Tuesday, March 31, 2015
By Ed Lasky
Barack Obama wants to fundamentally transform something besides America.
As most informed Americans know by now, Barack Obama is a man with grandiose visions of himself.
According to Barack Obama, President Obama’s accomplishments have vaulted him into the pantheon of the greats: Lincoln, Roosevelt and Johnson. His nomination victory speech marked the moment “when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal” according to, once again, Barack Obama. He was a better political director than his political director and a better speechwriter than his speechwriters, reported…Barack Obama. The sense of grandiosity is dangerous in any president as is the view that a president can do whatever he wants -- the conception of the presidency as held by …you guessed it…Barack Obama. When Barack Obama declared he yearned to go full Bulworth in his second term when he would no longer be on the ballot, pundits pondered how he would wield his power.
One primary goal has become increasingly apparent. He wants to fundamentally transform America’s feelings towards and support of Israel, one of our most reliable and key allies. He has been doing so in ways that should offend every America, because the methods he has used are contrary to our best and most honored traditions.
When questions first arose regarding his controversial relationship with the anti-American, anti-white, and anti-Semitic Jeremiah Wright (whom he called his “moral compass” and “political mentor”), the media were eager to dismiss allegations that he shared -- or even heard Wright express -- such beliefs. This was so despite Barack Obama having previously said he attended almost every sermon Wright gave; despite having his daughters baptized by Wright; despite giving the bulk of his charitable donations to Wright’s church; despite borrowing one of Wright’s favorite phrases, (not “God Damn America” and not any of the many anti-Israel tropes) “Audacity of Hope,” for the title of one of his books; and despite approvingly quoting Wright’s “white man’s greed runs a world in need” in the same book. (A sampling of Wright’s anti-Israel hits be found in Barack Obama and Israel.) Among a raft of other screeds, Wright complained that America was too close to Israel. Later, Wright’s anti-Semitism became clearer when he blasted “them Jews” for keeping him from talking with Obama once he became president. The New York Times quoted Wright as predicting that if more people knew about his closeness to Barack Obama and his own views, "a lot of his Jewish support will dry up quicker than a snowball in hell."
Now why would that be? Perhaps he thought the media might pick up on Wright’s close friendship with Louis Farrakhan, who said Hitler was a great man and Judaism was a gutter religion. Or the fact that the two of them went on a fundraising mission to seek money from Libyan dictator, terror-supporting Muammar Gaddafi. Or that Wright decided to bestow an award on Farrakhan. His church’s magazine also published anti-Semitic screeds from Hamas leadership. Perhaps that was the reason that Barack Obama told a Palestinian activist in Chicago that he had to tone down his views towards Israel for campaign reasons and his campaign joined with a compliant media to obscure this history and his relationship with Wright and to attack the messengers who wanted to make these facts more transparent.
His plan to pursue policies inimical to the America-Israel relationship was clear form the earliest days of his presidency. In July, 2009, he had Jewish leaders at the White House, reportedly telling them that he sought to put “daylight” between America and Israel. There has been a lot of coverage over his treatment of Israel over the last few years (a chronology of those actions can be found here and another treatment can be found here).
The Democratic Party has been moving away from support for Israel for years. This has been proven by poll after poll regarding the party affiliation of those who sympathize and support Israel. There was a visual manifestation of this reality three years ago. During the 2012 Democratic National Convention, Barack Obama had maneuvered through his minions to remove from the plank longstanding support for Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Reacting to criticism from the Republican Party, efforts were made to restore the language. Pandemonium ensued, since many delegates objected to the restoration, and made their anger known. Other changes were made that escaped the radar screen but signaled diminished support for Israel by Democrats. However, Obama is acting as an accelerant; as president he has demanded all Democrats support his anti-Israel policies, pulling them farther away from supporting America’s one true ally in the region as he has led the liberal breakup with Israel. Will Democrats continue to be AWOL when it comes to defending Israel from their president?
However his plan to turn other Americans against Israel has received scant attention. His agenda is to permanently drive a wedge between Israel and Americans that will last many years after he has left the Oval Office.
He chose as an early adviser Daniel Kurtzer, who had co-written a book advocating that the way to weaken and pressure Israel was to take steps to weaken its support among Americans. A similar course of action was seemingly advocated by Samantha Power, also a key foreign policy adviser during his campaign (she complained about criticism of Obama being all about “what was good for the Jews”) is and now America’s Ambassador to the United Nations.
So how has he sought to turn Americans against Israel? Barack Obama seems determined to portray Israel as a racist nation.
In 2006 when “flying over the Palestinian territories” he used the term “separation barrier” when describing the security fence that was erected to stop the massive number of suicide attacks that were killing so many Israelis. Separation barrier is redolent of racism -- as in “keeping the races separate,” as in “separate but equal.” Most people refer to it as a security fence or, in some areas, a wall. His comment elicited little response at the time but given what followed maybe more people should have been alerted to the use of such loaded words.
What followed? John Kerry’s description of an Israel he said was at risk of becoming an “apartheid nation.” Administration spokesman Jay Carney confirmed that President Obama shared John Kerry’s views.
When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accepted an invitation to speak before a joint session of Congress, Barack Obama worked to ensure that many members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) would boycott the speech. Obama and company created a racial controversy over a petulant political spat. Obama is a master of manufacturing outrage.
According to Newsweek’s Jonathan Broder, South Carolina Democrat James Clyburn, a powerful Congressman and a long-time member of the CBC, Netanyahu’s speech was an "affront to America's first black president.” A Democratic Congressional aide says “the Congressional Black Caucus is gone” [for Israel].
When, during the closing days of Netanyahu’s campaign, a Facebook posting on his campaign website tried to motivate his supporters to vote by conveying the message that Arab citizens of Israel were coming out in “droves” (helped along by Obama’s machinations within Israel to bring down Netanyahu, including the use of taxpayer money to do so). The language may not be the most felicitous, but similar rhetoric warning of massive turnout in support of opponents is a common practice during campaigns -- certainly Barack Obama himself has done the same during his campaigns-without eliciting charges of racism. As Jeff Jacoby wrote in Obama’s Hypocrisy with Netanyahu:
The candidate who captivated America with his promise to transcend partisan and racial rancor turned out to be the most consistently polarizing president in modern history. He hasn’t scrupled to inject barbed racial comments into the nation’s political discourse, but if he has ever candidly apologized for doing so, it must have been on deep background. Obama’s contempt for Netanyahu is nothing new, but before he lambastes other political leaders for their “divisive rhetoric,” the president really ought to take a good look in the mirror.
But Barack Obama has pounced on this posting and has refused to listen to Netanyahu’s repeated apologies and clarifications. Obama, who focuses on polls, surely knows that African-American support for Israel is declining. Is he trying accelerate that downward trend? Was Obama playing the race card?
He also wants to portray Israelis as opponents of a two-state solution with the Palestinians by seizing on a mistaken media report that seemed to indicate Netanyahu was backtracking on his previous support of a two-state solution. He was not; Netanyahu merely stated that given the chaos that rages across the region and the repeated Palestinian rejection of peace deals, he could not see the conditions as being ripe “today” for a Palestinian state. But the facts did not matter, nor did repeated clarifications and corrections of that mistaken report. The White House did not even reach out to the Israelis to confirm the report. Obama saw an opportunity to tar all Israelis as rejecting the possibility of a Palestinian state and willfully promoted this distortion. As Edward-Isaac Dovere of Politico wrote:
Obama went further than he or anyone around him had before. Then just when he seemed to be wrapping up, he dug in some more.
“I took him at his word that that’s what he meant, and I think that a lot of voters inside of Israel understood him to be saying that fairly unequivocally,” Obama said.
Therefore, from his bully pulpit (and bully is the right word) he castigates Israelis as being opposed to a Palestinian state.
Polls have shown for many years that Israelis want a two-state solution but they have learned through the bitter experience (and many wounded and killed) of giving up Gaza to the Palestinians that, given current reality, Palestine is likely to become another terror state.
There are certainly signs that he sees Israelis as being oppressors, colonialists and imperialists and now he wants to use his powers of persuasion to promote those views to other Americans. He may use proxies to do so. A recent example was his Chief of Staff Dennis McDonough telling J Street (an anti-Israel group posing as a pro-Israel group) that Israel’s “occupation that has lasted for 50 years must end.”
Barack Obama’s relationship with J Street shows his desire to conquer and divide the Jewish community and turn American Jews against Israel. He has actively courted and promoted J Street and close allies were among its founders. George Soros, an early and generous supporter of Obama’s nascent political career, hid his pivotal funding of J Street at its inception from prying eyes (and J Street lied about Soros’s funding when asked) until the disclosure of his support was unwittingly disclosed. Obama has given respectability and influence to J Street that it had previously lacked; sending top officials to address their conferences and inviting its leadership into the inner sanctum of the White House.
There are more problematic aspects of Barack Obama’s campaign to turn Americans against Israel. He and his proxies have indulged in tropes that have a doleful history. For hundreds of years Jews have been accused of being warmongers, leading the nations they reside in to war. When Congressional opponents of Obama’s appeasement of Iran suggested his “negotiations” were heading in the direction of arming the mullahs with nuclear weapons, the White House dared them to admit they want war:
"If certain members of Congress want the United States to take military action, they should be up front with the American public and say so," Bernadette Meehan, National Security Council spokeswoman, said in a statement. "Otherwise, it’s not clear why any member of Congress would support a bill that possibly closes the door on diplomacy and makes it more likely that the United States will have to choose between military options or allowing Iran’s nuclear program to proceed”.
Of course, they do not want war, they want a tougher agreement that may prevent war. But Obama laid down the gauntlet and accused them of wanting to wage war on Iran. Given Obama’s history of eagerly surrendering to tyrants (Assad, Castro, Putin) people are fearful he will do so with the number one terror-sponsoring nation on earth, responsible for the deaths of thousands of Americans.
Jews are often the first target in such campaigns. Obama gave a speech in 2006 against the Iraq War and pointed fingers at who was responsible:
"Opposed to the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other armchair, weekend warriors in the administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throat…."
This is disturbing. Obama ignored the role of Colin Powell, George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condi Rice and other movers and shakers in the Administration. But Perle (who never even served in the Administration) and Wolfowitz (who was a Deputy Secretary) have been lumped together by many anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists as Jews who led us into the Iraq War to serve the interests of Israel. Why make 2 Jews, one of whom had zero role in the government, as the “culprits” behind the war?
Recently, Barack Obama gave us further insight into his views when he publicly lashed out at Senator Robert Menendez for supporting a tougher approach towards Iran by accusing him of acting at the behest of “donors.”
Barack Obama is trafficking in tropes and canards -- dog whistling to the anti-Semitically inclined -- that he (as a self-declared “student of history”) should know have a tragic history. Casting aspersions such as these canards has, finally, raised concerns “about the intentions being signaled by the language the White House is using” While some have questioned whether Barack Obama is anti-Semitic and others declare him to be, as has Mark Levin, one should recall that during the campaign in 2008, when controversy arose over his views towards Israel, he boasted “nobody has spoken out more fiercely on the issue of anti- Semitism than I have." He was ridiculed by Jake Tapper of ABC News for the claim. But he does have a funny way of showing his bona fides as the world’s greatest fighter against anti-Semitism.
Why welcome of Al Sharpton, with a long history of anti-Semitism and with an American-style pogrom to his credit, to the White House as his point man on race? One of his favorite bloggers is Andrew Sullivan, who traffics in anti-Semitic tropes. Why call Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan among his closest friends among world leaders when Erdogan has been on a non-stop campaign to spread anti-Semitism throughout the region?
Furthermore, the White House leaked to the media a story that Israel was “spying” on America and “stealing our secrets” during the “negotiations” with Iran. Israel denied the allegations. Information gleaned from the Iran talks likely came from eavesdropping on the Iranians and disclosures from the French -- who have serious problems with the weak approach Obama has taken with the Iranians. Allies, by the way, spy on one another all the time. America spied on Angela Merkel and the story the White House leaked about “Israel spying on America” came from American spying on Israel. But the image of the perfidious Israelis spying on America is indelible -- and shameful. There are reasons people feel that “the claims of Israeli spying are part of an intentional American campaign toundermine Israel's standing among the American public and their elected officials.” Investors Business Daily titled an editorial against this outrage “Libel is Obama’s Latest Weapon in his War on Israel” for a good reason.
Earlier in his presidency, when there were future campaigns to come, Barack Obama agreed that policy differences with Israel were to be dealt with diplomatically and privately, free from the glare of klieg lights. Now that he is no longer on the ballot he has been shining a bright line on them and focused his ire and anger not just on Netanyahu and not just on Israel but on American supporters of Israel. He has been portraying Israel in a way that he has not portrayed Putin’s Russia, the mullahs of Iran, and radical Islamic terrorists. Why the disparate treatment?
His goal is to undermine support for Israel among Americans, and he intends to carry on not just until the end of his presidency but, taking a leaf from former President Jimmy Carter, will do so for many years after he leaves office as part of his Grand Plan to continue to fundamentally transform America and Americans’ views of Israel.
Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2015/03/obama_came_in_like_a_wrecking_ball_for_israel.html#ixzz3W0Ux8kjB
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By Jennifer Rubin
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s margins are down in matchups with possible 2016 Republican presidential candidates in three critical swing states, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, and in no state do voters say she’s honest and trustworthy, but she still runs best overall of any candidate, according to a Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll released today.The closest contests are in Florida, where former Gov. Jeb Bush gets 45 percent to Clinton’s 42 percent, and Pennsylvania, where U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky gets 45 percent to Clinton’s 44 percent. . . . Clinton’s favorability rating is down in each state, but she still does better than Republican contenders, except for Jeb Bush and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio in Florida.
The poll comes as Clinton’s e-mail scandal continues to dog her. The House Select Committee on Benghazi today sent her lawyer a letter informing him that “this Committee is left with no alternative but to request Secretary Clinton appear before this Committee for a transcribed interview to better understand decisions the Secretary made relevant to the creation, maintenance, retention, and ultimately deletion of public records. The Committee is willing to schedule the interview at a time convenient for Secretary Clinton, but no later than May 1, 2015.” But the e-mails are only one problem, maybe the least of her worries. Three issues at this point are far more acute.
First, with each new GOP candidate’s announcement, the public and press will be treated to a newer face, someone who is not drearily familiar and has not been part of a soap opera on the national stage for decades. Whether or not the GOP candidates mention Clinton, the voters are beckoned to move on and to witness a fresher candidate. The lack of any Democratic contest to speak of and the lack of an official campaign for an inevitable nominee who hides from the press stand in sharp contrast to a boisterous GOP filled with interesting characters.
Second, the foreign policy Clinton helped put in place is inextricably linked to the multiple disasters on the international front. Given her association with them and her fear of crossing the president and left-wing base, she remains both responsible for and awkwardly silent on the bevy of crises playing out. She won’t come out and decry the embarrassing mound of concessions to Iran piling up in Lausanne, Switzerland. She can’t join the bipartisan backlash against the president’s threats to stop blocking anti-Israel resolutions at the United Nations. So she is mute, largely absent and yet partly responsible for the chaos that has ensued.
Third, we still don’t know what her campaign would be about. It certainly is not going to be about extending the Obama foreign policy legacy. Beyond that, Clinton has given bland generalizations. The void is filled with scandal, not only the e-mails but also the receipt of millions by her foundation from Arab governments and her insatiable greed. What is there to like? The Clinton spinners insist the problem is that she is not yet officially in the race. But perhaps that is the only thing preventing a complete meltdown in her ratings. Once she is out and about, she’ll have a host of nettlesome questions to fend off and her mediocre political skills will be on full display. The real question is not why her poll numbers are descending but rather whether this is as high as they will ever be.