What the Hell is a Voight Anyhow?

So John Voight had an open letter to Obama published today attacking Obama’s Israel policy, saying

You will be the first American president that lied to the Jewish people, and the American people as well, when you said that you would defend Israel, the only Democratic state in the Middle East, against all their enemies. You have done just the opposite. You have propagandized Israel, until they look like they are everyone’s enemy — and it has resonated throughout the world. You are putting Israel in harm’s way, and you have promoted anti-Semitism throughout the world.

So first off WTF? I am really getting sick of the right right wing Jewish community talking smath without backing it up.  To this day, I cannot think of one thing that Obama has done to or said about Israel that anywhere rivals what Israel has said and done to the representatives of the Obama administration such as announcing new settlements when VP Biden was in Israel to announce new peace talks or Bibby privately labeling Rahm Emanuel, a very pro Israel member of the administration, as a “self-hating jew” simply for taking a stand against some of Likud’s policies (does that make every Labor, Kadima, and Meretz MK a self hating jew as well?).  I understand that the administration has taken a slightly different approach to the middle east, that includes chastising Israel when it needs to be, but it’s not like the US policy under President Bush helped move Israel towards a more secure future.

There have been several events over the past 6 weeks that are very “pro Israel” (more like pro Likud in some cases), that have US state department fingerprints all over them (I took most of these examples from a piece by Rep Steve Rothman on Politico’s Arena).  These include

  • New UN sanctions against Iran that while weaker than some wanted, prevented the sale of the Russian S-300 anti aircraft system.  This system is very difficult to overcome and would make a conventional Israeli strike on a nuclear (or nearly nuclear) Iran near impossible
  • On June 12th Saudi Arabia made arrangements with its air defense to allow Israel to fly through it to strike Iran.  Being that the Saudi’s and Israel have no diplomatic relations, who do you think operated as the middle man? Costa Rica?
  • On June 10th, reports came out that said both the Palestinian Authority and Egypt supported the blockade around Gaza, who do you think pushed them to actually publicly side with Israel? (Abbas happened to be in DC at the time)
  • On June 9th, Abbas, while in DC publicly, came out as ready to support the existence of a Jewish state in the territory (a small step, but an important one non the less)
  • On May 10th Israel was admitted into the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the club of economically powerful democracies.  I wonder who was batting for Israel there?
  • On May 13th, the president announced 205 million dollars in militiary aid to Israel to buy the Iron Dome system, a short ranged missile and rocket shield to protect northern Israel from possible Hezbollah attacks, and south western Israel from rocket attacks from Hamas.
  • The US not publicly condemning the Israeli raid on the Marvi Mara

Despite all of this recent work by the administration, I am constantly hearing screams from the right about how Obama is against Israel, and trying to destroy the Jewish state, but the most evidence I ever hear is a comment about him criticizing settlements, how he is trying to reach out to the Muslim world, or how he is secretly a Muslim (a claim that is offensive on oh so many levels).  I never hear any mention of the fact that he has gone to bat for Israel multiple times, and then got slapped down by the Likud government, or the fact that his THREE closest advisors, Emanuel, Biden, and Clinton, all have an extremely pro Israel outlook on foreign policy.

So seriously, whats the deal?  Do you just not like a president that occasionally criticizes Israel and attempts to reach out the the partners that are necessary for peace? Or do you just not like the guy to begin with because, well… im not exactly sure why you wouldn’t.

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