President Obama visited the friendly confines of liberal Adas Israel Synagogue in Washington, D.C. on Friday and delivered a speech meant to reach out to the Jewish Community and other supporters of Israel. His two themes were that Israel should support the deal with Iran, and that he criticizes Israel harshly in public because he loves it so much.
The speech began with friendly platitudes about the history of Judaism in the U.S., how they supported the civil rights movement, and pointed out some friendly member of the congregation including Jeff Goldberg of The Atlantic. It continued with laying out his administrations support of Israel’s military and his oft repeated claim that “no administration has done more to ensure that Israel can protect itself than this one.”
The president transitioned to the deal with Iran:
The deal that we already reached with Iran has already halted or rolled back parts of Iran’s nuclear program. Now we’re seeking a comprehensive solution. I will not accept a bad deal. As I pointed out in my most recent article with Jeff Goldberg, this deal will have my name on it, so nobody has a bigger personal stake in making sure that it delivers on its promise. I want a good deal.
I’m interested in a deal that blocks every single one of Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon — every single path. A deal that imposes unprecedented inspections on all elements of Iran’s nuclear program, so that they can’t cheat; and if they try to cheat, we will immediately know about it and sanctions snap back on. A deal that endures beyond a decade; that addresses this challenge for the long term. In other words, a deal that makes the world and the region — including Israel — more secure. That’s how I define a good deal.
Forgetting for a moment that his stake could not be bigger than the people living in Israel who would be the first target of a nuclear Iran, the president ignores the fact that many observers believe that the Iran deal does nothing to stop Iran’s nuclear program, and that the elements of the deal as he described has been disputed by America’s partners the P+5 negotiations (Including Russia, China and France), as well as Iran.
The president also forgot to mention that it is not only Israel objecting to the deal but some of our Arab allies were so upset at the framework deal and the direction of the talks that their leaders refused to join President Obama for the recent conference at Camp David.
Interestingly the president continued by saying he welcomed debate about the Iran deal:
Because the stakes are sufficiently high that anything that’s proposed has to be subjected to scrutiny — and I welcome that scrutiny.
Funny how he didn’t welcome scrutiny when the Prime Minister of Israel was invited to speak about the deal to congress this past March.
After talking about how much he loves Israel, Obama spoke to his reputation of not supporting Israel and that the reason for his constant bashing of the Jewish State was his deep feeling of friendship:
So when I hear some people say that disagreements over policy belief a general lack of support of Israel, I must object, and I object forcefully. For us to paper over difficult questions, particularly about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or about settlement policy, that’s not a true measure of friendship.
When Obama became president he unilaterally broke an agreement between the U.S. and Israel which said that the U.S. would not object to additional housing units in existing settlements outside of Jerusalem and would not object to any settlements in Jerusalem. When Obama broke that agreement the Palestinians made settlements a precondition for negotiations.
When Obama talks about the settlements he ignores that Netanyahu made a very simple offer to the Palestinian President Abbas. If he were to recognize Israel as the Jewish State, Israel will enact a indefinite building freeze. As reported by Al Jazeera the answer from the Palestinians was a resounding no. But still Obama blames Israel
When he objects to the perception that he is not pro-Israel, President Obama ignores that during the 2012 convention his campaign stripped four pro-Israel planks from the campaign platform and only added back the one about Jerusalem. Not added back were the items about not dealing with Hamas, any deal would re-settle Palestinian refugees outside of Israel in Palestinian territory, and that “it is unrealistic to expect the outcome of final status negotiations to be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949.”
When President Obama talks about his love of Israel and Judaism he ignores that the Jewish attachment to Jerusalem is a basic tenet of Judaism (Psalm 137 “I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning, Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I remember thee not.”) He also ignores that his administration refuses to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel a big change from his predecessor President Bush (#43).
In 1995 Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act endorsing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and requiring the US Embassy to move to Jerusalem. But Congress gave the executive branch an out, every six months the State Department/President can request and receive an automatic waiver. A waiver that President Bill Clinton issued to congress every six months as required.
President Bush continued the policy every six months, but in Bush’s case he inserted into the legal jargon a sentence stating, “My Administration remains committed to beginning the process of moving our embassy to Jerusalem.” The phrase appeared in all 16 Bush waiver notifications. The Obama administration removed that phrase from their waiver requests.
Obama wrapped up by orating against the scourge of Anti-Semitism. Ignoring the fact that during his first year as president he awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to two Jew-haters, former Irish President Mary Robinson, who ran the 1991 UN Conference on Racism, which turned out to be a conference for every type of Anti-Semitism in the world and Bishop Desmond Tutu a man who not only claims the Jews run the US government but “the Jews thought they had a monopoly on God.”
The president’s words about Anti-Semitism also ignore that he counts Al Sharpton as an adviser. Sharpton led two Anti-Semitic pogroms in New York City, the Crown Heights riot, and the firebombing of Freddy’s Fashion Mart.
Using beautiful words President Obama gave a speech at an historic D.C. synagogue in an attempt to reach out to American Jews who have grown weary of his Anti-Israel policies. Beautiful words however, are meaningless unless he changes his policies toward the Jewish State.
Note: In the first paragraph, Adas Israel was described as “friendly confines” for the president; the following paragraph provides the rationale for that description.
Adas Israel represents a very friendly liberal audience. Amongst its members are Martin Indyk who served as Obama’s U.S. negotiator for the Israel/Palestinian peace talks despite the fact that he was on the payroll of Qatar, and who gave a sermon on Yom Kippur at Adas Israel where he trashed the Jewish State. Another famous member of the Synagogue is Jeff Goldberg of The Atlantic who is the president’s “go to” Jew when he wants to say bad things about Israel either through interviews, or leaks (remember when Netanyahu was called chickenshit?). The Synagogue is part of the Conservative movement of Judaism. which all but endorsed Obama in the 2012 election and after the most recent Israeli election, backed up President Obama by slamming Prime Minister Netanyahu for comments he didn’t really make and which they admitted they didn’t read.