(December 27, 2016 / JNS) By Morton A. Klein/JNS.org
It was particularly painful and frustrating seeing President Barack Hussein Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power team up on an anti-Semitic knifing of Israel in the back at the U.N.—particularly because so few people listened during the months when my organization, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), issued press releases, held press conferences, spoke on TV and radio, and published full-page ads in the New York Times and other newspapers warning that Obama would betray Israel at the U.N. after the 2016 election. (See ZOA’s Oct. 29 New York Times ad, entitled “After Elections, Will Obama Betray Israel at the U.N.?”)
ZOA pleaded with other Jewish organizations and leaders, and with U.S. senators, to join our campaign to stop Obama from doing grave damage to Israel at the U.N. But those groups and leaders responded, “Don’t be silly, Obama will never do this.”
I have been unable to sleep, thinking about how a relentless united Jewish front may have stopped Obama, may have smoked him out to expose his position early on. We might not be stuck today trying to unravel a vicious resolution that promotes ethnically cleansing the Jewish people from our millennia-old homeland, indefensible 1949 armistice lines that had no legal basis, and anti-Semitic legal actions and boycotts.
If only the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and similar groups had not refused to support the legal, political, historic and religious right of Jews to live in the Jewish homelands in Judea and Samaria as well as eastern Jerusalem. Some groups openly opposed this right, sending a message to Obama and the world that Jews were divided on this critical issue.
ZOA’s ads cited flashing warning signs that Obama was plotting to pass an anti-Israel, anti-Semitic resolution. Obama’s U.S. State Department began “strongly condemning” Israel for building a few apartments and threatened to “reconsider” U.S. policy at the U.N. Obama’s “echo chamber” at The New York Times and like-minded media simultaneously published virtually identical condemnations and demands for U.N. actions. The White House crossed out the word “Israel” from late statesman Shimon Peres’s burial location in Jerusalem. In his Peres eulogy, Obama falsely accused Israel of enslaving Palestinians. A WikiLeaks document revealed the Obama administration’s plan for “consequences” against Israel’s refusal to freeze construction.
ZOA also predicted eight years ago that Obama “will be the worst president for Israel ever.” During his first presidential campaign, Obama told The New York Times on May 16, 2008, that “Hamas and Hezbollah…have legitimate claims.” Obama worshiped for 22 years at the anti-Semitic church where Reverend Jeremiah Wright, whom Obama called a great man and mentor, shouted “God damn America” and “God damn Israel.” Obama befriended the virulently anti-Israel and anti-Semitic Louis Farrakhan, Edward Said, Rashid Khalidi and “Electronic Intifada” founder Ali Abunimah, as well as the radical Bill Ayers.
Obama’s first act as president-elect was threatening Israel to stop defending itself from Hamas rockets in Gaza. It was not coincidental that Israel prematurely ended its efforts to wipe out Hamas’s rocket arsenals the day before Obama was sworn into office in January 2009.
During his 2009 Cairo speech, Obama falsely likened Israel’s treatment of Palestinian Arabs to the Nazis’ treatment of Jews.
During Hamas’s latest war against Israel in 2014, Obama sent Hamas-ruled Gaza $47 million, urged Israel to accept an early cease-fire with pro-Hamas terms, refused to send critical arms to Israel for days, and unnecessarily briefly stopped American commercial flights to Israel. He also reduced funding for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, only to have Congress reinstate it.
When the Palestinian Authority (PA) formed a unity government with Hamas, whose charter calls for Israel’s destruction and murdering every Jew, Obama proclaimed he would continue funding the PA.
Obama pushed through the catastrophic Iran nuclear deal, giving a regime bent on Israel’s and America’s annihilation $150 billion in sanctions relief and a path to a nuclear bomb. Additionally, he released hundreds of Islamist terrorists from Guantanamo Bay, one-third of whom have returned to terrorism actions.
But Obama was not satisfied with giving Iran the means to destroy Israel. Obama’s ingrained anti-Semitism is so deep that he also apparently needed to drive another knife into Israel’s back last week.
After the fact, many Jewish groups and leaders joined with ZOA, bipartisan Congress members, and others to condemn the horrendous U.N. Security Council resolution.
But we must do more now.
It’s time to unite to support real action—such as the proposal by U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) to eliminate funding to the U.N. and PA until Resolution 2334 is reversed.
It’s time for AIPAC and other Jewish groups to proclaim that Jerusalem is not negotiable, and that Jews have the right to live in our homeland in eastern Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria. It’s time to join ZOA in explaining that Jerusalem is mentioned 700 times in the Torah—but never in the Koran—and is not holy to Muslims.
It’s time for AIPAC and others to stop promoting a Palestinian state (the so-called “two-state solution”), and to join us in explaining that experience, polling and Palestinian-Arab leaders’ own statements demonstrate that this “solution” would be a Hamas-Iran-PLO terrorist state that seeks to obliterate Israel.
It’s time for Hadassah and the Conservative movement, and others, to end their campaigns against incoming White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and to instead condemn anti-Semites such as Keith Ellison.
It’s time for Jewish groups to appreciate our friends who tried to stop the horrendous Security Council resolution, including President-elect Donald Trump and his great nominee for U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, and Bannon.
And it’s time for us to all work together with the pro-Israel incoming Trump administration to repair the damage that Obama, Kerry and Power have wrought.
Morton A. Klein is president of the Zionist Organization of America.