Obama Not Offended Enough by Anti-Semitism

 

obamarouhani_s640x427What to make of President Obama’s interpretation of the Iranian leadership? Challenged by The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg to account for the seeming inconsistency of relying on the rationality of a regime that holds a profoundly anti-Semitic worldview, the president denied that the “venomous anti-Semitism” (his words) of the mullahs is a barrier to rational decision making.

Well the fact that you are anti-Semitic, or racist, doesn’t preclude you from being interested in survival. It doesn’t preclude you from being rational about the need to keep your economy afloat; it doesn’t preclude you from making strategic decisions about how you stay in power; and so the fact that the supreme leader is anti-Semitic doesn’t mean that this overrides all of his other considerations. You know, if you look at the history of anti-Semitism, Jeff, there were a whole lot of European leaders—and there were deep strains of anti-Semitism in this country . . .

Walter Russell Mead of The American Interest made an important observation:

It seems clear from this exchange that the President either doesn’t understand or flatly disagrees with the point Goldberg has in mind. Goldberg’s point is that serious anti-Semites (that is, people whose worldviews are shaped and informed by Jew hatred as opposed to people who have, for example, a social prejudice against associating with Jews) don’t understand reality the way that other people do. They see a world dominated by Jewish plots and secret cartels, and believe that the Elders of Zion rule the world behind a screen of deception and misdirection.

Exactly. The anti-Semitism of the Iranian regime is not remotely comparable to the prejudice you can still find in America. With a knee-jerk reliability, Obama cannot permit any acknowledgement of the evils of other nations to pass without mentioning our own sins (“there are deep strains of anti-Semitism in this country . . .”). This is both an intellectual and moral failing on Obama’s part.

It’s an intellectual failing because President Obama has clearly failed to grapple with the nature of the Iranian theocrats. Iran’s leaders are infected by a disease of the mind that prevents them from perceiving the world accurately. Their anti-Semitism is Nazi in intensity. They believe, as Hitler did, in a worldwide Jewish conspiracy that is responsible for wars, sectarian conflict among Muslims (!), disease, and oppression. The regime hosts Holocaust denial conferences. They ceaselessly refer to Israel and Jews as “cancers” or “rabid dogs.” What do you do to cancers and rabid dogs? You kill them.

The regime has repeatedly threatened to wipe Israel off the map, referred to Israel as a “one bomb country,” and a “threat to the world.”

Is such a regime rational? During the Iran/Iraq war, the mullahs sent children as young as 12 to the front lines with promises of Heaven if they died in battle (some say they were issued plastic keys to paradise to wear around their necks).

It’s profoundly worrying that Obama can shrug off the abundant evidence that the Iranian regime is in the grip of dangerous illusions about Jewish power and Jewish evil, and casually compare it to the kind of anti-Semitism found in modern-day Europe and America.

It’s also morally offensive. The mullahs’ anti-Semitism, along with their threats, should be enough to cause Obama, or any decent person, to recoil in disgust. Instead, he has made it the cause of his second term to reach a rapprochement with Iran. He has invited the regime to take the “path” he’s offering to become “a very successful regional power.”

Obama claims that he first became inspired to enter politics by the plight of Nelson Mandela in South Africa. At Mandela’s funeral, he said “Over 30 years ago, while still a student, I learned of Nelson Mandela and the struggles taking place in this beautiful land, and it stirred something in me. It woke me up to my responsibilities to others and to myself, and it set me on an improbable journey that finds me here today.”

How would Obama have felt about an American president who minimized the nature of apartheid South Africa, or failed to prevent that regime from acquiring nuclear weapons, or invited the racist state to become a “very successful regional power”?

The analogy is imprecise, because South Africa, though brutal and reprehensible, did not nurture genocidal ambitions, but it’s enough to demonstrate that Mr. Obama’s morality is always in service of his politics, not the other way around.

Published in Foreign Policy
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  1. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @EustaceCScrubb

    Perhaps it would be more effective if we reminded the President that the Mullahs are homophobic.

    • #1
  2. Tommy De Seno Contributor
    Tommy De Seno
    @TommyDeSeno

    Mona Charen:

    …and there were deep strains of anti-Semitism in this country .

    He will blithely say any bad thing about America.

    Good grief.

    How can he even make a comparison to anything a Jew has suffered here to what a Jew has gone through in Europe and the Middle East?

    There Jews get wiped out.

    Here, like every other identifiable group, they might run into folks who don’t like them. An insignificant minority of folks at that.

    • #2
  3. Eeyore Member
    Eeyore
    @Eeyore

    Obama is palpably anti-Zionist. I also think he is also likely a committed anti-Semite.

    He spent 20 years in Reverend Wright’s church. Five months into Obama’s Presidency, Wright was asked if he had seen the President. The exact response was “Them Jews aren’t going to let him talk to me.”

    The linked article has other examples of Wright’s anti-Semitism, which he proudly states he hasn’t changed in 50 years of preaching.

    Obama would have to have been 100% intellectually impenetrable for anti-Semitism not to be somewhere near the core of his personal philosophy.

    • #3
  4. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @GoldwatersRevenge

    Obama has inadvertently referred to his “Muslim faith”, he speaks of the “Holy Koran” with a reverence not expected of a proclaimed Christian. He bows to Saudi clerics. His reluctance to use the term “Islamic terrorism” borders on the pathological. He has repeatedly taken positions contrary to the best interest of Isreal. He has developed no defined strategy to combat the chaos from ISIS in Syria, Iraq, Yemen or parts of Africa. If Obama were not working to ensure the success of radical Islam in the Middle East what would he be doing differently?

    • #4
  5. tigerlily Member
    tigerlily
    @tigerlily

    Eeyore:Obama is palpably anti-Zionist. I also think he is also likely a committed anti-Semite.

    He spent 20 years in Reverend Wright’s church. Five months into Obama’s Presidency, Wright was asked if he had seen the President. The exact response was “Them Jews aren’t going to let him talk to me.”

    The linked article has other examples of Wright’s anti-Semitism, which he proudly states he hasn’t changed in 50 years of preaching.

    Obama would have to have been 100% intellectually impenetrable for anti-Semitism not to be somewhere near the core of his personal philosophy.

    Agreed

    • #5
  6. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Weird fact:

    According to the poll commissioned by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Iranian respondents scored the lowest (56%) in terms of holding negative views about Jewish people, while in other countries of the region, the figure ranges from 69% in Turkey to 93% in the Palestinian territories.

    56% still seems very high.

    • #6
  7. user_199279 Coolidge
    user_199279
    @ChrisCampion

    As soon as Iranians criticize one of Barry’s policies, he’ll get offended.

    • #7
  8. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    It’s easy to see why President Obama isn’t on Ricochet.  He’d be banned immediately.

    • #8
  9. wmartin Member
    wmartin
    @

    If Obama’s political awakening was from his identification with Nelson Mandela, then maybe Obama feels the way he does about Israel because Israel was a longtime friend and ally of Apartheid South Africa.

    • #9
  10. billy Inactive
    billy
    @billy

    Eustace C. Scrubb:Perhaps it would be more effective if we reminded the President that the Mullahs are homophobic.

    What are you implying? Careful, you might get banned.

    • #10
  11. Tennessee Patriot Member
    Tennessee Patriot
    @TennesseePatriot

    Beautifully written and insightful, as always. Thank you for writing this.

    • #11
  12. Mona Charen Contributor
    Mona Charen
    @MonaCharen

    Tennessee Patriot:Beautifully written and insightful, as always. Thank you for writing this.

    Thank you so much!

    • #12
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