Obama: Still Not Ready for Prime Time

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18 Responses

  1. Yehoshua Friedman says:

    The United States is a strategic liability of Israel. It is time to stop taking American money and diversify our options in India, China and Eastern Europe. Israel, like any country, and the Jews throughout history have had no permanent friends, only shifting allies. France and the USSR used to be Israel’s allies. That changed. The shifting sands of diplomacy may soon find us in trouble with the US. It is time to be ahead of the curve for once instead of behind. As the dollar falls, so does the mantle of American power. And let us get the Jews home.

  2. Ori says:

    From discussions with members of the military, freeing troops from Iraq so they can fight in Afghanistan is nonsensical anyway. The limiting factor on US forces in Afghanistan is not the availability of troops, but logistics – the ability to provide needed supplies.

    Landlocked Afghanistan has no ports. Being poor and mountainous, it has no railroads either. This means that every round of ammunition and every gallon of fuel has to move by truck or by airlifted. A modern military uses a lot of ammunition and fuel.

  3. Adamchik says:

    I am frequently mystified by Jewish concerns about Obama, the proponents of which usually overlook the same problems with Republicans.

    Recall that in January President Bush called for “painful political concessions” and “a contiguous Palestinian state.”

    I can only imagine what would be said about Obama had he suggested a “contiguous Palestinian state” and “an end to occupation of Arab lands” as Bush did.

    Even in January Bush said that a peace agreement by the end of 2008 was possible and “I am committed to doing all I can to achieve it.” He also suggested compensation for Palestinians and their descendants

    I doubt that Democratic president will find a Secretary of State as hostile to Israel as Colin Powell or Condoleeza Rice have been.

    We also know that Stephen Hadley, the White House National Security Advisor, has been in Turkey to speak with the Iranians, despite any talk of “appeasement.”

    Democratic leaders are far from perfect, and some farther than others.

    But the (conservative) Jewish blindness to the damage and danger posed by the Republicans is mystifying.

  4. Bob Miller says:

    If this combination appeals to you, you might consider voting for Obama:

    1. Virtually no legislative record
    2. Will say or disavow anything for political advantage
    3. Close associations with political radicals from childhood
    4. Confused as to what a President is sworn to defend
    5. Leads cult of the clueless

  5. Aaron says:

    Will some haredim still sell their votes to Obama as they did for the notorious Mrs. Arafat-smoocherng Hillary Clinton for the promise of pardons for felons from their community. What cognitive-dissonance-inducing shocks can we expect this fall?

  6. HESHY BULMAN says:


  7. Chaim Fisher says:

    Very clear. Obama’s plan for Israel includes Israeli withdrawal from a significant portion of the territories. Just like Kadima.

    But Rosenblum leaves out the main point. Who’s policy would Obama be implementing? George Bush’s!

    It was Bush himself who called for return to the ’67 borders, who called for addressing the Palestinian refugee question, who called for no more settlements, and so on.

    And Rice continues carrying out that policy with a vengeance. She recently demanded Israel cease building in the reches!

    McCain has only echoed those policies.

    So Rosenblum should, logically, have included McCain in all this criticism. I’ll do it for him:

    p.s.: McCain appears to be just the same…

  8. Jonathan Rosenblum says:

    Anyone who believes the positions or worldview of McCain and Obama are remotely similar should read the long article prepared by Michael Oren of the Shalem Center on the subject. It is not available on line, but I will be happy to forward it to anyone who writes [email protected]

    For all the legitimate disappointment with Condoleeza Rice and by extension the Bush Administration, there is a big difference between this administration’s last minute push for some kind of agreement, after 7 years of telling the Palestinians that the ball is largely in their court, and Obama’s promise to dive into peacemaking from day one. Bush has never said or implied that Israel should withdraw to its ’67 borders.

  9. Jason Berg says:

    Israelis of all “flavors” should stop worrying about American politics and start worrying about the Anti-Emuna Israeli government.

    The American Jews will continue to force whoever is in office to stand by Israel. The Hamastani’s will continue to refuse to recognize Israel and, therefore, there will be no peace for at least a generation or more.

    George Bush was never the “friend” to Israel that conservative American Jews thought he was and Bill Clinton was never truly the enemy to Israel that conservative American Jews thought he was.

    American presidents with major blemishes on their presidency attempt to gain “Carteresque” peace for Israel. Clinton thought it could cleanse his impeachment, Bush thought it might put him in, at best, a more neutral light after his terms ended. Rather than wait until the last year as Bush did, Obama thought their might be momentum that he could use to start off with a global changing issue. For Israelis, the Iranian nukes are the single largest problem. For Christians, Muslims, and Jews outside Israel, the Palestinian issue is the single largest problem.

    Neither Obama nor McCain will have any deleterious impact on Israel. Those of us with faith know that to be true. Sadly, neither will likely have any positive impact either. That must come from a new Israeli government that has emuna in Hashem, not in the US.

  10. Sholom says:

    Funny thing, R’ Rosenblum . . . somehow your dispassionate analysis always leads to the conclusion that we American Jews are supposed to vote for the Republican. Well, that’s what’s happened and what have got: Hamas controlling Gaza thanks to elections that the US pressured for and Israel didn’t want; elimination of the main buffer between Iran and Israel (taking out Iran’s worst enemy); Condoleeza Rice proclaiming, after the surrender of Gaza, “that is a good first step”; the first US President to ever explicitly call for a two-state solution; and so forth. Gee, not bad for eight years!!!

  11. Charles B. Hall says:

    “Bush has never said or implied that Israel should withdraw to its ‘67 borders.”

    Dear Rabbi Rosenblum,

    You are not correct on this one. The Road Map, published in 2003, explicitly states that the Saudi “peace” plan, which would have Israel withdraw to the pre-1967 borders, should be a basis for final status negotiations. Even worse, it uses the words, “End the occupation that began in 1967.”

    I’m not making this up:


    The Road Map was interpreted by most of the world as support for the pre-1967 boundaries of Israel. Now it is true that since then President Bush has stated that maybe they do not have to be exactly the pre-1967 boundaries. But it is not true to say that he has “never” implied that Israel should withdraw to the pre-1967 boundaries, and it was not and has never been true that there should have been any expectation that the Bush Administration would not expect substantial surrender of territory by Israel. Indeed there is no reason to be “disappointed” with Secretary Rice. She is simply carrying out Bush Administration policy that was made clear in April 2003. And “Land for Peace” has been the policy of every President since 1967 and will continue to be US policy no matter who is elected this November.

    For the record, here is Sen. Obama’s position paper on Israel:


  12. Chaim Fisher says:

    Rosenblum says Bush never said or implied that Israel should return to the ’67 borders, and Rosenblum says that for 7 years Bush told the Palestinians the ball was largely in their court.

    Perhaps a Google search can settle whether or not he has his facts straight.

    Here is a direct quote from George Bush speaking six whole years ago, on June 24, 2002:

    “This means that the Israeli occupation that began in 1967 will be ended through a settlement negotiated between the parties, based on U.N. Resolutions 242 and 338, with Israeli withdrawal to secure and recognized borders.

    We must also resolve questions concerning Jerusalem, the plight and future of Palestinian refugees”


    He hit all three hot buttons long before Rosenblum thinks he did:

    1. 1967
    2. Divided Jerusalem
    3. Palestinian refugee’s rights

    Now Rosenblum can claim that what he said was not what he meant. But we have only what our ears hear and our eyes see…

  13. Jayson says:

    I too read Halevi’s article and some of the previous sources mentioned in this entry and it feels jaded that no matter who said what, when, or how, facts are omitted to point out one thing: Jews must be afraid, very afraid, of an impending doom. Fear has driven the US politics and economy down a very dark road. The main thing as a Jew is not to be afraid and to maintain a focus on the road ahead.

    Rosenblum forgets to mention that Obama’s foreign policy also includes Dennis Ross, and avid supporter of Israel’s right to the West Bank. More details on the list of foreign advisors at http://www.fpif.org/fpiftxt/4940

    There is so such cynicism against a presidential candidate who goes to Israel, visits with people who have suffered from terror, and constantly affirms his belief in Israel. See Jeff Goldberg’s interview with Barack Obama to hear the man’s own words:

    Rosenblum blurs the lines between his own politics and the facts held by Barack Obama. Fear and cynicism are not the way to determined political leaders. Those are the things that lead to violence and hopelessness.

  14. Robin Benveneste says:

    Bush has been infinitely better for Jews and Israelis than Clinton was. How any one can think to compare the two is ludicrous. Clinton, with his cabinet filled with liberal Jews, pressured Israel into suicide – literally suicide, nebach – concessions. A worse “chaver” we never had. Under Bush’s watch, Israel has had relative peace, BH. He has faught terrorism which, by extension, helps Israel. One cannot even compare the two.

    (And anyways its besides the point. Conservative Jews despised Clinton not because of Israel, but because of how he degraded the country, perjured himself, turned the oval office into a brothel, and embaraaed the country. He also appointed extreme leftist Judges to the bench.)

  15. LOberstein says:

    Intelligent discussion so far. My wife and I usually drive different cars. Her radio is set to AM, mine to FM where I listen to NPR. Yesterday I drove her car and listened to talk radio.There were no reasoned arguments, just invective and insult that Obama is everything evil and voting for him is an act of treason. I kid you not. Liberals like me, or anyone with some level of intelligence, are repulsed by the ad hominem assault on the man who has won the nomination and has a pretty good chance to be our next President. It amazes me that otherwise intelligent orthodox Jews can buy this drivel hook line and sinker. You can be as conservative as you want, even ally with the Republicans, but don’t delude yourself or sink to the level of talk radio. In the end, the One Above guides the thoughts of the world’s leaders. Israel is in need of much Heavenly Mercy, let us be worthy.

  16. LOberstein says:

    The admission by John Edwards that he had an extra marital affair after his previous denials would be devastating to the Democrats if he were the nominee. However, he isn’t and Obama has a “perfect marriage” with MIchelle, no whif of scandal there.
    It goes to show that when you run for public office, your ability to keep anything secret is nil, not your private life, not your tax return, nothing. Has this given us better leaders, I don’t think so. Roosevelt had a long term relationship with Lucy Mercer, it didn’t affect his presidency. Kennedy was promiscuous and it didn’t affect his presidency. Now, that the prudes have taken to destroying a politician for behaviour they don’t really think is bad, we have more hypocriscy but not better government.

  17. tzippi says:

    Re the talk radio devolution (15): yes, there’s quite a lot of vitriol and muddy thinking, which is why I tend to listen to conservatives only if they have guests. But while there may be more fun and humor from the liberal hosts, there’s just as much vitriol and ad hominem etc. there. Who do you think is going to have an apoplectic fit on the air first (disclaimer: most of what I know about these guys is from promos for their shows, not the shows themselves, thank G-d) – Michael Savage or Mike Malloy?

    Has the gap between right and left always been this unbridgeable?

  18. Bob Miller says:

    Every citizen owes it to himself to gather the pertinent facts and judge the candidates accordingly. Our past voting habits and party identifications, and the manipulative outputs of the various media, don’t deserve to be factors in our voting decisions.

    Jews in particular should not enter the voting booth on cruise control. Too much rides on the result.

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