Despite the fact that President Obama is clearly a great friend of Israel and scholar of Judaism, there are some that question his greatness. So here are the top 5 things the president has done for our little State of Israel
1. He destroyed the “Peace Process”
The Peace Process was an absolute disaster for Israel. In the best of times, it was a one-way ratchet of Israeli capitulations met by Arab steadfastness. Negotiate with Arafat? Never! OK. Palestinian State? Are you crazy? OK. In the worst of times, Israel actually gave terrorists land, guns, and legitimacy and we were all shocked, shocked, when it just made things much worse.
But President Obama put an end to that. He demanded surrenders that Israel just wouldn’t make. That the Israeli public couldn’t stomach, certainly not with a man they did not trust. And the Arabs couldn’t accept anything less than the US president had once demanded. And that was that. The result? The greatest period of peace, prosperity, and growth for Jews and Arabs since the Oslo debacle two decades ago. Well, except in and around Gaza, where Israel’s previous surrender was so complete that it may take quite a while longer for peace to appear there.
2. He destroyed Tzipi Livni and Kadima
In 1999, US President Bill Clinton worked closely with Ehud Barak to help topple Prime Minister Netanyahu. Clinton even encouraged his top political advisors, James Carville, Bob Shrum and Stanley Greenberg to travel to Israel and help the opposition leader topple the Israeli government. So it shouldn’t be surprising that President Obama and opposition leader Tzipi Livni seemed to try the same gambit. Obama would make declarations, Netanyahu would oppose, and Livni would insist that the Israeli mainstream was with the US president.
But the Israeli public’s attitude towards Netanyahu in 2009 was very different than their attitudes towards him in 1999, when the local media was still blaming him for the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and the collapse of the peace process. The Israeli public loved Clinton; they never liked Obama. And many of them remembered how quickly they regretted electing Barak, in a landslide vote less than two years later. Carville returned, but even he couldn’t help any more.
Livni’s actions were seen as undermining Israel’s negotiating power and undercutting Israel’s elected leaders. She, and the Kadima party that led the government when she inherited it, appear unlikely to wield power any time soon.
3. He’s moving many Jews to the Republicans
We won’t know the final numbers until November. But one clue was in last year’s special election in New York’s ninth district. A largely Jewish district, it hadn’t voted for a Republican since 1920. They did last year, in what former Mayor Ed Koch led as a protest vote against the president’s Israel policies.
The president received roughly 78% of the Jewish vote in 2008. He won’t come close to repeating those numbers. For now, the global left is firmly on the side of the Israel’s enemies. Jews often vote left because of social issues and a longstanding fear of Christians and the right. It’s always good when some of them open their eyes and realize what the left has become.
4. He’s discrediting the liberal media
As Obama’s popularity sinks, it’s becoming more clear how utterly unethical, irresponsible, and biased NBC, the New York Times, and the Washington Post (to name a few) have been. A fuller picture will emerge in the coming months. It will give these outlets less credibility when bashing Israel.
5. He’s destroying the far left
Look, I’m no big fan of the Clintons. But in the next few months you’re going to see them and their surrogates slowly twisting the knife into Obama and his supporters. By next year, the Democratic party will be back in the control of responsible, competent moderates. We’ll be able to have intelligent debates without the left calling everybody who disagrees with them racists, bigots, and morons. Democrats and Republicans will be able to work together to achieve fiscal responsibility, limited government, reduced poverty, and increased liberty.
Are these benefits enough to outweigh the damage done by his administration? No. But every so often it helps to look at the half of the glass that’s full.