Herbert London: Obama Rope-a-Dope for A Jewish Audience
The Jewish community of Boynton Beach Florida has sponsored an event on who the Jews might support in the upcoming presidential election. Boynton Beach is not alone. Jewish communities all over Florida are in the process of deciding how to cast their vote. Although I am not a Florida resident, let me explain the conditions an American Jew should consider in entering that November election booth.
Although President Obama has indicated he is a staunch ally of Israel and speaks passionately of the bonds that cannot be severed, his actions reveal a different sentiment.
When candidate Obama attended an AIPAC meeting, he said unequivocally that Jerusalem should remain the undivided capital of Israel. Recently his aides were asked to name the capital of Israel. They were unable (unwilling?) to do so.
While Obama insists he is Israel’s loyal friend, he attended the Reverend Wright’s church for more than two decades as anti Zionist rhetoric flowed from the pulpit.
Prior to his presidency, Mr. Obama hailed the work of his pro-Palestinian and vigorously anti-Zionist ally, Rashid Khalidi, albeit a tape of this statement is being held in secret by the LA Times.
When the president gave his famous Cairo speech, he juxtaposed the plight of the Palestinians with slavery in the United States, implying that the Palestinian territory’s woes can be attributed to Israel.
The president never visited Israel, despite having gone to several Middle East nations. Recently he said he would do so only if reelected.
Despite bowing to various leaders, the president invited the Israeli Prime Minister Netayahu through the backdoor of the White House and kept him waiting while he had dinner with his family.
While the president carefully couches his remarks about foreign leaders, he spoke disparagingly about Bibi Netanyahu to former President of France Sarkozy.
The president’s mishandling of the Iranian nuclear program and his sitting on the sidelines as Assad butchers his own people, has complicated and put in jeopardy Israel’s existence.
Although he contends it was merely an extension of U.S. policy, President Obama’s call for a peace agreement based on the 1967 borders was unprecedented.
Needless to say, these facts may still not affect Jewish opinion, albeit Obama’s support among Jews has been in steady decline. The president did receive 78 percent of the Jewish vote in 2008 and, whatever surprise may occur between now and November, the magnitude of that vote will not be duplicated.
You may fool many of the Jews all the time or all of the Jews some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the Jews all of the time. At least, I hope that is the case.
Herbert London is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, president emeritus of Hudson Institute and author of the book The Transformational Decade (University Press of America).
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