David FriedmanThe writer serves as the President of American Friends of Bet El. He is a practicing trial lawyer in New York and maintains a residence in Jerusalem.
A prominent Jew living in, and employed by, a secular, democratic country is charged with dual loyalty. Word of his alleged misconduct captivates an entire nation, with sentiment split for and against the accused. As the news travels, the issue is no longer the guilt or innocence of an individual, but rather whether Jews can properly observe their obligations of citizenship within the host nation. Ultimately, the Jew is convicted and sentenced in a show trial, although subsequent evidence emerges which results is his complete exoneration and pardon.
That was the affair of Captain Alfred Dreyfus that captivated France from 1894 to 1906. But it sure sounds like Chuck Schumer in 2015. Senator Schumer, for entirely legitimate and compelling reasons, announced his decision to vote against the Iran deal. He published a lengthy explanation of his reasons, and, to the disappointment of many (including the author), professed that the issue was a close call, a matter of conscience, and not appropriate for agitation or arm-twisting among his colleagues.
Schumer undoubtedly thought that his soft sell would play well in Washington. After all, he was only casting a single vote – hardly enough to carry the day – and would refrain from his well-documented practice of demagoguing the wisdom of his decision. Neither he, nor anyone in the Jewish community, could have anticipated the backlash that followed.
First, Obama completely defrauded him by accepting Schumer’s courtesy call in confidence and then leaking it to the press before Schumer could make his announcement. Then, as Obama blew his “dog whistle” (as one columnist called it), out came the dogs: calls for a boycott of Schumer by MoveOn.org; references to Schumer as a “traitor” by the Daily Kos; and, of course, the New York Times pointing to the “unseemly spectacle” of legislators siding with a foreign power. Threats of Jewish isolation were offered by John Kerry, while others, including the President, erroneously pointed to the unprecedented nature of Israel “meddling” in U.S. affairs.
Finally, Obama wrapped it all up in a bow in his speech at American University, accusing those who disagree with him as being influenced by wealthy donors who do not have America’s best interests at heart, and who make “common cause” with the right wing Mullahs in Iran.
As the Dreyfus affair ran its course, the Parisian streets were taken over by angry mobs shouting “kill Dreyfus, kill the Jews.” Thankfully, we have not descended to that level, but the blatant anti-Semitism emanating from our President and his sycophantic minions is palpable and very disturbing.
Energy Secretary Moniz acknowledged this past week that the Iran deal would in fact prompt an immediate increase in terrorist activity!
The accusation that any Jewish American who opposes this ridiculous deal is elevating the interests of Israel above the United States is complete hogwash maliciously conceived and advanced by Democratic operatives (including Obama himself, who ironically and sadly campaigned on a pledge to unite all Americans) to divide, isolate and victimize their political enemies. The adminisration, incredibly, thinks it has a winning formula for a veto-proof consensus in Congress: casting its opponents as wealthy and traitorous Jews. Just like Paris at the turn of the last century.
Jews and non-Jews alike oppose the Iran deal because it is bad for the United States, Israel and the entire world. It is in no one’s interest for there to be a nuclearized Iran. It is in no one’s interest for there to be a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. It is in no one’s interest for terrorist organizations to be funded with billions of dollars. Indeed, Energy Secretary Moniz acknowledged this past week that the Iran deal would in fact prompt an immediate increase in terrorist activity!
The Iran deal is opposed by many more Gentiles than Jews. Jews comprise less than 5% of the American population but more than 60% of Americans, including almost all of the U.S. military, oppose the deal. So how has our great uniting President responded? In the same manner as his spiritual leader, Jeremiah Wright -- by appealing to the vilest anti-Semitic biases of the population. This is the worst type of Chicago-style politics and no other president in my lifetime has descended to such despicable behavior.
Some 115 years ago, as ugly anti-Semitic rhetoric filled the streets of Paris, a young secular Jewish journalist came to the realization that only an independent Jewish state could protect his people from a vile scourge for which there appeared to be no cure. That undeniable fact remains true today and it is a lesson that we continue to learn the hard way.