Tidbits From Israel
By Ron Jager
After visiting New York over the past two weeks, spending one Shabbat in Oceanside and another Shabbat in Hillcrest meeting with a wide spectrum of supporters of Israel, I depart and return to Israel with a sense of sorrow and dismay. For many, Israel remains a focal point of their lives, enriching their collective sense of responsibility and Jewish identity. For these American Jews, their frustration has been reinforced by Obama’s reelection only to be followed by him turning his back towards those very American Jews aligned with the White House, those Jews who wholeheartedly supported Obama’s reelection yet now find themselves unable to defend his latest betrayal.
Two major supporters of Obama have recently responded in an interview with The Algemeiner to Obama’s intention to nominate former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense.
Former Mayor of New York and lifelong Democrat Ed Koch expressed deep disappointment with Obama’s decision. “Frankly, I thought that there would come a time when he would renege on what he conveyed on his support of Israel. It comes a little earlier than I thought it would. It’s very disappointing, I believe he will ultimately regret it and it undoubtedly will reduce support for him in the Jewish community, but I don’t think he (the President) worries about that now that the election is over,” Koch said. Koch stated that he believes the appointment will embolden Islamists and will be damaging to the U.S.-Israel relationship. Boker tov!
Just a reminder, here’s what Koch said in an election endorsement for the Obama campaign in October: “I am confident that President Obama will continue his unambiguous commitment to the Jewish state in his second term, building on his record of leadership by preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.”
Professor Alan Dershowitz is equally at odds with much of what he said in defense of Obama before the election. “It’s not good, but fortunately, Congress— overwhelmingly, both Democratic and Republican—supports the Jewish state, so I’m sure they will defend it against the defense department when it ruptures the current good relationship which exists.”
“No I’m not,” said Professor Dershowitz, asked if he was surprised by Obama’s decision to nominate former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel for the position of Secretary of Defense. “The President seems determined to do it.” “I think it’s a mistake,” he added. “I think it makes it more likely that Iran will persist in its efforts to develop nuclear weapons. This will send a message to the Iranian Mullahs of softness, to nominate a man who is opposed to sanctions and who is opposed to the military option. Now, he may be able to change all that when he testifies in front of the Senate,” said Dershowitz optimistically, “but you know, people don’t usually change.”
The problem here is much greater than, “we told you so,” or even admiring Ed Koch for breaking with his own beloved Democratic Party on issues of principle. The issue at hand is the manner in which American Jewry has and will continue to vote en masse for the Democratic Party, no matter what. The American Liberal Jewish voter is overly solicitous of everyone else except of his or her own needs and the needs of the greater Jewish community. They simply cannot help themselves; their voting record is at best Pavlovian in nature and at worst self-destructive.
Progressive movements throughout America and grassroots’ networks that are an integral part of the Democratic Party have in recent years consistently betrayed their Jewish constituency by condoning in their ranks anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism as part and parcel of their larger political coalition. These progressive forces find a welcome mat in the Democratic Party expressing a true hatred for the Jewish State and feel at ease with the hatred narrative of Israel and Jews everywhere. This has become the party of Ed Koch and Alan Dershowitz and this is the greater problem with their continuing association with haters of Israel and the Jewish community in America.
Let’s not forget Obama, who on his way to transforming America, has succeeded in making the Democratic Party a political party that no longer believes in Israel’s right to self-defense, nor that Israel is still America’s strongest ally in the region, nor that Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel. This is the party of Ed Koch, of Professor Dershowitz, and this is the party of President Obama. It should seem obvious that when a major political party such as the Democratic Party espouses ideas that are fundamentally negative towards Israel, then we should be prepared, for the worst is yet to come. v
Ron Jager is a 25-year veteran of the Israel Defense Forces, where he served as a field mental-health officer and as commander of the central psychiatric military clinic for reserve soldiers at Tel-Hashomer. Since retiring from active duty in 2005, he has been providing consultancy services to NGOs, implementing psychological trauma treatment programs in Israel. Ron currently serves as a strategic advisor to the director of the Shomron Liaison Office. To contact him, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.ronjager.com.