One of the great mysteries of recent years for me has been the loyalty of American Jews toward Barack Obama. After all, he sat for over 20 years in the pews of a church run by a racist, anti-Semitic preacher. He and his wife were married by the guy, and his daughters baptized by him. He was (and perhaps still is) close friends with a former mouthpiece for Yasser Arafat. Obama is borderline hostile toward Israel and was shockingly rude toward Prime Minister Netanyahu.
Yet American Jews are just thrilled with him. Why? You’ve got me. Maybe the strong lean toward social liberalism among American Jews trumps the other stuff.
But that does seem to be changing, though William Jacobson remains unconvinced. But maybe the change is real, and the tide is turning. A new group opened their doors today: Jewish Americans for Sarah Palin. Their mission statement reads:
Jewish Americans for Sarah Palin is an independent group of academic, religious and political leaders, dedicated to promoting consideration of Gov. Sarah Palin’s political positions in the wider American Jewish community.
We find Ms. Palin’s policy positions on Israel, Iran, national security, fiscal responsibility, energy, and social policy – as well as her record on these issues as governor of Alaska and candidate for Vice President of the United States – to be serious, substantive and politically mainstream.
Though not at present a candidate for any political office, Gov. Palin’s track record in public office has been exemplary, and has withstood the test of the most demanding scrutiny of investigative news media. Gov. Palin’s ongoing contribution to the public discourse in America is welcome.
The former governor has time and again shown an ability to get under the President’s thin skin. Now a portion of a group thought safely in the Obama and Democratic camp has come out in support of her and strongly against him:
In recent days, prominent Jewish leaders and other Jewish political figures have publicly challenged President Obama’s foreign policy in terms that were unimaginable only a few weeks ago. Former New York City mayor Ed Koch, a life-long Democrat, has excoriated the president for “demeaning and slandering” Israel. “There is a foul whiff of Munich and appeasement in the air,” Koch writes.
Anti-Defamation League leader Abraham Foxman has raised the prospect of a Jewish march on Washington to protest Obama’s tilt against Israel. World Jewish Congress president Ronald Lauder has taken out full-page ads in major American newspapers to criticize Obama for pressuring Israel to retreat to the “indefensible borders” of 1967.
Democratic U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, has characterized the president’s refusal to include militant Islam in his list of terror promoters as “offensive” and said it “contradicts thousands of years of accepted military and intelligence doctrine to ‘know your enemy.’ “
President Obama’s disgraceful personal treatment of Israel’s prime minister on his official visits to Washington, and the ugly personal tone that the president himself has injected into U.S.-Israel relations, has angered even many of his supporters and driven Obama’s personal popularity to an all-time low among the Israeli public.
The suddenness of the president’s change in his policies toward Israel, after having campaigned vociferously in 2008 as a friend of the Jewish State, has caught many in the American Jewish community off-guard. No longer.
We believe it is time for American Jews to declare independence from President Barack Obama.
This should have him cursing Palin and reaching for the Marlboros, no doubt.