Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Obama's obsession with Israel: Is it just our imagination?

by Lurker

Sometimes good ideas come from the most unlikely of sources.

A couple of days ago, JoeSettler did a post in which he examined the question of how often President Obama and his top officials talk about Israel or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Examining the week of Aug. 17-21, he found (with a little help from yours truly) that Israel was discussed on every single day. And he suggested — quite correctly — that this would seem to indicate an obsession with Israel on the part of the Administration.

Some people disagreed, however. One anonymous commenter wrote derisively that our analysis left him "laughing out loud". He criticized the information as presented, arguing that Israel is not mentioned by the Administration any more than other countries:
Why don't you google Egypt or France or Canada and see how many times the sec of state the labor scty and other major gvnmt officials mentioned them.
Now, I wasn't sure I saw the point of looking for references to foreign countries from the Secretary of Labor, a government official who deals primarily with domestic issues — as opposed to the Secretary of State or the President himself, who also deal with foreign affairs. Nevertheless, the overall idea in the commenter's suggestion sounded quite reasonable to me. So, I decided to carry out his proposal.

Rather than googling, I examined the sources directly, in order to get thoroughly precise and reliable figures: I went through all speeches, press briefings, news releases, and blog posts for the duration of the period that was analyzed in Joe's post (Aug. 17-21), tallying every single reference made to each of the three countries listed by our anonymous critic — France, Canada, and Egypt — as well as Israel. The sources surveyed were the following:
Here are the final results:

France: 0 references.
Canada: 3 references.
Egypt: 52 references. (Of these, 9 were in direct connection with Israel.)
Israel: 87 references.

A couple of notes:
  1. As I had suspected, there were no references whatsoever to any of these countries from the Department of Labor.
  2. This was from a week during which Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was in Washington, holding meetings and press conferences with President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton. (This explains the high number of references to Egypt, which is considerably higher than the number of references to Egypt during previous weeks.) No high-ranking Israeli officials were in Washington during the week in question. In spite of this, references to Israel still exceeded references to Egypt by more than 67%.
  3. References to Israel exceeded references to Canada (one of the countries our critic advised us to compare) by a ratio of 29:1.
  4. As compared with 87 references to Israel, France (another country our critic advised us to compare) was not mentioned even once.
I found the transcript of Obama's and Mubarak's joint press conference particularly fascinating: In this press conference with the President of Egypt, Egypt was mentioned only 9 times. Israel, on the other hand, was mentioned 19 times.

I want to thank the commenter (pity he was anonymous; otherwise I'd thank him by name) for his shrewd suggestion that we should compare the count of references to Israel with that of references to France, Canada, and Egypt. The results clearly indicate that the Administration is even more obsessed with Israel that I had previously imagined.

Our anonymous commenter is free, of course, to continue laughing at the facts and figures — even the ones that he himself suggested we examine. But intelligent readers can certainly draw the logical conclusions for themselves.

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


Daganev said...

That's really interesting.

But a question. Can the same be done for the same week in 1992 or in 2000, to compare presidents.

Is Israel an obsession of Obama or American presidents?

Also, why was that week chosen?

JoeSettler said...


I originally chose to examine that week because I was posting my Obama posts in reaction to the noise emanating from the White House (and Obama) about Israel.

I write my Obama posts as timely reactions to when the Obama regime is overly obsessing about Israel.

So when you see my posts, you will find the Obama staff have been busy making/expressing their plans against Israel that week.

And as I said, if He leaves us alone, I'll leave Him alone.

Lurker's research show that Obama's obsession with Israel is worse than we thought.

Anonymous said...

Lurker: You're such an angry, settler fool.

Obama is not obsessed with Israel. Israel is obsessed with Obama.

No on cares about about Israel in the US -- and the fact the you can find Israel mentioned is simply because the media likes to harp about Israel.

The #1 Obama issue in the US is the much needed Healthcare reform that our president is trying to implement.

Thanks God you fools arent attacking him for that as well.

Lurker said...

Anonymous 8:02 AM: You're such an angry, settler fool. Obama is not obsessed with Israel. Israel is obsessed with Obama. No on cares about about Israel in the US -- and the fact the you can find Israel mentioned is simply because the media likes to harp about Israel.

I'm not sure whether it's even worth taking the effort to respond to such astoundingly obtuse statements, but for the record:

(1) The references to Israel that were examined here were those of the White House and State Department; not of the media.

(2) A sure indication that someone is obsessed with a given topic is that he "likes to harp about" that topic.

If you have as a difficult a time comprehending this comment as you did comprehending the post, maybe try asking your parents or your teacher to explain it to you.

garfield said...

"Lurker: You're such an angry, settler fool."

sounds like anon is such an angry, anti-semitic fool.

anon if you would overcoome your anti-semitism and calm down maybe you can start expressing yourself intelligently

Lurker said...

Daganev: Can the same be done for the same week in 1992 or in 2000, to compare presidents.
Is Israel an obsession of Obama or American presidents?

Past administrations also placed disproportionate negative focus upon Israel. (For the record, I am not a "GOP Jew", and I certainly don't believe that G. W. Bush was a great friend of Israel.) But it appears that the degree of this disproportionate focus has nonetheless intensified under the Obama Administration.

As for doing a similar analysis of past administrations' remarks on Israel vis-a-vis other countries, I will leave that as an exercise for the reader.

Yacov said...

Obama is a dangerous Bimbo with an Ishmael hate virus unfortunately
see Gen 12:3
he is far from alone

Anonymous said...

g w bush was a good friends with israel and the jews. he supplied weapons for 2 wars, while his advisors told him not to.

if you think that his public opinion on israel wasnt so semitic, well duh. he cannot excatly portray a grand 'ole love affair with israel while he is the leader of the free world.

i would think that by seeing what obama ym"s is doing to us, you would realise what a blessing G. w. was.

Lurker said...

Anonymous @ 5:04 PM: i would think that by seeing what obama ym"s is doing to us, you would realise what a blessing G. w. was.

Oh yes, he was a real "blessing". Let's count some of those "blessings": Bush gave us the "Road Map", which officially barred Jews from their right to build in Yesha. Then he forced Annapolis down our throats. Both of these were attempts to force Israel into continuing the failed, suicidal Oslo policies. I would also note that Bush's Secretary of State used to openly compare Israel's "persecution" of the Palestinians with the oppression of Black Americans in the South. Neither Obama nor Clinton have ever had the gall to utter such a sick, repugnant statement.

To date, Obama has not taken any substantive position that goes significantly beyond Bush's "Road Map" and Annapolis process. (I'm not excluding the possibility that he will in the future.) Your blind worship of Bush is foolish and completely unwarranted.

Anonymous @ 5:04 PM: if you think that his public opinion on israel wasnt so semitic, well duh. he cannot excatly portray a grand 'ole love affair with israel while he is the leader of the free world.

This sort of craven apologetics is both ridiculous and pitiful. If the President of the United States believes in the Jewish People's right to live wherever they wish in their own homeland, and in Israel's right to defend itself against terrorist murderers, then damn straight that he should come out and say it! Why shouldn't he? He certainly would have the backing of the vast majority of Congess! Bush was a pathetic wimp who followed the instructions of the State Department's Arabists to push Israel up against a wall, and deny her some of the most basic rights of a sovereign state. Your attempt to defend him is preposterous. I would also note that if one were to accept your absurd claim that the "leader of the free world" cannot show true support for Israel (for mysterious reasons that you do not provide), then there is no reason at all why this same defense should not be used for Obama as well.

Yacov said...

the Book says that the heart of a King is hidden in the Hand of God and He moves it any way He wants
We should remember that Jerusalem is the anvil for the world to learn with some pain, the way of God's Salvation and hope through the Jews
Gen 12:3
most of whom dont know their Book nor Messiah [Jeshuah] yet either

preacher said...

i am a very young, and uneducated man. if i were to argue with you, i would forsure lose, and in the proccess make myself look foolish.

though to me, it seems that politics is a lot about talking. poloticians do a lot of talking threatning and suggesting.

to me, IN MY OWN PERSONAL OPINION, it seemed as if bush did the same talking that every other president did. israel needs to do this, and israel needs to do that. but as you said, there is an obsession with israel by Mr hussein obama. i am worried that this will turn into something more than just talking. if G-d forbid another war would break out now, between us and our arab neighbors, would it be safe to assume that obama would have the same "non-involvement" position that other presidents had? i think he will take the side of the arabs, and make it more dificult for the israelis to protect themselves.

again my personal opinion, and i dont worship bush. i just think that what we have now is way, way worse.

Anonymous said...

O.K., I can't lie. I'm still laughing out loud. Only harder, now.
To clarify, I'm the anonymous commentor who wrote about your weird obsession with President Obama on the "poster" post, and I'm the anonymous commentor who pointed out about how many comments the Obama administration has/ hasn't made about Israel.
I'm not the angry person who lunged at Lurker above, or any of the other anonymous commentors who have weighed in.
I would like to point out that I like Jameel and have on and off read this blog for years. I'm not angry at everything you post, though I usually do not see things the same way as you all politically.
I would also like to point out that commenting anonymously on this blog should not be regarded as cowardly or less than legit. Although I only follow Jameel, he has remained anonymous for quite some time, and I suspect Lurker and Joe Settler are as well (though I don't really know, so don't castigate me if I'm incorrect).
O.K., enough housekeeping.
How funny are you guys?
The count is now 3/10 for blog posts about President Obama. 2 of them are actually about how often President Obama has mentioned Israel and one was about an obscure poster that is apparently all over America. Do you see my point yet?
The idea that you have researched how often the Obama administration has mentioned Israel, well, that's funny, sad, and pitiful, all at the same time. When I mentioned the Labor Department, it was meant to lampoon you for how fastidious you were in watching everything our government said. I suppose it would have been funnier if I had mentioned housing and urban development or Parks and Recreation (not a real dept of the US govt-- actually the Dept of the Interior, so no need to see how often it mentioned Israel). And Canada and France? Guys, you really do need to get out a bit more. My point was metaphorical.
I suppose I shouldn't even point out how silly you are with this whole thing, but just for a second I'll indulge you. The President was meeting with the leader of Egypt, and spoke with the King of Jordan. It's really not a big surprise that he mentioned Israel, even if he mentioned it more than Egypt. HE WAS SITTING WITH MUBARAK AT THE TIME.
But more to the point, who cares? He is the President of the United States and his government has many strategic and tactical concerns in the region. It is unimportant how often he mentions Israel. How often you mention him, well, that's just weird.
The idea that you would research how many times he, his blog, his Sec of State, and yes,this is my favorite, his LABOR DEPARTMENT mentioned Israel just makes all of you a little less than sane.
I can only hope that you will take the bait, so here goes: I imagine President Obama and his Health and Human Services Secretary mentioned Israel less than they mentioned Russia, Uganda and Lichtenstein...

Lurker said...

To Anonymous @ 7:16 PM:

I've said what I think needs to be said, and I believe that the facts speak quite loudly for themselves. So I'll leave it at this point to the readers to make their own judgements regarding the Obama Administration's inordinate focus on Israel.

Just one side point: I did, admittedly, make a snarky remark that it's a pity you're anonymous, since that prevents me from thanking you by name. But the intent was not to imply that someone who posts anonymously is "cowardly or less than legit". (Although I do think that it's preferable to use a name -- not necessarily a real one -- simply in order to be able to distinguish comments from one another.)

preacher said...

post #8 and post #11 were made by me. preacher.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I think being an anonymous poster is absurd, bordering on repugnant. To blog without having to put your name on your work, or to write any piece with no risk of any responsibility for your statements is pure verbal diarrhea. It lends to hyperbole and grandiosity, and of course to a pure sense of reckless abandon.
To quote one of my favorite pieces of bathroom grafiti:
Never be ashamed of who you are.
It was signed:anonymous

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