Thursday, October 23, 2008

  • Thursday, October 23, 2008
  • Elder of Ziyon
I became a Phillies fan when the Philadelphia Phillies were pretty much the worst team in baseball.

In 1972, the Phillies ended up in last place in their division. Their lineup consisted of forgettable players who I was enamored with, like Roger Freed and Denny Doyle in the starting lineup.

The Phillies' ugly 59-97 record is most remarkable because a full 27 of those wins were due to a single pitcher, Steve Carlton, who racked up an amazing 27-10 record that season with an inept team. If it wasn't for Carlton, this team may have indeed been the worst ever. (And I remember being incensed after the 1971 season when the Phillies traded my favorite pitcher, Rick Wise, to St. Louis for Carlton, now recognized as one of the most lopsided trades in history.)

It is easy to be a Phillies fan today, as they are leading the World Series. It was much harder to be a fan in the early 1970s.

It is likewise easy in today's political environment to be considered "pro-Israel." Forgetting the infamous "Israel lobby," any US politician can easily claim to be pro-Israel. This is because positions that would have been considered anti-Israel only a few years ago have morphed into Israeli policy under the Kadima banner.

The idea that a Palestinian Arab state would somehow automatically bring peace, the idea that Israel is the only party that needs to make permanent concessions, the idea that the Saudi "peace plan" is seriously worth considering, the idea that Israel must give up the strategic Golan Heights on the one border that has been the most peaceful since 1973, the idea that abandoning the Shebaa Farms will magically make Hezbollah love Israel, the idea of talking with Syria, the idea of dividing Jerusalem, the idea of willingly giving up almost all major Jewish shrines - all considered patently ridiculous by mainstream Israeli politicians of all persuasions in relatively recent times - are now considered sacrosanct. The ideas of Israel's loony left have been co-opted as mainstream by a government that has no mandate, no support, and utter disregard for the wishes of ordinary Israelis.

If the Government of Israel holds these positions, how can they be considered anti-Israeli?

Israel's government has adopted the worldview of the European Left that "occupation" is the primary evil in the region and that surrendering land will inevitably bring peace. Giving Gaza to Hamas brought unprecedented (albeit temporary) levels of support from Europe - and unprecedented numbers of rockets to Sderot. Israel's reclaiming of victim status boosted its popularity among those who feel that strength is inherently immoral.

In such an environment, it is easy to claim to be pro-Israel while advocating positions that would seriously erode Israel's security and virtually eliminate Jewish sovereignty over her own holiest sites.

But as in baseball, the true test of friendship is how one acts when the other party is not so popular.

Every poll for the past couple of years shows that Likud, not Kadima, would win a general election. And Likud is not considered a "winner" in the eyes of the world. On the contrary, the word "Likud" conjures up adjectives that the media has hammered into the world's consciousness - adjectives like "hard-line," "intransigent," and "hawkish." To be pro-Likud, according to conventional wisdom, is to be against peace.

The question isn't which candidate for president supports the Israeli policies that are designed to appeal to world public opinion. It is which candidate would support the Israeli policies that a democratic Israel would support.

The answer to this question is certainly not Barack Obama.

Obama started his political career as highly supportive of an "even-handed" policy between a democratic, peace-thirsty state and people who to this day overwhelmingly support terror attacks. His friendships with radical Palestinian Arab intellectuals are well documented. Only when Obama considered running for national office did his public positions tilt towards Israel. As the co-founder of Electronic Intifada, Ali Abunimah says:
Over the years since I first saw Obama speak I met him about half a dozen times, often at Palestinian and Arab-American community events in Chicago including a May 1998 community fundraiser at which Edward Said was the keynote speaker. In 2000, when Obama unsuccessfully ran for Congress I heard him speak at a campaign fundraiser hosted by a University of Chicago professor. On that occasion and others Obama was forthright in his criticism of US policy and his call for an even-handed approach to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

The last time I spoke to Obama was in the winter of 2004 at a gathering in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood. He was in the midst of a primary campaign to secure the Democratic nomination for the United States Senate seat he now occupies. But at that time polls showed him trailing.

As he came in from the cold and took off his coat, I went up to greet him. He responded warmly, and volunteered, "Hey, I'm sorry I haven't said more about Palestine right now, but we are in a tough primary race. I'm hoping when things calm down I can be more up front." He referred to my activism, including columns I was contributing to the The Chicago Tribune critical of Israeli and US policy, "Keep up the good work!"
In an unguarded moment, Obama stated what he felt about the Likud in February:
This is where I get to be honest and I hope I’m not out of school here. I think there is a strain within the pro-Israel community that says unless you adopt a unwavering pro-Likud approach to Israel that you’re anti-Israel and that can’t be the measure of our friendship with Israel. If we cannot have a honest dialogue about how do we achieve these goals, then we’re not going to make progress. And frankly some of the commentary that I’ve seen which suggests guilt by association or the notion that unless we are never ever going to ask any difficult questions about how we move peace forward or secure Israel that is non military or non belligerent or doesn’t talk about just crushing the opposition that that somehow is being soft or anti-Israel, I think we’re going to have problems moving forward.
In this quote, Obama betrays his opinion that the Likud - the party that orchestrated the peace treaty with Egypt - is purely militaristic and warmongering.

How would he act towards a Likud government, a very real possibility? His statement indicates that his "pro-Israel" posture is one that conveniently follows the liberal ideas that the only obstacle to peace is Israeli reticence to give back more and more land.

Yes, it is easy to say that you are pro-Israel when the Israeli government has been acting out of the same fear of terrorism as the EU, but how will he act when an Israeli government returns to power that is willing to fight terrorism, despite the criticism of the media and liberals? When Obama reportedly said that "the Israelis must be crazy not to accept" the Saudi "peace plan" that would turn Israel back into a nine-mile wide strip of land, where Ben Gurion Airport and Tel Aviv would be in Qassam rocket range, perhaps it may be considered "pro-Israel" in context of the reprehensible policies of Kadima, but is it pro-Israel according to the majority of Israel's citizens?

I have no problem with people rooting for the Phillies today who have hated them in the past, but I would not call those people "friends of the Phillies." They would just be considered opportunists, not friends. And that is how Barack Obama appears when it comes to Israel.

EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

search eoz



follow me

Follow by Email


Share on Whatsapp


For $18 donation

Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts Ever


Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 12 years and over 25,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options

One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!



The Jerusalem Report:"A seemingly indefatigable one-man operation, armed only with a computer, chutzpa and stamina."

Algemeiner: "Fiercely intelligent and erudite"

Omri: "Elder is one of the best established and most respected members of the jblogosphere..."
Atheist Jew:"Elder of Ziyon probably had the greatest impression on me..."
Soccer Dad: "He undertakes the important task of making sure that his readers learn from history."
AbbaGav: "A truly exceptional blog..."
Judeopundit: "[A] venerable blog-pioneer and beloved patriarchal figure...his blog is indispensable."
Oleh Musings: "The most comprehensive Zionist blog I have seen."
Carl in Jerusalem: "...probably the most under-recognized blog in the JBlogsphere as far as I am concerned."
Aussie Dave: "King of the auto-translation."
The Israel Situation:The Elder manages to write so many great, investigative posts that I am often looking to him for important news on the PalArab (his term for Palestinian Arab) side of things."
Tikun Olam: "Either you are carelessly ignorant or a willful liar and distorter of the truth. Either way, it makes you one mean SOB."
Mondoweiss commenter: "For virulent pro-Zionism (and plain straightforward lies of course) there is nothing much to beat it."
Didi Remez: "Leading wingnut"

Interesting Blogs


Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria American Jews Amnesty analysis anti-semitism antisemitism apartheid arab refugees Arafat archaeology art ASHREI B'tselem bahrain Balfour bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz book review Brant Rosen breaking the silence Campus antisemitism Cardozo Chakindas Chanukah Christians Clark Kent conspiracy theories Cyprus Daled Amos Daphne Anson David Applebaum Davis report DCI-P Divest This double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada Embassy EoZ Trump symposium eoz-symposium EoZNews eoztv Erekat Erekat lung transplant EU Euro-Mid Observer European antisemitism Facebook jail Fake Civilians 2014 Farrakhan Fatah featured Features fisking flotilla Forest Rain Forward free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros German Jewry gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian gunness Haaretz Hadassah hamas Hamas war crimes Hananya Naftali hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hasby 2018 Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor huor Hypocrisy ICRC IDF Ilan Pappe impossible peace incitement Indonesia international law intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Joseph Massad Juan Cole Judaism Judea-Samaria Judean Rose Kairos Karl Vick Keith Ellison ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Lebanon leftists Linda Sarsour Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Malaysia max blumenthal Mazen Adi McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Michael Ross Miftah Missionaries moderate Islam Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco Mudar Zahran music Muslim Brotherhood Nakba Nation of Islam Natural gas Nazi Netanyahu News nftp NGO NIF Noah Phillips norpac NYT Occupation offbeat Omar Barghouti Only in Israel Opinion oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peace Now Peter Beinart Petra MB poetry Poland poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist Puar Purim purimshpiel Putin Qaradawi Qassam calendar Quora Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals reference Richard Falk Richard Silverstein Right of return Robert Werdine rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Rutgers Saeb Erekat Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shujaiyeh Simchat Torah Simona Sharoni SodaStream South Africa Speech stamps Superman Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman TOI Trump Tunisia Turkey UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc UNICEF United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA unwra Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks work accident X-washing Y. Ben-David Yemen YMikarov zahran Ziesel zionist attack zoo Zvi

Blog Archive