There is some further irony in that Ambassador Oren is the author of a remarkable book, “Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East 1776 to the Present.” Had anyone in the State Department read it, they would have learned that “A full fifteen years after declaring its independence, the United States still faced a devastating threat from the Barbary pirates”, Arabs who preyed on our merchant sea trade and who ultimately were responsible for the creation of the U.S. Navy and Marines to defeat them.
In the early years of America, there was an active movement to send missionaries to the Middle East to convert them to Christianity. Now we just send troops to rid the region of psychopathic depots like Saddam Hussein and fanatical Islamo-fascists like Osama bin Laden.
So complaining about twenty new apartment units in East Jerusalem is just another way Obama is showing his Muslim bona fides.
He has been on a “get tough” agenda since taking office in late January. The message has not been lost on the so-called Palestinians. The PLO chief, Mahmoud Abbas, has gone back to demanding idiotic concessions from Israel despite the fact that he and his ragged little bunch of Arafat wannabes are literally propped up by Israel as an alternative to Hamas.
Middle East expert, Daniel Pipes, recently noted that Zionists had founded the Shimon Hatzadick neighborhood in 1891 by purchasing land from Arabs. It changed hands as the Arab/Jewish conflicts occurred over the years. The pro-Nazi Amin al Husseini, Jerusalem’s mufti, put up a building in the 1930s that later served as the Shepherd Hotel. In 1985 an American businessman, Irving Moskowitz, bought the land and rented the building to the Israeli border police until 2002.
What does any of this have to do with the United States? Nothing. It is sheer hubris to say that Israel hasn’t the right to build housing for its growing population in Jerusalem or anywhere else. As for the West Bank, it was captured in 1967 after Arab nations, including Jordan, again attacked Israel.
When we give back Texas, California, and much of the U.S. Southwest to Mexico, the State Department can issue such idiotic demands.
This isn’t just about U.S.-Israeli relations. It’s about the very Muslim Barack Hussein Obama.