From the “Jews don’t trust Obama” file comes Jonathan Tobin’s excellent analysis, which ends with this compelling paragraph:
The United States seems to be retreating from the Middle East, a position that frightens many Arabs as well as the Israelis. They see the drift toward the appeasement of Iran as a sign that this administration is prepared to accept a compromise with Tehran that will leave the nuclear threat in place. Under these circumstances, it’s hard to blame the Israelis for believing that Obama can’t be trusted. American friends of Israel—including those who voted for Obama—have good reason to take a long, hard look at the Israeli poll results and reconsider their longstanding unblinking trust in this president.
And from the “Obama doesn’t like the Jews” view, read this:
A US official close to President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry said both men are disturbed over what is being perceived in their inner circle as ‘Jewish activism in Congress’ that they think is being encouraged by the Israeli government, Israel Radio reported on Thursday.
One other nugget from Obama’s interview with the New Yorker’s David Remnick has direct bearing on the Iran debate:
“Historically, there is hostility and suspicion toward Iran, not just among members of Congress but the American people,” Obama said, adding that “members of Congress are very attentive to what Israel says on its security issues.” He went on, “I don’t think a new sanctions bill will reach my desk during this period, but, if it did, I would veto it and expect it to be sustained.”
“Very attentive to what Israel says on its security issues”! Points for subtlety. That aside, with 58 co-sponsors, the bill really is within striking distance of a veto override, though Senate Dems really might prove reluctant to take that step in the end.
To summarize: Jews look back at five years of dealing with Obama and conclude that, despite his periodic pro-Israel speeches, his actions have consistently insulted and destabilized Israel. (In other words, looking at a dog that’s both wagging its tail and barking viciously, they’ve concluded that the bark is where the truth lies.) Meanwhile, Obama and his administration are telling everyone back home that the nefarious “Jewish lobby” (the same one that made a starring appearance in “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”) is controlling Congress to America’s detriment.
This is all very not good. It’s also very much as I predicted. Four years, I had a lunch with a Jewish couple who were simultaneously very pro-Israel and pro-Obama. I politely told them that Obama’s history and affiliations trumped his speeches and that the man could not be trusted to support the only stable, truly liberal democracy in the Middle East. They scoffed. I wonder if they remember my words now or if they’re still telling themselves “But Obama said that he loves Israel.”