Why shrinking Jewish support for Obama may be too little, too late.
This week, a Gallup poll showed that President Obama’s support level among American Jews had dropped from 74 percent in 2008 to 64 percent. That drop is twice as large as the drop for any other racial or ethnic group. It still leaves two-thirds of Jews standing in support of a President who will not stand by the Jewish State. But it does mean that a growing population of Jewish voters understand the threat that Obama poses – even if they had supported his socialistic domestic agenda.
The Obama administration proved again last week just why Jewish voters should be troubled. On Friday, June 7, the Obama administration blocked an Israeli request to join the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) in Istanbul, Turkey. Now, for the past several years, Turkish sentiment has been turning against Israel. Once the two countries' had a vibrant defense relationship, but Israel now has to fight off flotillas of armed terror-supporters launched from Turkey. Turkey’s Head of state, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is living proof of what happens to a heretofore secular state falls to the scourge of Islamism.
Instead of seeing Turkey as a threat, however, the Obama administration sees it as a model for the Middle East. Egypt has been allowed to go Islamist; so has Iraq (which now has Shariah law as its default under its constitution); so have Libya and Tunisia. All, like Turkey, went Islamist by popular demand. And all, like Turkey, have become radically anti-Israel.
When faced with the intransigence of Islamism, the West has two choices: they can call upon the Islamists to drop the nonsense and begin dealing reasonably with the Jewish State. Or they can cave.
The Obama administration caved.
The GCTF, a crowning achievement of the Obama administration’s foreign policy, was opened in September 2011; it was the United States that chose Turkey as the site of this month’s conference. So when Israel asked to join, America could have told the Turks to deal with it.
Instead, they told Israel to get out, even as they invited Algeria, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia. Non-Middle Eastern nations like China, Russia, and countries of West Europe showed up, too.
Not Israel, however. “The GCTF sought from the outset to bridge old and deep divides in the international community between Western donor nations and Muslim majority nations,” said one U.S. official. “And it has, I think, done that quite effectively.”
Not that effectively. Israel remains a bridge too far for the Arab and Muslim world, which seeks its destruction above all else. And yet the Obama administration acts as though the international scene is one big happy family, anti-terror to the core.
The truth is far more sinister. Holding an antiterrorism conference in Turkey is like holding a women’s conference in Sudan or a gay and lesbian conference in Saudi Arabia. It’s an oxymoron. And the fact that the Turkish won’t let the Jews in shows just what a mockery the entire spectacle is in the first place.
This isn’t the first time the United States has created a coalition of the willing that included a fair number of bad apples. During the First Gulf War, George H.W. Bush could have included Israel in the alliance against Saddam Hussein. He chose not to do so, fearful that he would alienate the rest of the Arab world. It was a tragic mistake, since for the first time, the Arab states would have been forced to work with Israel, or watch Iraq become the regional powerhouse.
But at least in that case, there was a larger goal: the freeing of an oil-rich state. In this case, the larger goal – fighting terrorism – is inseparable from the need to bring Israel into the fold. Any attempt to fight Islamic terror that forces Israel out is not truly fighting Islamic terror – it’s kicking the can down the road. In the short term, terrorists may be stopped. In the long term, they’ll be emboldened.
American Jews instinctively know this. Banning Israel from an antiterrorism conference to cater to the sensitivities of Muslims treads on anti-Semitic ground. But that’s familiar ground for the Obama administration, which has routinely leaked crucial national security information to the press that would undercut Israel’s ability to defend itself. It’s no wonder Jews in the United States – at least the ones who care about Israel – are beginning to see the light about President Obama. All they have to do is read the papers.
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