Monday, July 12, 2010

In Obama's mind, it's always about him, with a little racism thrown in

I'm still marveling over his comment to Israeli television in response to a question about Israeli suspicions of his policies.
During the interview Wednesday, when confronted with the anxiety that some Israelis feel toward him, Obama said that "some of it may just be the fact that my middle name is Hussein, and that creates suspicion."

"Ironically, I've got a Chief of Staff named Rahm Israel Emmanuel. My top political advisor is somebody who is a descendent of Holocaust survivors. My closeness to the Jewish American community was probably what propelled me to the U.S. Senate," Obama said.
Wow! He manages to be offensive in so many ways in just a couple of sentences. First there is the implication that Israelis are so racist that they distrust him just because of his middle name. He slides over all his policies that have led Israelis to perceive him as being anti-Israel. His gratuitous snubs of Netanyahu when he was here for his first White House visit. His moral equivalence that always sets up parallels between the Israelis and the Palestinians when it comes to violence. His administration's hissy fit about the Israelis building a housing settlement on their own land. His pressure on Israel to end the blockade of Gaza despite all the attacks launched from Gaza against Israelis. His demands that Israel stop all settlements, even ones for natural growth. His ignoring all the steps that Israel has taken time and again to negotiate with the Palestinians only to be met with rejection and violence. His representatives sitting silent while anti-Israeli measures were inserted into the final Durban II statement.

Nyah none of that could cause Israelis to have their doubts about the guy. It's got to be just their ignorant, knee-jerk racist response to his middle name. He just oozes patronizing contempt for anyone who doesn't buy into his whole messianic pose.

As Paul Mirengoff points out
, Obama's premise doesn't even make sense.
Obama overlooks the fact that , prior to Obama's first meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu, only 14 percent of Israelis considered him more pro-Palestinian than pro-Israeli. After that meeting, and when Obama insisted that Israel not engage in even "natural growth" construction in its established settlements, the number jumped to 55 percent.

What was Obama's middle name in May 2009, Shlomo?

Then you gotta love his added "some of my best friends are Jewish" shtick. I know that liberals think that bean-counting is everything when it comes to appealing to various ethnic groups, but perhaps Israelis, who face an existential threat every day, care more about substance than whether or not Obama has some Jews on his staff. And the substance has not been encouraging.