Shimon Apisdorf

Obama’s Approach Makes Sense

Obama’s Approach Makes Sense


This is why:

Imagine that you are a gambler, but instead of gambling on the World Cup, the Super Bowl or stock futures, you like to gamble on geopolitics and future strategic alliances.

Okay. Now imagine that in your gambling world, Las Vegas is giving odds on who will be the dominant powers in the Middle East in two to five years from now. Will Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabian money be dominant, or will Turkey, Iran and Qatari money be dominant?

Where do you think the “smart money” will be, and where would you place your bet?

I’m betting that Barack Obama is putting his money on Turkey, Iran and Qatar. And, I would say that he is making a pretty safe bet.


Realpolitik vs the Jews

As Israelis, we tend to look at things from an Israel-centric, and Jewish-centric perspective. But guess what, Obama and many of those from whom he takes counsel, don’t look at things from our perspective, at all. If Obama is betting on the Turkey-Iran-Qatar future, then it makes sense for his current policies to anticipate that future. At the very least, if the President of the United States thinks that such a future is a bad thing for America and the world, then he would still want to have the best working relationship possible with these bad guys so that America can leverage that relationship to mitigate negative consequences for the United States. Or, perhaps, he doesn’t think that such a future is so terrible, that realpolitik clearly behooves the United States to align itself with the future winners of today’s Middle east power struggle, and that if the likes of the Jews aren’t happy with that, well, that’s just too damn bad. And what about other losers like Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan? If he spoke Hebrew, I’m sure the president would have one word for them; kacha, that’s the way it goes.


Let’s Get Real

You might think that from a western-democracy centered, or Judeo-Christian-Ethical centered, or America-the-moral-beacon centered, or even American security and strategic perspective, that the United States today should be unabashedly supportive of Israel and unequivocally anti Iran, Hamas, Qatar, and even Turkey—but guess what—there is another way of looking at things.

Perhaps “Yes We Can” meant just that: Yes we can shield Iran’s nuclear program; and yes we can ignore Hamas’s use of human shields, and yes we can white wash Turkey’s insistence that Hamas be able to rebuild and reload, and yes we can pretend that Qatar isn’t bank-rolling worldwide Jihad. Yes, maybe the “Change” that Obama was all about was a change that is having potentially dire consequences for Israel.

Maybe it’s time for us to wake up and realize that today, while we may still have the support of most of Congress and the majority of Americans, that the most powerful man in the world is betting against us.


And Maybe That’s Okay

Maybe we too should place a bet.

Maybe we should bet that the thinking that guides Obama, and the Machiavellian doings of he and the Secretary of State that represents him—as unnerving as they may be—are actually just a passing blip on the radar screen of history.

And maybe we should bet that people like Obama’s hero Jimmy Carter, Khaled Mashal, Hezbollah’s Nasrallah, Iranian nuclear negotiator Zarif, and Jon Stewart, will all go the way of former Persian Prime Minister Mr. Haman of Shushan.

Maybe we should put our money on the precious soldiers of Tzahal, on the God of Israel, and on the eternity of—

Am Yisrael Chai.



Dear American Jewry. If you are still not sure where to place your bet, below is part of an article I wrote in October 2008, a month before Barak Hussein Obama was elected President of the United States.

And if you have read enough for now, then let’s just leave things at—

Am Yisrael Chai.





I Couldn’t Sleep With A Vote For Obama

As an American, I understand why millions of my fellow citizens are going to vote for Barack Obama. He may in fact be the change we need.

As a Jew, I couldn’t sleep with myself if I voted for Obama, even if I thought he would be a great American president: Here is why.

Background and Perspective—from a Jewish point of view

In 1973, on Yom Kippur, the Arabs launched a highly successful surprise attack against Israel. It looked like they might overrun Israel and slaughter hundreds of thousands of Jews … Prime Minister Golda Meir called President Nixon for help. Israel needed an immediate airlift of ammunition, equipment and supplies. Many of President Nixon’s top security advisors counseled him not to send the supplies and risk alienating the Arabs who controlled much of our oil … Nixon, nonetheless, made the decision to launch a massive airlift of supplies to Israel …

Iran, Jihad and Israel’s Security Situation Today

In 1979, Ayatollah Khomeini led an Islamic revolution in Iran. The stated goal of that revolution was Jihad—Islamic world domination …Four years later, in October 1983, Hezbollah, a Jihad group that was created, funded and trained by Iran launched an attack on the United States Marine base in Lebanon killing 241 Marines …

In the summer of 2006, Hezbollah—armed, trained and directed by Iran—launched hundreds of missiles deep into northern Israel. For weeks, almost a third of Israel’s population was forced to live in underground shelters for over two weeks. Israel was unable to defeat Hezbollah, and today Iran has rearmed it with more missiles than ever before.

Today, Iran is well on it’s way to building nuclear weapons and has declared clearly and openly that one of it’s goals is to destroy Israel. Even an unsuccessful attempt to destroy Israel could mean hundreds of thousands of dead Jews in Israel.

Should We Pay Attention to History?

Adolf Hitler … made his objectives very clear. A “Final Solution” to the Jewish problem … The Western powers did not take Hitler at his word … in the words of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain after his historic meeting with Hitler in 1938 which culminated in the Munich Agreement—“Peace in our time.”

The result of not taking Hitler seriously, and not stopping him when we could have, was 48 million deaths including 20 million Russians, 6 million Jews and 400,000 Americans.

As Jews, the question is this: How seriously should we take Iran’s threats to destroy Israel? And, what exactly are Israel’s options?

Option #1.    Hope that “the world” can apply enough diplomatic and economic pressure on Iran to convince it to change course.

Option #2.    Launch a pre-emptive attack on Iran to destroy or seriously delay it’s development of nuclear weapons.

Option #3.    Wait until Iran attacks first and then launch a massive nuclear retaliation.

Iran, Oil and America’s National Interests

Take out a map and find Iran … Now consider this: 99% of the oil fields in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates are on the Persian Gulf coast just forty miles away from Iran … Iran currently has missile batteries ready to be launched against all those oil fields … and, it’s easy for Iran to block the Straits of Hormuz and choke the flow of oil to America and Europe.

The question to consider is: What would be the economic consequences in the United States if Iran launched it’s missiles against the oil fields and closed the Straits?  And the fact to keep in mind is that no one doubts that if Iran is attacked by Israel, that part of its response will be to cripple the flow of oil to the great Satan of America, Israel’s main ally. What we are looking at is blackmail …

So, would it be in America’s best interest to back Israel in an attack or a war with Iran? Not so clear, is it.

The White House Gets a Call From Israel

Regardless of who becomes president, it’s not unreasonable to expect that the he may receive the following phone call from the Israeli Prime Minister. “Mr. President, Iran is preparing an imminent strike on Israel (or alternatively that, “Israel has decided to launch a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.”) Mr. President, war is about to erupt and these are dire times for Israel. In addition to missiles from Iran, we also expect massive missile attacks from Hezbollah into northern Israel as well as missile attacks from Gaza into southern Israel. It is also possible that Syria and Egypt may join the attack. Mr. President, we fully expect Iran to cripple oil production in the Gulf and we understand what this means for America. Will you stand with us sir?”

As a Jew, I fully hope and pray that an American President would tell the American people that he has chosen to stand with Israel in it’s hour of need. “My fellow Americans,” I hope he will say, “No economic sacrifice is worth the price of another Holocaust.”

My Trump Card

I don’t know who will be better for America, John McCain or Barack Obama. And honestly, with Israel facing the terrible threats currently arrayed against it, America’s best interests are not my number one priority …

For me, in this election, Israel’s well-being easily trumps every other issue. I will vote with only one question in mind: If and when that call comes to the president, which of the two candidates will be most likely to immediately and decisively stand with Israel?

John McCain and His Red Flags

Will John McCain stand with Israel? None of us knows for sure …

Barack Obama and His Red Flags

How would president Obama react to that phone call? Like with McCain, I’m not convinced he would stand with Israel. However, there a number of red flags that tell me he may be predisposed to abandoning Israel. What are they?

I’ll list four. Rashid Khalidi, Robert Malley, Zbigniew Brzezinski and Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

Rashid Khalidi          … I have read many of Khalidi’s writings and am familiar with his work. A Columbia University professor, Khalidi is a clear enemy of Israel. He is firmly pro-Palestinian, pro-terror attacks in Israel, and pro the end of Israel. Rashid Khalidi has helped shape the way Barack Obama views Israel. To what extent has he shaped it? I don’t know, but that’s a red flag.

Robert Malley          I wrote a book about Israel shortly after the collapse of the Camp David peace negotiations. At that time, Israel offered Yasser Arafat 96% of the West Bank and Gaza to be the Palestinian state, and part of Jerusalem to be the capitol. President Clinton and Prime Minister Ehud Barack were flabbergasted when Arafat said no. Robert Malley, Assistant National Security Advisor in the Clinton Administration, became one of Arafat’s strongest backers. He wrote numerous articles that were aimed at supporting Arafat’s position. Malley’s Syrian father, a staunchly anti-Israel journalist, was a personal friend of Yasir Arafat. Robert Malley is a pillar in the anti-Israel community and was a foreign policy advisor to Barack Obama. He left the Obama campaign after it became public that he was in regular contact with Hamas. To what extent has Malley shaped Obama’s view of Israel? I don’t know, but that’s another red flag.

Zbigniew Brzezinski                        A strong supporter and foreign policy advisor to Barack Obama. Brezinski was National Security Advisor under President Carter. Let’s put it this way: Jimmy Carter would dance in the streets if Israel were destroyed, and Brezinski definitely shaped Carter’s views on Israel. To what extent has Brezinski shaped Obama’s view of Israel? I don’t know, but that’s red flag number three. Usually, it’s three red flags and you’re out, but there is one more.

Rev. Jeremiah—“Gd damn America”—Wright        What can I say. This guy would be playing the music while Jimmy Carter danced on the grave of the Jews of Israel … He has been Barack Obama’s spiritual mentor for the last twenty years. The title of Obama’s best-selling book, The Audacity of Hope was inspired by Wright’s Audacity of Hope sermon. To what extent has Rev. Wright shaped Obama’s view of life, the world and Israel? My guess is more than a little. Red flag number four.

Not Worth the Risk

The stakes for Israel today, and for the foreseeable future, are extremely high. The current Iranian threat to the Jews of Israel is as real as the Nazi threat to the Jews of Europe before World War II.

We may be approaching the day when an American president will have to choose to act like Nixon in 1973, or Chamberlain in 1938.

Am I sure McCain would never throw Israel to the dogs? No, but with all those red flags in his resume, when it comes to Jewish lives, Barack Obama makes me very nervous. As I said at the outset, as a Jew, I couldn’t sleep with myself if I voted for Obama, even if I thought he would be a great American president. The stakes are too high, and all the change in the world is not worth the risk.


Am Yisrael Chai.  Kacha.



About the Author
Shimon Apisdorf is the founder of Operation Home Again, the first organization solely devoted to community-based Aliyah. He has also authored ten books that have sold over a quarter million copies and have won two Benjamin Franklin awards. The Apisdorf's made Aliyah in the summer of 2012.
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