Friday, June 01, 2012

Barry Rubin: What to Say When You’re Handed the Obama-is-Good-for-Israel Talking Points

by Barry Rubin

Many Americans, and particularly Jews, are starting to receive mailings encouraging them to vote for or donate to the reelection campaign of President Barack Obama by arguing that he is pro-Israel. Several readers have asked me to provide them with responses. Here is a brief answer.

These emails and mailings, though designed to look as if they were written by concerned individuals, clearly draw their texts from talking points posted on the Obama reelection site. The arguments are very thin and selective but are presented as if they represent the totality of Obama policy.

The main arguments are:

1. Obama says he likes Israel.

That’s nice but so what? Of course it is good when he says nice things (by coincidence, no doubt, usually to Jewish audiences) but one can also find a lot of nasty remarks by him, his advisors, and various officials appointed by him. Every president for the last half-century has said similar nice things; not all the presidents put together during this period have said or done so many hostile things. While it is a great exaggeration to say that Obama hates Israel or wants to destroy it, I think it is fair to say that no president (including Jimmy Carter when in office) has been so cold toward Israel and basically failed to understand its nature and interests.

2. Israeli leaders say Obama is great.
Continue reading What to Say When You’re Handed the Obama-is-Good-for-Israel Talking Points

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). His latest book is Israel: An Introduction, was published by Yale University Press in January 2012. You can read more of Barry Rubin's posts at Rubin Reportsand  Rubin Reports, on Pajamas Media 

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