Friday, 19 June 2009

WHAT MOST ISRAELI JEWS SEE, THAT MOST AMERICAN JEWS DO NOT

Ken Berwitz

Here is an excerpt from today's Jerusalem Post which tells the story:

'6% see US administration as pro-Israel'

Jun. 19, 2009
Gil Hoffman , THE JERUSALEM POST

 

Only 6 percent of Jewish Israelis consider the views of American President Barack Obama's administration pro-Israel, according to a new Jerusalem Post-sponsored Smith Research poll.

The poll, which has a margin of error of 4.5%, was conducted among a representative sample of 500 Israeli Jewish adults this week, following Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's speech in which he expressed his support for a demilitarized Palestinian state.

 

Another 50% of those sampled consider the policies of Obama's administration more pro-Palestinian than pro-Israeli, and 36% said the policies were neutral. The remaining 8% did not express an opinion.

 

The numbers were a stark contrast to the last poll published May 17, on the eve of the meeting between Netanyahu and Obama at the White House. In that poll, 31% labeled the Obama administration pro-Israel, 14% considered it pro-Palestinian and 40% said it was neutral. The other 15% declined to give an opinion.

 

Israelis' views of Obama's predecessor in the White House, George W. Bush, are nearly the opposite. According to last month's poll, 88% of Israelis considered his administration pro-Israel, 7% said Bush was neutral and just 2% labeled him pro-Palestinian.

 

One possible explanation for the Obama administration's plummeting approval rating among Israelis is its opposition to building for natural growth in settlement blocs and its refusal to differentiate its policies regarding construction in unauthorized outposts, settlement blocs close to the Green Line and suburbs of Jerusalem.

Israeli Jews are not blind and stupid.  Sadly, all too many American Jews (most of whom presumably support Israel) seem determined to be both, on behalf of Barack Obama. 

What is wrong with them? 

In the last election, 78% of American Jews voted for Mr. Obama.  I hope they're happy with what they got.

Speaking as one of the other 22%, I assure you I'm not.


CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER ON OBAMA'S 'UNDERSTANDING' OF IRAN

Ken Berwitz

Charle Krauthammer sees clearly the level of understanding Barack Obama has about Iran.

None.

Here is his (brilliant, as usual) column, which lays it out perfectly:

Obama Clueless on Iran

By Charles Krauthammer

WASHINGTON -- Millions of Iranians take to the streets to defy a theocratic dictatorship that, among its other finer qualities, is a self-declared enemy of America and the tolerance and liberties it represents. The demonstrators are fighting on their own, but they await just a word that America is on their side.

And what do they hear from the president of the United States? Silence. Then, worse. Three days in, the president makes clear his policy: continued "dialogue" with their clerical masters.

Dialogue with a regime that is breaking heads, shooting demonstrators, expelling journalists, arresting activists. Engagement with -- which inevitably confers legitimacy upon -- leaders elected in a process that begins as a sham (only four handpicked candidates permitted out of 476) and ends in overt rigging.

Then, after treating this popular revolution as an inconvenience to the real business of Obama-Khamanei negotiations, the president speaks favorably of "some initial reaction from the Supreme Leader that indicates he understands the Iranian people have deep concerns about the election."

Where to begin? "Supreme Leader"? Note the abject solicitousness with which the American president confers this honorific on a clerical dictator who, even as his minions attack demonstrators, offers to examine some returns in some electoral districts -- a farcical fix that will do nothing to alter the fraudulence of the election.

Moreover, this incipient revolution is no longer about the election. Obama totally misses the point. The election allowed the political space and provided the spark for the eruption of anti-regime fervor that has been simmering for years and awaiting its moment. But people aren't dying in the street because they want a recount of hanging chads in suburban Isfahan. They want to bring down the tyrannical, misogynist, corrupt theocracy that has imposed itself with the very baton-wielding goons that today attack the demonstrators.

This started out about election fraud. But like all revolutions, it has far outgrown its origins. What's at stake now is the very legitimacy of this regime -- and the future of the entire Middle East.

This revolution will end either as a Tiananmen (a hot Tiananmen with massive and bloody repression or a cold Tiananmen with a finer mix of brutality and co-optation) or as a true revolution that brings down the Islamic Republic.

The latter is improbable but, for the first time in 30 years, not impossible. Imagine the repercussions. It would mark a decisive blow to Islamist radicalism, of which Iran today is not just standard-bearer and model, but financier and arms supplier. It would do to Islamism what the collapse of the Soviet Union did to communism -- leave it forever spent and discredited.

In the region, it would launch a second Arab spring. The first in 2005 -- the expulsion of Syria from Lebanon, first elections in Iraq and early liberalization in the Gulf states and Egypt -- was aborted by a fierce counterattack from the forces of repression and reaction, led and funded by Iran.

Now, with Hezbollah having lost elections in Lebanon and with Iraq establishing the institutions of a young democracy, the fall of the Islamist dictatorship in Iran would have an electric and contagious effect. The exception -- Iraq and Lebanon -- becomes the rule. Democracy becomes the wave. Syria becomes isolated; Hezbollah and Hamas, patronless. The entire trajectory of the region is reversed.

All hangs in the balance. The Khamenei regime is deciding whether to do a Tiananmen. And what side is the Obama administration taking? None. Except for the desire that this "vigorous debate" (press secretary Robert Gibbs' disgraceful euphemism) over election "irregularities" not stand in the way of U.S.-Iranian engagement on nuclear weapons.

Even from the narrow perspective of the nuclear issue, the administration's geopolitical calculus is absurd. There is zero chance that any such talks will denuclearize Iran. On Monday, Ahmadinejad declared yet again that the nuclear "file is shut, forever." The only hope for a resolution of the nuclear question is regime change, which (if the successor regime were as moderate as pre-Khomeini Iran) might either stop the program, or make it manageable and nonthreatening.

That's our fundamental interest. And our fundamental values demand that America stand with demonstrators opposing a regime that is the antithesis of all we believe.

And where is our president? Afraid of "meddling." Afraid to take sides between the head-breaking, women-shackling exporters of terror -- and the people in the street yearning to breathe free. This from a president who fancies himself the restorer of America's moral standing in the world.

Question:  What do you get when you elect a President who is wholly unqualified for the job/in about 100 miles over his head, and hand him a lopsided majority in both houses of congress?

Answer:  Barack Obama. 

We elected him.  So we are getting what we deserve.  I hope that, albeit way too late, some of the folks who facilitated his election are now starting to understand this.  


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