Sunday, November 09, 2008

The Audacity of Aliyah

A guest post by Lurker:

The other day, JoeSettler posted an ad for Nefesh B'Nefesh, noting (with his tongue planted in his cheek, by my reading) that there are some American Jews who will be looking to make aliyah now that Barack Obama has been elected President.

This prompted a spate of indignant comments. One commenter declared that any American Jew who wishes to make aliyah for such a reason (or perhaps any Jew who disagrees with Obama at all) is simply a racist. Another one acknowledged that there are some opponents of Obama who are not motivated by racism, but insisted that because some Orthodox Jews are racist, the entire Orthodox community has "no credibility" regarding an election where one of the candidates happens to be black. Here are some excerpts:

  • "Sorry, but racist right-wing was the first explanation that came to mind after the opening line - that Obama winning would be a big push for aliyah.
    Why otherwise would anyone flee America just as we're finally starting to get hope again?"
Note that this commenter states flat out that she didn't imagine any possible reason why anybody might want to get away from Obama, other than racism. Even more frightening than this knee-jerk reaction is the reasoning she gives for it: Now that Barack Obama has been elected, it is unimaginable that anybody would not want to stay, since, as we've all been told, "we're finally starting to get hope again". (One is reminded of the famous Soviet question to refuseniks: "Why would you possibly want to leave this worker's paradise?") Clearly, it has not occurred to this commenter that there might be some people who don't feel this "hope". Or, if such people do exist, then the only possible excuse for their lack of "hope" is that they are "racist".

From another comment:

  • "The point is, a substantial number of Orthodox Jews are racists. That is undeniable. Therefore, the Orthodox Jewish community as a whole has no credibility on the question of an election between a white man and a black man."
Now, it is true that there are many Orthodox Jews who are racists (more on this below) -- just as every ethnic group in America has its racists. But does this justify the blanket delegitimization of the entire OJ community, as this commenter declares? What would he say to the following copy-and-replace job:

"The point is, a substantial number of blacks are racists. That is undeniable. Therefore, the black community as a whole has no credibility on the question of an election between a white man and a black man."
Or perhaps even this:

"The point is, a substantial number of Americans are racists. That is undeniable. Therefore, the American people as a whole has no credibility on the question of an election between a white man and a black man."
Would our commenter agree with this statement as well? And if so, then what does this say about the election of Barack Obama?

This same commenter goes on to tell us that even though not every Obama supporter is necessarily a racist, anybody who criticizes Obama in a manner that he regards as "inaccurate" probably is a racist:
Simply claiming not to be a racist does little to reassure skeptics, especially if you follow your reassurance with some inflammatory and inaccurate statement like that Obama is a "socialist."
Now, I'm not going to address the question here of whether Obama's policies can be regarded as "socialist" in nature. (See the comments if you're interested in that.) What's really incredible is how, according to this commenter, "socialist" has now become an ethnic slur! Someone should tell that to the government of Sweden. (One can't help but wonder -- if someone refers to a white person as a "socialist", does that mean the speaker is racist against whites? Or does it mean that the speaker thinks the person in question is black?)

Finally, this commenter provides a long quote from conservative columnist and Orthodox Jew David Klinghoffer, in which Klinghoffer descibes his disturbing encounters with racism in the OJ community. In fact, I agree with, and strongly identify with, every word that Klinghoffer says on this subject. Yes, there is a lot of ugly racism in certain streams of American Orthodoxy. I have run up against quite a bit of it myself, and I am saddened and offended by it.

However: There are plenty of OJ Jews who are not racist at all. (I daresay most, but I don't have figures to prove it.) And knowing both Joe and Jameel personally, I am absolutely confident that their critical opinions of President Elect Obama are based upon their own (entirely legitimate) political views, and have nothing whatsoever to do with any sort of racist bias.

To suggest or imply that their criticisms of Obama are are based upon racism is completely unfounded, and nothing short of slanderous. It is also presumptuous in the extreme. And it is no less presumptuous to assume that a Jew who chooses to make aliyah because of Obama (as misguided as that may be; see afterthought below) is doing it because of "racism".

Furthermore, and most importantly: The attitude expressed by these commenters, and many others like them, represents nothing less than a frightening, illegitimate attempt to stifle political debate that is critical to our future as a free society. For many years, there have been those who attempted to paint any and all criticism of people who happened to be from racial minorities as "racism". This notion has become a powerful weapon in the hands of those who would curtail the free and open exchange of ideas and opinions, particularly on university campuses. But today, as never before, we cannot possibly afford to allow such an attitude to hold sway in America -- for one simple reason: The man who will be President of the United States for the next four years (at least) happens to be black. Now, regardless of one's political views, this is a historic first for a nation with a history of racism, and an achievement for which all Americans can rightfully be proud.

But along with that achievement, and because of it, comes new responsibility: It demands of us a new level of maturity and fair play in our public discourse: It is now completely unacceptable to play the race card on the American political field. People must be completely and unreservedly free to criticize President Obama and his Administration, just as they have been free to criticize President Bush and his. True democracy -- which America strives to exemplify -- thrives on free and unfettered debate, and open criticism -- sometimes harsh -- of our leaders. If people become intimidated against doing so for fear of being called "racists", then the fundamental underpinning of our free society will be gone. And that would be a tragedy for all of us who cherish liberty.

Afterthought:

Having said everything I said above, I feel it necessary to point out the following reservations regarding the idea of making aliyah to "run away" from Obama: I believe strongly that Jews should make aliyah -- but they ought to do it for the right reasons: They should come because Israel is our homeland, and it is where a Jew belongs. But if an American Jew makes aliyah on account of Obama's election as President, then he is a fool:


  • If the issue of concern is the expectation that Obama will be pressuring Israel into making dangerous concessions to her enemies, then I would point out that those policies -- even in the worst-case-scenarios predicted by some -- are more likely to endanger the lives and security of Jews in Israel, than those in the U.S. So that would be a reason for Israelis to make yerida, not for Americans to make aliyah. Of course, I would also point out (as I have in the past) that in the end, Obama's policies are unlikely to be a major factor in this arena: The self-destructive policies of Israeli governments since the onset of Oslo in 1993 have been primarily due to the irresponsiblity and foolishness of our own Israeli leaders right here, and not because of American pressure. And there's no reason to expect this to change significantly in the near future.


  • And if the issue of concern is fear of Obama's expected fiscal policies, then making aliyah on this account is even more foolish. During the election campaign, there was much heated debate over whether Obama's plan for the American economy -- which he said would be characterized by a program that would "spread the wealth" -- should be properly labelled as "socialism". Well, I don't know whether Obama's plans are radical enough to qualify as "socialism", but I can definitely tell you this: Israel's economy already is socialist! After all, the country was founded by a group of true-blue, ideologically orthodox, diehard European socialists and communists. And the economy remained solidly socialist for decades after its founding. Now, it is true that Israel has come a long way in the direction of privatization and capitalist reform (particular during Netanyahu's terms as Prime Minister and Finance Minister), but Israel is still worlds away from having a true free-market economy. The point is simply this: Israel is far more socialist right now that America can possibly become, even under eight years of an Obama Administration. So anyone making aliyah from America because they think they're running away from "socialism" is in for one heck of a shock when he gets here...

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Two very good points in your afterthought.

Leora said...

Yes, two good points in your afterthought.

If someone is "audacious" enough, perhaps they can make Aliyah and try to make the country more capitalist, if Obama truly makes America more socialist (I do hope that won't happen).

The whole racism thing is getting ridiculous; many on the Left that seem to see race in every issue. All Orthodox Jews that I know voted on the issues, no racism involved. And yes, every community has its racists. Unfortunately, many Jews have had bad experiences living next to African American communities.

Kylopod said...

Alright, I am very angry. You lumped me together with another poster and acted as though we were the same commenter--attributing views to me that not only do I not hold, but stated the very opposite of.

I am the commenter who brought up David Klinghoffer. I am not the commenter who allegedly "insisted that any American Jew who wishes to make aliyah for such a reason (or perhaps any Jew who disagrees with Obama at all) is simply a racist." I never said that, or even suggested such a thing. In fact, I began my post with the following remark:

"Of course, not all McCain supporters are racists. Who ever suggested such a thing?"

You want to hear me say it louder?

"OF COURSE, NOT ALL MCCAIN SUPPORTERS ARE RACISTS."

And if you think that's half-hearted, let me clarify: I don't believe that MOST McCain supporters are racists.

The fact that I quoted Klinghoffer favorably should have been a clue. Klinghoffer is an arch-conservative, an Orthodox Jew, and almost certainly not an Obama supporter. But he is as disgusted by Orthodox Jewish racism as I am.

Next time, at least try to sort out who said what before launching a critique.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

KyloPod: you are correct! I just called Lurker (but he's in a meeting). He'll probably edit it a bit as a result of your (correct) critique of the post.

[and thanks for pointing it out]

Lurker said...

Kylopod: Alright, I am very angry. You lumped me together with another poster and acted as though we were the same commenter--attributing views to me that not only do I not hold, but stated the very opposite of.

I certainly did not intend to create the impression that you were the same person who wrote the comment that I quoted first. I preceded both comment excerpts with the intro, "Here are some examples"; and each excerpt was presented as a separate bulleted item. Nevertheless, I accept your point that my wording may have created the impression that you share the opinion of the other commenter; i.e., that the only possible reason for critiquing Obama is racism. You have my apologies for that, and I have edited the text in order to make a distinction between the two comments.

(Please note that I deliberately left out the names from the post, in order to keep the focus on the issues, and to avoid the impression of an ad hominem attack.)

That said, I must point out the following: Yes, you made it clear that you don't regard every person who disagrees with Obama as a racist. On the other hand, you declared a blanket delegitimization of the entire Orthodox Jewish community, simply because some of its members are racists:

The point is, a substantial number of Orthodox Jews are racists. That is undeniable. Therefore, the Orthodox Jewish community as a whole has no credibility on the question of an election between a white man and a black man.

This position is outrageous, and I question whether you would say such a thing about any other ethnic or religious community. If you would say it about other communities, then you would have to conclude that there does not exist even a single community that has credibility. And if you say this only about the OJ community, then you are offensively biased.

Furthermore, while you acknowledge that not every Obama supporter is necessarily a racist, you indicate that anyone who criticizes Obama in a manner that you regard as "inaccurate" probably is a racist:

Simply claiming not to be a racist does little to reassure skeptics, especially if you follow your reassurance with some inflammatory and inaccurate statement like that Obama is a "socialist."

I have some news for you: "Socialist" is not a dirty word. There are plenty of enlightened countries in the Western world with major political parties who call themselves "socialist", and some countries (such as Sweden) where those parties are heading the governments. These are not evil countries, and socialism is an entirely legitimate economic ideology. The distinction between socialism and capitalism is hardly an absolute one; rather, it is a spectrum, ranging from Smith's pure laissez-faire approach on the one end, to Marx's communism on the other. There are many shades and nuances in between, and it can be reasonably argued that ever since FDR's New Deal and Johnson's Great Society, the United States has incorporated a great many elements of socialism already. Obama's platform called for higher taxes and more spending on social programs, and there is thus nothing illegitimate about someone choosing to label Obama's economic plans as "socialist" in nature. Certainly, you may choose to dispute that label, but it is just an issue of nomenclature. While someone strongly opposed to socialism may see the word as "inflammatory", as you call it, it is no more "inflammatory" than the word "capitalist" might be to someone who despises capitalism. But certainly, the word "socialist" is not an ethnic slur in any way, shape, or form; and your suggestion that use of this word taints the user with "racism" is nothing short of absurd.

LindaSoG said...

If I may, I would express some of my own thoughts and feelings on this subject. I'm kinda compelled to say at least a little something, as I am an American Jew who, on November 5, wrote on my own blog that I went to sleep on election nite thinking of Aliyah, and I woke on November 5th, thinking of Aliyah.

And today, on November 9, I continue to think of Aliyah.

and yes, it is because Barack Hussein Obama has been elected President of my country, but it has nothing to do with the color of his skin.

It has everything to do with his ideology. The socialist ideology, the one that admires terrorists such as che and communists such as castro. The ideology of saul alinsky and the weather underground and of course the rampant anti-semitism that is harbored and nurtured amongst the left.

I base that statement on my own personal experiences with the left, on what I have seen and heard, with my own eyes and with my own ears.

I grow weary of seeing the left and their protests featuring the terrorist che, their kaffiyah covered faces, their attacks on my religion, and their attacks on Israel, their comparisons of my people with Hitler, with pigs and animals and terrorists, their admiration for suicide bombers who kill innocent women and children. I grow seeing America's military portrayed as terrorists. They worship evil and condemn good.

America did not elect a black man on November 4, they elected an ideology and that ideology is what repulses me, what disgusts me.

America has always been the land of the free and the home of the brave, that is the ideology of America, that is my ideology.

I reject the ideology of the radical left, I reject the ideology of socialism, I rject the ideology of terrorism and I reject the ideologoy of barack hussein obama.

I could write a novel on this topic, but this is not the place. I'll leave it at that.

Anonymous said...

Lindasog.

I don't think you are racist, I think you have no idea what socialism is, I think you have no idea what 'left' means, I think you have no appreciation of the fact that Obama and the Democratic party are far, far, far to the right of most of the left wing parties in the democratic world, and I think your association of Obama with the ideology of the weather underground, Castro or the 'radical left' would be hilarious if it wasn't so ignorant.

Read this if you want to know what left is, what left isn't and where the left has gone wrong. There is no need to make up stuff about Obama http://www.amazon.co.uk/Whats-Left-Liberals-Lost-Their/dp/0007229704/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1226271575&sr=8-1

Yellow Boy

Kylopod said...

My statement about Orthodox Jewish credibility needs to be understood in the context of the discussion. The original post suggested that Jewish anti-Obamites might consider making aliyah. (The logic of this argument escapes me: why would they want to flee to a country they think Obama will help destroy? Never mind.) The question was raised as to whether those Jews are racist. My point was that they aren't necessarily racist; however, since Orthodox Jews (the ones most likely to make aliyah) have a notorious amount of racists among them, it seems likely that many of these anti-Obamites have a racist motivation.

I was not trying to delegitimize the entire Orthodox community. All I was saying was that if we're going to examine the overall views of Orthodox Jews in this election, the phenomenon of Ortho-racism must be taken into account. There are other factors, of course, such as that Orthodox Jews tend to be politically conservative. Even Democrats who went for McCain aren't necessarily racist. (I don't believe that Lieberman is.) But when we consider the Orthodox population as a whole, racism has to be one explanation for the extreme negativity toward Obama.

You ask whether I would make the same argument about racism among blacks. In certain circumstances, I would. It is well-known that anti-Semitism is relatively high among blacks. If, in the 2000 election, blacks had defected in large numbers from supporting the Democratic ticket (they didn't), it would be reasonable to wonder if at least some of them were having an anti-Semitic reaction to Lieberman.

But I don't want to go too far with this analogy. Orthodox Judaism isn't a race; it is a religious denomination. The racism among Orthodox Jews isn't purely sociological, but has theological and institutional roots. These include:

1) Racist traditions in our religion, such as the racial interpretation of the curse of Canaan.
2) Insular communities that spurn the the Gentile world.
3) Failure of Orthodox leaders to speak out against racism.
4) Rejection of the values of liberal democracy upon which the emancipation of blacks is based.

None of these things are universal among Orthodox Jews, and they are far less common among the Modern Orthodox. But the problem feeds upon itself: the more Orthodoxy acquires a reputation for racism, the more nonracists will be turned off from it (as my brother was) and the more racists will be drawn into it.

You write: "I have some news for you: "Socialist" is not a dirty word. There are plenty of enlightened countries in the Western world with major political parties who call themselves "socialist", and some countries (such as Sweden) where those parties are heading the governments."

I agree! Tell that to the people who are attacking Obama as a socialist. Of course, it is inaccurate to call Obama a socialist, and any true socialist would quickly refute that notion. (I actually saw the nominee for the U.S. Socialist Party do just that, on Colbert's show.) But people who do use the term as a dirty word to put down Obama are being inflammatory and over-the-top. Of course, that doesn't automatically imply "racism." But it is the kind of rhetoric that can be a cover for bigotry.

As an analogy, think of people who denounce Israel as an "apartheid" state, or worse, a "terrorist" state. Many Jews regard such statements as anti-Semitic. But the people who make those statements may be firmly convinced of their truth and validity, and further, they may perceive that the "anti-Semite" charge is just a way of shutting down legitimate discussion. And indeed, there is some truth to the claim that supporters of Israel sometimes overuse the term "anti-Semite." But where should we draw the line between legitimate and illegitimate criticisms of Israel? And at what point are we justified in suspecting anti-Semitism? It's not an easy question, and depends greatly on one's point of view.

I'm sure that many of the Orthodox Jews who call Obama a "socialist" are firmly convinced it's true. And I'm willing to believe that not all of these people are using this inaccurate claim as a cover for racism. But it's so far out of reality, and racism is so common among Orthodox Jews, that I am frankly suspicious.

rockofgalilee said...

I would have to argue with your entire thesis about the percentage of Orthodox Jews who are racist.

Orthodox Jews are suspicious of anyone who is not an Orthodox Jew. A black person who converts and joins a community is generally accepted as well as any other convert.

JoeSettler said...

rog: Black?! I even know of Palestinian Arabs who converted and are accepted within the Jewish community.

But hey, if someone wants to paint the entire OJ community racist, (then as members of that community) who are we to argue with them?

rockofgalilee said...

I would say that since Orthodox Jews argue so much with each other, we must all be anti-semites.

Kylopod said...

I would have to argue with your entire thesis about the percentage of Orthodox Jews who are racist.

Did you hear me even give a percentage? I really have no idea what the exact proportion is. I can just vouch based on my experiences and the experiences of numerous others.

Orthodox Jews are suspicious of anyone who is not an Orthodox Jew.

That's not necessarily true. I'm not suspicious of anyone who's not Orthodox. And I know numerous others who aren't, either. And I'm the one who's making generalizations?!

A black person who converts and joins a community is generally accepted as well as any other convert.

In theory, yes. In practice, not necessarily. Try talking to an Orthodox Jew of color about his experiences. The ones I've heard from those I know or have read about are not always so pristine.

I don't consider that a good excuse, anyway. Disparaging non-Jewish blacks while making an exception for the occasional black Jew is hardly worthy of praise.

I would say that since Orthodox Jews argue so much with each other, we must all be anti-semites.

You wouldn't be the first. The novelist Israel Zangwill described the Prophets as the world's first anti-Semites.

LindaSoG said...

Yellow Dog, There are plenty of pictures, films, articles and yes, even books documenting the lefts support for terrorists, for communists and communism, their hatred for Jews and for Israel.

Still, as I said, my opinion here is based on what I have read in books but instead, is based on my own experiences with the left, on what I have seen with my own eyes and what I have heard with my own ears.

I will leave you with two quotes, the first from Norman Thomas, Membe of the U.S. Socialist Party and a Presidential candidate in 1940. He said “The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But, under the name of ‘liberalism,’ they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.”

The second quote is from Nikita Khrushchev and I'll assume you know he is. In 1959 he said: “We cannot expect the Americans to jump from capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving Americans small doses of socialism until they suddenly awake to find they have Communism.”

So. Let's spread the wealth around, after all, its only fair.

Tzipporah said...

Kylopod, I was the commenter he was mis-summarizing. I also didn't say "any American Jew who wishes to make aliyah for such a reason (or perhaps any Jew who disagrees with Obama at all) is simply a racist."

I did find the particular phrasing of the beginning of the post inflammatory, particularly coming out of a lot of discussion (at various other blogs) in which OJs *Esther*cough*Ira* etc. were reiterating a whole bunch of racist, ignorant nonsense about Obama and the election in general.

Sure, there may be people who really think Obama will be bad for America, and they'll be better off in Israel. And it may have nothing to do with race.

But unless they're corrupt millionaire membersof the current administration, I think they're wrong. I think we're ALL better off, now that we have a leader whose sole concern is the welfare of the country, and not the pockets of his cronies. Now that we have a leader who can string whole, complex sentences and thoughts together. Now that we have a leader we can be inspired by, not embarrassed by.

From my point of view, if you managed to stay in America even when we had the Shrub running things (into the ground), why would you leave now that things are finally going to go WELL for the country?

But then, I'm just a liberal commie pinko tree-hugger. :)

Tzipporah said...

And frankly, i'm just guessing.

HAS Joe S. actually explained WHY Obama's election would be "a big push for aliyah"?

What exactly DID he mean? Anyone know?

Tzipporah said...

Lidasog - first, how do you connect Obama to Che Guevara and Castro??

Secondly - "the left" is no more monolithic than "the right." I'm a lefty jew who supports Israel and wants a two-state solution mostly so we can legitimately bomb the crap out of any aggressive enemy without the international community getting all whiny about it.

Thirdly - socialism is the simple (torah) value that we are in a community together, and need to make sure that every member has access to the basic necessities of life: food, shelter, clothing, education. That is not communism. That is not capitalism. That is basic humanitarianism. And certainly something that every Jew would want for every other Jew.

Anonymous said...

Lindasog, if you can't even be bothered to get my name right how can I take your opinion seriously? Or was it deliberate? Was that what passes for political insight and critique in your world?

Do you seriously believe that what you consider to be the left are the only people who hate Jews and Israel, or support terrorism and 'communists' (sic).? Let alone whether or not that has anything to do with Obama. If so you need to get out more. But please, feel free to dig up 50 year old quotes as if they have any relevance at all in discussing the positions of Obama or today's left.

Socialism is not a four letter word. Nor is conservatism or liberalism for that matter.

You know, the funniest (or should that be the saddest?) thing of all is that the election of Barak Steve Obama motivates you to make Aliya within days, but 8 years of George W. Bush systematically undermining your rights, systematically undermining your security, systematically undermining American credibility in the world, weakening your country, seriously weakening Israel, and all the rest doesn't move you in the slightest.

Land of the free and home of brave indeed.

Yellow Boy

LindaSoG said...

Yellow Boy, I apologize for the name thing, I truly did not mean it. By way of explanation, I am on medication, post radiation therapy for a tumor. I guess my circuit disconnected and I think I thought of Old Yeller. I'm very sorry, I thought I was reviewing better than I was.

Still, that aside, I stand by my comments. I have never seen a republican with a sign that said end the Israeli Apartheid, or wearing a kaffeyah across their face, or holding a Israeli flag with a swastika drawn on it. But I've seen plenty of democrats like that.

Sharon is responsible for what happened to Gaza, and Olmert for what came after. You can't blame George Bush for that. Just as the American people elected Obama, the Israeli people had their elections as well.

I'm proud of what my country and its military has accomplished in Iraq.

Have you read the news? One of the very first executive orders Obama has vowed to sign will lift the embargo on Cuba, so that money will once again flow from America into Cuba, taking money out of our economy to line the pockets of the communist dictator. Good thing he has our best interests in mind, huh?

He also plans to cancel the executive order to drill for oil, making sure that we keep sending lots and lots money to the middle east for years and years to come. That's certainly in our best interests, huh?

What makes you think that any change Obama is going to bring to America will be good? What are you basing that belief on? Because he says so?

You want to know what Obama is capable of? What happens when he is charge? What kind of changes he brings about?

Tell you what, why don't you do a little bit of research about what kind of changes Obama brought to his district in Chicago?

Go look at what he's done for the good people in his district. It's all there for you to see. Go. Look. Learn. See what kind of change you voted for.

And after you've seen what there is to see, take whatever excuses you choose to make for the obamessiah and keep them to yourself. I have no interest in hearing them. I've heard them all before, many times over the last 18 months.

I can agree to disagree with all of you, and I wish you all the very best in the future.

May the change that comes your way be all you hoped for.

triLcat said...

"Orthodox Jews are suspicious of anyone who is not an Orthodox Jew."

Right. And McCain is an Orthodox Jew???

Any criticisms I have of Obama have nothing to do with his skin color. I have a lot of similar criticisms of Biden. He's just not in the pilot's seat at the moment, so he's not an easy target.

Anonymous said...

Life’s to short to respond to this, but I’ll give it a go. For the Craic.

I didn’t vote Obama, I’m not American. Nor do I see him as your Messiah. But surely the fact that both Presidential candidates promoted a message of change and that McCain sought to distance himself as far as possible from Bush tells you something about his legacy and the state of America today.

A strong America is vital to Israel’s interests, America today (at least under Bush) lacks any kind of credibility in the world, primarily because of the unnecessary war of choice in Iraq. Consequently the options vis-à-vis Iran’s nuclear program- an actual real and present danger to Israel and the rest of the world- are limited. Israel specifically warned the US before the Iraq war that the Iranian nuclear program should be of greater concern, but was ignored. But Bush is Israel’s greatest friend right?

Specific American tactical failures in Iraq gave encouragement to the Jihadis, particularly Hezbollah who trained their fighters based on the lessons learned in Iraq. Nasrallah himself has said that seeing the ‘strongest army in the world’ unable to deal with certain types of attack helped him make up his mind to attack Israel in 2006.

Clearly America and Bush are not directly to blame for the second Lebanon war or the international pressure Israel is under, but a weakened America lacking international credibility weakens us. When a nuclear Iran is on the horizon this issue is critical.

Regarding oil, the best way to reduce America and the rest of the world’s reliance on Middle Eastern oil, is to develop alternative sources of energy. Oh, this has the added side effect of slowing the destruction of our planet. This is what was proposed in countless environmental programs, such as Kyoto, in the last eight years. Which leading oil using country refused to participate? Which country preferred to send money to Saudi Arabia? Which country, purely coincidentally was run by a former oilman who received millions in campaign support from the oil lobby? In any case, from what I understand, the Alaskan and other oil sources in the nature reserves will barely dent American needs.

Again, don’t you think it’s telling that both Presidential candidate rejected the Bush approach? Don’t you think it is telling that America chose Barack Steve Obama who rejected it more stridently?

Regarding Cuba, some questions:

1) Can you point to me any positive consequence for Americans or Cubans that have resulted from the American embargo?
2) Can you name any other communist (or for that matter fascist dictatorships) countries with equally problematic human rights records with which America does trade?
3) What effect do you think Guantanemo has on American credibility when Bush talks of freedom or democracy?

And finally so you’ve seen some idiots with defaced Israeli flags, so what? Why are they representative of the left? The right and the Republicans have more than their fair share of idiots too. Is David Duke representative of the Republican Party? Are those Evangelical Christians who believe all Jews must move to Israel so as to bring about Armageddon representative of the right? Are they good friends of Israel and the Jews? Are they sufficient a reason not to ever vote Republican? (I don’t think so). There are enough idiots to go round, believe me.

And I’m spent.

Yellow Boy

LindaSoG said...

sigh. I'm spent too Yellow Boy, we have all be having this same argument for far too long. But I'm just so pleased to see that we finally found points upon which we can agree on, two of them!

A weakened America is bad, bad for America and bad for Israel, so, when Barack Obama follows through with his vow to reduce our military, it will put America in grave danger, and will also put Israel in grave danger as well.

And a nuclear Iran is a bad thing for the world, including America, and most especially Israel. Barack Obama's position that Israel must learn to accept a nuclear Iran tells me exactly how he feels about Israel, and nothing he says counters that one single position, because sooner or later, Iran will attempt to make good on its promise to wipe Israel from the face of the earth.

These are indeed terrible times we live in.

Lurker said...

Tzipporah: I'm a lefty jew who supports Israel and wants a two-state solution mostly so we can legitimately bomb the crap out of any aggressive enemy without the international community getting all whiny about it.

Really? You mean the like in the summer of 2006 -- six years after we withdrew from south Lebanon -- when our "aggressive enemy" Hizbollah in Lebanon kidnapped our soldiers and bombed us with rockets -- whereupon we responded by "legitimately bombing the crap out of them", and the international community didn't "get all whiny about it"?? You've got to be kidding.

Or perhaps you mean like what happened after we disengaged completely from Gaza in the summer of 2005: All the politicians who supported the idiotic "disengagement" explained to us that once we were completely out of there, we would be able to "bomb the crap" out of Hamas the second that they even dared to launch a single Kassam rocket over the border at us, and that the international community would not object. Not exactly what happened, hmm? Instead, Sderot and other western Negev communities started getting battered 24/7 by dozens of missles per day, turning the residents' lives into a nonstop living hell, and they kidnapped Gilad Shalit. And do I really have to describe to you the scathing international condemnations Israel has been subjected to when we responded in any way whatsover? And I'm not even talking about "bombing the crap out of them"; I'm talking about when we "retaliated" against the rocket attacks by cutting off (or just reducing) the (free) electricity and fuel that we supply them with. The entire world condemned us for creating a "humanitarian crisis". (This happened again just yesterday.) So as a result of the "disengagement", tens of thousands of Israeli men, women, and children are living in constant abject fear, and the emasculated government, which would do practically anything to avoid the dreaded "whining" of the international community, does nothing to defend them.

If you actually still believe, in spite of the evidence of reality, that ceding land to our bloodthirsty, fanatic enemies will somehow enable us to "legitimately bomb the crap out of any aggressive enemy without the international community getting all whiny about it", then, with all due respect, you are living in a self-imposed fantasy world.

Superb Jon said...

Why blame Aliya Jews collapsing USA by moving money to India? Carolignian Brzezinski spawned Zia al Haq, Khomeini, and bin Laden - breaks up superpowers via Aztlan and Kosovo as per Joel Garreau's Nine Nations. Brzezinski, Buckley and Buchanan winked anti-Semitic votes for Obama, delivered USA to Pope's feudal basket of Bamana Republics. Michael Pfleger and Joe Biden prove Obama is the Pope's boy. Talal got Pontifical medal as Fatima mandates Catholic-Muslim union against Jews (Francis Johnson, Great Sign, 1979, p. 126), Catholic Roger Taney wrote Dred Scott decision. John Wilkes Booth, Tammany Hall and Joe McCarthy were Catholics. Now Catholic majority Supreme Court. NYC top drop outs: Hispanic 32%, Black 25%, Italian 20%. NYC top illegals: Ecuadorean, Italian, Polish. Ate glis-glis but blamed plague on others, now lettuce coli. Their bigotry most encouraged terror yet they reap most security funds. Rabbi circumcizes lower, Pope upper brain. Tort explosion by glib casuistry. Bazelya 1992 case proves PLO-IRA-KLA links.

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