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August 13, 2015 10:44 am

Israeli Professor: Obama’s Language is Similar to ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion’

avatar by Benyamin Korn

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Barack Obama. Photo: Screenshot.

Barack Obama. Photo: Screenshot.

President Obama’s recent comments about the Iran deal “dredge up the Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” according to one of the most respected elder statesmen of Israeli academia. When an academic figure of this stature makes such a charge, the Obama Administration and it supporters should pay attention.

Haifa University political scientist Abraham Ben-Zvi, who is no right-winger, is not the type to sling around accusations of anti-Semitism. But President Obama’s recent comments about Jewish “money” and “lobbyists” opposing the Iran deal “have taken a particularly harsh and dangerous turn,” Ben-Zvi wrote in Israel Hayom this week.

Presidents should act presidential. Instead, Mr. Obama “sounds and appears angry and bitter over having to put in extra hours in the sweltering political kitchen, as opposed to merely having his aides and administration officials apply the pressure for him,” Ben-Zvi notes.

Obama’s “latest tongue-lashings toward Israel (and AIPAC) [have] crossed every line in terms of Washington’s relations with Jerusalem,” according to Prof. Ben-Zvi. “The president is tying several combustible elements together, which could awaken past demons and reveal hidden ideological resentments and prejudices toward the Jewish minority in the U.S.”

Ben-Zvi continues: “The correlation that Obama has made between money and Jewish power (in the form of the pro-Israel lobby), and the potential for the U.S. to be dragged into another unnecessary and expensive war following the Iraq trauma, drudges up, even if in a softened tone, the detestable Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”

Obama’s rhetoric seems intended to “raise the fear among American Jews that a fundamental contradiction exists between support for Israel and their concern for America’s national interests,” Prof. Ben-Zvi writes. “Suddenly, as the opponents of the ‘Vienna agreement’ are painted as sectorial and as undermining the national interest, a host of particularly charged questions, tied intrinsically to the Jewish identity, may resurface, underscoring the ostensible contradiction — that seems quite real these days — between identifying with the Israeli stance on the Iranian issue and loyalty to official American interests.”

The scheduled release of Jonathan Pollard plays into all of this, Ben-Zvi points out. “On the eve of Jonathan Pollard’s release from prison, the old ghosts that accompanied his arrest and trial are again taking center stage. These ghosts exposed a particularly sensitive nerve in the Jewish American experience.”

“We can only hope,” Ben-Zvi concludes, “that the seeds of division Obama has sown regarding ‘dual loyalty’ will not take this community back to a dark era, an era that supposedly faded away long ago.”

Ben-Zvi has one of the longest and most distinguished resumes of any Israeli political scientist. After earning his Ph.D at the University of Chicago in 1973, he taught at Hebrew University and Tel Aviv University (where he chaired the Department of Political Science and headed the Security Studies Program), with visiting professorships at Georgetown and Cornell, among other institutions. He has been teaching at the University of Haifa for the past decade.

Prof. Ben-Zvi has been the recipient of a Ford Foundation fellowship, won the Landau Annual Award for his 1993 book, The United States and Israel, and three times won the annual competition for the Goldman Visiting Professorship at Georgetown. He is the author of nine critically-acclaimed books on U.S. foreign policy and Israeli-American relations, as well as dozens of scholarly essays published in all the major journals. He is a fixture at international academic conferences in his field. In short, his credentials are impeccable.

When a scholar of the stature of Abraham Ben-Zvi says that President Obama’s rhetoric is conjuring up images of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the most notorious antisemitic tract of all time, perhaps it’s time for the president’s advisers and supporters to moderate their approach to the Iran debate.

Mr. Korn, former executive editor of the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent and the Miami Jewish Tribune, is chairman of the Philadelphia Religious Zionists.

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  • Michael J Katz

    The first thing that caught my attention was that the Professor was a Ford Foundation Scholar. Wasn’t it Henry Ford who advocated for The Protocols of the Elders of Zion? While The Protocols were virulently Anti-Semitic was Meine Kampf any better?

  • M. Izsak-Dicker

    Dr. Ben Zwi appears to be one of the real contemporary Elders of Zion just writing a fake protocol of the present events that were triggered by the refusal of Zion to accept the rules of the game defined by the world community, by the world powers and by the UN Security Council
    It’s public knowledge that Jewish organizations are spending at least 40 million US dollars donated by Jewish citizens to lobby in the most aggressive way on the Capitol Hill. How much does Israel spend for similar actions is a well kept secret.
    I am ashamed to be a co-national and former Haifa colleague of Professor Ben Zvi who seems to have become a Zion__ist snakeoil salesman in Netanyahu’s snake oil production company

    • GungleGeorge

      Well, you’ve got a lot to be ashamed of. Your shame and anger are corrosively apparent. And they blind you. Whatever monies spent by American Jews and Israel to fend off being subjected yet again to mass murder, pales in comparison to the billions being spent in Islamic money to destroy America from within. Obama’s chosen companions have always included florid anti-Semites, and only someone blinded by hatred could avoid seeing that from the beginning of his presidency he was working towards his goal of delegitimising and then destroying Israel. His is a malignant office that seeks to snuff out any lights on the hill.

  • Harvey Kabaker

    I haven’t heard or seen President Obama say anything about “Jewish money”or Jewish opposition to his policy. Opponents, yes, Jewish opponents, no.

    I am a Jew who supports the president on this issue. Why are his critics playing the anti-Semitic card? Because they have no better case.

    • GungleGeorge

      No. Because Obama is an anti-Semite, an anti-American, an anti-liberal narcissist seeing himself as a revolutionary vanguard of a world “in the shade of the Qu’ran”.

  • Revenge of Zion

    I am reminded of those Three Stooges attacks upon the nutzi nazis
    Every day in every way Mr Obama reveals himself to be a cheap Chicago pol whose moral credibility becomes poorer. As for his third rate warmed over shills who threaten and libel Jews you are just going to have keep attending those meetings of the Hermann Goering Diet Club as they are making you more attractive all the time.

  • GSR

    Everyone knows that Jews and right wing Christians have a loyalty to Israel that exceeds those to the nation in which they live. For Jews it’s a tribal loyalty thing. For crazy Christians it’s a End Times fanatical biblical thing.
    Either way, these two groups are asking for trouble by putting their loyalty towards Israel before there home country. BTW, I’ve lived in Canada and France, and in both countries Jews have put their loyalty to their tribe First. Right Wing Christians are identically in the same camp!

    • GungleGeorge

      The only person associated with this matter who lacks patriotism towards the founding precepts of their nation is Obama. As a Canadian I’d be curious to know what exactly you’re patriotic about. The country has long lost any coherent national identity other than Medicare and lazy anti-Americanism.

    • GungleGeorge

      The only end of times nutters you need to be concerned about are the Iranians, now to be armed with nuclear armed Intercontinental Balistic Missles, a gift of Obama. Your anti-semitism is so rabid that you can’t see that you’re signing your own death warrant.

  • julian kaye

    Of course there is a Jewish lobby, and of course they are tied to big money, that something to be proud of, we take care of our own.

  • Kevin Boyle

    Oh. It is evil to use such words because there is no Jewish Lobby.
    There are some gentiles who can distinguish between storytelling and facts.

    Just the one or two.

    We are very, very stupid you know.

  • Yoel Nitzatim

    This assessment by Dr. Ben Zvi seems most logical, reasonable, and appropriate. Dr. Ben Zvi’s conclusion appears to be based on identifying Mr. Obama’s emotional rather than rational disposition on ensuring the deal. Even though President Obama conjures up what he deems factual evidence to support his position, the reality of the matter is that no one–not physicists, political scientists, mental health experts, military experts, or diplomats–can divine what would indeed result in the upcoming weeks, months, and years in consequence of Congress’s passage of this deal. Simply put, no one can predict the future. With an Islamic regime of such a dogmatically extreme and virulent nature, the odds are certainly against supporting their receiving billions of dollars in a relatively short time with any positive outcome for the majority of the Iranian people. Moreover, the possibility of the regime’s cheating on their nuclear fission capability is immense if one takes into account the history of lies upon which this regime has conducted its diplomacy. Finally, the hopes and goals of this regime are clear: to take over the Middle East and beyond, to spread Sha’ria Law as far and wide as possible, and to bring in a new era in which Islam, at least in the Shi’ite version, will dominate human affairs. To shut up and shut out any and all Jewish-American, Jewish-Israeli contrary to this deal with Iran would most likely be in Mr Obama’s personal agenda.

  • Bear Klein

    Obama is bailing out Iran from their financial crisis caused by the sanctions. He is allowing them buy to buy fighter planes on the international market (and any other weapon). He is allowing them to get nukes and keep enriching and get advanced centrifuges. He is allowing them to further terrorism and even anticipates it. Is he the President of the USA or Iran?

    • GungleGeorge

      Answer: Iran.

  • There is no such thing as dual loyalty among American Jews?

    • GungleGeorge

      There isn’t an American who doesn’t have dual, in fact multiple, loyalties. People are complicated. I know it’s true of you, and I don’t even know you.

  • K North

    SecState Kerry is channeling Henry Ford Senior’s 1920’s version of The Protocols, “The International Jew”, when Kerry suggests opposition by Congress to this Iran deal will lead to the USdollar losing it’s reserve currency status.

  • Ben Kramer

    Why would we moderate the approach to the Iran debate when AIPAC is pouring millions to disrupt the deal? Foreign meddling does not play well with the American public.

    • Herb Glatter

      here’s another foreigner meddling in American foreign policy:
      Winston Churchill addresses a joint session of Congress December 26, 1941

    • AIPAC is a domestic American organization.

    • Just Observing

      Foreign meddling? AIPAC is an American organization comprised of Americans. Does the constitutional right to petition one’s government only apply to those in which you share their view? AIPAC is providing a viewpoint — members of Congress are free to review that viewpoint and vote accordingly.

    • Tondaleia

      AIPAC is American (thus the name, though you might not know it). Only a small percentage of American Jews even belong to it. What is your source? Presstv or mintpressnews? Both owned by Iran’s propaganda machine. Racist sites for racists.

    • I think that is a hideous and false analogy. What about Jewish and other leaders who think the deal makes sense are they also evoking those dastardly protocols?
      Let’s admit that Iran produced destructive atomic weaponry in spite of sanctions.
      Let’s also admit that Mr. Netanyahu overstepped boundaries when he addressed our Congress last year.
      Our President is not an antisemite stop accusing him falsely!