Jews for Obama
But it is to President Obama’s policy on the Middle East that Jews must look if they are to discern the heart of the man.
Barack Obama has captured the narrative of the age – he is neither black nor white; he is a professing Christian of Muslim origin; and he offers a ‘more balanced’ policy on the Israel-Palestine issue which has bedevilled every US president over the past 60 years: he will be neither pro-Israel nor pro-Palestine. And so it will be that Israel shall face its greatest battle for existence than any time since 1967, for, under President Obama, some 150,000 Jews shall be dispossessed and forcibly re-housed; a right-of-return shall be implemented for those Muslim Arabs who fled to Jordan half a century ago; and the democratic foundations of Israel will be eroded.
Nationwide in the US, a Gallup survey has found that Jews prefer a President Obama by 74% to President McCain's 22%. Despite Senator Obama's strong appeal to the youth vote, the Gallup poll actually found that younger Jews are less likely to support him, with only 67% of 18- 34 year-olds choosing him, as against 74% of those over 55. The Jerusalem Post posits that this disparity ‘could stem from the higher rate of Orthodox observance and therefore more conservative views among young Jews, though Gallup found the younger Jews were no more likely to describe their political beliefs as conservative than older voters’.
According to Melanie Phillips, American Jews for Obama are ‘the equivalent of chickens voting for Shabbat’. Just because the Senator says he loves Israel does not mean that he does – he is, after all, still a scurvy politician. Ms Phillips refers to the fact that ‘for 20 years he belonged to a "black power" church whose pastor - and his own personal spiritual mentor - was an acolyte of the Jew-hating demagogue Louis Farrakhan, and who also supported Hamas as a resistance movement’.
Senator Obama has also said: ‘Nobody is suffering more than the Palestinian people’, and has stated that he would invite Iranian fanatics like President Ahmadinejad to the White House without preconditions. The fact that Iran has nuclear ambitions and has threatened to wipe Israel off the map is neither here nor there.
For most American Jews, President Bush is a Republican and therefore always wrong, and Senator Obama is a Democratic and can therefore do no wrong. And Ms Phillips points out:
‘American Jews ignore the fact that all Obama's foreign-policy advisers are veteran Israel-haters. They ignore his long-standing friendship with Columbia professor Rashid Khalidi.
‘Khalidi has written that Israel has carried out the "ethnic cleansing" of Palestinians; that Israel should be replaced by a bi-national, cantonal system for Jews and Arabs; and that suicide bombings are a response to "Israeli aggression". Obama has said he merely had "conversations" with Khalidi. But reports say the Khalidi and Obama families are long-standing friends. In 2000, Khalidi raised funds for Obama's failed bid for a seat in the US House of Representatives. And according to the Los Angeles Times, Obama said his talks with the Khalidis served as "consistent reminders to me of my own blind spots and my own biases? a conversation that is necessary not just around Mona and Rashid's dinner table", but around "this entire world".
‘No matter. All of this is simply erased from the gaze of America's Jews in their own collective blind spot. As a result, as pro-Palestinian blogger Ali Abunimah let slip at The Electronic Intifada, Obama is playing them for suckers. Abunimah wrote that during his campaign for the US Senate, Obama told him: "Hey, I'm sorry I haven't said more about Palestine right now, but we are in a tough primary race. I'm hoping when things calm down I can be more upfront."
And so it came to pass that President Obama was indeed more upfront, and those Jews who voted for him turned their eyes away from the appalling plight of Israeli Jews (not to mention the Christians), and hardened their hearts to all criticism. And thus did they sustain their righteousness and the purity of their souls.