Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Camelot Factor

There is no certainly yet, but it looks like Barack Hussein Obama, Jr. is going to be the Democrat nominee for the Presidency. And that is worrisome. In a contest between McCain and Obama, it is not all that unlikely that Obama will win. And that could be a huge problem for Israel.

The fact is that Obama is a very charismatic figure reminiscent of John F. Kennedy. He inspires people with his rhetoric of ‘hope’ and ‘change’. He’s young. He’s bright. He has a beautiful family and is on the precipice of giving us Camelot 2.

For those not familiar with that term, Camelot was famous Broadway musical in the early sixties about a fictitious ‘perfect’ little medieval kingdom where living life was just a joy. This is often the term used to describe the Kennedy era at which time that play was on Broadway. JFK represented the perfect lifestyle. He was the youthful and charming President with the beautiful family and youthful lifestyle. He was idolized by the youth of that era. However one may feel about JFK, one cannot deny that he was one of the most inspirational figures of his time. He was a ‘rock star’ President.

Obama has that going for him. Youthful voters have been turning out in droves during the primaries. And he has the extra added attraction of being the first black President. That is a very motivating factor for disaffected idealistic youth who usually stay away from the polls. They see this as a substantive issue. But it is not. At least it is not as important as is foreign policy in our time. The symbolism of having out first black President isn't as important nor is the state of the economy as important... which is admittedly not in the best shape.

No matter how important issues like the economy are - they are secondary. We are at war with Islamo-fasicists who know no bounds in achieving their ends. They are willing to die - and kill members of their own people in any numbers necessary to achieve those ends. We have had no attacks in the US since 9/11 and the war situation in Iraq has improved. This means that security and foreign policy concerns are off the front pages. But that doesn’t make them any less important.

The problem is that aside from all that charisma Obama has there is little of substance that is known about him. He is all about hope and change. I’m not sure hope is a substantive issue but what his change will be is anybody’s guess.

The question mark about him is even bigger when it comes to his policies on Israel. He has recently recited all the right clichés. He supports Israel’s right to exist etc. But what will he do when he gets in to office? Who really knows? Being in office less than four years, he has no track record.

We might, however, get some clues about where he is headed by some of the things he’s said publicly. He wants to talk to Iranian leader Ahmadinejad. As if there is something we can compromise with him on. What kind of compromise does one make with a man who wants to wipe Israel off the map as one of his highest priorities?

Obama says he wants to regain the respect of the world community. That’s nice. One of the key areas where there are differences between the US and the rest of the world community is how we view the Israeli - Palestinian issue. The US has been a staunch supporter of Israel while acknowledging the plight of the Palestinians. The Europeans on the other hand have been staunch supporters of the Palestinian cause paying little more than lip service in support of Israel. Is support for Israel a bargaining chip for Obama?

I don’t think it is a stretch to say that he will very likely put more pressure on Israel than any other President in recent history to give up all territories captured during the six-day war including portions of Jerusalem for ‘peace’. He will probably push Israel to do it without any guarantees that violence against Israel by Islamo-faciasts like Hamas will cease! He’ll probably call it ‘taking a chance for peace’. That is a very naïve position to take.

Just to be clear I don’t think Obama is an anti Semite in any way. In fact he has a lot of Jewish support. But he is just a very naïve and inexperienced man who does not understand the issues despite his vaunted intelligence. His views are simplistic and do not take into account the long history of the Middle East or any of its intricacies.

Obama was endorsed recently by Jimmy Carter’s National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski. He is one of the most strident critics of Israel and is of the ‘blame Israel for everything first’ crowd. According to political pundit William Kristol, Obama has indeed touted Brzezinski as one of his chief foreign policy advisors. That’s just great! Aside from the Carter/Brzezinski bias against Israel we can also thank them for giving us for the fall of the Shah of Iran and the rise of Ayatollah Khomeini… and by extension the rise of Islamo-fascism.

Another interesting fact to consider is Green Party Presidential candidate Ralph Nader (…yes he’s running) who today accused Obama of flip-flopping on the Israeli-Palestinian issue. According to Nader when Obama was an Illinois State Senator just a short three years ago, he was pro Palestinian. Now he is pro Israel.

So yes, Obama scares me. Needless to say, I do not support him at all. And neither should any thinking Jew who cares about the Jewish people and the State of Israel. Hillary Clinton is gold compared to him. But if Clinton loses the nomination to Obama - which seems more likely than ever - then I do think we seriously have something to worry about.

To most voters the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is off the radar screen. To the extent they have any knowledge about it at all - it is from a media whose bias is always in favor of the underdog… currently seen as the Palestinians.

Much of the American voting public sees an Obama Presidency as a return to ‘Camelot’. As much as I truly believe that an older and wiser John Sidney McCain is by far the best candidate for the Presidency, I don’t think he can beat a young and charismatic Barack Obama. I hope I’m wrong. We’ll see.