President Barack Obama speaks in the briefing room of the White House in Washington on Dec. 8. Photo by Reuters/Kevin Lamarque
This past week a people who pride themselves on how smart they are instead showed how stupid some of us Jews can be when it comes to political candidates pandering to us on the subject of Israel. With some Jews wondering if President Obama has decided to throw Israel to the hounds, the current crop of Republican wanna-be’s went before something called the Republican Jewish Coalition and promised everything except moshiach tomorrow.
Whether it was immediately moving the Embassy to Jerusalem, or indicting Iran President Ahmadinejad “for the crime of incitement to genocide” (where exactly is that a crime or who does the indicting?), or hinting at “regime change” in Iran (Hoo-boy, another Mideast war; we’re all up for that), or calling for the removal of the US ambassador to Israel, the son of Holocaust survivors, because he remarked that some anti-Semitism in the world stemmed from Israeli-Palestinian tensions (now there’s a radical statement), it was red meat time for Obama haters.
Later in the week Newt Gingrich, went everyone one better (his forte) by calling Palestinians “an invented” people, Arabs who “had a chance to go many places” when the Ottoman empire broke up. I can see the haters slipping in their own drool, but tell me where at this point, geopolitically, it adds anything positive to the debate or the Peace Process.
That Obama has stood steadfastly by Israel, increased military assistance in quantity and quality (think bunker-busting bombs), means nothing to Obama haters. Where Gingrich said that he “believed the Jewish people have the right to have a state,” Obama has gone him one better and said it must be a “Jewish state,” and promised to kill any effort at the UN to prematurely recognize a State of Palestine. No matter.
No, this was the week for piling on, so it was with no surprise that I opened a forwarded email from a Jewish friend of the conservative persuasion with a link to something called countercontempt.com, “the official site of Republican Party Animals” (there’s an image), excoriating Obama for having the gross disrespect to have a Hannukah celebration in the White House on December 8th, the 24th (an important number in Judaism?) anniversary of the beginning of the First Intifada.
Of course all Jews know that the day after the “day that will live in infamy” is the anniversary of the First Intifada. (What, you didn’t know?) And how dare the President make a point to celebrate, in the White House, a holiday belonging to 3% of the country’s population (and ignored by half of those). How dare he light all the candles on one day, and how dare he move it up to a day outside of Hannukah because the White House will be empty when the holiday starts at sundown, the 20th. (Although Republican Congressional Grinches might just keep him there until Christmas Eve this year). Let’s boil that Jew-hating, Israel-hating President in oil for this slap in the face!
But what, I wrote my emailing friend, if they got it wrong? What if the Intifada really began on December 7th or 9th. And so to the computer, and you know what? According to MidEastWeb.org, Wikipedia, and Palestinefacts.org the First Intifada began on December 9th – that’s right, a day that shall forever now live “in infamy” for the Republican Party Animals and all those who think it’s important to disseminate their ridiculous rancor. For example, this comment to the web post:
“I do not believe this was an accident…Truth is obama & admin. are not for the Jewish people or Israel. They had the dinner to fool the Jews so they will vote for him again. The fact that they picked this day and he lit all the candles proves this was not for the good of the Jewish people…This is no joke & a very serious issue….”
Read a rebuttal to this column here.