May 28, 2010

Obama Launches Charm Offensive

Joel C. RosenbergBy Joel C. Rosenberg

President Obama’s support with the American Jewish community is plunging due to his administration’s hostility towards Israel over the past year. A full 78% of Americans Jews voted for Obama in 2008. But now a stunning new poll finds 46% of Jews are actively considering voting for someone else in 2012. Only 42% say they would vote to re-elect Obama.

On April 15, Ronald S. Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, sent a letter to Mr. Obama expressing rarely heard before public concern by the Jewish community over the actions of a Democratic President. In it, he expressed ”alarm” over “the dramatic deterioration of diplomatic relations between the United States and Israel.” He also publicly criticized the administration for beginning to turn against Israel, a longtime friend and strategic ally. ”Why does the thrust of this Administration’s Middle East rhetoric seem to blame Israel for the lack of movement on peace talks?” asked Lauder. “After all, it is the Palestinians, not Israel, who refuse to negotiate.”

The following week, Sen. Chuck Schumer, the Jewish Democrat from New York, publicly blasted the Obama administration for it’s “counter-productive” approach towards Israel and towards Iran.

There are no indications that President Obama has decided to change his policies. He still wants to force Israel to divide Jerusalem. He still wants to force Israel to give away the strategically critical West Bank and Jordan Valley to the Palestinians who still refuse to sit down and negotiate with Israel face to face. He is still doing nothing decisive or effective to stop Iran from getting the Bomb. He still wants to force Israel not to launch a pre-emptive strike against Iran’s nuclear sites. Most recently, he has begun trying to force Israel to disclose and then dismantle its (thus unacknowledged) defensive nuclear weapons, which would leave the Jewish State naked and vulnerable against genocidal enemies.

That said, the President and his administration have recently launched a charm offensive with Israel and the Jewish community, trying to undo the enormous damage that has been caused in the relationship between both countries by the White House’s hostility in recent months. Examples:

  • Next week, President Obama will host Prime Minister Netanyahu at the White House.
  • This week, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel took his family to vacation in Israel and to do a bar mitvah for his son.
  • Last week, rabbis were wined and dined at the White House.
  • Last week, President Obama held an hour and a half meeting with Jewish Democratic Members of Congress.
Personally, I don’t believe the charm offense will be effective. What is needed is not cosmetic surgery in this relationship. What is needed is radical reconstructive surgery of the Obama administration’s policies. They need to start seeing Iran as the threat and the problem, not Israel, and take bold, decisive measures accordingly. Time is running out.

Related Links
Poll: Obama has Lost Almost Half of his US Jewish Support - INN
Abbas says no direct talks until borders settled - Palestine Note (Blog)
Jewish leaders meet US officials - Jerusalem Post
A US nuclear submarine crosses into Strait of Hormuz - DEBKAfile
Inside the Revolution - Joel C. Rosenberg (Book)