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April 7, 2015 4:36 pm

Obama & Israel: Obama Plays Victim, Again

avatar by Moshe Phillips and Benyamin Korn

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President Obama is trying to intimidate Israel and American Jews over his Iran capitulation. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

When all else fails, play the victim.

Fresh off his “I’m insulted” campaign against Israel’s prime minister speaking to Congress, President Obama is rolling out the victim shtick again, this time to try to intimidate Israel and American Jews over his Iran capitulation.

The president told The New York Times on April 4 that his disagreement with Israel “has been as hard as anything I do….It’s been a hard period.” Why has all his bullying of Israel been so tough on Mr. Obama? “Because of the deep affinities that I feel for the Israeli people and for the Jewish people,” he explained. That’s right–some of his best friends are Jews.

“It has been personally difficult for me to hear…expressions that somehow…this administration has not done everything it could to look out for Israel’s interest,” the deeply wounded and profoundly insulted president complained to the Times.

It’s been less than two months since the Obama White House last tried this approach. Lacking any substantive arguments, they tried to cow Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to cancel his planned speech to Congress by spreading the notion that Netanyahu had “insulted” President Obama by accepting the invitation.

The president even stooped so low as to exploit the Congressional Black Caucus to turn it from an “insult” to a “racial insult.” Emerging from a carefully-choreographed meeting at the White House, Rep. Hank Johnson said the controversy with Israel’s prime minister actually was “about President Barack Obama being a black man disrespected by a foreign leader.” Congressional Black Caucus chairman Rep. G.K. Butterfield likewise blasted Israel’s leader for supposedly being “disrespectful.” And Rep. Greg Meeks chimed in that Netanyahu’s decision “is an insult to the president of the United States.”

The irony was rich. Insults? How about distributing a photo of yourself with your feet on your desk, and letting it be known that it was taken while you were talking on the phone to Israel’s prime minister? How about getting up in the middle of a meeting with the prime minister of Israel and telling him to wait (for more than an hour) while you go eat dinner with Michelle and the girls?

How about complaining to the president of France, in front of a live microphone, that you are burdened with “having to deal with” Netanyahu? How about your senior aides telling journalists that Prime Minister Netanyahu is comparable to chicken excrement? Now, those are genuine insults.

In one respect, the first “I’m insulted” campaign was a failure: Netanyahu spoke to Congress anyway, and received repeated, prolonged standing ovations from both sides of the aisle.

So why would Obama and his advisers resort to the same failed strategy?

Because in another respect, the “I’m insulted” argument worked: it intimidated American Jews. The vast majority of leaders of American Jewish organizations refused to explicitly or vigorously support Prime Minister Netanyahu’s acceptance of the invitation. And several, such as Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League and Rick Jacobs of the Union for Reform Judaism, even publicly opposed Netanyahu. That was a huge victory for Obama.

The White House calculated that most American Jews would be nervous about appearing to insult the president–and would be especially nervous if the Congressional Black Caucus claimed that supporting Netanyahu was a racist insult.

So here comes the Victim Strategy, Part Two. Poor President Obama: he has such “affinity” for Jews, yet those ingrates are making it so “hard” on him, even making it “personally difficult” for him, by daring to wonder if the Iran capitulation might endanger Israel.

American Jewish leaders did not acquit themselves admirably during the conflict over Netanyahu’s speech. Now they are being tested again. And this test is even more interesting, because it’s not Obama versus Netanyahu. Israeli Labor Party leader Yitzhak Herzog is publicly supporting Netanyahu against the Iran capitulation. So it’s really Obama versus Israel. How will Jewish leaders respond?

Moshe Phillips is president and Benyamin Korn is chairman of the Religious Zionists of Philadelphia, and both are current candidates on the Religious Zionist slate ( in the World Zionist Congress elections.

The opinions presented by Algemeiner bloggers are solely theirs and do not represent those of The Algemeiner, its publishers or editors. If you would like to share your views with a blog post on The Algemeiner, please be in touch through our Contact page.

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  • Fred

    He has after all had a Muslim upbringing, so the role of a professional victim comes easy. His treaty is treacherous & gutless. An incompetent President, who betrays his friends for a piece of illusion “no nuke in time” after me the start a fire according to Iran’s desire.

  • Ivan Gur-Arie

    Talkk about racism!There will never be a stop to racism so long as the black leadership plays the victim at all times- even when absent. This makes it hard to vote for any black candidate when disagreement with his or her policy or stand is branded as disrespect for blacks. When the Black leader can stand criticism because of honest disagreement and not reduce such as mindless racism, then racism will be on its way out. If I am precluded from disagreement and am afraid of being branded a racist, then who wants to deal with such a person. Netanyahu is a leader and concerned for his nation and speaks against what he deems destructive policy. To see anything racist in that is racist of itself. Remember the story of the boy who cried wolf too often.

  • Yale

    Obama is a paranoid narcissist. Such people are incapable of being really concerned about the consequences of their actions for others. He is also a child abandoned by both his parents which means he grew up learning how to manipulate people by posing as a victim who needs to be protected from others, even as he causes the reaction to which he objects.

    The issue with Obama isn’t ideology, it’s psychology.

  • Bennie Stein

    …I think we should applaud his schtick!

    C’mom, we can appreciate a good vaudeville act when we see it. Give him credit. He’s quite a convincing song and dance performer. He’s got talent. When he leaves office, he’ll have a job because every circus needs a clown.

  • Ed

    bama…when all else fails – lie.

  • It is always the same when dealing with institutions or individuals that have power to make corrupt or other bad decisions

    When you are right as is all thinking people, not willful ignorance as in this case. You must keep up the pressure & not give in even a little bit to make that power feel good.

    First intimidation
    Second Defense
    Third capitulation

    It is always the same scenario.

    Obama & his minions are at stage two.
    Keep up the pressure, no exaggeration just the truth & number three is on the horizon

  • Chaya Goldstein

    Playing the victim is a time-honored tradition among Muslims beginning with their forebears, Hagar and Yishmoel. Yishmoel shoots arrows at Yitzchak. When and Hagar get kicked out of Avraham’s house, what do they do? Cry.

    When Hamas fires missiles from schools and hospitals and Israel fights back, what do they do? Cry.

    It’s almost like Obama can’t help it. It’s in his genes.

  • Larry Andrews

    The problem isn’t that this administration has not done everything it could to look out for Israel’s interest. The problem is that this administration has not done ANYTHING to look out for Israel’s interest. As far as “American Jewish leaders” are concerned, they have been completely cowardly in confronting President Obama’s policies against Israel, with the sole exception of the Zionist Organization of America!

  • noellsq

    I am Jewish a veteran and was proud to be an american. I fought for this country and would have died for this country but this country is not what it used to be. We have a person who destroys are relationships with our allies and cavorts with the enemy. Despises the military and wants to change are country to a Spanish speaking country.

  • RobiMac

    What could a dictator possibly be victimized by in the way of anything on planet earth?

    At the time that Yahweh is finished dealing with Obama, he will really know what it means to be a victim.

  • John Thomas

    Thank you for speaking out .Your commentary is spot on.Maybe the reality of Obama:s true colors will finally sink into American Jewish leaders and our fellow Jews.America is on course for cataclysmic clash with the evils of Islam and P M Netanyahu is doing the world a service by speaking out. AM Israel Chai

  • As an African-American Jew I find president Obama’s attitude Israel and Netanyahu a disgrace. What is more amazing is that far too many American Jews support President Obama’s ridiculous position on Iran exists because he is a liberal and he is a Democrat. It has nothing to do with his race (whatever that is, his mother is white). Iran is not to be trusted. So why have an agreement that is based upon trust and not iron clad verification. The assertion that the inspection regime is tough is simply not true. Each Jew in this country needs to contact his or her black congressperson and tell them that representative that Jews have died for the Civil Right movement in the U.S. and deserve better treatment. How dare the President claim that Israel objects to the Iranian agreement because he is black. The argument is insulting.

  • Carolyn

    Obama must think the Jewish People are stupid and have their minds wiped from one day to the next. This is a direct insult to us as well as the leadership of Israel. Too many American Jews have given up on our American leaders, and as far as intimidating the Black Caucus to intimidate to embarrass the Jews into cowering, he again, proves he doesn’t know Jewish people. The Blacks either are ignorant of the history of American Jews and the Black community in the US, or they are extremely ungrateful for all we did for generations of both communities. No one fought, and died ,in some cases , for their freedom and dignity. We gave countless hundreds of millions for their cause of freedom, gave their musicians jobs and support against the racism on tours in the South, i.e. Benny Goodman, taught in the all Black colleges, and marched with them , time and again. One of the most influential relationships in the history of American Blacks was that of Martin Luther King, Jr, and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel. Another was the decades long friendship between Justice Thurgood Marshall
    and Jack Greenberg, who argued together the infamous Brown vs. Board of Education
    before the Supreme Court.In fact, when Marshall held the Chief Legal post at the NAACP, Greenberg worked with him there and was asked by Marshall when he left, to assume the Chief position. When there was a rash of churches burned in the South in recent history, it was the ADL, which initiated the drive to provide a great deal of money for them to rebuild their churches. Over the last century, how many Jewish doctors would care for poor Blacks, even going into the slums at the time to give check-ups , tend the ill, and medicine.? Today, in the Greater Detroit Area, alone,an annual book sale devotes not only a large percentage of money acquired and books to the Public School libraries in Detroit but also literacy programs. it goes on and on, and ,frankly, many of us are sick and tired of the blatant anti-Semitism on the Blacks’ part.
    No, I don’t think, Obama’s attempts were intimidating. I think, they were more of the same garbage of which we are sick. At best, it goes in one ear and out the other. The Congressional Democrats had met with Obama and openly told him to stop castigating Netanyahu and Israel. Let’s not forget, in the past, Jews have been significant donors to their campaigns. Now, I would be surprised if many formerly generous donors are no longer so giving.



  • OK : vous fournissez la traduction en Anglais !
    Et là,le texte devient clair !
    Merci Amis –

  • Le titre de l’article n’est pas compréhensible :”Obama lit victime” ne veut rien dire en Français -La traduction probable serait : ” Obama se dit victime ” –
    Que veut dire ” Fraichement sa campagne”?…..
    “Déploie l’shtick victime”:que veut dire l’auteur ?
    “Il est dur sur lui-même” se traduit par ” il est dur avec lui-même “-
    Je ne vais pas plus loin…C’etait juste pour attirer votre attention sur de petits détails .. –
    N’avez-vous pas de correcteur à Algemeiner ? C’est étonnant….
    Bien cordialement.

  • The blockbuster hit of 2015 is poor President Obama. The Presidential tries but is not appreciated for all the good thoughts that resonate within him. It is so very hard to be such a caring and compassionate individual while at the same time seating at the head of the table where everyone expects such great things from you. If only “they” understood. If only “they” could walk in my shoes. If only “they” understood suck how difficult it is to be the real first Black President in a white male dominated country. If only “they” understood how I have always cared about Jews regardless of what I do.

  • steven L

    Deception and victimization are two fundamental principles in the Islamic war against non-Muslims. Liberal Jews are NOT pro-Israel.

  • Gabrielle Grossman

    I think President Obama will do a turn-around, he may already be coming down from his perch of defending the agreement as it exists, since he set the scene earlier by saying he would not agree to a bad agreement, and now he has said Iran’s breakout time could be a lot sooner than 15 years under the agreement as it is. Obama certainly does not want a legacy of a bad agreement with a rogue state that backs terrorist groups, thus risking a nuclear arms race and a nuclear holocaust.
    The President will soon do something radical–maybe at the Camp David nuclear conference with the Arab States in the region. I hope he will invite Israel’s representative to that conference. He could also ask Congress for a list of suggestions on how to negotiate a better deal than the existing agreement.

    • Cindy W (Oak Park)

      Are you naive or what? “Obama will do a turn-around” Are you serious? It’s that attitude that help re-elect him. He is not going to ‘turn around.’ He has dug into his position and will not budge. He is dangerous and is weakening the US every day. His legacy will be how he reduced our esteem in the world community and how he screwed up and jacked up the cost of health insurance. The US is a democracy, not a socialist system and certainly not a fiefdom. He seems to have forgotten that detail. We still have to survive almost 2 more years of his rule – G-d help us!

  • rachel robinson

    If this man is a victim he is such only because he does not fit the job he took upon himself, and the useful – or useless, as I call them – idiots put him in. He does not measure up to the task but he calls it being a “victim”, he put himself in this job. He has no one to blame but himself.He is a victim of people who are much smarter than he is and he knows it, if that makes him a victim then he is one.

    • Yale

      Either he knew what he was getting himself into by running, or he didn’t. If he did, he has no expectation that he wouldn’t be criticized when his policies are off the wall. If he didn’t he had no business running. Either way, his complaints prove what many were saying back in 2008: He’s not up to the job.

  • Tone Lechtzier

    Shalom, Obama has demonstrated that he is cunning, devious, a liar, anti Israel, US, and pro Muslim.
    However, he is bankrupt in Hebrew history, and does not realize our special relationship with Hashem. Of all his scandals, and deceit, that is perhaps what will bring him & his cartel down. We have survived worse.
    Blessings ~ BH” ~ Tone

  • Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism and it seeks one of the world’s most terrifying weapons: a nuclear bomb.

    Israel’s PM speech in Congress just reinforced our resolve to stop Iran’s Nuclear development at all costs. The alternative could bring the world to a nuclear Holocaust.

    Iran also has developed the largest ballistic missile force in the Middle East, which poses a growing threat to U.S. bases, U.S. allies, and numerous other countries in the region.

    The rogue regimes in Iran pose some of the most dangerous threats to U.S. national security interests. Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism and is rapidly expanding its nuclear program and ballistic missile force plus other offensive weapons and methods of terror. Regrettably, the Obama Administration has failed to formulate effective policies to address the challenges posed by the rising power of Iran and its unpredictable regime.
    Iran has been hostile to the United States since 1979, when a revolution brought to power a cadre of anti-Western Shia Islamist revolutionaries who dubbed the United States the “Great Satan.” Iran has tried to export its Islamist revolution violently to Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Libya, Lebanon, Bahrain, Afghanistan, Gaza and Saudi Arabia by supporting Shia radical Islamists in each of these countries. Tehran helped to create the Hezbollah terrorist group in Lebanon and has supported a wide variety of terrorist and revolutionary groups throughout the Middle East. It became the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism to advance its foreign policy goals and punish its enemies.
    In recent years, Iran’s hostile regime has been one of the chief beneficiaries of the political turmoil that convulsed the Middle East during the “Arab Spring,” which distracted the United States and other countries from the ongoing standoff over Iran’s nuclear program. The dramatic events diverted international attention from Tehran’s stubborn defiance of four rounds of U.N. Security Council sanctions resolutions on the nuclear issue.