I always know that I struck a cord publishing these posts when once in a while I piss off the people who usually agree with me and please the ones that don’t. My last column entitled “Obama’s Betrayal” made some of my left leaning friends apoplectic. One of them keeps cramming my inbox with the same kind of garbage talking points he would ridicule anyone from the right for sending him stating their views and quoting their usual suspects. Meanwhile, my right wing nut job friends think I changed teams or something. They are both wrong, so let me state the following for clarity:
- I am in favor of the Two State Solution
- I am a peacenik, leftist – add your own epithet here
- I like and admire President Obama (Kerry, not so much)
- I dislike Benjamin Netanyahu and hope the current investigation finally boots him out of office because it seems like the voters in Israel never will
- I think the Palestinians should have a country of their own on most of the territory captured in 1967
- I agree in principle with the speech delivered by Secretary of State Kerry at the State Department on most of what he said – there was nothing really new there
- I never watch Fox News even when Megyn Kelly is on
However, for further clarity I will state the following:
- Singling out Israel at the UN, a cesspool of anti Semitism and Jew hatred, while there are far worse conflicts in the world is despicable
- Singling out Israel at that cesspool with less than a month to go in your administration is deplorable
- Focusing on Israel/Palestine while North Korea, Russia, Syria, Yemen, Iraq, ISIS, China, Turkey and pretty much everywhere else is imploding is reprehensible
- Sticking it to Netanyahu with a few days left in your administration because frankly he outmaneuvered you politically for the past seven and a half years is petty
- Choosing to admonish a steadfast ally while your enemies are sharpening their swords is scandalous
Someone asked me to put the UN abstention and Kerry’s speech in the context of the outgoing administration’s last minute maneuvers on sanctioning Russia, creating national monuments on federal land, banning offshore drilling and releasing non-violent drug offenders. My answer to him was that while I am willing to give the administration the benefit of the doubt, my gut tells me that the focus on Israel comes from a subconscious bias against Jews and Israel in particular from both Obama and Kerry.
I will not go so far as to accuse them of being anti Semites or frankly even being anti Israel – they have done enough for Israel and Jews to skip that hyperbole. I do however believe that, like Jimmy Carter, they choose to focus on this particular conflict and be critical of Israel only when there is no political cost to them because of an inherent bias – period, full stop. Let’s face it; the timing of the abstention and the speech are not exactly “Profiles in Courage.”
In his book “Ally” former Israel ambassador to Washington Michael Oren states that President Obama simply does not have a gut feeling of empathy for Israel, say in the way Bill Clinton or George W. Bush have and I sense that too. As for Kerry? He has been instinctively wrong about everything for years. He voted against the first Gulf War and in favor of the second then waffled on both votes when he ran for president and proved to be a horrible candidate. He failed in Syria, failed in getting the Israelis and Palestinians to the table, ignored Russia, played footsie with China and struck a deal with Iran that most people consider a disaster (for the record, I do not).
My feelings on this last “stick it to Israel” shtick is not about whether I am on the left or the right, whether I support Obama or Trump, Bibi or Livni, it’s about family. I want to look at my kids in the face and tell them straight out that Israel and Jews like everyone else are not perfect but when we get sucker punched we stick together. I want them to know that if Abed al-Fatah al-Sharif stabbed Sgt. Elor Azaria and killed him instead of the other way around – Palestine would name a street after him not convict him of manslaughter.
So, if I ever had the opportunity to meet President Obama my first words to him would be a cultural reference; “I know it was you Fredo and you broke my heart. You broke my heart.”