MARTIN SHERMAN: Richard Beinart and Peter Goldstone – Part I (MUST READ)
In two recent articles, I made the following statements: “Peter Beinart [has] for all intents and purposes declared political war on Israel.” Indeed he has.
And, “There are only two possible explanations for [Beinart’s] actions: He is either sincere or he is not. If he is sincere, he is merely a ‘useful idiot,’ and he should be treated as such. If he is not, then he is engaging in activities that are intentionally detrimental to Israel. He is, therefore, an enemy – and should be treated as such.” Indeed he should.
Beinart has placed himself in precisely the same category as another self-professed “dedicated Zionist” – Richard Goldstone. He should be treated in precisely the same manner – by both the Jewish establishment and Israeli officialdom.
It was recently announced that Beinart has been invited to speak at the 2012 Israeli Presidential Conference later this month.
This is a scandalous blunder of breathtaking proportions.
Indeed, it is difficult to think of anything less appropriate. It is a slap in the face for the large swathes of the Israeli public for which he has expressed such deep and undisguised distaste. It is an unconscionable insult to millions for whom Beinart has demonstrated his unmitigated contempt.
Think of it: Would anyone dream of inviting Richard Goldstone to such an event? If not, neither should Beinart be invited. He is more hypocritical, more detrimental and more undeserving.
FP: There were many excellent critiques of Beinart’s oeuvre, but when Martin Sherman decides to take him on, the result is devastating. Read it all (and see next).
Now let us look at the first part of the president’s statement, about his claim that “he had so many Jewish friends in Chicago.” These “friends,” of course, were the kind of Jews that Peter Beinart praises for being the right kind of Jews who were critical of Israel, rather than the wrong kind that support Israel such as the members of AIPAC. They were Jews like the late very left-wing rabbi whom Obama befriended in Chicago, a man typical of all leftist Jews who support every “progressive” cause at home and save their criticism for the Jewish state they purport to care about — if only it takes steps that might endanger its security, but which the leftist Jews living in the United States believe it must take if it is to have their full support. And of course, his Jewish friends included the likes of Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod, the latter who himself came from a very left-wing Jewish milieu.
Finally, revealing the president’s arrogance and chutzpah, to use the old Yiddish word, he actually told the Conservative Jewish rabbis that “he probably knows about Judaism more than any other president, because he read about it — and wondered how come no one asks speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner or Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell about their support to Israel.” No one asks them about it, although Obama did not pause to consider why no one does, because in their case there is no question about the solid commitment they have to Israel. The president’s record, on the other hand, has included many times at which he seemed to turn drastically away from any genuine concern for Israel’s security needs.
As John Podhoretz quickly pointed out, the president’s bragging is “transparently absurd.” Every single president until our modern age knew more about Judaism from the Old Testament. Harry Truman, to take one example I am most familiar with, quoted from its pages in his Farewell Address in which he reiterated his hopes for Israel’s success. Truman many times told people how familiar he was with the quest of Jews for a homeland from his reading of the Bible. Even Jimmy Carter, despite his current disdain for Israel as a supposed “apartheid state,” is, as Podhoretz writes, “more conversant in the lore of Biblical Judaism” than Barack Obama.
FP: I don’t think any of the Jews invited by Obama felt insulted because they either are gullible, or they don’t really care much about Israel. Had they had the capacity for feeling insulted, they wouldn’t have accepted the invitation. They probably know as much about Judaism as Obama:
Adam Kredo: Don’t Know Much About His
“It became obvious in the Cairo speech in 2009 that neither the President nor the advisers upon whom he relied, like Rahm Emanuel, really knew all that much about the Jewish community or about Jewish history,” Elliott Abrams, a national security adviser in the administration of George W. Bush, told the Free Beacon.
“What they knew well was how to raise money among liberal Jews in the Democratic Party,” Abrams said. “That doesn’t give you much insight into the history and emotions of Israelis, nor into Israeli politics, nor into the views of the sizeable minority of American Jews who are not liberal Democrats.”
“So you have a president who gives a seder every year, but who doesn’t have much sympathy or understanding of the history being discussed around seder tables in this country and in Israel,” he said.
Late last year, the president again tied the peace process to the Democratic uprisings in Egypt during a conference call with rabbis.
“The most important thing we can do to stabilize the strategic situation for Israel is if we can actually resolve the Palestinian-Israeli crisis because that’s what feeds so much of the tumult in Egypt,” Obama said. “That’s what I think has created the deep tension between Turkey and Israel, and Turkey has historically been a friend and ally of Israel’s. That’s why we think direct negotiations are so critical.”
Obama’s multitude of misleading claims show that he is using discredited historical notions to further his political goals, historians say.
I’ve been on record for quite a while that one aspect of Obama’s realignment with Islamists is to scare Israel into major concessions. Well, this is now becoming clear to others too, but only a few.
But don’t think that Obama is discriminatory in his ignorance about Judaism. He is equally ignorant on all subjects, as Barry Rubin points out (see my previous post).
Jennifer Rubin: A threat for seeking U.N. accountability
The Palestinian News and Information Agency reports: “Head of the PLO refugees’ affairs department Zakaria al-Agha strongly criticized in a statement on Thursday a bill submitted by the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee on Palestinian refugees . . . Agha described the bill as ‘a conspiracy to liquidate the issue of refugees and [United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees] UNRWA’s role,’ warning of serious repercussions in the region if the bill is approved as it aims to drop the Palestinian right of return and end the function of UNRWA as caretaker of the Palestinian refugees.”
A Republican on Capitol Hill well versed in this issue was irate. He told me: “This threat is absolutely outrageous and needs to be addressed immediately by Mahmoud Abbas. If this statement is allowed to stand, Congress can only assume that the PLO is issuing a veiled threat of violence or incitement to violence against the United States in retaliation for an internal congressional reporting requirement that has no direct impact on any Palestinian.”
There is also a larger issue at stake here. Clifford May, of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, argues that the Obama administration has made a shift in the U.S. approach to the so-called “right of return.” … He notes that meanwhile the Palestinian Authority has done everything possible to expand and concretize the refugee issue:
Why not? Because statelessness makes them more lethal weapons of war. Ambassador Abdullah explained: “When we have a state accepted as a member of the United Nations, this is not the end of the conflict. This is not a solution to the conflict. This is only a new framework that will change the rules of the game.”
But in this fight about merely identifying who is who among beneficiaries of U.S. taxpayer money via UNRWA, the State Department has sided with UNRWA, the Palestinian Authority and the effort to maintain an ever-expanding mass of “refugees:” As May notes, “That the State Department would provide support for such rejectionism — disregarding the policy of three administrations while failing to comprehend how this undermines any possible ‘peace process’ — is breathtaking.”
FP: When senator Leahy was implying that the bill is not in the interest of the US, it’s this is sort of threat that he had in mind. Since the right of return is the core objective of the Palestinians, any attempt to touch the refugee issue will be met with major violence. So, as I so often argued, the “refugee problem” is not solvable except via the right of return and many in the US (and the West), including the Obama administration are concluding that it might well be the most expedient solution.
Hence the shift that May refers to: it is the logical conclusion of the direction of Obama’s ME policy. After all, that “shitty little country”, that “wound” has become too inconvenient by insisting on survival. If Israel ultimately caves and retreats unilaterally from the West Bank ( like Barak proposed in a Netanyahu government), don’t be surprised if, at some point, Obama will demand the implementation of the right of return.