Re: Obama It's Nothing Personal Israel, Get Over Yourself

A rare defense of Obama's attitude and actions towards Israel.

Dr. Harold Goldmeier

OpEds Dr. Harold Goldmeier
Dr. Harold Goldmeier

I have had surreal experiences since making aliyah. Some I describe in earlier articles. More recently, they manifest while listening to political debate about the Jewish State. Politics is so much easier to understand in the U.S.

Israeli columnists, pundits and angry citizens gang up on President Barak Obama; look at their responses to Ilana Dayan's "Uvda" interview.

They call him names and finger point—there goes The Bogeyman with his craven foreign policy. It is what destabilizes the Middle East, they say, as if the haters yearn for the good old days when Israel only had to fear stone cold dictators. Obama de-friended Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. His support of Arabs and Islam gives quarter and sanction to extreme jihadists. Everybody blames Obama’s meddling for Israel’s domestic political chaos. Haters condemn his supporting socialist anti-Torah politicians over nationalists. The President is “actively abetting Israel’s worst enemies in their efforts to defame and delegitimize the Jewish state,” according to one columnist.

They snigger at Obama’s plaint that he is “deeply hurt” by the name-calling and their distrust of him. The esteemed Rabbi Berel Wein expressed his incredulity when the President declared that “America has Israel’s back” in an Arutz Sheva Op-Ed. 

The President’s chastisements and criticisms of Israel’s settler policy and logy negotiations with Palestinians are baleful. Wein weaves a bizarre thread through history when our friends failed to protect the Jews. He leashes Obama to the historic betrayals including the refusal of Allies to bomb rail tracks to concentration camps. Obama to Wein and others is not trustworthy or competent.

The name calling is bullying and dehumanizing. President Obama is likened to Amalek, a biblical character whose army attacked the Israelite weak, women, and children, on their trudge to the Promised Land. At a speech to 1,000 Jewish activists the host shouted out Obama’s middle name, HUSSEIN, to roars from the crowd. Obama lives in the thrall of a mischievous “dybbuk,” a dead malcontent running amok making mischief, writes another GIA supporter. The dybbuk is aggravating Obama to the point of madness. A prominent settler Rabbi classifies the President as Haman, the ancient Persian (Iran) monarch’s Chief of Staff with designs to kill all the Jews.

Israel is not a vassal state, but neither is the U. S. a client state of Israel.
Social psychologists term this behavior, “instrumental aggression.”  Haters want to dehumanize Mr. Obama when they cannot get him to follow their political agenda. Name callers do not accept that the President has U.S. self-interests to protect, and sometimes, like President Roosevelt observed, national self-interests overshadow affection.  

The facts tell another story. The U.S. weeks ago blocked a U.N. vote establishing a committee establishing the Middle East as a nuclear free zone condemning Israel for its nuclear weapons.  It continuously gives cover to Israel in international forums in the face of varying resolutions.

Keeping Israel self-protected, America announced in May it is selling another $1.9b of arms and missiles to Israel without conditions that abrogate Israel’s right to attack Iran. Elbit Systems, Israel’s elite hi-tech military weapons and systems developer announced (March 2015) the U.S. Marine Corps awarded Elbit a 15 years, $73.4m contract to supply laser systems.

A report on U. S. Foreign Aid to Israel by Middle Eastern Affairs Specialist Jeremy M. Sharp for the Congressional Research Service, (April 11, 2014), an agency that works exclusively for the U. S. Congress, points out Israel received more U.S. aid since world War II ($121b) than any other country. During the Obama Administration, Foreign Military Financing for Israel touches $3 billion a year;  $100 million for U.S.-Israeli joint military defense programs; $175.9 million for Iron Dome under Obama. There is more money for special war reserves, energy research, Homeland Security programs, naval vessel transfers, and aircraft sales. Deferred payments for the V-22 Osprey, F-35 fighter jets, and new Sikorsky helicopters are part of the Obama friendship outreach.

Cash flow financing, early transfer and interest bearing accounts, and, writes Sharp, “Israel’s ability to use a significant portion of its annual military aid for procurement in Israel is a unique aspect of its assistance package; no other recipient of U.S. military assistance has been granted this benefit.”

Regarding Iran, every President since the 1979 overthrow of the Shah vowed Iran’s fanatic religious leaders nuclear ambitions will be stopped, but no U. S. President preceding Obama knocked Iran off track. Iran was far down the road by the time Obama initiated sanctions and negotiations.

The International Atomic Energy Agency reported in 1984 Iran wants a nuclear weapon arsenal “in the hands of God’s Islamic soldiers.” Presidents ignored 1994 reports of Iranian nuclear engineers training in China and North Korea. In 2002, the IAEA discovered two nuclear facilities producing heavy water for weapons production. In 2003, Iran produced enough uranium to pursue a nuclear path, and by 2005 had enough special gas to enrich the uranium for atomic weapons.

Over the years, the Chinese, Germans, French, and Russians participated in helping Iran go nuclear with U. S. blessing, wink, and a nod. Now, fanatic right-wingers expect Obama to clean the policy mess built up over decades.

Israel is not a vassal state, but neither is the U. S. a client state of Israel. Despite policy differences not to be given short shrift, the U. S. military, financial, and political support for Israel has not weakened under President Obama’s tenure. Israelis making the disagreements personal ought heed the Confucius caveat, “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.”