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Is the Obama Administration Simply Apathetic or Antagonistic?

Is the leftist Obama administration simply naive and apathetic when it comes to Israel, or antagonistic? Let actions (or lack thereof) speak for themselves. Let us investigate the strategies used by administration members both before and after Obama’s election, which … Read More

By / November 24, 2009

Is the leftist Obama administration simply naive and apathetic when it comes to Israel, or antagonistic? Let actions (or lack thereof) speak for themselves. Let us investigate the strategies used by administration members both before and after Obama’s election, which included deception, using uneven moral equivalences and ignoring the big picture.

Even before his election, then-Senator Obama referred to the ‘question’ of Israel and the Palestinian statehood a one of a "constant wound," a "constant sore" which does "infect all of our foreign policy" in a May 2008 interview with Atlantic writer Jeffrey Goldberg. Obama aides and associates were quick to reshape the context in which the statement was made, but the damage was done: even by slipping, Obama showed the world that in his mind, the issue of Israel protecting itself from hostile and terror-embracing neighbors, was somehow akin to a festering wound. This was also an example of the president’s tendency to present two uneven groups or ideas as being inherently equal: Israel is on a significantly higher moral footing than Hamas or the nations which sponsor Hamas and other anti-Semitic Islamic militant groups. Wit can be defined as the successful comparison of two apparently different things or ideas, showing how they are in fact, similar. If the former senator was aiming for wit in his statements, he missed.

It’s no surprise that an administration would mislead the public: it’s been done many times before. The surprise this time around was that deception played a key role in the president’s agenda, considering his repeated calls for transparency and his mantra of uber-awesome "change." The background of presidential Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, a former Illinois congressman, was trumped to appeal to pro-Israel voters. Emanuel had gone to Israel to volunteer in factories during the first Gulf War, and this was relayed in a way to appeal to those voters who perhaps were unsure of Obama’s already nebulous committment to Israel. Emanuel has reportedly been a harsher voice on Israel than voters were swayed to believe he would be, and according to Politico, many Israelis have also become "increasingly disenchanted" with the man who should have been a strong pro-Israel voice in what is shaping up to be a hard-line left administration.

By throwing their weight behind no one in particular, the Obama administration commits the greatest mistake of all: forgetting who its real friends are. Israel is the one nation which can be counted on, thick or thin, for total support in an hour of need. Israel has never declared war on the United States, and Israel is the one functional democracy in the entire Middle East: that’s the truth, and even the most virulent anti-Semite cannot deny that (assuming they follow any form of logic). In the movie "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade," Harrison Ford (as the title character) responds to a Nazi sympathizer who claims she only sides with the Nazis in an effort to get ahead, not out of genuine political alignment. "You stood up to be counted with the enemies of everything the Grail stands for, who gives a damn what you think!" If the Obama administration fails to see the bigger picture of the moral underdog surrounded by bloodthirsty tyrants, then the administration dooms itself to be counted among the morally weak, those remembered in history books only for their wavering when the hour of need came upon their friends.

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