Separate Fact from Fiction of Obama’s Israel Record


— by Jason Attermann

Pro-Israel activist Steve Sheffey wrote an opinion piece for The Jerusalem Post warning about the false smears likely to be spread by right-wingers against President Barack Obama’s strong pro-Israel record as the presidential campaign heats up.

The campaign to delegitimize President Obama in the eyes of pro-Israel voters will only intensify between now and November 6….

Opponents of territorial compromise and Americans who use concern for Israel to mask concern about paying their fair share of taxes compose most of the 20-25 percent of Jews who vote Republican. But that’s not enough to win an election; hence their efforts to distort President Obama’s record on Israel. Most Jews support the Democratic domestic agenda, so if there is no reason to oppose the president based on Israel, there is no reason to oppose him at all.

Obama has called for the removal of Syrian President Bashar Assad, ordered the successful assassination of Osama bin-Laden, done more than any other president to stop Iran’s illicit nuclear program, restored Israel’s qualitative military edge after years of erosion under the previous administration, increased security assistance to Israel to record levels, boycotted Durban II and Durban III, taken US Israel military and intelligence cooperation to unprecedented levels, cast his only veto in the UN against the one-sided anti-Israel Security Council resolution, opposed the Goldstone Report, stood with Israel against the Gaza flotilla, and is mounting a diplomatic crusade against the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state.

More after the jump.
According to Sheffey, Obama’s detractors will attempt to delegitimize his extensive commitment to Israel’s security through the techniques of “repetition of falsehoods,” “baseless speculation,” and “guilt by association”-all of which have been engaged in before. Sheffey simplifies the situation as merely one of separating the facts of Obama’s actions from the fiction perpetuated by his opponents:

President Obama has surrounded himself with pro-Israel advisers, from Hillary Clinton to Dan Shapiro to Joe Biden to Rahm Emanuel. Yet we still hear about alleged influences from Obama’s past. Obama has been president for nearly three years. Evaluate President Obama the way the pro- Israel community has always evaluated our leaders and representatives: by looking at what they’ve done, not by trying to read their minds or via conjectures about influences that are impossible to prove or disprove.

If unprecedented military cooperation between the US and Israel, unambiguous opposition to a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state, and unrelenting defense of Israel in international forums is what happens when someone knows Jeremiah Wright, we ought to send all our candidates to his church. President Obama’s record proves that he is one of the best friends of Israel ever to occupy the White House. The only question is whether attempts to manipulate the emotions of pro-Israel voters by distorting the president’s record will succeed. The answer depends on our ability to separate fact from fiction.

American Veto Singlehandedly Defeats Anti-Israel UN Security Council Resolution


— Alan Elsner and Jennifer Packer, The Israel Project

U.S says “unwise” measure would break trust between Israeli and Palestinians.

An American veto Friday defeated a United Nations Security Council resolution that condemned Israeli settlement activity as “illegal.” With only three exceptions (Eisenhower, G.H.W.Bush and G.W.Bush), American Presidents have wielded America’s veto as Israel’s last line of defense on the United Nations Security Council.

Calling it an “unwise” move for the peace process,
U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice used the Obama administration’s first veto at the United Nations while the 14 other members of the Security Council voted in favor of the resolution.

Rice said the only way to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian issue is to work toward a two-state solution.

U.S.: Only way to bring about peace is through direct negotiations

“The only way to reach that common goal is through direct negotiations between the parties with the active support of the United States and the international community,” she said. “Even the best-intentioned outsiders cannot resolve it” for them. “There simply are no shortcuts,” Rice added.

See responses from Rep. Steve Rothman (D-NJ), Marc Stanley and David Harris (NJDC), and Ronald Lauder (WJC) after the jump.
Congressman Steve Rothman (D-NJ), a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittees on Defense; and State and Foreign Operations:

I commend the Obama administration for using its first veto at the United Nations to do the right thing and block today’s anti-Israel resolution.

World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder

The issue of settlements needs be negotiated bilaterally, in final-status talks, between Palestinians and Israelis. It is exclusively an issue for the two parties.

The adoption of this Security Council resolution would have placed the peace process in even greater jeopardy and lent credibility to illegitimate Palestinian “back door” efforts to establish a unilateral state by pre-determining the outcome of negotiations with Israel.

Ongoing unilateral moves to establish a Palestinian state outside the agreed negotiation framework between the sides, based on Security Council resolution 242 of November 1967, represent a gross violation of previous signed agreements between the PA and Israel.

The resolution text that was proposed to the Security Council further promoted the fallacy that the 1967 borders have any basis in law or history. They never existed nor were they ever part of any agreed upon documentation concerning the Arab-Israeli conflict and have no basis whatsoever, neither in law nor in fact. The World Jewish Congress therefore urges the United Nations to stop undermining, condoning, and abetting
efforts to assault Israel’s legal and diplomatic rights in ongoing negotiations over the future of the disputed territories.

National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) Chair Marc R. Stanley and President and CEO David A. Harris:

On behalf of the National Jewish Democratic Council, we applaud the action this afternoon of President Barack Obama and his representative, the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Susan Rice. Once again, after days of unfortunate and unproductive speculation, our President stood alongside our democratic ally Israel in the Israel-obsessed United Nations.

We know just how hard this decision was, as any outcome of a vote on this resolution is truly unfortunate – including for Israel. Permitting today’s vote against Israel to proceed, the path President Obama and his Administration wouldn’t take, was clearly, understandably and correctly not an acceptable choice for them. But today’s outcome has deeply negative fallout as well. From further isolating the United States within the Security Council to potentially further inserting anti-Israel sentiment into the awakening of democratic fervor throughout the Arab world, and in so many other ways, this vote to stand by Israel does have negative consequences.

And therein lies the heart and mind of this President and this Administration. Throughout, and well beyond recent days, the President and his team have worked night and day on behalf of the critical U.S.-Israel relationship and with Israel’s needs at heart. On all sides of this complex calculus, this Administration has clearly heavily weighed Israel’s best interests.

We, like all Americans who hold dear the special U.S.-Israel relationship, owe President Obama and his Administration our deep collective appreciation for his stalwart support for the State of Israel – today and always.