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Playing the race card against Israel

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks on the phone to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on June 8, 2009. Credit: Pete Souza/White House.
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks on the phone to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on June 8, 2009. Credit: Pete Souza/White House.

When all else fails, play the race card.

With the White House campaign against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu running out of steam, the administration’s supporters scraped the bottom of the barrel last week, suggesting that the Israeli leader is a racist for accepting the invitation from Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner (R-Ohio).

A number of members of the Congressional Black Caucus emerged from a recent meeting with Obama to announce that they will not attend Netanyahu’s speech to Congress. As U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) said, it was “about President Barack Obama being a black man disrespected by a foreign leader.”

Congressional Black Caucus chairman Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) told reporters, implausibly, that the subject of Netanyahu’s speech “didn’t come up” during their 90-minute meeting with the president. But then he proceeded to lambast Israel’s leader for supposedly being “disrespectful.”

Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.) echoed the “disrespectful” charge. Rep. Greg Meeks (D-N.Y.) chimed in that Netanyahu’s decision “is an insult to the president of the United States.”

An insult?

They want to talk about Obama, Netanyahu, and insults?

How about the distributing photo of Obama with his feet on his desk, and letting it be known that it was taken while he was talking on the phone to Israel’s prime minister?

How about Obama getting up in the middle of a meeting with Netanyahu and telling him to wait (for more than an hour) while the president went to eat dinner with Michelle and the girls?

How about Obama complaining to the president of France, in front of a live microphone, that he is burdened with “having to deal with” Netanyahu?

How about Obama’s senior aide telling the media that Netanyahu is comparable to chicken excrement?

Those are genuine insults.

Now add irony to insult—compare the anger of the Congressional Black Caucus at Israel to the silence of that Caucus regarding Arab and Muslim maltreatment of blacks, including actual slavery, around the world.

In the Darfur region of Sudan, government-sponsored Arab militias have slaughtered 300,000 blacks and made refugees out of 2 million more. Human Rights Watch recently reported that Sudanese Arab soldiers have raped hundreds of black girls and women en masse.

In Nigeria, the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram kidnaps and enslaves black girls.

In Mauritania, Arabs hold between 10 and 20 percent of the black population in slavery, CNN reported last year.

When was the last time the Congressional Black Caucus said anything about the persecution of blacks in Arab or Muslim countries? Where are the angry marches, the congressional resolutions, the demands for action by the U.S. government? Have they even taken five minutes to issue a measly press release about the mass rape of black girls in Darfur?

This is the real insult—the insult to our intelligence that the Congressional Black Caucus has delivered by slandering Israel while the real racists of the Muslim world get away scot-free.

Moshe Phillips and Benyamin Korn are president and chairman, respectively, of the Religious Zionists of America, Philadelphia, and candidates on the Religious Zionist slate in the World Zionist Congress elections.

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