There Must be a Reasonable Explanation

The Zionist Organization of America issued a press release last week noting some curious omissions from the Obama administration’s communications. Candidate Obama omitted any Israeli city from an enumeration of cities victimized by terrorism in his much touted Berlin speech as a candidate in 2008. (Amman did make it so it cannot be that candidate Obama had placed an embargo on mention of the Middle East.) Perhaps he shrewdly estimated that his European audience would likely be more sympathetic to the perpetrators than the victims of terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians.

And recently, the administration’s talking points on the upcoming tenth anniversary of 9/11 did not recall any Israeli city when praising the resilience of “individuals, families and communities… whether in New York or Nairobi, Bali or Belfast, Mumbai or Manila, or Lahore or London.” I guess they could not think of another city whose name begins with the same first letter as Sderot or Jerusalem.

Something other than stylistic considerations, however, must explain President Obama’s failure to mention Israel in remarks praising all those nations that contributed to relief efforts in the wake of the January 10, 2010 Haitian earthquake. Though Israel was the first nation on the scene setting up a field hospital and provided more aid than any other country besides the United States, it merited no citation in the President’s list of contributing countries – “Brazil, Mexico, Canada, France, Columbia, and the Dominican Republic, among others.”

A pattern, or just a coincidence?

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20 comments to There Must be a Reasonable Explanation

  • Bob Miller

    Obama’s record allows only one explanation: he considers Israel’s existence to be an annoying problem, and resents any attempt by Israel to stand up for itself, so he will only praise Israel for acts of surrender.

  • Raymond

    It certainly is no coincidence. Obama’s hostility toward Israel is all too obvious. I honestly do not think that he even regards Jews being murdered, as being genuine victims. I am sure that in his own twisted mind, a mind that has been strongly influence by his education in moslem schools as well as his lifelong close friendships with Marxists and other terrorists, that Jews can never be the victims, and are always to be blamed for all of the world’s evils.

  • L. Oberstein

    OK, kick him while he is down on the ground trying to get up. There are lots of things to criticize, but these are rediculous. Obama thought he could bludgeon Israel into stopping settlement building and thus achieve a Peace Treaty with the Palestinians. It didn’t work and we could have all told him that in advance had he asked us. He made a speech in Cairo that raised Arab expecdtations and again he could not deliver Israel on a platter. He made lots of mistakes due to ignorance and arrogance and mostly lack of experience. Right now his poll numbers are very low and his hope for re-elecdtion is if the Republicans nominate someone the rest of the country can’t vote for. That being said, the US has promised to veto the Palestinian bid for statehood even though 140 other countries support it. That is much more significant than mention in remarks. The ZOA is very right wing. Some chareidim are right wing. What else do they have in common except they can’t abide the President . The State of Israel is in dire need of at least one friend on the international stage and that friend is the USA. Presidents come and go, but let us hope that we don’t forget our minority status and think we can antagonize the President and he won’t remember.

  • Reb Yid

    The following was from George W. Bush’s speech to a joint session of Congress shortly after 9/11. No mention in this paragraph or anywhere in the speech of Israel’s support. Hmmm…wondering if the ZOA had a press release after this….nope, didn’t think so.

    “And on behalf of the American people, I thank the world for its outpouring of support. America will never forget the sounds of our national anthem playing at Buckingham Palace, on the streets of Paris, and at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate. We will not forget South Korean children gathering to pray outside our Embassy in Seoul, or the prayers of sympathy offered at a mosque in Cairo. We will not forget moments of silence and days of mourning in Australia and Africa and Latin America.”

  • Raymond

    I am not sure why the Zionist Organization of America is so right-wing. It seems that any time any Jew is proud enough of his heritage that he refuses to surrender his own Jewish land to his enemies, he is called right-wing. Perhaps this stems from the deeply held belief among all too many that somehow we Jews deserve to be the world’s punching bag.

    And as for Barack Obama, in his Presidency in general but especially in his stance toward Israel, he has no redeeming virtue whatsoever. He is the tragedy that was Jimmy Carter, all over again.

  • Nachum

    It should be pointed out that Reb Yid is, how shall we put it nicely, not telling the truth. Bush mentioned Hebrew prayers in that speech, and mentioned Israeli victims. In any event, Israel doesn’t automatically come to mind in that speech as it should in the examples here.

  • Guy in Israel

    I don’t think Obama is hostile to Israel. It’s just that he is naively convinced that we can make the Arab world like us (“us” being the western world) and stop terrorism by being nice to them, by respecting their sensitivities, by making friendly gestures to show them that we want to be their friends. This obviously requires staying away from statements that might come across as supportive of Israel.

    Not that it makes a difference. Both in word and in deed, Obama is dangerous for Israel.

  • Bob Miller

    Reb Yid,

    As we know, President GW Bush was a bit conflicted about Israel despite his better instincts, as the Saudis pretty much owned his family. Obama is a flat-out disaster in all respects.

  • Michoel

    Reb Yid,
    Israel was the main non-US country saving lives in Haiti. And they were uniquely qualified to render such support. And Obama just ignores them. Comments of Bush and Obama need to be examined in context of their actions and other comments.

  • YM

    L. Oberstein is right, but G-d help us if President Obama is reelected and doesn’t have to worry about raising funds for re-election anymore.

  • Reb Yid

    The Hebrew prayers comment was made in the context of America–that prayers were said in English, Hebrew and Arabic. But nothing about Israel’s support of America. Not that I believe there was any animus or political calculus, mind you…simply to point out that we can play this game with anyone.

    Did the ZOA come out with a press release condemning the first time an American President came out in favor of a two state solution (GWBush)? Interesting that Reagan spoke at the Berlin Wall kvetching to Gorby to “tear down this wall”, but it took a Barack Hussein Obama to lambast the Egyptians in Cairo for their anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial.

    And no kudos or hakarat hatov from the ZOA (although plenty from Bibi and the former head of Mossad) for our President, without whose immediate, personal involvement Israel would not have been able to rescue 6 of its citizens from their embassy in Cairo. Never mind that this probably cost the US political capital with the Arabs, let alone (as L. Oberstein has already pointed out) Obama’s going on record against the UN resolution, or for boycotting the latest incarnation of Durban.

    Oh boy, what an Israel hater he is.

  • dr. bill

    obama may well be worse for israel than some other presidents. I believe so, but i will let others debate that.

    However, many people say things that require explanation. sometimes the explanation is not all that convincing, sometimes the explanation is not one that can be made public, sometimes a good explanation exists.

    often the bias in what is said pales in comparison to the bias exhibited in how it is questioned. and very often there is clear bias in choosing to whom to give the benefit of the doubt.

  • Raymond

    Wow. It just goes to show to what extent people see what they want to see, even if the truth contradicts those beliefs, right in front of their face. There is no President who has been more hostile to Israel than Obama since the days of Jimmy Carter. I almost feel silly having to state this extremely obvious point. Unlike Obama, President Bush never told the Jews that they must retreat to their pre-1967 Auschwitz borders, never blocked Jews from landing their emergency planes in key spots in the Middle East controlled by the United States, never said or believed that Jews building an extra room in their northern Jerusalem homes is an obstacle to peace, did not go out of his way to unseat the pro-Israel, pro-West Mubarek in Egypt while ignoring Iran’s nuclear buildup, and did not create an environment in the Middle East like we see today with the radicalization of Turkey and Egypt and the Palestinians about to unilaterally declare Statehood at the UN. Obama has done everything to encourage the spread of islamic extremism in the Middle East, while President Bush sought to democratize that region. There are just so many ways that the Political Left has shown antagonism to both Israel and Jewish values, that is is astounding to me how any proud Jew can continue to vote against the interests of his own Jewish people.

  • Someone in the know

    There are many actions of the US Government that may be implemented by the President, but are basically made by the Congress. No Congress would tolerate the disgrace showered by Obama on Israel, and there are quite a few letters from both houses of Congress signed by majorities of each protesting this. So Obama, whose true sentiments reveal themselves way too often, must make certain statements and take certain actions, or else. I haven’t a hesitation to give anyone the benefit of the doubt. But, as noted by an earlier comment, one must consider the context. I believe, for instance, that neither Carter nor Obama wants peace in the Middle East out of friendship to Israel. Rather, they are looking for an “achievement” that puts them in the history books. Not every decision by Bushes or Reagan was favorable to Israel. But in context, they were friends. Can anyone say that for Obama? If not for Congress, I believe we would have witnessed tragedies galore, and the Middle east would not have that one oasis of democracy and humanity.

  • Mr. Cohen

    President Obama literally bowed down before the King of Saudi Arabia.

    President Obama has not merely participated in Islamic prayers services;
    he was the leader of Islamic prayers services – in the White House.

    His father is a Muslim.

    All of this was reported in the newspapers and on television.
    None of this is secret or controversial; it is all on public record.

  • Yehoshua Friedman

    I think as Torah-observant Jews who believe that Hashem runs the world, we should put things in proper perspective. The Jewish lobby and the Jewish vote are not what makes the President and the Congress take Israel seriously. The believing Christian lobby is a much larger force. The frum Jews of America can make the consideration at this time that economically as well as religiously Israel is the place to be. This is in addition to the positive mitzvah, r’tzon Hashem, for a Jew to live in Eretz Yisrael. It is possible to quibble about whether the Rambam holds so or not, but where do you think He really wants you to live? If you have a large family and are concerned that all your children receive a Jewish education, in the US you have to pay exhorbitant sums for the privilege, and you pay to support a public educational system from which you get little or no benefit. This usually outweighs the difference in what you can earn in America as opposed to Israel. The aliya and klita process is also much less difficult since 2008 when the Jewish Agency turned it all over to Nefesh B’Nefesh. In short, it is a no-brainer: get over to Nefesh B’Nefesh, do a pilot trip, pack up, make aliya.

  • Tal Benschar

    And no kudos or hakarat hatov from the ZOA (although plenty from Bibi and the former head of Mossad) for our President, without whose immediate, personal involvement Israel would not have been able to rescue 6 of its citizens from their embassy in Cairo. Never mind that this probably cost the US political capital with the Arabs,

    While one must express hakarat ha tov to the President for intervening to save 6 Jewish lives, it is quite clear that the United States had a very powerful interest in making sure that the fiasco that took place at the Israeli embassy two weeks ago did not end up with bloodshed. Had the worst happened, then Egypt would have turned into Iran circa 1979. First of all, Congress would have immediately cut off all aid to Egypt. Second, the vast majority of Israelis would have been turned off for 20 years to any peace negotiations. Third, one of the greates achievements of the U.S. in the region — the 1979 peace treaty between Israel and Egypt, would have been shown to be a hollow temporary achievement. Fourth, given the above, the Muslim Brotherhood would be in an even better position to take over Egypt.

  • Raymond

    Yehoshua Friedman, if you can guarantee that I would land a job in Israel (preferably in Tsfat) as stable and comparable to pay to what I make here in America, then I might very well be open to moving to Israel. But can you honestly make such a guarantee?

  • L. Oberstein

    Here is what the President said today at the UN. Is this not clear enough.
    “America’s commitment to Israel’s security is unshakeable, and our friendship with Israel is deep and enduring. And so we believe that any lasting peace must acknowledge the very real security concerns that Israel faces every single day. Let us be honest with ourselves: Israel is surrounded by neighbors that have waged repeated wars against it. Israel’s citizens have been killed by rockets fired at their houses and suicide bombs on their buses. Israel’s children come of age knowing that throughout the region, other children are taught to hate them. Israel, a small country of less than eight million people, looks out at a world where leaders of much larger nations threaten to wipe it off of the map. The Jewish people carry the burden of centuries of exile, persecution, and the fresh memory of knowing that six million people were killed simply because of who they were. Those are facts. They cannot be denied. The Jewish people have forged a successful state in their historic homeland. Israel deserves recognition.”

  • Yehoshua Friedman

    Raymond, of course I can’t make any guarantees. I also don’t expect you to make aliya without doing your homework. All I say is, check out the possibilities. Tsfat is not exactly the economic center of Israel, to put it mildly. It depends on what you do, have done or are capable of doing. An out of the box approach is in order. You might have to work at least partly online or off planes to keep your kids in affordable schools here. It can only work if you try. It certainly won’t work if you start by making excuses.