Rachel Wahba

What is Obama’s Problem?

We know how President Obama feels about Israel’s Prime Minister, its painfully obvious. But how does Obama feel about Israel and anti-Semitism in the Muslim world?

The recent shenanigans brought it all home for me.

Partisan politics go on all the time, Boehner pokes Obama, and all hell breaks loose. Where is the statesmanship we expect from an intelligent ally of Jews and the only Jewish country in the world in the midst of hostile Muslim states?

He should have used Boehner’s attempt to divide Congress by giving his ally, the Prime Minister of Israel, the opportunity to speak with respect and decency.

Instead he fell into narcissistic delirium and vindictiveness.

Anyone who truly understands anti-Semitism will realize Netanyahu’s resolve to speak out has to do with Israel/Jewish survival, not political gain.

“Never Again” is not an empty slogan for the Prime Minister of Israel, and that is the only reason he got a standing ovation despite many who didn’t’ want to give him that. Truth when it comes to survival trumps everything else.

That is why Netanyahu had to come and speak to Congress.

He did us proud, us Jews who know Obama’s policies towards Iran puts Israel at the risk of extinction.

Iran will not stop with destroying Israel anymore than Nazi Germany stopped with Czechoslovakia. Because of Israel’s strategic placement this lone democracy (the size of New Jersey), surrounded by its enemies and enemies of the United States, is vital to the security of America.

It was not Netanyahu or even Boehner who turned this into major partisan discord.

Obama’s response to Netanyahu is not new, and his recent display of pettiness and muscle flexing by asking his fellow democrats and the Black Caucus not to attend yesterday’s talk was wrong.

The President of the United States did not rise to the occasion. Instead he failed to do much else than divide and cause suffering by forcing a loyalty choice.

Anyone who thinks Netanyahu was being “used” by the Republicans is …well, more than a bit off. He is a brilliant statesman who had to take the opportunity to speak to Congress and tell the world that Israel’s survival is at risk. He told us that we Jews can never again be victim to annihilation.

He had to take on the task of explaining how Obama is about to make a very bad deal by “trusting” Iran instead of increasing sanctions and doing everything in his power to stop Iran’s drive towards being a nuclear state.

Netanyahu had to spell out the obvious because Obama is on a course we cannot afford; not for America, and certainly not for Israel.

Does it matter to Obama that Iran relentlessly vows to destroy Israel the moment it has the capacity?

I know the regime in Iran hates Jews.

I know my family fled both Iraq and Egypt before 1948 and before their ancient communities dating back 2,500 years were destroyed and 850,000 Jews were expelled penniless, stripped of everything, once the State of Israel became a reality.

I know Israel settled 650,000 Jews from Arab lands including most of my extended family.

I know how my mother was traumatized as a sixteen-year old girl in Baghdad during the pro-Nazi pogrom, the Farhud, in 1941.

I know my father, a visionary, left his Egypt in 1939 before the rest of his family was kicked out in 1956.

“I saw the writing on the wall,” he said, when Mein Kampf was a best seller in Cairo’s bookstores.

My parents’ countries are Jew-Free today. That’s something even Hitler did not accomplish.

Obama did not visit Israel his first term. He went to Egypt and never asked: “Where are your Jews?”

He didn’t scream out for the Christians living in fear (at best) during he short lived reign of the Muslim Brotherhood during the so-called “Arab Spring” disaster in Egypt. He cannot support his fellow Christians being savagely slaughtered right now under the flags of Radical/Political/Islamic Terrorism. He refuses to link “Islamic” and “Terrorism.”

There is something wrong with this picture. What’s Obama’s problem?

About the Author
Rachel Wahba is a San Francisco Bay Area based writer, psychotherapist and the co-founder of Olivia Travel. An Egyptian-Iraqi Jew, Rachel was born in India and grew up stateless in Japan. The many dimensions of her exile and displacement are a constant theme in her professional work as well as her activism as an advisory board member for JIMENA (Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa).
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