Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Jennifer Rubin On The Election And Jewish Democrats

This is a serious sticking point for Jews in this election. Senator Obama seemed to say all the right things to the AIPAC conference a month or so ago, but within twenty-four hours he flip-flopped on the key issue regarding Jerusalem. (Flip-flops, I might add, seem to be his modus operandi of late.) Jennifer Rubin @ The Jerusalem Post addresses this issue:

Defenders of Barack Obama, and sometimes Obama himself, seem frustrated that some American Jews refuse to assume their traditional role of support for the Democratic presidential nominee. The Obama defenders are irked that not all Jews accept at face value Obama's expressions of devotion to Israel and commitment to her security. ...

In every significant interaction in Obama's adult life with those who distain and vilify Israel - from Rashid Khalidi to Reverend Jeremiah Wright to Louis Farrakhan - Obama has demonstrated passive resignation and indifference.

He did not stand up to his friend Khalidi, the Palestinian activist, professor and former Palestinian spokesman whom Obama honored at a farewell dinner, and object to Palestinian invectives that Israel was an apartheid state. He did not recoil, until Wright insulted him at the National Press Club, from Wright when he learned that Wright considered Israel a "dirty word" and postulated that Israel had invented an "ethnic bomb."

He did not heed (or was oblivious to) public pleas from Jewish organizations to avoid the Million Man March that Farrakhan organized; nor did he years later leave his church when it honored Farrakhan. It took a hateful rant from another wide-eyed preacher against Hillary Clinton, just when Obama needed to cool intra-party animosities, to do that.

AND IF any further proof were needed, Obama's actions with regard to the Kyl-Lieberman Amendment, the measure to classify the Iranian National Guard as a terrorist organization, should settle the question of Obama's intestinal fortitude when it comes to Israel. An issue presented itself: a choice between, on the one hand, taking a stance against Israel's most vile enemy, Iran, and, on the other, appeasing the far Left of his own party.

Obama chose to satisfy the MoveOn.org crowd and opposed the amendment. The amendment would have been "saber rattling" and unduly provocative, Obama argued at the time. Senators Dick Durbin, Harry Reid, Hillary Clinton and three quarters of the US Senate voted for the amendment.

Once his nomination was secured, Obama told those assembled at the AIPAC convention that he supported classification of the Iranian National Guard as a terrorist organization, a move he well understood was important to Israel's security and to AIPAC's members. Yet under just a smidgen of political pressure during the primary race, he had not been able to muster the will to support a modest measure which inured to Israel's benefit.

The point is simple, and should be the foremost worry in the minds of Jewish voters: Political pressure applied to Senator Obama -- be it foreign or domestic pressure -- will force him to shift his stance on a host of issues. Ms. Rubin points out that in 1973 when Egypt and the Arab states initiated the Yom Kippur war, President Nixon was pressured by advisers not to get involved with Prime Minister Golda Meir pleaded for help from America. They were afraid of a possible oil embargo form the Arab states; a fear shared by Israel's allies in Europe, hence their lack of assistance. President Nixon bucked his advisers, and demanded that America help. He sent twice what was asked for, and dogged those in charge to "send everything that can fly."

Her concerns are that if a similar attack on Israel were launched again, given the feckless leadership that forced Israel into a draw against Hezbollah forces in 2006, that Israel might not be able to count on it's allies in America. She is right to point out the apparent lack of concern from Senator Obama when it came to those he knew -- hostile rhetoric and all regarding Israel -- is a point of apprehension for Jewish voters.

There is a tremendous amount of support in America for Israel. And that is not just among Jews. Support comes from Jews and non-Jews alike. When we are presented with a man who seems to flip-flop on positions based on the most minute amounts of pressure, then there is concern that he cannot be counted on to support an ally should that ally fall under attack. What is of paramount concern right now, especially among those in Israel, is Iran and their constant saber-rattling in Israel's direction. He stated clearly and succinctly in the YouTube debates that he would meet with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, amongst others, without preconditions. This lends credence to a regime that has consistently been hostile towards Israel.

American Jews have a right to be concerned about him, and should they choose to snub him they should not be admonished. Nor should they be afraid to. The Democrats turned away from the Jews a long time ago, and it is time for the Jews to understand that this party is no longer the party of FDR.



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