Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Pamela Geller, founder, editor and publisher of the popular and award-winning weblog AtlasShrugs.com. She has won acclaim for her interviews with internationally renowned figures, including John Bolton, Geert Wilders, Bat Ye’or, Natan Sharansky, and many others, and has broken numerous important stories — notably the questionable sources of some of the financing of the Obama campaign. Her op-eds have been published in The Washington Times, The American Thinker, Israel National News, Frontpage Magazine, World Net Daily, and New Media Journal, among other publications. She is the co-author (with Robert Spencer) of the soon to be released, The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America (forward by Ambassador John Bolton).
FP: Pamela Geller, welcome back to Frontpage Interview.
I would like to talk to you today about Obama, his administration and anti-Semitism.
Let’s begin with Obama’s anti-Israel policies, your thoughts on them and what you think explains them. Tie this into the role of his friends and advisers.
Geller: Obama had a disturbing track record from the beginning. The Obama landscape, the landscape of his personal and professional associations, is littered with anti-Semites and rife with Israel haters.
Only three weeks after Barack Hussein Obama took office, Israeli pundit Caroline Glick noted that “since it came into office a month ago, every single Middle East policy the Obama administration has announced has been antithetical to Israel’s national security interests.”
Obama in April 2009 asked Congress to revise American laws preventing financial aid to terrorist organizations so that the United States could keep funding the Palestinian Authority even with Hamas as part of the government.
Then in May 2009 came the revelation that the United States and allied military, under the command of Lt. Keith Dayton, was training 1,500 Palestinian troops.
Would American-trained Palestinian troops one day go into battle against the forces of American ally Israel? It was possible.
On September 23, 2009, Barack Obama made a speech at the UN that former UN Ambassador John Bolton called “the most radical anti-Israel speech I can recall any president making.”
Obama was the most anti-Israel President the United States had had since the State of Israel was formed. Yet American Jews voted in large numbers for this man.
They should have known better.
FP: Tell us about some of Obama’s advisers in this context.
Geller: Well, let’s begin with one Obama foreign policy adviser, Samantha Power, who, in a 2002 interview with Harry Kreisler of the Institute for International Studies at Berkeley, called for military action against Israel to secure the creation of a Palestinian state.
Power said that establishing a Palestinian state would mean “sacrificing — or investing, I think, more than sacrificing — billions of dollars, not in servicing Israel’s military, but actually investing in the new state of Palestine, in investing the billions of dollars it would probably take, also, to support what will have to be a mammoth protection force, not of the old Rwanda kind, but a meaningful military presence.” She said that this would “require external intervention.”
Many observers quite reasonably concluded that in this Power meant that the United States should invade Israel in order to secure the creation and protection of a Palestinian state. Confronted about this during the Obama presidential campaign, Power made no attempt to explain or excuse her statement: “Even I don’t understand it…This makes no sense to me….The quote seems so weird.” She assured supporters of Israel that she did not believe in “imposing a settlement.”
But Power was not alone. The anti-Israel statements of Robert Malley, whom Obama tabbed for an important mission right after he was elected President, were even worse than Power’s.
Early on in his campaign, Obama named Robert Malley one of his primary foreign policy advisers – to the immediate consternation of Israeli officials. One Israeli security official noted in February 2008: “We are noting with concern some of Obama’s picks as advisers, particularly Robert Malley, who has expressed sympathy to Hamas and Hizbullah and offered accounts of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations that don’t jibe with the facts.”
Once Obama was elected President, he sent Malley to Egypt and Syria. “The tenor of the messages,” explained an aide to Malley, “was that the Obama administration would take into greater account Egyptian and Syrian interests.”
Malley had nothing on Zbigniew Brzezinski, the National Security Adviser during the Carter Administration. Obama consulted Brzezinski for advice during his campaign, calling the octogenarian Brzezinski “one of our most outstanding scholars and thinkers” and saying that he was “someone I have learned an immense amount from.”
Bizarrely, Brzezinski called for the United States to protect Iran from an Israeli strike against Iranian nuclear facilities. “We are not exactly impotent little babies,” he declared in a September 2009 interview. If the Israelis struck Iran, he said, “they have to fly over our airspace in Iraq. Are we just going to sit there and watch?” Brzezinski advocated military action against Israel to stop it from striking Iran: “If they fly over, you go up and confront them. They have the choice of turning back or not.”
Brzezinski holds no official position in the Obama Administration. But Rosa Brooks does: she is an advisor to the undersecretary of Defense for policy. Brooks is venomously anti-Israel. During Israel’s defensive action in Gaza in January 2009, Brooks wrote an op-ed in the Times entitled, “Israel can’t bomb its way to peace.” Stephen A. Silver of the media watchdog Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America pointed out that while Brooks gave the number of Palestinian casualties in this conflict, she didn’t mention that most of these were combatants, not innocent civilians. “She also takes no interest,” noted Silver, “in the fact that Hamas fires missiles at Israeli civilians from the midst of Palestinian population centers — a double war crime specifically intended by Hamas to manufacture Palestinian civilian casualties for public relations purposes whenever Israel tries to defend itself from Hamas terror.”
Former Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) would probably have agreed with Brooks. According to the Jerusalem Post, he was “one of a handful of senators who frequently didn’t sign AIPAC-backed letters related to Israel and the peace process during his time in the Senate and opposed additional sanctions on Iran.” In the Senate he amassed a significant track record as one of a hardline hater of Israel who would not affix his name even to the most innocuous pro-Israel initiative. In late October 2009 Obama appointed Hagel co-chair of his Intelligence Advisory Board.
These were Barack Hussein Obama’s closest advisers. And the effect of all this showed in his policies, beginning almost immediately when he took office.
FP: What explains this hatred of Israel in Obama’s administration? What is it that is motivating Obama and these anti-Semites around him?
Geller: Obama’s anti-Semitic associations go all the way back to the beginning of his career: the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, who worked with Louis Farrakhan and gave him an award from Trinity United Church of Christ; Bill Ayers, whose Communist rhetoric from the 1960s – the Weather Underground manifesto Prairie Fire — was full of anti-Semitic attacks on Israel; and others. Israel has always been an ally of the United States and was an enemy of the Soviet Union and socialist internationalists. Barack Obama is a socialist internationalist, as are the people he has surrounded himself with. It’s no surprise in light of that that his administration would be so anti-Israel.
Little attention is paid to Obama’s childhood study of Islam and his Koranic studies in Indonesia. Knowing what we know about Islamic anti-Semitism and Jew-hatred in the Koran, it may have been a powerful influence on Obama’s attitudes towards the Jewish homeland.
FP: What are the consequences of this landscape of Jew-hate in the Obama administration?
Geller: The main consequence is that Israel is on its own to deal with the Iranian nuclear threat, and the U.S. may even try to stop Israel from doing anything about that threat. A nuclear Iran threatens the entire free world, not just Israel, but no one in the Obama administration seems very concerned about that. They’ve even opposed new sanctions on Iran.
When the cop walks off the beat, thugs go wild. With a weak Islamophilic President in the White House, there is a vacuum, a void — one that evil is only too happy to fill. The UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) recently called on the Iranian mullahs to stop their uranium enrichment activities. Two days after that, showing how much they fear the wrath of the U.N. and Barack Hussein Obama, the mullahs okayed a plan to build ten new uranium enrichment plants.
This is the same IAEA whose chief, Mohamed Mostafa ElBaradei, said in October that “Israel is number one threat to Middle East.” The IAEA, led by Mohamed ElBaradei, has given covert cover to jihad nuclear weaponization for decades. Would we be in this predicament if the UN had even tried to do its job? Yet even this lapdog called out the Iranians, and not surprisingly, they laughed at him.
And all this comes after Iran defiantly rejected a deal that the UN brokered on its nuke program – although Obama has been mum about the rejection for understandable reasons. He knows what it will show about his determination to negotiate with the Iranians “without preconditions.” One colossal failure after another. All hail O-blunder.
But what did he expect? Why would Iran have endorsed this deal? Would Hitler have stopped in the Thirties? Did handing over Czechoslovakia satiate Germany’s bloodlust?
There is a weak leader installed in the Oval Office. It’s not hard to fool the invertebrate in the White House. He wants to be conned. The Islamic Republic of Iran is counting on it. Iran’s rogue regime has been unimaginably successful in achieving its goals while spitting in the face of the world. Why stop now?
For Iran, it’s all systems go.
Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton has sounded the alarm: “Once Iran gets nuclear weapons, we are in danger on a worldwide basis … Iran isn’t the end of the problem. The real difficulty with that analysis is that Saudi Arabia will get nuclear weapons, probably Egypt, probably Turkey, possibly others. So within a five to ten year period, you’ll have half a dozen nuclear countries in the Middle East … almost guaranteeing a nuclear exchange at some point or another.”
FP: The Israelis are, as you mention, now alone — with the Obama administration in office. What should and must Israel do in this situation?
Geller: Force is all that is left. Ambassador Bolton said that too – that “the use of force is required” to stop Iran’s nuke program. Required. “The other options,” he said, “have failed, are failing and will fail.”
Bolton restates the obvious. Bolton says clearly what is necessary. This is the kind of leadership the very survival of the free world requires. But instead, we have the post-American president.
Jamie, I expose the whole story of Obama’s anti-Israel policies and more in my forthcoming book, The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America, which I am writing with Robert Spencer. It is scheduled to be published by Simon and Schuster in July.
FP: We’ll all be waiting to read it. Thank you for joining us Pamela Geller.
[To get the whole story on why the Left is attracted to anti-Semitism, read Jamie Glazov’s new book, United in Hate: The Left’s Romance with Tyranny and Terror.]