Obama, Jerusalem, and the Jews

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Several weeks ago, Project Genesis was sent a paid advertisement from the Republican Jewish Coalition — which it then distributed. Although it was a paid ad, and we’d have accepted one from the National Jewish Democratic Council as well, it elicited a predictable level of protest.

One of our correspondents is an old friend and staunch Democrat, and he sent a sharp protest directly to me. He wrote that sending the ad endangers Torah.org’s tax-exempt status, and besides, he can argue with most of the points made in the ad. I wish he’d have pursued that second line of reasoning a little further, given that he is entirely mistaken on the first: an organization may not endorse one candidate, but can, of course, accept paid advertising on a non-discriminatory basis.

Perhaps he did not undertake the task of arguing with the RJC because — despite his protestations to the contrary — he can’t. Honestly, the RJC ad says nothing that we shouldn’t already know. Did Obama oppose labeling Iran’s Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization? Yes, he did — as I already noted, his web site carefully avoids applying this label to Hamas, as well. And yes, he did say that he would meet Iranian President Ahmadinejad without any preconditions. The RJC also asserts that “Sen. Obama told a Jewish group he supports an undivided Jerusalem, only to flip-flop the very next day.” Judge for yourself:

As a then-undecided friend of mine said after seeing this video, “for one of the smoothest speakers I’ve seen, he sure stutters a lot.”

To cast a vote for Obama is to quite literally throw caution to the wind. He has no executive experience, and an incredibly meager legislative record — try asking an Obama supporter to name any of his major accomplishments. The NY Times endorsed Obama by insisting that he “has met challenge after challenge, growing as a leader and putting real flesh on his early promises of hope and change,” while providing no reference, no examples, no “flesh” at all. Democrats like Bill Clinton, Walter Mondale and even Gary Hart wrote policy books; Obama writes his own memoirs (twice, so far — not at all bad for a middle-aged junior Senator). And he has proven himself incredibly adept at speaking to the center, regardless of his own actual views.

His verbiage on Israel mollifies the fears of Jews; his actual record has the Arab world solidly behind him and against McCain. He speaks of moderation; his voting record is one of the most liberal in the U.S. Congress. He talks about probity and accountability; his political career was launched in the living room of an unrepentant domestic terrorist (whom Obama attempted to dismiss as a mere ‘acquaintance’).

Perhaps most troubling of all, Sen. Obama talks about a post-racial society — but I’m not at all reassured by his record in this area, either. For twenty years he sat in the pews and donated tens of thousands of dollars to a church led by a vitriolic and race-baiting pastor, and which hosted guests like Louis Farrakhan. Obama “disassociated” himself from the Reverend Wright only because the latter proved incapable of keeping his hatred under wraps from January through November.

Has anyone else read Michelle Robinson Obama’s senior thesis? The entire thesis, from beginning to end, is about the experience of blacks as “outsiders” at Princeton — an overwhelmingly liberal campus whose professors will turn out tomorrow in support of her husband by a ratio of better than 4:1. The same year she turned in that thesis, the largest independent student organization on campus elected a short kid wearing a yarmulke as its President. Political correctness and diversity were the order of the day, and the only outsiders on that campus were the members of ROTC.

Instead of logical arguments, we are treated to the idea that Jews opposed to Obama are bigots, racists, or simply against “change” (which has no definition, beyond a return to the economic policies of Jimmy Carter). There is racism in this campaign, but it’s not on the McCain side. McCain, for no logical reason, has refused to question Obama’s association with Reverend Wright… which would be akin to failing to question the judgment of a young man mentored by David Duke or Pat Buchanan.

I don’t know whether, given the chance to learn more of his views through another decade in the legislature, we would ever choose Obama. What I can say with confidence is that to vote for him now is to simply roll the dice.

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Bob Miller
6 years 9 months ago

The Contarian’s (sic) comment may be the dumbest.

Ori
6 years 9 months ago

May I suggest we all take a deep breath, wait six months, and then come back to this issue? Like it or not, Obama won the elections. There is no point debating his merits vs. McCain anymore.

In six months we’ll know what an Obama presidency is like, and we’ll be able to evaluate it better. May G-d give him the wisdom to lead our country wisely.

Ori
6 years 9 months ago

Aaron: It takes a Jewish Democrat to threaten tax exempt status against another Jew, violating the requirement to take such a case before a beis din, first.

Rabbi Yaakov Menken: One of our correspondents is an old friend and staunch Democrat, and he sent a sharp protest directly to me. He wrote that sending the ad endangers Torah.org’s tax-exempt status,

Ori: If I tell you “stop doing that, or I’ll lock you up”, it’s a threat. If I tell you “stop doing that, or the police will arrest you”, I am not making a threat. I am warning you about a risk you may have overlooked.

BTW, if Reuven is a public official charged with punishing people for something, and he sees Shimon doing it – does Reuven need to ask a Beit Din for permission to do his job? As a tax payer I expect my officials to do the job they were hired to do, without asking for permission from third parties unless specified by law.

The Contarian
6 years 9 months ago

President Obama and Agriprocessors declares bankrupcy

I think that many of our Orthodox leaders and laymen have been struck dumb.

The question is which ones are dumber and which ones are the dumbest.

Are those who backed Rubashkin in words and deed the dumber ones? Are those who slandered the president elect and either poo-poohed the polls or predicted that the skies would fall in on November 5th the dumbest?

Or is it the reverse?