Obama Doesn’t Understand Israelis

The official punditry has spent the past week explaining that Israelis don’t understand Obama. Liberal Jews like Jeffrey Goldberg have discoursed at length about how Israelis have been taken in by Republican “myths” about Obama as a Jew-hating Muslim and their own racism.

But there are a number of problems with that narrative.

1. No one in the Middle East likes Obama very much. He polls poorly even in most Muslim countries. Obama is very unpopular in neighboring Egypt, despite his Cairo speech and his attempts to associate himself with the Arab Spring. He is wildly unpopular in Pakistan despite having grown up in an Asian Muslim country.

2. Israelis don’t exactly spend their time hanging out at GOP meetings. The Israeli media is as bad as its American counterparts.

3. Israel is a country where Arabs have won reality shows contests voted on by the public. Having Hussein as your middle name is not a deal killer. Not in a country where there are men named Hussein on most soccer teams and in politics.

The problem with all these arguments is that liberal Jews don’t understand Israelis. Neither does Obama whose view of Jews has been largely shaped by hanging out with Chicago lefties.

It’s not surprising that Obama doesn’t get Israel. He grew up in Indonesia and he still misreads the Muslim world more often that not.  He spent most of his life in the United States and doesn’t really get it either. There is no reason why he would be expected to “get” Israelis, when he hasn’t been around many of them, not counting a few expat donors and Rahm Emanuel, who mostly grew up in Chicago.

The problem is that Obama thinks he understands Israelis because he understands liberal Jews. And that is a fatal error.

Like most liberals, Obama is a bubble guy. He’s comfortable only with people who share his mindset and point of view. And his trip to Israel sees him taking along his bubble by speaking to an audience of leftist students carefully selected to pre-approve of what he has to say.

It’s not a completely dead end strategy. Obama did just win an election by selectively talking only to the people who might be expected to agree with him. But it turns his Israeli trip into another pointless campaign rally, speaking to an audience even more radical than him.

Israelis might have respected Obama if he had engaged with them by going to the Knesset or even pulling off an open space speech, the way that he did in Berlin. Instead of engaging them, Obama is disengaging from them, moving through some carefully selected interviews followed by a speech to a carefully selected audience along with all the usual trimmings of a state visit.

Demographically, the average Israeli is a closer match to a rust belt Democrat. And Obama has never really known how to talk to those people the way that Bill Clinton could. It is why Bill Clinton, despite repeatedly screwing Israel, remains popular there, and why Obama can’t even place.

Obama, like Blair, represents the Yuppie Class, and Israel is still a country where much of the population is more working class than brilliant tech entrepreneurs. The last election was a big victory for the yuppie, the sight of Yair Lapid and Bennett smirking together is a big reminder of that, but that doesn’t mean the country is ready for Obama.

Israelis instinctively understand that Obama is a post-any number of things kind of guy and they are not all that comfortable with that. They don’t much like his foreign policy and they zero in on his lack of sincerity. But mostly they sense that he represents a break in continuity. A transition away from known verities to intangibles. They understand that nothing he says really matters and that is even truer in a country with a limited patience for oratory.

Israelis are by nature an impatient and bottom line people. Unlike Obama’s liberal Jewish audience, they don’t like to listen to extended speeches. Instead they would rather skip to having the argument.

While the liberal Jew is looking for FDR and JFK, the Israeli Jew is looking for the point. Obama’s Israeli approach was recommended to him by liberal Jews who have never understood Israel, but want Israelis to have a chance to be as impressed by Obama as they are. And that just isn’t going to happen.

To Israelis, Obama is a celebrity. Not a leader they can seriously. They will gawk at his motorcade and snap some pictures, but his visit will be no different than a concert by Madonna or the Rolling Stones. A media event with no substance.

  • http://oldschooltwentysix.blogspot.com/ oldschooltwentysix

    I think this analysis is on the mark, especially the bubble and campaign analogies. The Mutz paradox at work.

  • Chanameel

    Obama surrendered America in his "Muslim Day of Prayer" on the Mall in September 2009,
    (Constellation Virgo "the Virgin"
    He lead 50,00 Mulsim Men in a Day of Prayer from the Washington Monument/
    Phaliic symbol of Osirist/reflecting pool magnifies the prayer and then the muslim men travelled to the Capitol
    which is actually considered the Womb of Isis.
    This rite actually was a "surrender" to Islam and determines the "future destiny of America."

  • Toni_Pereira

    He is clueless…of Israel and anything else.

    • http://www.adinakutnicki.com AdinaK

      NOT only is he clueless, this short clip is WAY more representative of Israeli Zionists than the less than 3% toadying left, and Israel's Arab minority – http://adinakutnicki.com/2013/03/20/im-an-israeli

      The above sentiments are precisely why he receives no quarter from Zionists in Israel! They instinctively know he doesn't wish them well!

      Adina Kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/

      • Atikva

        Am Israel hai!

  • objectivefactsmatter

    I know many "multicultural" people who are immersed in more than one culture. This tends to make people either a lot smarter or a lot stupider. It either wakes you up to discover the complexity of the world or it teaches you just enough to bluff everyone just how sophisticated you are.

    0'Bama learned that some times people eat dogs.

  • Mladen Andrijasevic

    A bit of truth among all the hypocrisy http://www.madisdead.blogspot.co.il/2013/03/a-bit

  • kate5778b

    What actually IS he good at?

    • defcon 4

      Community organizing…

    • sablegsd

      He has succeeded at every thing he has done. And the dictator will not open his house to us again. Mark my words.

  • Larry

    The obamessiah doesn't understand Israelis, he doesn't want to understand Israelis as he sees no need to understand the inhabitants of a country that he would prefer to see destroyed by his MB mates.

    Quite simple really. Anybody thinking he would make the effort is deluding themselves.

  • Atikva

    If it were only the Israelis that Mr. Obama didn't understand, it wouldn't be so sad. But he doesn't understand much about anything else either.

  • Ar'nun

    I believe saying Obama doesn't "get " us is wrong. He gets us as much as he needs to, he just doesn't like us. It is always tempting to look at the things he says and does as "stupid" but the fact is he is a very intelligent guy. Same with his policies, some label them as failures. But looking at them with a prog perspective, they accomplished almost all that they have set out to do.

    Maybe it is us that don't get him very well. He is a Saul Alinsky Edward Said style anarchist. When he pushes a Stinmulus, and says it will help the economy, he is lying. The real intent is to continue his economic destruction. And as we can see, his economic policies in his view are brilliant, maybe could use some improvement or speeding up, but those darn Republicans keep obstructing his destructive plans.

    He gets us Israelis and Jews. He understands us as Apes, Pigs, Occupiers and invaders. He believes we stole land from Palestine as he was taught by Rashid Khallidi who "gets" Israel in the ame way.

    • Charles B

      He recieved over 70% of the Jewish vote.
      Chief of Staff, Secretary of Treasure, and Supreme Court Justice. Just a few of Jewish appointments.

      • Ar'nun

        That 70% and the ones who serve him are about as Jewish as the Pope.

    • Lady_Dr

      Regarding your point that Israeli's don't get him. Well there are almost 8 million pepole in Israel. Of those people nearly 20% are Arab (nearly all Muslim) and 25% of the Jews are religious and/or traditional, and easily another 25% have beliefs are pretty much in line with those more observant than themselves – and they all agree on one thing for sure, traditional sexual roles and they don't like this same sex marriage stuff. Plus there are also at least 1 million Jews from the former Soviet Union and they know a communist when the see one.
      These are some of the reasons that a very high percentage of Israelis DO GET OBAMA – AND THEY DON'T LIKE HIM.

      • Ar'nun

        If Israelis really got him like you claim, he would still be at the airport arguing with the IDF to let him into the country.

  • Ben Jabo

    One knows when Obama is lying, his mouth is open and lips moving, which seems to be most of the time

  • Charles B

    Funny no mention of the Iron Dome Missile Defense System President Obama researched on his first trip to Israel, and funded when he became President. No mention of the billions we continue to give Israel every year.

    • defcon 4

      What about the billions more given to islamofascist theocracies? What about the military hardware sold to Egypt? What does Egypt need military hardware for? What military threats does Egypt face (aside from Coptic Christians)?

    • stern

      What about the fact that the technology Israel developed for Iron Dome will be of huge benefit to the US?

      Or the fact that Israel is OBLIGED to spend almost all US "aid" in the US, providing jobs and business to the US Defense industry? What about the fact that the Israel is not allowed to sell its technology to other countries because of this aid? What about the fact that the aid prohibits Israel from modifying F-16 jets to better suit its unique needs?

      What about the fact that in return for the aid, the US receives what a former CIA director (Keegan) has called "five times" the value of a single CIA?

      Remind me, who''s getting the better of this deal?

  • defcon 4

    Didn't FDR send a boatload of Jewish refugees back to Nazi Germany to DIE?

    • Lady_Dr

      Yes, he did and for the life of me I've never understood how the Jews continue to admire FDR after that one.

      • Softly Bob

        Many liberal Jews loathe their Jewishness. They don't want to see FDR for what he really was because they don't identify with the Jews who were persecuted by the Nazis. Jews themselves have often said that being God's chosen people has been more of a curse than a blessing and for some it's just easier to try and opt out!

      • Loyal Achates

        Because he fought WW2, unlike the GOP which wanted to let Hitler take over Europe.

  • Chucky

    So many pointless conjectures about why Mr. Obama does not understand this or that, or why and how he could/should be a better President and world leader. The point is that he is, indeed, working effectively toward a Muslim/Marxist take over of the USA, as well as much of the rest of the world. That agenda includes working toward the destruction of Israel. Israel will not be destroyed, but the rest of his agenda may be successful. After all, he was elected, not once….but twice, by a nation composed of at least 51% idiots.