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December 8, 2011 10:37 am

Obama’s Proxy War Against Israel

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President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu during a bilateral meeting.

The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913 with the mission, “to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all.” It is not often that the Organization’s ire is directed towards officials of the United States government. In fact, the ADL has recently been criticized for what some perceived as an attempt to shield the Obama administration from judgment of its Israel policies by initiating a ‘Unity Pledge.’ The initiative, which called for the removal of Israel from partisan political debate and could only have served to benefit the President’s re-election efforts, was quickly tabled after it prompted an outcry from within the Jewish community.

Over a four day period this past week however, statements made by two separate administration officials could not be ignored by the ADL, and a third, they elected not to formally react to. Other individuals and organizations also responded vigorously.

At a conference on Wednesday hosted by the European Jewish Union, the United States Ambassador to Belgium Howard Gutman, said that, “A distinction should be made between traditional anti-Semitism, which should be condemned and Muslim hatred for Jews, which stems from the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.” Gutman who is a Jew and a major fundraiser for President Obama, was not reprimanded by the Administration.

On Friday, at a Saban Forum speech, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta unraveled a to-do list for the Jewish State. Placing the blame at the feet of Israel, he said, “Israel can reach out and mend fences with those who share an interest in regional stability — countries like Turkey and Egypt, as well as Jordan. This is an important time to be able to develop and restore those key relationships in this crucial area. This is not impossible. If gestures are rebuked, the world will see those rebukes for what they are. That is exactly why Israel should pursue them.”

The next day, at the same forum, ironically named after its Israeli benefactor Haim Saban, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton responded to a question from the audience with a three minute lecture on Israeli domestic policy. According to Haaretz she said, “that she is astonished by the legislative initiatives in favor of restricting left-wing NGOs, as well as by the exclusion of women from public spaces and other phenomena.”

Interestingly, although independent incidents, the comments are ideologically consistent with each other and are completely in line with Obama administration Israel policies that have been in place since the beginning of his tenure. Now in campaign mode, the President understands that these attacks had better not come from him, as his efforts to placate Jewish voters and campaign donors is well under way. Clearly this uniform expression of anti-Israel sentiment is not a coincidence, only ‘what is heard at home is being said on the street.’

The damage that is being done to Israel through the verbalization and implementation of these policies – that effectively amount to moderate demonization of Israel – is immeasurable. Time and again the message is being conveyed to all of her enemies: “Keep doing what you are doing.” Every such public statement by American officials that directs blame towards Israel is understood as a ‘get out of promoting terrorism free’ card for Arab leaders.

Do not be fooled by Obama’s self-congratulatory declarations of support for Israel through military and security assistance and co-operation. This is as much in America’s interests as it is in Israel’s. Instead pay close attention to his implemented policies and the cutting words of his lieutenants.

The Author is the director of the Algemeiner Journal and the GJCF and can be e-mailed at

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