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The victory of Republican Bob Turner in the solidly Democratic 9th Congressional District of New York, where Jews form a large percentage of the electorate, shocked the Democratic Party establishment. This upset, ending an 89-year district hold by the Democrats, sent a clear message to President Obama that many among the 78% of Jews who voted for him in 2008 recognize his failed policies in the Middle East, and his mismanagement of the domestic economy. The Washington Post called it a “referendum on Obama’s stewardship of the U.S. economy,” while for many of the Orthodox Jewish voters, it was a referendum on Obama’s treatment of Israel and his Middle East policies in general. In his victory speech on September 14, 2011, Turner said: “We have had it with your treatment of Israel.”
It is not, however, merely Obama and his administration’s disastrous handling of the Middle East, or his contemptuous regard for Israel and its prime minister that have shaken many Jews out of their slumber. It is also those citizens who are objective enough to recognize the transformation of the Middle East into a hostile and Islamist region is due, in part, to Obama’s appeasement of Islam and his perceived weakness by both Arab and Muslim leaders and their people.
Addressing the Muslim world from Al-Azhar Islamic University in Cairo on June 4, 2009, Obama declared:
I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world; one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect; and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles – principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.
Obama appears unwilling to understand that justice for Muslims means the liquidation of Israel as a Jewish State – contrary to his speech in the UN where he spoke of Israel’s security. Considering the wealth of available information, Obama should know that there is no tolerance for non-Muslim minorities in the Arab and Muslim world. As for progress, the Muslim Middle East constitutes societies and governments that are economically backward and repressive. One wonders what common principles Obama was referring to.
In March 2010, the Obama administration condemned Israel for building apartments in Jerusalem, precipitating rejection by the Palestinians of any talks with Israel, which has now led to the Palestinian Unilateral Declaration of Independence — expected to be raised this week at the U.N. Had Obama not made an issue of the apartment building in Jerusalem (which is, in fact, totally legal) the Palestinians would not have had a built-in excuse to intensify their rejection of talks with Israel. The irony can be seen in a blogger’s headline: “Obama condemns Israel for building apartments in Jewish parts of Jerusalem, but not Ahmadinejad for building nukes.”
Responding to President Obama’s Middle East speech on May 19, 2011, ABC-TV contributor George Will commented:
Barack Obama thinks he must incessantly talk about Middle Eastern events that he can affect only marginally, if at all. But before firing up his teleprompter, he should have something helpful to say. Thursday, [May 19th] he did not.
‘We face an historic opportunity.’ ‘There will be good days and bad days.’ Consent is good, coercion is bad. Women should be emancipated … Syria’s President Assad ‘must’ do this or that? And if he does not?
Regarding the Arab Spring, the president should remember Burke’s axiom: Before we congratulate people on their freedom, we should see what use they make of it. Obama should have said nothing about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, his prior statements (about Israel’s housing construction and a deadline for a peace settlement) having made matters worse.
George Will added, “Obama’s absentminded military intervention in a third Islamic nation — in the civil war in Libya’s tribal society, supposedly to protect civilians– has made his muted response to Syria’s massacre of civilians excruciatingly embarrassing.”
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