Forget About Israel -What Has Obama Done About Anti-Semitism?
The focus of the Jewish community has naturally been on Obama's Middle East policies and his relationship with and pressure on Netanyahu. Chicago attorney Pejman Yousefzadeh writes about another issue, one that has not received much attention: Obama And Anti-Semitism:
The inability or unwillingness of the Obama Administration to forcefully speak out against instances of anti-Semitism in the Democratic Party should also be a cause for concern. The demagoguery of Democrats like Rep. James Moran, who has stated that an “extraordinarily powerful” pro-Israel lobby—with “the strong support of the Jewish community”—was responsible for causing the United States to go to war with Iraq, is well known, but the Obama Administration has not decided to challenge him, or other Democrats like him, for seeking to profit politically from the popularization of anti-Semitic tropes. Nor has the administration taken on members of the liberal blogosphere for engaging in reflexive anti-Israel hatred and general anti-Semitism and for potentially causing a serious rift between liberals and American Jews, a rift that would harm the president’s political prospects and the Democratic Party’s electoral future.
Some might say that a lone Congressman or a handful of lefty bloggers are beneath the attention of the president of the United States. But while no American president wants to engage in rhetorical overkill, there are disturbing trends developing within the base of the Democratic Party that ought to concern the president and certainly concern the American Jewish community. A shocking 2009 poll revealed that 18.4 percent of Republicans blamed Jews for the recent financial crisis. That’s appalling enough, but even worse, the poll revealed that nearly a third of Democrats also blamed Jews for the near-collapse of the American economy. As the administrators of the poll wrote, this statistically significant difference was surprising “given the presumed higher degree of racial tolerance among liberals and the fact that Jews are a central part of the Democratic Party’s electoral coalition.” It would be in the president’s interests to fight against anti-Semitism in the liberal community, if only to prevent the defection of American Jews from the Democratic Party. But he seems to be unwilling to do so. If American Jews are not alarmed by this lack of action on the president’s part, they should be.
Yousefzadeh concludes that the policies of the Obama administration in general could have a negative affect on Jewish support for the Democratic party. Of course, the threat of Jewish disillusionment with the Democratic party is an idea that is periodically brought out--often by Republicans. This 'threat' has never materialized.
Then again, we are seeing a level of disillusionment with an unusually popular candidate-cum-president the likes of which we have never seen before. Who knows how far those negative feelings may go or the backlash they may cause.
There is no reason for Republicans to get their hopes up, but Democrats would be wise to take a lesson from the anticipated shellacking they will take in the midterm elections and act accordingly.
More Quotes About "Palestine"
"There is no such country as Palestine. 'Palestine' is a term the Zionists invented. There is no Palestine in the Bible. Our country was for centuries part of Syria. 'Palestine' is alien to us. It is the Zionists who introduced it".
- Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi, Syrian Arab leader to British Peel Commission, 1937 -
"There is no such thing as Palestine in history, absolutely not".
- Professor Philip Hitti, Arab historian, 1946 -
"It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but Southern Syria".
- Representant of Saudi Arabia at the United Nations, 1956 -
Concerning the Holy Land, the chairman of the Syrian Delegation at the Paris Peace Conference in February 1919 stated:
"The only Arab domination since the Conquest in 635 c.e. hardly lasted, as such, 22 years".
"There is not a solitary village throughout its whole extent (valley of Jezreel, Galilea); not for thirty miles in either direction... One may ride ten miles hereabouts and not see ten human beings. For the sort of solitude to make one dreary, come to Galilee... Nazareth is forlorn... Jericho lies a mouldering ruin... Bethlehem and Bethany, in their poverty and humiliation... untenanted by any living creature... A desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds... a silent, mournful expanse... a desolation... We never saw a human being on the whole route... Hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. Even the olive tree and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil had almost deserted the country... Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes... desolate and unlovely...".
- Mark Twain, "The Innocents Abroad", 1867 -
"In 1590 a 'simple English visitor' to Jerusalem wrote: 'Nothing there is to bescene but a little of the old walls, which is yet remayning and all the rest is grasse, mosse and weedes much like to a piece of rank or moist grounde'.".
- Gunner Edward Webbe, Palestine Exploration Fund,
Quarterly Statement, p. 86; de Haas, History, p. 338 -
"The land in Palestine is lacking in people to till its fertile soil".
- British archaeologist Thomas Shaw, mid-1700s -
"Palestine is a ruined and desolate land".
- Count Constantine François Volney, XVIII century French author and historian -
"The Arabs themselves cannot be considered but temporary residents. They pitched their tents in its grazing fields or built their places of refuge in its ruined cities. They created nothing in it. Since they were strangers to the land, they never became its masters. The desert wind that brought them hither could one day carry them away without their leaving behind them any sign of their passage through it".
- Comments by Christians concerning the Arabs in Palestine in the 1800s -
"Then we entered the hill district, and our path lay through the clattering bed of an ancient stream, whose brawling waters have rolled away into the past, along with the fierce and turbulent race who once inhabited these savage hills. There may have been cultivation here two thousand years ago. The mountains, or huge stony mounds environing this rough path, have level ridges all the way up to their summits; on these parallel ledges there is still some verdure and soil: when water flowed here, and the country was thronged with that extraordinary population, which, according to the Sacred Histories, was crowded into the region, these mountain steps may have been gardens and vineyards, such as we see now thriving along the hills of the Rhine. Now the district is quite deserted, and you ride among what seem to be so many petrified waterfalls. We saw no animals moving among the stony brakes; scarcely even a dozen little birds in the whole course of the ride".
- William Thackeray in "From Jaffa To Jerusalem", 1844 -
"The country is in a considerable degree empty of inhabitants and therefore its greatest need is of a body of population".
- James Finn, British Consul in 1857 -
"The area was underpopulated and remained economically stagnant until the arrival of the first Zionist pioneers in the 1880's, who came to rebuild the Jewish land. The country had remained "The Holy Land" in the religious and historic consciousness of mankind, which associated it with the Bible and the history of the Jewish people. Jewish development of the country also attracted large numbers of other immigrants - both Jewish and Arab. The road leading from Gaza to the north was only a summer track suitable for transport by camels and carts... Houses were all of mud. No windows were anywhere to be seen... The plows used were of wood... The yields were very poor... The sanitary conditions in the village [Yabna] were horrible... Schools did not exist... The rate of infant mortality was very high... The western part, toward the sea, was almost a desert... The villages in this area were few and thinly populated. Many ruins of villages were scattered over the area, as owing to the prevalence of malaria, many villages were deserted by their inhabitants".
- The report of the British Royal Commission, 1913 -