God, Jerusalem and American Foreign Policy

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Originally published in The Jerusalem Post.

Throughout his presidency, Barack Obama and his supporters have been dogged by criticism of his position on Israel. From the very outset of his tenure in office, critics and supporters alike have not been able to shake the sense that Obama is deeply hostile to the Jewish state.

Obama and his supporters have responded to every criticism of his treatment of Israel by pulling out a list. Every time his record on Israel is criticized, Obama and his supporters pull out a list of the things he has done for Israel. Just this week, in an op-ed in The New York Times, Democratic donor Haim Saban pulled out the list to justify his support for Obama.

As the list notes, Obama has given billions of dollars in military assistance to Israel. He has gotten stiff sanctions passed against Iran by the UN Security Council. He has agreed to sell F-35 Joint Strike Fighters to Israel. During his presidency, they say, the US has expanded its intelligence and military coordination with Israel. Obama has opposed some anti-Israel resolutions at the UN.

Obama’s critics respond to Obama’s list with a series of points. They note that in approving increases in US military assistance to Israel, including for the Iron Dome rocket defense system, Obama is simply carrying out a pledge made by his predecessor George W. Bush. They note that the UN Security Council sanctions have had no impact on Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

So, too, Obama opposed even stronger sanctions against Iran passed with the overwhelming support of both houses of Congress.

He had to be forced, kicking and screaming, to sign those sanctions into law. And since he signed the sanctions law, he has used his presidential power to water them down.

Obama’s critics mention that due to his insistence on appeasing Iran, last week Iran enjoyed its greatest diplomatic triumph since the 1979 Iranian revolution. More than a hundred nations sent representatives to Tehran to participate in the 16th Non-Aligned Movement Summit. And in the presence of UN Secretary-General Ban Kimoon, those nations expressed support for Iran’s nuclear program.

And while it is true that Obama has blocked two anti-Israel initiatives at the UN, he has been more supportive of the inherently anti-American and anti-Israel UN system than any of his recent predecessors.

As for Israeli-US intelligence cooperation, under Obama for the first time, the US has systematically leaked Israel’s most closely guarded secrets to the media.

Indeed, critics of Obama’s policy towards Israel have their own list. It includes Obama’s repeated humiliations of Israel’s prime minister. It includes the multiple clashes Obama has initiated with Israel with regards to Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem. It includes Obama’s adoption of the Palestinians’ position on Israel’s borders.

But still, as Obama and his supporters will say, facts are facts and they have a list. And because the list is true – as far as it goes – they can argue that Obama is supportive of Israel.

Given its superficially compelling argument, it is remarkable that Obama’s list has failed to end the debate about his position on Israel. Today Americans have no interest in foreign policy.

They don’t want to hear that by leaving Iraq as he did, Obama squandered everything that the US fought for. They don’t want to hear that he effectively handed the country over to Iran, which now has the ability to use Iraq as its forward base for operations in Syria, Lebanon and beyond.

They don’t want to hear that Obama’s surge and- leave strategy in Afghanistan is fomenting a US defeat in that war and setting the conditions for the reinstitution of the Taliban government.

They don’t want to hear about how Russia and China view the US with contempt and challenge its economic and strategic interests every day.

They don’t want to hear how Obama played a key role in overthrowing the US’s key ally in the Arab world, Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. They don’t want to consider the implications of the fact that the US is now bankrolling the Muslim Brotherhood’s transformation of Egypt into an anti- American, radical Islamic regime.

And yet, in the face of this absence of interest in the world outside their borders, Americans remain interested in the question of whether or not Obama is supportive of Israel.

There are two reasons for Americans’ enduring interest and concern about Israel. And they were both revealed this week at the Democratic National Convention when the story broke about how this year’s Democratic platform differs from its 2008 platform. First it was reported that the platform contained no mention of God.

Then it was reported that unlike the 2008 platform, this year’s Democratic Party platform made no mention of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

This year’s platform watered down the language on Israel in other significant ways as well.

It did not refer to Israel as the US’s “strongest ally” in the Middle East. It did not call for the continued eschewal of the Hamas terror group by the international community. It did not mention US opposition to the Palestinian demand for the so-called “right of return” – through which Israel would be destroyed by an influx of millions of foreign Arabs in the framework of a peace treaty between Israel and the Palestinians. But whereas these other deletions were generally ignored, the platform’s silence on Jerusalem generated a maelstrom of criticism that exceeded even its deletion of God.

Significantly, rather than treat the deletions of God and Jerusalem as separate issues, the media and the Democrats themselves presented them as two sides of the same coin. When on Wednesday the party’s leadership decided to restore the language of the 2008 platform on God and Jerusalem – but not on Hamas, the so-called “right of return,” and Israel’s strategic significance to the US – they opted to do so in the same amendment.

The widespread perception of God and Jerusalem as related issues tells us something important about the American character. And it tells us something equally important about Obama and the party he leads.

Prof. Walter Russell Mead described Israel’s place in the American mindset last year. As he put it, “Israel matters in American politics like almost no other country on earth. Well beyond the American Jewish and the Protestant fundamentalist communities, the people and the story of Israel stir some of the deepest and most mysterious reaches of the American soul. The idea of Jewish and Israeli exceptionalism is profoundly tied to the idea of American exceptionalism. The belief that God favors and protects Israel is connected to the idea that God favors and protects America.”

Mead continued, “Being pro-Israel matters in American mass politics because the public mind believes at a deep level that to be pro-Israel is to be pro-America and pro-faith. Substantial numbers of voters believe that politicians who don’t ‘get’ Israel also don’t ‘get’ America and don’t ‘get’ God.”

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  • Charlie

    America is going to the dogs. Remember the words: I will bless those who bless thee, and curse on those who curse you…

    • William Burns

      Yeah, look at the Germans, forced to live in a prosperous Central European democracy that's the only European economy not going down.

  • http://frontpage richard sherman

    Obama cares as much about Jews aka Israel as Frank Marshall Davis, Paul Robeson, Bill Ayers, Rashid Khalidi and Rev Wright…no more…no less…

  • Mike

    You guys have it right! What scares me more than that is the 53,000,000 ignorant people that voted for him and will again.

  • kim segar

    I try to look at all the evil from Obama and his herd as to what G-d has said: In the end, Israel and the ones who love HER will win. No matter what obama says…G-d is bring everything HE promised to fruitation. And HE will destroy All the nations who come against HIS Chosen People. Soon enough Islam will loose it's so called splendor. and then the ten nations will take over..Hitler used Islam, US and other nations used them in Afgan and now they think the have it made, going around to steal, kill and destroy..but their day is coming to a end. and for anyone to believe that Dem is bad and Rep is good is not paying attention..anyone who thinks they will devide the Holy City Jerusalem or devide G-d's land is insane.. as it is written..Damascus will be rubble, Egypt hit hard..Saudi and Iran…all the naions in Psalms 83 will not have a chance.. Israel will WIN and when old Russia comes with all the nations. G-d will ROAR thr Zion and kill them all as they reach HIS HOLY HILL…In the end, Israel will win and it will be forever and ever…..and those who love Her wlll rejoice with HER..

    • Mr. Polly

      Should American foreign policy really be based on psychotic fantasies such as yours?

  • Schlomotion

    "From the very outset of his tenure in office, critics and supporters alike have not been able to shake the sense that Obama is deeply hostile to the Jewish state."

    That is the nature of a sense, isn't it? It is one's own. Obama can no more shake Ms. Glick's "sense" than he can shake the sense of a bum in an alley. You can only shake your own sense. Ms. Glick, by saying "the" sense, implies that it is absolute and universal. Perhaps it is in her country.

    The "sense" that Ms. Glick presents then morphs into a complaint that the billions of dollars Obama sends to Israel is not enough. That's a fine way to treat a country that gives you billions of dollars. This also makes Ms. Glick directly responsible for creating a negative stereotype about Israelis, that they are ingrates who gobble up the free money and complain that we don't give them even more special favors and exemptions especially from international law.

    Ms. Glick insists in no uncertain terms that the US must express fervent like and solidarity for Israel in every election season despite the behavior of Israel's leaders. She also insidiously tried to slip the Likud's ambitions and goals into our political platforms in the US. I think she is confused about where she lives.

    I also humbly submit that the billions of dollars Obama sends to Israel should be kept in the United States and spent on schools and roads.

    • PaulRevereNow

      I honestly submit that the billions of dollars that the 2009 stimulus bill designated for American roads and schools, were spent to prop up corrupt labor unions. Besides, if Obama didn't give any money to Israel, his hatred for Israel and Jews would be completely obvious. And your comments about "sense" are total NON-SENSE. Go shake your own sense.

    • Stern

      This troll has only one purpose, and that is to provoke. Provide factual counter-arguments and it will change the subject, finding something new and provocative to say. Best approach is to ignore because then its purpose is nullified. IGNORE, IGNORE, IGNORE!

      • Schlomotion

        You don't mind that Paul changed the subject to labor unions.

        • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

          Schlo, we don't mind as long as it distracts you.

        • fiddler

          And you don't mind that you changed the subject to school and roads.

    • Mo Schlotion

      I sense that your sense is sensing some sense different from the sense she is sensing. Is that sensible?

      • fiddler

        I think I'm just incensed by you.

      • fiddler

        I mean it in this sense: I'm incensed that schlo is sensing what we would consider nonsensical.

    • Ghostwriter

      I humbly ask that you get a brain,Schlockmotion. Your constant bashing of Israel is obnoxious and stupid,filled by a bigoted mind. Please get a life,and a heart while you're at it.

  • Jerry

    What is important to note is not just that they denied God, but that they denied him THREE TIMES! This is one of the most significant actions I have ever seen taken, and one cannot wonder if it is a sign of things to come. I suggest all read, 'THE COMING: A TRUE STORY OF HORROR @ amazon.com. This book is filled with information pertaining to
    Biblical prophesy written in an entertaining style .http://www.amazon.com/The-Coming-True-Story-Horror/dp/1469955652/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1347281142&sr=8-1&keywords=the+coming+a+true+story+of+horror

    • fiddler

      You know Jerry, that's an astute observation. Often in the Bible something that is emphatic is often expressed 3 times. Others may scoff, but I think you are right.

      Remember though that they need Christ too. They just aren't aware of it yet. We wrestle not against [people] but against principalities and powers. They are not the enemy. I'm reminded of Don Francisco's song: "Adam where are You?"

      "Though the curse has long been broken, Adam's sons are still the prisoners of their fears
      Rushing helter-skelter to destruction, with their fingers in their ears
      But the Father's voice is calling, with an urgency I've never heard before
      Come in from the darkness now before its time to close the door

      Adam, Adam, where are you? Adam, Adam, Where Are You? ADAM, ADAM ….I love you."

  • Nakba1948

    Once again, American politicians display their fear and trembling before the subversive Israeli fifth column that infests this country's civic organs. When AIPAC says "jump," the two major political parties ask, "how high?" What a pathetic display last week in Charlotte.

  • William Burns

    This was a one day kerfuffle, pushed by right-wing bloggers, that didn't affect the fact that the Dems had a very successful convention. Israel just isn't that important to most Americans.

  • http://www.facebook.com/duncan.bates.alabama Duncan Bates

    Obama is a puppet to the British Monarchy and the committee of 300 just like Bush, Clinton, Bush and numerous other presidents before him. The Jewish people who follow the word of God have and will always have my support but I refuse to support t Israels Zionist/occultist led government who have been in control since the British Monarchs(whom are not even of British blood) set the Israeli state back up after WWII. These same Luciferian/Occults have had control of our nation as well for most of the past 100 years.

    Our nation needs to wake up and accept the fact we have committed atrocities abroad and at home for a long time. The created crises of "terrorist" threats and planned economic destruction have given Satan's servants (The NWO) excuse to kill around the world in our name claiming it's for our safety , build up the police state at home violating our rights daily and the consolidation of power. Our nation has been key in developing the tools to enslave the world through a high tech spy grid. We all need to repent before Gods wrath is poured out on our nation/states.

    I will continue to pray for the Jewish people as well as all of the God fearing people around the world.

  • Ghostwriter

    What Nakba1948 and Schlomotion doesn't seem to get is that the majority of Palestinians hate America and all she stands for. Israel does not. They are a freedom loving people. The Palestinians are a freedom HATING people. I think most of us in America can tell our true friends from our enemies.

    • http://www.facebook.com/duncan.bates.alabama Duncan Bates

      I have to disagree with you. For one America does not even practice the policies or follow the principles it was founded upon and has not for over a century. The only reasons many Palestinians, Iraqis, Syrians, Iranians, Pakistanis, (insert any Nation has to hate America is that our elected servants in government constantly dictate to those nations how they should run their own sovereign nations and how they should live. Our elected servants (whom do not serve us but serve other interests) try to get them to do what they want by threats, sanctions (economic siege) and by bombs/drones, soldiers.

      You know the re-education of America by the committee of 300's minions over the past 70+ years has been successful when so called Christians boo the Golden Rule. I strongly urge everyone to research the committee of 300, The Club of Rome, the CFR and more. I also recommend all to read George Washington's farewell address in it's full unedited form.

  • Steve

    Killing in the name of G-d. Vengance, hatred, and anger. As Dick Gregory once said "with all the fighting in the world, one wonders what it is that makes the atheists act so damn g-d like."

  • Michele

    The RNC and Romney apparently also support Obama's desire to divide Israel.

    On page 49 of the official PDF file from the RNC 2012 website, we read the following:

    “…we envision two democratic states – Israel with Jerusalem as its capital and Palestine – living in peace and security…” – Mitt Romney 2012 RNC Convention"

  • Mr. Polly

    The Anti-Christ, who is to be Jewish, will rule the world from the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem. At least that's the "connection between God and Jerusalem" I hear about from many American Protestant fundamentalists.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

    Who cares is anyone not controlled by hate, such as yourself, might not think this is a fluke.

    Then it's a truth we can use in campaigns.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

    Seems to me you're a hate filled bigot that's really and truly a 'wee' little man.

    You get going and end up sounding like this:

    Why not just man up and admit you're a muslim activist?

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

    Why should you be able to, as a closet muslim, determine what God is allowed to care about?