The Jews and Political Islam

The rise of political Islam represents the single most significant challenge to the Jewish people in the world today.

Political Islam, as it is represented by such organizations as the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, and Hamas, is a deeply malicious political movement that we in the west should be forcefully opposing.  This does not mean that the US should send in the military to take out all such organizations, but it does mean that they need to be recognized as enemies of the United States, Israel, and the west and undermined in any reasonable way possible.

Unfortunately, what we have been seeing under the current American administration is just the opposite.  Instead of educating the American people to the fact that political Islam is deeply misogynistic, violently homophobic, genocidal toward Jews, and filled with hatred toward the United States and the west, president Barack Obama pledges the Muslim Brotherhood F-16 fighter jets and Abrams tanks.

Obama, thus, supported the rise of political Islam, rather than opposing it.

This is not a matter of opinion or interpretation, but of fact.  If you give someone, or some organization, money or helpful material goods such as – oh, say – heavy weaponry, then you are supporting that person or organization.  If you demand that such individuals or organizations be given a place around the political table, then your are supporting that person or organization.

This conclusion is what I like to refer to as “common sense.”

Just why it is that Barack Obama has supported political Islam is a question open to interpretation.  In my meanderings around the various political blogs and news sites, as they relate to the Arab-Israel conflict, people offer different reasons for why they think that Obama supports political Islam.  Some think that he is, himself, a crypto-Muslim and that he seeks to undermine the well-being not only of the State of Israel, but of the United States.

I do not think so.

I have consistently argued two points.  The first is that Barack Obama is not nearly so smart as his supporters have told us that he is.  The man is not dumb, of course.  One does not become the president of the Harvard Law Review without the requisite mental capacity.  Nonetheless, it must be admitted that for an American president to support the rise of political Islam is a remarkably stupid move.  So, why does he do it?

This leads me to my second point.  Ideology.  It is my belief – and, yes, this is a matter of interpretation – that Obama does what he does out of sincerely held ideological belief which he learned at the feet of people such as Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said, and even Jeremiah Wright.

Barack Obama lives in the post-colonial universe of his imagination.  That is, like all such thinkers, he simplistically divides the world into a contest between “Oppressed Indigenous Peoples of Color” and “White Oppressors and Colonizers.”  It is this simplistic moral equation that forms the background of Obama’s education when it comes to foreign policy and it is this that best explains his terrible behavior as president of the United States on matters of foreign policy.

Nonetheless, his supporters within the American Jewish community will tend to support him no matter what he does.  Thus we see prominent individuals such as the late Ed Koch and Alan Dershowitz, both of whom consistently stood up for the State of Israel and in opposition to the rise of political Islam, supporting the Obama candidacy of last year despite the fact that Obama supports a political movement directly in opposition to everything that those gentleman stood for.

This is actually not a very difficult puzzle to solve and, yet, so many people either misinterpret what is happening or refuse to acknowledge it at all.  The former are the conspiracy theorists who think that Obama does what he does out of intent to do harm.  The latter, which make up the majority of the American Jewish community, simply refuse to acknowledge that which is before their very eyes.

American Jewish supporters of Barack Obama are generally blinkered by progressive-left ideology and by their own political loyalties.  This turns many of them into rabid ostriches.  I have never seen such vicious ostriches, I have to tell you, despite the fact that I lived in Phoenix, Arizona for two years and they actually raise (and race) ostriches in that unusual state.  They refuse to acknowledge what is before their very eyes because to do so would erode their own political sense of themselves.

The problem, of course, is that by supporting Obama’s foreign policy viz-a-viz the Arab-Israel conflict they thereby lend a verdict of kashrut on that which is anything but kosher.

One thing, in my considered opinion, that the Jewish people need is a sense of political flexibility.  If we are so enamored of the progressive-left and the Democratic party that it doesn’t matter what they say or do as it relates to the Arab-Israel conflict, then we come to stand for nothing.  If Barack Obama and the Democratic Party are more important to Jews than Israel, itself, then we end up supporting policies, like sending weaponry to the Muslim Brotherhood, that are obviously detrimental toward the Jewish people.

Until we can think our way past ideological imperatives, we can never truly support our friends and family in the Middle East.

Until we do so we can never really stand up for ourselves.


Michael Lumish is the editor of Israel Thrives.

About the Author
Mike Lumish is a PhD in American history from the Pennsylvania State University and has taught at PSU, San Francisco State University, and the City College of San Francisco. He regularly publishes on the Arab-Israel conflict at the Times of Israel and at his own blog, Israel Thrives ( He has in recent years given conference papers on American cultural and intellectual history at The International Society for the History of Behavioral and Social Sciences in Dublin, Ireland, as well as at the Western Historical Association in Phoenix, Arizona and the American Cultural Association in New Orleans, Louisiana. Lumish is also the founding editor of the scholarly on-line discussion forum H-1960s. He can be contacted at