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Israel Looks At Obama

October 8th, 2009 by Myrhaf · 9 Comments · Foreign Affairs

Benjamin Kerstein has written a fascinating essay on how Obama lost the affection of Israel. He had me from the first line:

For a politician, there is no more dangerous combination of traits than hubris and ineptitude.

He writes about Israel’s reaction to Obama’s speech in Cairo on June 4, 2009:

Taken as a whole, the speech was simply a craven embarrassment; but the references it made to Israel could not have been more alienating and insulting had they been calculated for the purpose. How Obama’s speechwriters and advisors became convinced that equating the Holocaust with the Palestinian nakba (the word means “catastrophe,” and Arabs use it to describe the establishment of Israel and its War of Independence in 1948), comparing Israeli treatment of the Palestinians to segregation in the United States, and pointing to the Jewish people’s “tragic history” as the sole justification for Israel’s existence would assuage Israeli concerns about the new administration must remain a question for history to answer. There is no doubt, however, that this single speech (which everyone in Israel watched) did more to demolish Obama’s credibility in Israeli eyes than any of his demands on Netanyahu ever could have.

Israelis come in many political colors, but very few of them believe that if the Jews had not suffered a Holocaust, they would not deserve a state. Zionism predates the Holocaust, and it holds that the Jewish people have an inalienable right to self-determination in their homeland, regardless of their historical sufferings. In claiming otherwise, Obama revealed not only a glaring ignorance of Israeli history and sensibilities, but also the depressing tendency of many American liberals to reduce everything to do with Judaism, Israel, and the Jewish people to the Holocaust…

Kerstein makes a good observation:

Perhaps the most disturbing thing about the speech, however, was that Obama clearly believed he was saying things about Israel that were positive. The impression he gave was of a man who was not merely spitting in Israeli faces, but chose to do so because he thought they would like it. In a certain sense, this was even worse than a speech that was forthrightly hostile, because it implied that Obama was perfectly capable of damaging Israel out of the belief that he was actually doing it “for your own good” – a signal that the new president of the United States simply had no idea what he was doing.

That’s Obama all over, not just on Israel. He insults doctors by saying they would actually harm patients just for a few extra bucks — and therefore, Obama must seize control of medicine to help doctors for their own good. His ideas of how doctors work revealed that, as with Israel, with health care he has no idea what he is doing. He insults insurance companies, car makers, bankers, etc. His presidency is one big insult to any individual who thinks he can live without being told what to do by the state.

Obama combines condescending insults with smarmy self-righteousness. A fool is one thing, but a smug fool is unbearable.

Kerstein’s essay is worth reading in full.

9 Comments so far ↓

  • dismuke

    I saw a video clip of part of the speech he delivered in Denmark pushing the Olympic bid for Chicago. The little man had a giant, smug smirk on his face as though he had ALREADY won the contest and was now gloating over a room full of naysayers. It was actually quite funny because I didn’t see the video clip until AFTER Chicago had already been eliminated in the very first round of voting. Too bad that there were no cameras around to catch the look on his face when word came in about the embarrassing blow off for Chicago – I’ll bet a video of that would have been quite fun to watch as well.

  • Chuck

    “Zionism predates the Holocaust, and it holds that the Jewish people have an inalienable right to self-determination in their homeland, regardless of their historical sufferings.”

    Of course, every individual has a right to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness. I’m not sure what they mean by “self-determination.” Does that mean they can install a communist dictatorship is they “self-determine” that is best?

    In any case, inalienable rights have nothing to do with being Jewish, or Arab, or Anglo-Saxon, etc. That whole argument was racist/collectivist.

    Now, given that Israel is the freest state in the Middle East, I support them against all the other states over there. But Zionism is not a rational argument.

  • Lionell Griffith

    I think Obama knows exactly what he is doing and why. He is out to destroy any fragment of a free and rational society on earth no matter how distorted or stunted it is.

    As long as he and his kind exists and there is at least one free, independent, self defined individual on earth, Obama will continue to grab for power and control. He does not have good intentions.

  • Embedded I

    I concur with Lionel Griffith. After the Ottoman Empire (& before) neither Israeli nor Palestinian possessed their own nation state. Sure, each had places where their ilk, by race, predominated, but those places were certainly not political divisions. Basically, their homelands arose by long term local breeding, & purist racism.

    However, it was the Palestinian racial and religious peoples who sided with Hitler, mainly to exterminate Jews. That axis lost WW2 to the superior values of Western (as in Aristotelian) culture, and were required accept, by military defeat, the territories they received.

    Nonetheless, the barbaric Islamic view, particularly with respect to Israelis never, ever, ceases. Any rationalization , any lack of recall, or any timidity, by the West, provides a weak spot upon which they will press.

    In the fullness of time, the non-Muslims must all accept the status of kafir and pay their dues or die. It does not matter that Israel, against all the Muslim Middle Eastern nations possesses but the area of a match box on a football field, the kafir must be cowed under Islamic control or eliminated entirely. Not one Jew should live free.

    Obama grasps none of this, or worse, he does and does not care. His pragmatism is worse than moral relativism, it believes that peace and prosperity (change) lie on the side of any belief that is not Egoism.

    I say that, fully aware that his hypocritical expectation is that all others suppress their ego for his ego.

  • TW

    “I say that, fully aware that his hypocritical expectation is that all others suppress their ego for his ego.”

    Very well put. This, if you think about it, is almost exactly the definition of a narcissist, which I have long believed our current President is.

    I would add one thing to this, as a definition of narcissism: the narcissist makes his thoughts and fantasies the measure of reality. When reality and the cherished fantasies of narcissists come to their unavoidable clash, it’s a ugly scene.

  • Embedded I

    Wonderful point TW!

    Now OZero has joined Al Gore and Jimmy Carter in receiving a Nobel Peace Prize.

    It would be comical if it were not so sickening.

  • Myrhaf

    I just woke up to read the news of O winning a Nobel Peace Prize. As corrupt as the prize it, this is still surprising because usually the winner has done something<\i>, made some accomplishment, however meaningless and appeasing of evil it is. What Obama done but give a series of speeches apologizing for America to the world? I guess that’s enough, considering that it should be called the Nobel Appeasement Prize.

  • Mike N

    We really do have a child in the White House. He has surrounded himself with many children of like mind, if you can call it that.

    I agree with Lionell, Obama does not have good intentions. He is not making any honest mistakes here. He has been filled with so much hate by the Alinskis and Rev. Wrights of the world and other adults in his life that he is intent on destroying the demons they have given him.

  • Joseph Kellard

    Or the Nobel Pacifist Prize.