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The Most Anti-Israel President

Obama has bullied the Jewish state more than any president in history, according to op-ed pages and partisans. They said the same about Reagan.

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(Photoillustration Tablet Magazine; original photos Chris Wilkins/AFP/Getty Images and Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images,)

“The policy of publicly humiliating our traditional ally has made us no new friends in the Arab world and removed the trust needed to encourage Israel to take risks for peace,” argues a prominent conservative columnist. In his piece, he castigates the American administration for its policy toward Israel: “You’d think the heaviest cross [the President] had to bear was the Star of David.”

You could be forgiven for thinking the above was clipped from a column penned by William Kristol about President Barack Obama. But in fact, those are the words of William Safire criticizing Ronald Reagan in 1981.

Safire, the Nixon speechwriter and New York Times columnist, was none too pleased with the Republican administration’s treatment of the Jewish state. Under Reagan, the United States had withheld promised warplanes from Israel to punish it for destroying Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor in June 1981 and voted to condemn the action in the United Nations Security Council. It had publicly criticized Israel’s July bombing of the PLO headquarters in Beirut and the ensuing civilian casualties. And it had suspended discussion of a memorandum of strategic cooperation after the Knesset voted to extend Israeli civil law to the occupied Golan Heights.

Safire wasn’t the only one outraged by the White House’s conduct. On Dec. 20, 1981, six days before Safire wrote his piece, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin summoned the American Ambassador Samuel Lewis to read him a prepared statement. Begin did not mince words. “What kind of expression is this—‘punishing Israel’? Are we a vassal state of yours? Are we a banana republic? Are we youths of fourteen who, if they don’t behave properly, are slapped across the fingers?” Israel and its legislators, said Begin, would not be bullied by the United States. “Let me tell you who this government is composed of. It is composed of people whose lives were spent in resistance, in fighting and in suffering. You will not frighten us with ‘punishments.’ He who threatens us will find us deaf to his threats.”

The United States, Begin fumed, was in no position to lecture Israel about ethics. “You have no moral right to preach to us about civilian casualties,” he said. “We have read the history of World War II and we know what happened to civilians when you took action against an enemy. We have also read the history of the Vietnam War and your phrase ‘body-count.’ We always make efforts to avoid hitting civilian populations, but sometimes it is unavoidable.”

Just in case the United States didn’t get the message, the prime minister promptly read the speech to his Cabinet—and then released it to the public.

Don’t know much about this history? That’s no surprise. Open up a right-leaning editorial page, and you’ll find claims that Barack Obama is the most anti-Israel president ever—or at least since Jimmy Carter. Turn to the New York Times editorial page, and you’ll read that Benjamin Netanyahu’s government is the most inveterate right-wing coalition in Israel’s history.

Yet as the Reagan-Begin showdown demonstrates, these two myths, while serving the purposes of political partisans, have little basis in historical fact. The U.S.-Israel relationship has weathered far greater tensions than those experienced under Obama, and Israel has had far more conservative leaders than Netanyahu. Such extremist caricatures—promulgated by editorialists and advocacy groups—aren’t just factually wrong, they stunt our ability to have sensible discussions about the United States, Israel, and their special relationship.


Last month, the Emergency Committee for Israel, an Israel advocacy group chaired by William Kristol, released a 30-minute YouTube documentary titled “Daylight: The Story of Obama and Israel” with the ominous tagline “Barack Obama ran for president as a pro-Israel candidate—but his record tells a different story.” One of the first voice-overs is Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, who intones: “This president has done more to delegitimize and undermine Israel’s position in the world than any other president.” One wonders what Krauthammer and the Emergency Committee would have made of Reagan’s strong-arming of the Jewish state. Beyond the incidents chronicled above, the Gipper also sold Airborne Warning and Control System surveillance planes to the Saudis, over the strenuous objections of Israel and its supporters in Congress. (Sen. Ted Kennedy called it “one of the worst and most dangerous arms sales ever proposed.”)

Reagan was not the only president willing to put daylight between the United States and Israel. His successor, George H.W. Bush, made waves at a 1990 news conference when he said, “My position is that the foreign policy of the United States says we do not believe there should be new settlements in the West Bank or in East Jerusalem.” It was a statement that could just as easily have been made by President Obama. But unlike Obama, Bush took this controversial position a step further, conditioning $10 billion of loan guarantees to Israel on a total cessation of settlement building. He later compromised and allowed the loans to go forward, but with deductions commensurate with Israel’s construction in the occupied territories.

His son George W. Bush is often held up as a model of unwavering support of Israel. But he took after his father when it came to settlement policy. As the New York Times reported in November 2003, the Bush Administration rescinded $289.5 million of loan guarantees to Israel as “punishment for illegal construction activities in the West Bank.” These sentiments were also expressed in international forums. Bush’s hawkish ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, serving as the president of the Security Council in 2006, issued a statement on its behalf declaring: “The Security Council underlines the need for the Palestinian Authority to prevent terrorist attacks and dismantle the infrastructure of terror. It reiterates its view that settlement expansion must stop and its concern regarding the route of the [Israeli security] barrier.”

Taken together, these incidents paint a more accurate picture of the American-Israel relationship and its attendant tensions (and also put the lie to the noxious claim that the Israel lobby has a stranglehold on U.S. foreign policy). Indeed, many more examples could be marshaled to demonstrate that America and Israel have always had their strategic and diplomatic differences, despite their shared values. President Obama’s more critical stance toward Israel, in other words, is well-represented in the American political tradition—and the robust U.S.-Israel relationship has survived far worse friction than anything that has taken place under this “most anti-Israel president.” Seen in historical context, Obama’s prodding of Israel looks less like throwing the country under a bus and more like poking it tentatively with a salad fork.


But if those on the right are guilty of exaggerating the president’s alleged offenses against the Jewish state, left-wingers have been just as hyperbolic in their condemnations of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his coalition.

On March 19, Naomi Chazan, president of the New Israel Fund, told a group of students from Yale Divinity School that the Jewish state “has the most right-wing government in Israel’s history.” Writing in the Independent earlier that month, Avi Shlaim, an Israeli-born historian at Oxford, called Netanyahu’s coalition “the most aggressively right-wing, diplomatically intransigent, and overtly racist government in Israel’s history.” Indeed, this accusation of unprecedented extremism has become so widespread that it has been repeated, with slight qualification, as a fact in articles by mainstream press outlets like the Christian Science Monitor.

Apparently, these individuals have entirely forgotten the policies of Menachem Begin—not to mention those of more conservative Israeli prime ministers, like Yitzhak Shamir. Begin disregarded American concerns and international consensus with aplomb, as when he bombed Iraq and Lebanon. He appointed Ariel Sharon as the head of his settlement committee, and together they expanded Israel’s construction in the West Bank and Gaza, building more than 50 settlements over the objections of domestic opponents and the international community. The Associated Press reported Sharon quipping to the Knesset: “While you’re shouting here, we lay another foot of pipe, another mile of road and build another house.” Needless to say, there was no serious talk of a Palestinian state during Begin’s tenure.

But Begin was a pushover compared to his successor, Shamir, whose government was dubbed in 1991 by the New York Times editorial board—in an interesting turn of phrase—“the most right-wing in Israeli history.” Despite pressure and eventually threats from President George H. W. Bush, Shamir doggedly continued settlement expansion and insisted that the United States finance such building with loan guarantees. Under Shamir, the Chicago Tribune noted, “The number of housing units under construction in the occupied territories reportedly more than quadrupled to 12,985 last year from 2,880 in 1990.” And for his perceived intransigence on peace initiatives, Shamir famously earned himself the nickname “Mr. No.”

It is hard see how the Netanyahu government could possibly be more extreme than these predecessors, none of which officially acknowledged the need for a Palestinian state, and all of which spurred far greater settlement growth. Netanyahu, by contrast, spearheaded a partial settlement freeze for 10 months, something Begin and Shamir categorically refused to do.

The difference is evident in rhetoric as well as action: Compared to Begin’s public berating of the American ambassador in 1981, Netanyahu’s polite disagreement with President Obama’s position regarding the 1967 borders appears positively demure. To take another example, in June 2009, Netanyahu accepted the two-state framework in a speech at Bar Ilan University, saying: “In my vision of peace, there are two free peoples living side by side in this small land, with good neighborly relations and mutual respect, each with its flag, anthem, and government, with neither one threatening its neighbor’s security and existence.” Contrast that sentiment with the final Knesset speech of peace icon Yitzhak Rabin, in which he asserted that “a Palestinian entity … will be a home to most of the Palestinian residents living in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. We would like this to be an entity which is less than a state, and which will independently run the lives of the Palestinians under its authority.”

Yes, Netanyahu’s coalition contains several right-wing parties. But it also contains Ehud Barak as its defense minister, along with his center-left Independence faction. Even Avigdor Lieberman, the government’s far-right foreign minister, supports a variant of the two-state solution, albeit a highly controversial one. Given that even the most extreme component of the current coalition recognizes the legitimacy of Palestinian national aspirations, it strains credulity to claim that this government is more extreme than predecessors who made no such allowance.


There are many questions one could ask about the choices Obama and Netanyahu have made: In publicly criticizing the Jewish state in the immediate wake of a more accommodating Bush presidency, did the president unintentionally alienate the Israelis while unreasonably raising Palestinian expectations? Has Netanyahu’s Iran-centric policy been a step backward from the gradual progress toward peace with the Palestinians made under Barak, Sharon, and Olmert, slowly frittering away the gains and good will built up under his predecessors?

But while such topics and others are worthy of serious consideration, shrill accusations of unprecedented extremism against the leaders of America and Israel are not. They don’t advance the conversation, and they don’t hold up to the historical record. So, next time you see Barack Obama called the most anti-Israel president, or Benjamin Netanyahu called the Jewish state’s most impudent prime minister, remember Reagan and Begin.


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You can spin things any way you want, but you’re not going to change the minds or hearts of Israel-lovers like me: We know a friend or enemy when we see one.

    sara says:

    ….especially today when committments to the  Palestinian/Israeli Peace Plan are calling on the two sides to come to the negotiating table with No Demands and  No Precontiitions and the Palestinians still insisting on taking   that perenial stance of demanding that Israel  goes’ back to the Pre-1967 borders and to stop settlement building …   while  Obama himself takes on the exact same standpoint of the Palestinians persisting that Israel  goes back to the  ‘vulnerable and fragile’ 1949/1967  Demarartion lines… and  intentionally  dismisses  taking into consideration the UNSC Resolution of 242 and 338 of 1993 which calls for “Israel Not to be forced back   but to go to secure and recognised boundaries’….  and withitall ignoring Israel’s resounding Victory of the ‘Six Day War’ against a humiliated 5-Strong Arab Force out to destroy Israel…..  Is this not sufficient to evaluate Obama’s true stance  regarding the Israeli/Palestinian  Conflict, not to say All Things relevant to the situation between Israelis and the Palestinians today …?  Sorry  Obama is no true friend of Israel it is clear.

      Furthermore. Woe to Israel and Woe to the  World if Obama is Re-elected because it is part of the American psyche to give a sitting President that ‘Second Term’ .  Jimmy Carter may be the odd man out in the usual  American  campaign for electing the next President  … but if it still stands with regard to ‘Lucky’ Obama being re-elected,   then the future for Israel may well be in jeopardy ……

        Michael Shapiro says:

        UUUhhhh…Herbert Walker Bush.

          KKRDB says:

          Herbert Walker Bush plus his son..

          Howeever, NOT so with George W Bush

          Israel did not go through BAD periods as with the present incumbant.

          BHO has up to know,while hiding it surrepticiously

          through his rheoric,that most people see through..

PhillipNagle says:

Of course none of the named Republicans belonged to an anti Israel and anti-Semitic church.  Nor did any of those presidents go kissing up to the arabs while ignoring Israel.  But the biggest difference is the the way radical and legt wing Jews are doing mental gymnastics to try to deny Obama’s anti Israel attitude.  He went out of his way to snub Netanyahu and single handedly undermined peace talks by adding conditions not even demanded by the arabs.  This venal man only began to change his attitude when badly needed Jewish money for his reelection dried up.  If, G-d forbid, he is reelected, we can be confident that he will side arab freinds against the hated Jews.

Ephraim_K says:

@google-b189d32feefa85201f90d3687ff8222e:disqus: by spinning do you mean presenting factual data?Not to mention the fact that Bush 43 also pressured Israel into allowing Hamas to participate in Gaza elections, and that Eisenhower made Israel withdraw from Sinai in 1956.  Lots of right-wing critics also disparage Obama for not having visited Israel during his first term. Just to put it in perspective, Ford, Reagan, and Bush 41 never visited Israel either – and Reagan had two terms to do so. Bush 43 didn’t visit Israel until 2008, the last year of his second term.Talk about spinning…

     Others have explained things in greater detail than I would ever have patience for, so I’ll just say: The heart (at least any right-thinking one who loves Israel) knows what the heart knows.

      davids64 says:

      Correct.  And in my heart I know you are a liar.

      Fortunately, MOST Jews value truth over partisan hackery.  That is why 80% of Jews continue to vote Democrat, despite the non-stop hate-fest advanced by the ultra-righties in the USA.   And why 70% of Jews continue to support Obama, despite your lies.

      averii says:

       So not planning to make any arguments based on facts or evidence or reality, then.

I’m surprised the writer did not mention any good things Obama has done, such as ensuring that the U.S. granted additional funds for the Iron Dome defensive system and diplomatically arranging for Israeli entrance into OECD.

    KKRDB says:


    Bear this in mind before TWISTING the  truth.

There are other examples as well, of American presidents who, due to short-sighted policies and realpolitik, have greatly endangered Israel’s security.  LBJs dire warning that Israel would be on its own if it took preemptive action against Egypt prior to the Six-Day War.  (Had Israel not acted, it is doubtful the country would be here today).  And Israel’s “best friend” George W. Bush who was the first president to formally call for a Palestinian state (a likely quid pro quo to win Tony Blair’s support for the Iraq war).

Notwithstanding, there has only been one American president ideologically opposed to Jewish nationalism, who sees it as a form of “western colonialism oppressing native peoples”.  And whose policies, from the day he stepped foot in office, reflect that view:

The Obama rap sheet:

Permit an observation from a Canadian Jew who is neither a Republican nor a Democrat nor will never vote in a USA election: Did Ronald Reagan or any of the other Presidents go to Cairo to give a speech to reach out to the Muslim world? That June 4, 2009 Cairo speech will remain a lasting monument to the anti-Israel worldview with which President Obama came to office. That speech was from top to bottom a condemnation of Israel that greatly encouraged the enemies of Israel and also gave heart to anti-Semites everywhere. See my line-by-line analysis as a November 2009 posting at  Did Ronald Reagan or any of the other Presidents, before coming to office, have such close ties to Palestinian activists like Rashid Khalidi and Edward Said? Did Ronald Reagan or any other of the other Presidents study the Koran as a child and learn how to recite the Koran in Arabic until the age of ten? Hey, this is no smear but just simple facts from Obama’s 1995 autobiography and from the recollections of at least two of his Indonesian teachers, as told to American and Indonesian reporters.  There were (and are) many reasons for friends of Israel to be wary with regard to President Obama. Part of it relates to his intimate personal ties to Islam and part of it relates to his origins on the leftward, anti-Israel side of USA politics. Why so much effort to disguise the obvious assessment that Obama is a security risk from the optic of the national security of the Jewish People? So, there is to be a presidential election in November 2012. Does this mean that all of us have to join in the spin required by those who wish to see President Obama re-elected? By all means vote for Obama, but don’t do so because of some insane notion that he might be a true friend of Israel, because he simply is not.

    2pcj says:

    Did Ronald Reagan or any of the other Presidents go to Cairo to give a speech to reach out to the Muslim world?

    No, they did not. But did Reagan or any other President have to deal with the effects of two disastrous (and one preemptive) invasions of two Muslim nations by their immediate predecessor?  

    Did Ronald Reagan or any of the other Presidents, before coming to office, have such close ties to Palestinian activists like Rashid Khalidi and Edward Said?

    What are these “close ties”? Does the purported association mean anything if past Presidents have called for a two-state solution absent “close ties” to Palestinian activists?

    Did Ronald Reagan or any other of the other Presidents study the Koran as a child and learn how to recite the Koran in Arabic until the age of ten?

    No, but did Reagan or any other President live in a Muslim nation as a child? And what does studying the Koran as a child and learning to recite it until the age of ten prove?

      davids64 says:

      Don’t waste your time with Logic, 2pcj.   The hate-fest continues, and anybody who watches knows exactly what it is.
      WHY DO YOU THINK that American Jews continue to support Obama and vote Democrat, despite the non-stop LYING of the righties?  Because most jews value truth more than partisanship.  And the simple fact is that virtually EVERY complaint made trying to paint Obama as anti-Israel is based on LIES.  We jews see this and reject it.  And continue to support Obama

        The reason most American Jews support Obama has nothing to do with him “supporting” Israel….it has more to do with his liberal politics than anything else….period. Here in Arizona there is a large community of very conservative Jewish voters….they see Obama for who he really is and oppose his politics. Most of the Jews back east are very liberal and therefore support liberal politicians. Israel seems to be a secondary issue with them.

           Yes there are religiously conservative Jews who dislike Obama because he is liberal. But most Jews are liberals and many of them dislike him due to his Middle East policies.

Try as you might you cannot tarnish Reagan’s admiration and support for the State of Israel. Regan was known as one of the most pro-Israel President’s and so was Bush 43. Just ask the Arab world if you don’t agree.

No one says that  Obama is pro-Israel except for some Jewish democrats who see no evil in anything Obama does toward Israel but sees plenty of evil in Israel , Jewish democrats who hear no evil coming from Obama even when he is duplicitous on issues, embraces the Moslem Brotherhood and blames everything wrong in the ME on Israel (including the virulent form of antisemitism engulfing the world) and Jewish democrats who speak plenty of  evil against Israel no matter what the issue so as to feel good about their political machinations.

    davids64 says:

    Translation of Independent Patriot’s post:”We don’t CARE about your stinking evidence, Tablet Mag!  We already have decided what we believe, and no evidence or facts are going to change that opinion!  We hate Obama, and therefore Obama hates Israel.  The fact that we have no evidence, only invective and slander and serial-ninth-commandment-violations is of no import.  We  believe what we believe that that is that”

    Sorry, Patriot, but you AIN’T NO PATRIOT!    REAL Americans value honesty.  But you are a stinking liar and a partisan whore.

Celebrating Seder and commemorating a 35 foot menorah at the White House while appointing mostly jews to his Cabinet and Chief of staff positions, Obama has been a servant of Israel.  His commitment to Israel may be the best kept of his campaign promises.

The drama and zionist-media spin to make it appear he is deferential to muslims is a ruse.

You don’t like Obama? With the prima facie evidence to prove beyond any doubt that his birth certificate is a forgery, his social security number is stolen from another person and his selective service card is a forgery, Obama could be ousted within one day–yet, the jewish-dominated mass media has placed a blackout on this evidence. Why is that? and the world awakens to the real deceptions that are steering the human journey off a cliff.

    Wow! A menorah at the White House….this proves that Obama must surely be a huge supporter of Israel.

    Michael Shapiro says:

    Tablet…Please check this post.  The link is to a typical anti-Semitic website and should be removed from this online mag.

ravmlk says:

Many of the posts responding to this article don’t talks about the facts or reality, but relate vague feelings based on their biased views toward President Obama.  Using words like “venal”  to describe Obama or statements that “We know a friend or enemy when we see one” are weak arguments indeed.  The fact is that Obama has increased the foreign military assistance budget  assisting Israel in building the Iron Dome, which unfortunately it was forced to test recently.  The conversations among Obama, Netanyahu and Peres around the AIPAC conference testify to the close ties between Israel and the United States.  Netanyahu pointed out that our nations have common values, common interests, and common enemies.  Obama stated that the two nations never have had a closer military and intelligence cooperation than at present.  Let’s discuss Israeli-U.S. relations based on facts, and not alleged or false allegations.

Does Tablet continue to hold itself out as a neutral player? Liberalsim is the religion of the Jewish Left and it continues to seep into every Jewish institution. Mr. Rosen, editor of Tablet, might want to recuse Tablet from opining about Mr. Obama and the Jews unless of course he does full disclosure about his wife’s role in the now-Pro J Street Jewish Theological Seminary.

sammyaugust says:

We are living in a time when everyone wants everything political and diplomatic to be black and white, good and bad.  We must label everything so the general public can  continue their lazy habit of not reading all they can on any and all issues.  The US  Presidential race is a good example of this.  Americans decide want they want to believe and demonize what they reject as bad.  They have no idea of what is really happening and that seems fine with them.  They either see Obama as good or bad, nothing in between.  They don’t give him credit for his success or criticize his failures.   They don’t even know what he has done over the past three plus years.  The same can be said of the relationship between Israel and the US.  American Jews get up in arms if the President says anything to try and improve our relationship with any Muslim state.  They immediately accuse him of anti-semitism.  

Well things are not black and white these days.  They are many shades of grey and the world is not an easy place with problems every where that are very difficult to solve.  At the very least, President Obama has a vast understanding of the historical foundations of these problems and a good idea of how to solve them.  Not one problem that exists today can be solved overnight.  They didn’t come to be problems overnight, but over years and centuries of wars, disagreements and situations.  The citizens of the United States need to educate themselves on what is really happening today or we are bound to continually repeat history.  That is not a good outcome for anyone.  Furthermore it is ridiculous to put all of the responsibility on one man.  It is the responsibility of every citizen in a democracy to vote for politicians having first educated themselves about those politicians.  It is the responsibility of every citizen to educate themselves on all issues that concern them and to make their views know to their representatives  in the government, local, state and federal. 

So stop being so lazy.  It is just plain stupid to try and see everything issue as black and white. 

The attacks on Obama are mindless and disgusting.  U r reprobates.  Mentally sick obsessed with your own reactionary world view.  Rabbi Arnold Jacob Wolf and Abner Mikva, two leading lights from the Chicago Jewish community, are just two of the people who have been close to Obama.

    Just because liberal Jewish leaders support a liberal Obama…. does not equate to Obama being a supporter of Israel. You are making a very erroneous assumption to base your conclusion upon.

What do you expect? The world we live in is crazy- to put it mildly. 

JehudahBenIsrael says:

Obama has not only bullied Israel; he has expressed out right hostility to Israel’s leaders, its institutions, including Israel’s supreme court and Knesset, and by extension he insulted time and gain the people whose nation-state Israel is, the Jewish people, within and without Israel.

    I must’ve missed Obama’s statement of hostility to the Israeli Supreme Court. Please point me to it, if it actually exists anywhere but in your mind, that is

      JehudahBenIsrael says:

      The Supreme Court of Israel has authorized the residency of Jews in Samaria, Judea, Jordan Valley and throughout Jerusalem. Obama, contrary to the Supreme Court, has demanded that Jews, only because they are Jewish, and contrary to the Supreme Court decisions refrain from living in villages, towns and city neighborhoods of their homeland. This was an act of hostility towards the highest court of Israel.

        war_on_hugs says:

        Those are disputed territories — why does the Supreme Court of Israel get unilaterally decide what is part of Israel and what isn’t? It has been the position of the United States government for some time before Obama that Israel should limit or outright refrain from future settlements outside of the 1967 borders. To classify this position as an “act of hostility” toward the Israeli Supreme Court is absurd and disingenuous. 

          JehudahBenIsrael says:

          Legally, based on both international law and based on bilateral agreements, Israel is the entity in charge of the governance of the territories not part of Area A that is under the governing authority of the Palestinian Authority.

         It would seem then that the Supreme Court of Israel is at odds with the Netanyahu government as well.   

          JehudahBenIsrael says:

          Actually, it is not. 

          I’m sure that JehudahBenIsrael is not a fan of a number of the Supreme Court’s decisions, but he would never describe his own disagreement as hostility to the Supreme court

          JehudahBenIsrael says:

          Obama is not an Israeli citizen, last time I checked, to have any legitimate disagreements with the Israeli Supreme Court!

        Without even getting into any of the other problems your argument raises, I would just point out that what you’re describing is at most a “disagreement.”  You used the word “hostility” because you have hostility toward Obama. 

    davids64 says:

     . . . . . so you dishonest righties constantly CLAIM.  The problem, as this article points out, is that there is no  “there” there.   What IS going on is partisan politics.

    Okay, so you oppose some of Obama’s policies.  That’s fine.  But it does NOT give you license to commit serial Ninth-Commandment violations!WHY DO YOU THINK that despite this sort of rhetoric, American Jews still support Obama and the Democrats by 80%/20%???   The answer, of course, is that we have no patience for LIARS like you, Jehudah.   Jews value honesty over partisanship.  Perhaps someday you can learn how to act like a good Jew yourself!

      The fact of the matter is that you support liberal “values” over conservative values….therefore Obama is your man. Israel is of secondary concern to you if any concern at all.

      JehudahBenIsrael says:

      Sir, I am neither a “rightist” or a “leftist”, a very simplistic and shallow way to examine the world in which we live. But, I must admit, I am a proud Jew for whom the Jewish people, the Jewish homeland, and Jewish heritage are of utmost importance. And as such, I have been deeply disappointed by a series of expressions and deeds by Mr. Obama that has caused me to be hurt as a Jew and suspicious about a man whose interest, I have been convinced, is not the Jewish people, its homeland and its heritage.

      Regarding your question: Why American Jews still support him. This too can’t be answered with a black and white, this or that, reason. It is a complex matter that goes into the Jewish collective psyche. But, I can assure you, if another Democrat were running for the primaries of the Democratic Party, I don’t think Obama would have even close to the support he presently have.

      A solution, to vote for Congressional representatives in November without voting for or against him…!!

         Your proposal is a non solution Jehudah.  Not voting for or against Obama can be interpreted the same as voting for Romney.  Unfortunately there is no simple solution to the dilemma of having to support a President who has dissapointed in his Middle East policies and supporting a candidate whose conservative values I find myself at odds with.  It is a shame we can’t vote for two Presidents, one who manages our foreign policy and the other our domestic.


ALOHA…. thank GOD that president obama has the guts to challenge our blind support of israel… the right-wing, extremist likud governments have done more to block peace in the region than anyone besides the violent arabs!!….. not everything that israel does is correct; “… my country right or wrong…” … there are hundreds of thousands of israelis who want peace and an accommodation with the palestinians…. as golda meir said:… she would do anything for peace, except commit suicide…. there are times where israel has been the block… nevertheless, until the neighboring arab countries denounce terrorism and accept israel’s right to exist in peace, it appears the situation will remain the same…..

     Scapegoating the elected government of Israel  does not make you a humanitarian, it merely shows your personal prejudice.

      NIKHILANANDA says:

      ALOHA LOUL…. of course i have personal prejudice; i support israel’s creation and right to exist in peace… YOU have a “personal prejudice”; you either want israel eliminated or are against its existence or whatever…. the “humanitarianism” goes BOTH and ALL wayz; toward jews, israelis, arabs, muslims, children, et al….. so yes, YOU are prejudices also….. ;-)

     Scapegoating the elected government of Israel  does not make you a humanitarian, it merely shows your personal prejudice.

launva says:

Of course he’s gonna be Anti-Israel (doesn’t mean anti Semitic) because Israel had been slaughtering innocent people.

    Maybe you would like to share some stories of Jewish terrorists slitting the throats of innocent Arab children while they are sleeping at night? (I thought not)… Maybe the Hamas cowards would like to share with you how they use children to hide behind as human shields. Any stories you would like to share of Jews blowing themselves up on Arab buses or at Arab weddings? Present day Jordan was suppose to be a part of the state of Israel as was legally declared by the San Remo Conference in 1920 and confirmed again when the UN was formed. This also included what the Arabs have renamed the “West Bank”. So who is occupying who?

MichaelfromCalifornia says:

Reagan worked to free of Soviet Jews, and also approved the CIA-sponsored rescue of 500 Ethiopian Jews in 1985’s Operation Joshua. He also was responsible for helping to reform Israel’s economy. In 1985, following a severe economic crisis in Israel, which sent inflation rates soaring as high as 445%, the U.S. approved a $1.5 billion emergency assistance package and helped formulate Israel’s successful economic stabilization plan.
Under Reagan, Israel began to receive $3 billion annually in foreign aid and, from 1985 on, the aid was all in the form of grants. Israel was allowed to use some of this aid in Israel and for a time was permitted to devote U.S. funds to the development of its own fighter plane. In 1985, the U.S. also signed its first Free Trade Agreement – with Israel. In fact, a series of memoranda of understanding were signed during the Reagan administration between U.S. agencies and their Israeli counterparts that promoted cooperation in a range of fields such as education, space research and health. 

On September 1, 1982, Reagan announced that he opposed the creation of a Palestinian state, but believed the Palestinians should have self-government in association with Jordan. He said Jerusalem should remain undivided, but its final status negotiated. 

He  suggested that Israel could not be expected to return to the 1967 borders.  

Overall, Reagan’s policies led to significant improvements in Israel’s economic and military strength, and raised the U.S.-Israel friendship to a higher level.

How can you even compare all that to Obama who really is the most anti-Israel President?

JehudahBenIsrael says:

It is not entirely clear to this poster how one measures hostility to Israel, but, clearly, Obama has been one of the most hostile presidents we have encountered, and not only toward Israel as a state, but also towards its leaders, institutions and by definition towards the very people whose nation-state Israel is, the Jewish people.

Below I mentioned his hostility toward Israel’s supreme court, one of the finest in the world, let me highlight his sense of racism this time, anti-Jewish racism.

Mr. Obama, has called time and again to Jews to refrain from moving into and reside in certain neighborhoods of Jerusalem, and certain villages and towns in the Jewish people’s homeland, strictly because they are Jewish.

This call, which is clearly a racist call, anti-Jewish at that, corresponds to the law of the Palestinian Authority that prohibits Arabs to sell real estate to Jews, only because they are Jewish.  But, not only this law is racist – common in a number of Muslim-Arab states, incidentally, about which Obama has nothing to say…, but it is worse. Violation of this law of the Palestinian Authority is punishable by…, yes, death!! In other words, if an Arab resident of the Palestinian Authority sells his private property to a Jew he violates the law and his punishment is death. A number of Arab sellers are no longer amongst us, the living…

And, it is Mr. Obama, and his right hand woman, Ms. Clinton, who, instead of oppose this racist and inhumane law of the Palestinian Authority, only contribute to its strength by calling upon Jews, only because they are Jewish, not to buy, move in and reside in certain parts of their ancestral homeland.

I don’t know of any other US president who reached this level of anti-Israel/anti-Jewish hostility!!

     “Mr. Obama, has called time and again to Jews to refrain from moving into
    and reside in certain neighborhoods of Jerusalem, and certain villages
    and towns in the Jewish people’s homeland, strictly because they are

    Kind of like how the Zionist state will not permit Palestinian refugees to return to their homes simply because they are Palestinian (Read:  Not Jewish).  If there was one state from river to sea with equal rights, there wouldn’t be a problem with Jews or Palestinians living anywhere.

      JehudahBenIsrael says:


      Michael Shapiro says:

      Sorry to disagree, but most of the Palestinians aren’t from either Palestine or Israel.  They can only trace their roots in the area back less than a century.  On the other hand, Jordan is a majority “Palestinian”, yet they have, virtually, no power.

        Let me guess… you’ve got a family tree extending back 2000 years.  Or Uncle Moses left you Palestine in his will.  It can be proven the Palestinian refugees from 1948 normally resided in Palestine and their descendants who can’t return are political exiles who have the same right.  The presence of Jews in ancient history doesn’t supersede that right.

          SSFF says:

          It’s UNRWA that defines a Palestinian “refugee” as someone who resided in Palestine for merely two years, between 1946 and 1948, and EVERY one of his descendants to the present time. 

          If the world was less hypocritical and less intent on destroying the one Jewish state, it would apply the same operative definition of “refugee” to the Palestinian Arabs as that applied to ALL other refugees, as employed by UNHCR.

          That would reduce the population of Palestinian “refugees” to perhaps 200k, a number that could easily be absorbed into the other 21 Arab states and END the conflict.

          Regrettably, the world does not wish to see this conflict end — with other than the destruction of a Jewish sovereign.

          elixelx says:

          Yeah, like the Black Hills belong to the Cheyenne, Toronto to the Ottawa, Mexico to the Maya…
          More to the point, did any of the above named owners have a written history alleging their ownership? Do the “Palestinians”?
          Finally, all the tribes named fought for and lost their territory. They have faded from History! So will the “Palestinians”

          averii says:


       When the American state allows the Indians to return to their homes then we can talk business bud.

         That’s dangerously close to admitting the Palestinians are the real natives and the Israelis are colonial-settlers.  There are many ways of defending Israel; not all of them gel into coherency.

rocky2345 says:

Don’t forget that Obama is running for President of the USA not Prime Minister of Israel. Many American Jews are struggling to pay for their health insurance just like their Christian neighbors are. One of my Jewish neighbors has been sick off and on for the past couple of years. He has probably run up over $1 million in medical bills paid for by his insurance company, but his premiums have gone up sharply, his savings are being depleted and he has only been able to work sporadically. He desperately needs Obamacare, even if I don’t. Israel is not even on his radar screen and it is not high on my list of priorities either.

Before you get too enamored with right wing politicians, remember that many Americans were sympathetic to the Nazi cause in the 1930’s. On Charles Lindbergh’s Wikipedia page, there is a picture of him receiving a medal from Hermann Goring, then Germany’s air force chief and one of Hitler closest confidants. The ceremony took place a few days before the opening of the Berlin Olympics. 

Hassidic precincts were among the most pro-Republican in the 2008 presidential race. In Kiryas Joel, NY they voted over 90% for John McCain. Hassidics strongly oppose gay marriage and abortion rights. In November, I expect them to strongly back the Republican candidate once again. If a Republican is sitting in the Oval Office come January, supported by a strong Republican majority in Congress, there will be cuts in welfare programs such as food stamps and Medicaid. On a per capita basis, Kiryas Joel has the highest reported poverty rate of any community in the country according to US census data, and will suffer a big financial hit when Congressman Ryan pushes his 2013 budget through Congressman.  He wants to convert food stamps and Medicaid into block grant programs and reduce the Federal role in each. Hassidics should be careful what they wish for.         

Nissel says:

With a bagel/cream cheese/coffee in hand and in mouth,  Americans engage in their favorite pastime…criticizing their leadership. When it comes to Israel Obama may be no better or no worse than any other president. Yet, the virulence of those who see him as our worst enemy is more strident than ever. You can almost hear them chanting, “Lee Harvey Oswald where are you now that we really need you???”  Time is not on our side.  Obama and many Israelis (perhaps the majority) realize that meaningful engagement with the other side is absolutely essential for Israel’s long-term survival. Our arm chair warriors munch their bagels with cream cheese smeared on their faces and hot   coffee dripping on their laps.

     You are out of your mind.   Your statement “You can almost hear them chanting, “Lee Harvey Oswald where are you now that we really need you???” ”  Is a gross mischaracterization of supporters of Israel.  Perhaps I’ll make a ridiculous statement and say that you can almost hear Obama supporters stating “Joseph Stalin, where are you now that we really need you???”

      Nissel says:

       bill f’s  rants on-and-0n  in response to several comments submitted by readers who do not subscribe to Obama being labeled as an enemy of Israel. Take it easy Bill, you’ll live longer.

yevka says:

Israel is really of no concern to me in my deciding who I will vote for president this November.

sammyaugust says:

Be very careful about what you support in Israel.  If the two state solution is lost, it may well end up as a one state situation with  the Palestinians as citizens.  This spells disaster for the constitution of Israel which was written to include freedom and equality for all citizens.  It was created to be a state where all religions and peoples were treated fairly and equally.  This was partially because of the Holocaust and the despicable way Jews had been treated in Europe and Russia for centuries.  

If Israel becomes one state taking in the West Bank and Gaza, it will also increase the Palestinian population.  The Palestinians will become a dominant political block within the government and may or will eventually take over the country as they will out number the Jews. This would end the State of Israel as we have know it since 1948 which was created not only to be the Jewish homeland, but more importantly to be the truest democracy on the planet.

Do not let your emotions cause you to back every Prime Minister of Israel without looking at the facts.  Mr. Netanyahu is reluctant to support a two state solution.  Perhaps President Obama is moving with caution as he understands what is truly at risk. 

You are missing one important facet of the conversation here.  You mention nothing of US policy toward Israel post George H Bush.  What makes Obama seem worse than his predecessors is not his policies, which compare to Carter, Reagan, and Bush, but the fact that he is going back to those policies as if Oslo never occurred.  

As you point out, Israel’s right has come a long way in the recognition of a Palestinian State… but now the American left if trying to turn back the clock as if it never agreed to recognize the demographic changes (more Jews) in the West bank.

In declaring the 1967 lines as a basis of an agreement… Obama tried to erase 16 years of US policy in the region.

emunadate says:

Obama not only disgraced Israel and Bibi, but all Jews around the world…

human1534 says:

It’s strikes me as interesting  that reading the Koran and reaching out to the Muslim world seems like a negative aspect to a community that suffered greatly because of their religious identity.  It strikes me as hypocritical considering that this very same community has a free pass to make threats to countries who possess the same technologies their home country has simply because they don’t want the other countries to have them.  Hypocrisy is a very ugly characterisitic.  The US has uncompromisingly supported Israel (even when the Israeli government has behaved in shameful ways).  To cry about President Obama’s less than 1000% backing of Israel reeks of greed and hypocrisy.   Obama has stood behind his words and has tried to extend a hand to the Middle East (which by the way, includes many more countries other than Israel).

KKRDB says:

Yes Joseph I agree with you a 100 %.

BHO et al can spin it anyway it can.

FACT remains we know who is the biggest bully against Israel

But he wikll have his work cut out trying to demonize Israel (while hiding it with his rhetoric to the contrary)

Markus Golf says:

The Sith hand of America at work. From Lockerbie they eliminated Pan Am and softened America. it is the temptation to be immortal in wealth and embrace all the oil wealth of the middle east for its furtherance. Israel was the victim in the fall of the twin “I” towers and in Mumbai. it is Darwinian, Israel was scrapped, but one reality stood in the way: The G-d of Israel is real.

Markus Golf says:

you are afraid to post the truth and have grown chicken you must return to Israel and perform the Aliyah as in the time of Moses

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Aaron says:

Obama a “Anti-Semite” ? REALLY ? The mans first chief staff happened to be Jewish !His most trusted senior advisor David Axelrod is Jewish, the GM of BOTH his Election Champaign’s “JEWISH” ! Now having Jews in these three key roles sound like the mindset who is anti-Semitic ? NOT a chance ! Has anyone thought that just maybe the PM of Israel is a racist ? NOT saying that he is, just consider the possibility.
Some on the extreme right will say anything, to discredit Mr. Obama !


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The Most Anti-Israel President

Obama has bullied the Jewish state more than any president in history, according to op-ed pages and partisans. They said the same about Reagan.