Middle East studies in the News
The Jewish Case Against Barack Obama [incl. Rashid Khalidi]
by Benjamin Shapiro
Barack Obama is the most dangerous candidate for the state of Israel since its creation in 1948. He is not, as professor Alan Dershowitz recently put it, a "true friend of Israel" any more than Jimmy Carter was. He is certainly not "much better for Israel" than John McCain, as potty-mouthed comic dunce Sarah Silverman put it.
Any American Jew who votes for Obama ought to be ashamed of him or herself. He is not in line with a single authentic Jewish principle. (Authentic Judaism, by the way, believes the veracity of the Torah, Oral Torah and Talmud, not bagels, lox, Woody Allen and a copy of the Sunday New York Times.) On abortion, Obama is radically pro-choice. He is radically pro-gay rights, celebrating court-ordered gay marriage in states like California. Authentic Judaism is against abortion unless the mother's life is in danger, and against homosexual activity altogether.
And then there's Israel. Professor Dershowitz believes that American Jews should not vote based on "which party or which candidates support Israel more enthusiastically. They should vote based on more general considerations about what is best for America, the world and the values that they hold dear." I largely agree. I believe, however, that any candidate who does not support Israel demonstrates a disturbing lack of allegiance to our only democratic ally in the Middle East and a perverse moral relativism that will hurt America, not merely Israel.
I do feel, however, that American Jews have a special stake in the state of Israel. Israel does not just represent a family connection for Jews. It represents the ultimate protection for Jews the world over. When Arab nations expelled over 800,000 Jews in the aftermath of the birth of the state of Israel, Israel took the vast majority of them in – as opposed to the Arab nations, which keep Palestinian Arabs in refugee camps to this day. Israel has saved Jews from South America to Russia to Ethiopia. Israel remains the last refuge for all Jews, and a guarantor of their safety, even abroad.
The future of Israel, then, matters to all Jews. By all indicators, it does not matter to Barack Obama, as detailed in a YouTube video counterpart to this column, "The Jewish Case Against Barack Obama."
Obama's foreign policy advisers have been almost uniformly anti-Israel. Samantha Power, one of Obama's earliest supporters, has suggested that American troops be placed on the ground in Israel to protect Palestinian Arabs against "human rights abuses." Power was a senior foreign policy adviser to Obama until she was forced to resign after calling Sen. Hillary Clinton "a monster" in March 2008.
Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jimmy Carter's national security adviser, serves as a foreign policy adviser to Obama. He believes that the Jewish lobby forces America into pro-Israel policy, and he defends Carter's anti-Semitic book, "Peace, Not Apartheid."
Gen. Merrill McPeak, Obama's campaign co-chairman, agrees with Brzezinski that the Jewish lobby, based in "New York City, Miami," controls America's Middle East policy.
Robert Malley, who served on President Clinton's National Security Council, has stated that America ought to simply impose its Middle East solution on Israel. He served as an adviser to Obama until the media discovered that he was holding regular meetings with Hamas.
Obama's friends, too, are far too anti-Israel for comfort. Jeremiah Wright, Obama's pastor of 20 years, has blamed America's pro-Israel policy for 9/11. Wright is close with notorious anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan, who has proclaimed Obama "the Messiah."
Obama is also friends with former Palestine Liberation Organization spokesman Rashid Khalidi, an ardent foe of the Jewish state. Khalidi held a fundraiser for Obama in 2000. In 2003, he told a Palestinian Arab crowd, "You will not have a better senator under any circumstances."
Obama himself has demonstrated his ambivalence about Israel. Before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in July 2008, he stated that he supported an undivided Jerusalem. After pressure from Palestinians, he backtracked within 24 hours. He also declares that he will meet the leaders of Iran without preconditions, despite the fact that Iran wishes to turn Israel into radioactive wasteland.
Barack Obama is no friend to American Jews. I challenge professor Dershowitz to a debate, any time, any place, on that question. I would challenge Sarah Silverman as well, but she will undoubtedly ignore the challenge.
Most of all, I challenge American Jews to hear the true facts about Obama before voting. In Barack Obama, they find a Democrat in the mold of Jimmy Carter, not Harry Truman. Jews – and Americans more broadly – cannot afford another Jimmy Carter.Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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