Monday, January 30th | 8 Shevat 5783

March 29, 2015 3:41 pm

Liberal Jews Throw Israel Under the Bus for Obama

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avatar by Arik Elman

President Barack Obama. Photo: White House.

Of all the self-serving, sanctimonious, hypocritical reactions to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s warning on Election Day about the rising Arab vote, one stands out and demands attention. No, not that of Obama and his mouthpiece Josh Earnest, who sought as usual to denigrate Israel. No, the real winner was the backstabbing statement issued by the Rabbinical Assembly of the Conservative Movement. Making all enemies of Israel and the Jewish people happy, Assembly leaders William Gershon and Julie Schonfeld condemned the elected leader of the Jewish State as “undemocratic” and “divisive”. They even went so far as to demand that “Jews around the world” denounce Benjamin Netanyahu for the racist bigot he is.

This gross betrayal of our brethren in this time of need is, unfortunately, fairly typical of a certain element in the American liberal Jewish leadership, which seems unable to shake off its internal political biases and its adulation of Obama. How on Earth can Gershon and Schonfeld explain why their hasty indictment of Mr. Netanayhu repeats verbatim the talking points of Obama’s flunkies AND J Street?

Under Netanyahu’s consecutive governments, the Israeli Arabs’ standard of living has risen, Arab poverty and criminality have declined, and the Arab birthrate has lowered – sure signs that more and more Arabs are progressing into the ranks of the Israeli middle class. That happened not because Netanyahu is somehow enamored with Arabs, but because the rising tide of economic growth, security, and relative stability raises all boats. Could Gershon and Schonfeld say the same about African Americans in the US? Did they benefit from six years of Obama?

Factually, the Prime Minister’s warning on Election Day was fully correct. Arabs went out to vote in record numbers, they were supported by a massive get-out-the-vote operation, and they indeed voted for a parties that are openly hostile to Zionism and the idea of a Jewish state. Facts cannot be racist. The number of the votes cast for the three parties which constitute the United Arab List increased 27% in comparison to the last elections in 2013.

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And for an average Israeli Jew – even those who didn’t vote for Netanyahu – the Prime Minister’s words didn’t carry any “racial” bias, but a simple and easily understood warning of more Ahmad Tibis and Hanin Zoabis in the next Knesset. The problem with Israeli Arabs is not that they vote – it is HOW they vote. For the last twenty years, the Israeli Arab minority tends increasingly to return to the parliament a motley crew of unreformed Communists, Islamists, Palestinian nationalists, terrorist supporters, and Assad-worshipers. This is what causes suspicion and alienation between Jews and Arabs in Israel, and this is why the Israeli voters did not reject Netanyahu’s warning, but interpreted it as a legitimate call for action.

It is hard to imagine that the Conservative Rabbinical Assembly isn’t aware of those facts. It is much easier to imagine that its leaders have chosen to throw Israel’s good name under the bus, because that is what was expected of them by the White House.

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