Does Barack Obama hate Israel? Or maybe a better question is: How much does Obama hate Israel? During his recent speech at American University on his capitulation to Iran's nuclear program, Obama made the case for his appeasement by claiming that only Israel opposed it. "Because this is such a strong deal, every nation in the world that has commented publicly, with the exception of the Israeli government, has expressed support," Obama said.
This was an ominous sign for two reasons:
1) It's a flat-out baldfaced lie that Israel is the only nation on record as opposing the effective approval of Iran's nuclear arms program. Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern nations are every bit as alarmed about this deal as Israel — and with good reason. Saudi Arabia is the likeliest first target of Iran's nuclear weapons — even likelier than Israel and the United States.
2) It betrays eagerness on the part of Obama and his administration to vilify and further isolate the one and only Jewish state in the world, one that lives precariously in the most explosive and dangerous neighborhood in the world and one that has remarkably few dependable friends and allies in the world.
By the way, there's one more nation that has spoken out clearly against the deal — the United States of America. Congress opposes it — including some leading Democrats. The American people oppose it by a margin of 2-to-1, according to one poll. Another shows that only 1 in 4 support the deal. So just who is in favor of this deal besides the Obama administration?
But the bigger concern on my mind is Obama's conscious willingness to isolate Israel, to marginalize the Jewish state's concern about its survival, to trivialize the security worries of half the Jewish population in the world. It smacks of the kind of anti-Semitism we've seen in the past — in which Jews were blamed for problems in the world and accused of wielding too much influence.
That was at the root of Nazi Germany's "case" against the Jews.
But it went further than that. Obama also cited opposition to the Iran deal from "lobbyists and pundits." He said: "Between now and the congressional vote in September, you are going to hear a lot of arguments against this deal, backed by tens of millions of dollars in advertising. And if the rhetoric in these ads and the accompanying commentary sounds familiar, it should, for many of the same people who argued for the war in Iraq are now making the case against the Iran nuclear deal."
Whom was Obama talking about with regard to lobbyists? And where is this advertising money coming from? Most observers assume Obama was alluding to pro-Israel groups. Again, this kind of insinuation is dangerously close to the historical baiting of Jews who have used their money to influence policy decisions. It's the same old canard used in the 1930s by Adolf Hitler. Obama employs it without batting an eye, without any self-consciousness whatsoever, without shame.
So what am I saying? Am I suggesting Obama is a vicious and open anti-Semite? No, but I am saying he is reckless in the way he vilifies and isolates Israel, a tiny Jewish state at constant risk.
I am also saying he is incredibly tone-deaf politically not to recognize how his words will be interpreted all over the world — especially in the Middle East, where Israel is surrounded by hundreds of millions of people who irrationally hate the Jewish state.
I am also saying it may well be true that the president of the United States harbors great resentment and visceral contempt toward Israel and the Jewish people.
I am also saying it may not even matter whether Obama's slurs against Israel and the Jewish state were intentional. The impact is the same. What he's doing is tragic no matter what his motivations are.
To find out more about Joseph Farah and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.