Some Concerns About Obama’s Attitude Towards Jews
May 27, 2010


The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has noted a disturbing pattern in President Obama’s words and actions when it comes to the Jewish people. (The ZOA understands that President Obama has appointed Jews to important posts and held Jewish events at the White House. But many of these have turned out to be Jews who are quick to condemn the Jewish state and support President Obama’s agenda. And remember, one of Israel’s most virulent critics, President Carter, also appointed Jews to important posts and even established the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C.).


1. Speaking this week upon signing the Daniel Pearl Press Freedom Act, President Obama said, “Obviously, the loss of Daniel Pearl was one of those moments that captured the world’s imagination because it reminded us of how valuable a free press is.” President Obama did not mention that Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter, was beheaded on February 1, 2002 by Islamist terrorists because he was a Jew and that he was forced to state in the video recorded of his gruesome murder that he was an American Jew. As noted writer Mark Steyn writes:


“First of all, note the passivity: “The loss of Daniel Pearl.” He wasn’t “lost.” He was kidnapped and beheaded. He was murdered on a snuff video. He was specifically targeted, seized as a trophy, a high-value scalp. And the circumstances of his “loss” merit some vigor in the prose. Yet Obama can muster none … The man who actually did the deed was Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who confessed in March 2007: ‘I decapitated with my blessed right hand the head of the American Jew Daniel Pearl, in the city of Karachi.’ But Obama’s not the kind to take ‘guilty’ for an answer, so he’s arranging a hugely expensive trial for KSM amid the bright lights of Broadway” (Mark Steyn, ‘One of those moments,’ National Review Online, May 22, 2010).


2. This is not the first occasion in which President Obama has avoided mentioning Jews in a relevant context. In his June 5, 2009 speech at Buchenwald concentration camp, Obama only once mentioned the word “Jews” at this major Holocaust site, where primarily Jews were murdered, speaking instead of the place as one “where people were deemed inhuman because of their differences.” He diminished the murderous anti-Semitism of the Nazis and the relentless anti-Semitism of today to simply one among other cases of “intolerance” such as racism, homophobia, xenophobia and sexism (‘Remarks by President Obama, German Chancellor Merkel, and Eli Wiesel at Buchenwald Concentration Camp,’ June 5, 2009).


3. Also, despite the uniquely Judeo-Christian foundation and heritage of America, which normally has seen Christians and Jews paired in any mention of the character of the nation, President Obama, in his Inaugural address, mentioned Muslims ahead of Jews, even though there are far more Jews in the U.S. than Muslims. Specifically, President Obama said, We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus – and non believers.”


Again, in an interview on the Saudi-owned Al Arabiya TV on January 26, 2009, he referred to America as “a country of Muslims, Jews, Christians, non-believers.” In these two instances, President Obama placed Muslims ahead of Jews and, in the second, ahead of Christians as well.


Surveys show that there are some 5 – 7 million Jews living in the United States. Most surveys show that there are 1.8 – 2.8 million Muslims living in the United States.


4. In his Cairo speech on June 4, 2009, President Obama inaccurately referred to “…nearly seven million American Muslims in our country today.” He further inflated the Muslim presence in America by stating on French television, “If you actually took the number of Muslim Americans, we’d be one of the largest Muslim countries in the world.”


These claims are astonishing – and groundless. The figure of 7 million is a three-fold plus exaggeration of the actual number of American Muslims. Inflated figures like these are usually cited only by Islamist organizations like the Council on American Islamic relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). In contrast, the 2007 Pew Research Center study estimates a U.S. Muslim population of 0.6 percent, resulting in a figure of approximately 1.8 million American Muslims, while a 2008 American Religious Identification Survey, puts the figure even lower, at 1, 349,000.


It seems clear that the reason CAIR and other pro-Muslim groups use the figure of 7 million is to falsely indicate that there are more Muslims than Jews in America, since Jews generally claim the number of 6 million. Why did President Obama use this phony number of 7 million? Didn’t President Obama’s speechwriters and researchers check out this figure before using it?


5. Additionally, President Obama strongly and shockingly implied that Palestinian suffering was equivalent to Jewish suffering during the Holocaust. He also strongly implied the Palestinian situation is equivalent to that of U.S. Blacks during slavery and Blacks during Apartheid-era South Africa.  The assumption, just barely left unsaid, is that Israeli Jews are oppressors.


6. Also, he spoke of the need for Jerusalem to become “a secure and lasting home for Jews and Christians and Muslims, and a place for all of the children of Abraham to mingle peacefully together” – thereby robbing Israel of due credit for actually instituting complete freedom of religion within Jerusalem that was lacking when the eastern half of the city was under Jordanian Arab control.


7. Additionally, in his Cairo speech, President Obama quoted from the Quran, which he called “Holy” and the Bible, which he also called “Holy,” but he conspicuously omitted the adjective “Holy” when he referred to the Talmud, a major Jewish holy book and the one distinctively Jewish document he cited in his speech.


8. In February 2010, in speaking of the outpouring of extraordinary American humanitarian and rescue assistance to Haiti in the wake of the devastating earthquake that had hit that country on January 12, mentioned several other countries helping Haiti but conspicuously omitted the one whose assistance to Haiti exceeded that of all others apart from the U.S. itself – Israel, President Obama said, “… help continues to flow in, not just from the United States but from Brazil, Mexico, Canada, France, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic, among others … The entire world stands with the government and the people of Haiti, for in Haiti’s devastation, we all see the common humanity that we share” (‘President Obama’s Remarks After His Call with Haitian President Préval,’ White House Blog, January 15, 2010). Obama conspicuously refused to mention Israel and to give Israel well-deserved credit.


In contrast, former President Bill Clinton was outspoken in praise of Israel’s efforts in Haiti, saying, “I don’t know what we would have done without the Israeli hospital at Haiti … The Israeli hospital was the only operational facility which was able to perform surgery and advanced tests. In the name of the aid workers that operated in Haiti, in the name of the people who live there, and on a personal level I want to thank, we all want to thank, Israel from the bottom of our hearts” (‘Bill Clinton hails Israeli relief mission in Haiti,’ Haaretz, January 29, 2010).


9. Very recently, the Obama Administration has used the terms “condemn,” an “insult” and an “affront” when expressing disagreement with Israel’s merely announcing a program of housing construction in a major Jewish neighborhood of in north-eastern Jerusalem – a project which violated no agreement with America. “Condemn,” “insult” and “affront” are harsh and ugly terms that America and Obama have never used in reference to an ally’s actions. These terms have never been used in reference to Iran’s nuclear program or the violent oppression of their citizens; or of the Palestinian Authority when they named schools, streets and sports teams after Jew-killing terrorists or when they continuously promote hatred and violence against Israel in their schools, media, speeches and sermons.


10. President Obama released a photograph of his speaking with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu by phone. What was peculiar and troubling is that the photograph showed President Obama with his feet up on his desk, exposing the soles of his shoes – exposing one’s soles to another is considered a deep insult in the Arab world. No such photograph of President Obama speaking to any other world leader has been ever released. Was this another signal to the Muslim world of his disdain for the Jewish state?


11. For over twenty years, Barack Obama was a member of the Trinity United Church in Chicago, whose pastor was Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Obama has called Wright a “great man” and described him as his “friend” and “mentor.” Wright is a virulently anti-Israel preacher who has delivered sermons and speeches bitterly critical of Israel and U.S. support for it. He has urged businesses and universities to divest from Israel. Wright’s church honored outspoken black supremacist, racist and anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan, conferring on him in 2007 a Lifetime Achievement Award. Obama has claimed that he never heard or was aware of these sermons and statements by Wright, asking us to believe that, over twenty years, he, his wife and his children never heard them; that his church friends never mentioned them to him; and that his “friend” and “mentor” Wright never communicated anything of these views to him privately. Yet, clearly, it would not have been possible for Obama to remain in Wright’s church for twenty years unless he felt comfortable with Wright’s poisonous rhetoric. Moreover, Obama, by his own admission, helped organize and personally attended Farrakhan’s million man march in Washington, D.C.


Among Jeremiah Wright’s outrageous statements are the following:


·        “We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant that the stuff we have done is now brought back into our front yards. America’s chickens are coming home to roost” (2003 sermon, quoted in Brian Ross & Rehab El-Buri, ‘Obama’s pastor: God damn America, U.S. to blame for 9/11,’, March 13, 2008).

·        “We supported Zionism shamelessly while ignoring the Palestinians and branding anybody who spoke out against it as being anti-Semitic. . . . We care nothing about human life if the end justifies the means. . . .” (Quoted in Ronald Kessler, ‘Obama and the Minister,’ Wall Street Journal, March 14, 2008).

·        “The Israelis have illegally occupied Palestinian territories for almost 40 years now. It took a divestment campaign to wake the business community up concerning the South Africa issue. Divestment has now hit the table again as a strategy to wake the business community up and to wake Americans up concerning the injustice and the racism under which the Palestinians have lived because of Zionism” (Quoted in Jim Davis, ‘Obama’s Church: Cauldron of Division,’, August 9, 2007).

·        On Louis Farrakhan: “His depth on analysis [sic] when it comes to the racial ills of this nation is astounding and eye-opening … He brings a perspective that is helpful and honest” (Quoted in Ronald Kessler, ‘Obama and the Minister,’ Wall Street Journal, March 14, 2008).

·        “When [Obama’s] enemies find out that in 1984 I went to Tripoli” to visit Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi with Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, “a lot of his Jewish support will dry up quicker than a snowball in hell” (Quoted in Ronald Kessler, ‘Obama Attended Hate America Sermon,’, March 16, 2008). [Visiting Libya in 1984 was illegal under U.S. law].



ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “Each of these incidents, some important, some less important, have added up over a short period – 16 months – to assume a troubling pattern suggesting that President Obama has an issue in general with the Jewish people and the Jewish state of Israel (especially compared to statements and actions towards Muslim people and Muslim states).


“But maybe we shouldn’t be surprised about President Obama’s words and actions concerning Jews and the Jewish state. After all, he spent twenty years sitting with his wife and children in the pews of his church listening to his own pastor, the anti-Israel, anti-Semitic preacher, Jeremiah Wright, whom he has called a great man as well as his friend and mentor. President Obama, by his own admission, helped organize and personally attended Farrakhan’s million man march, and is also friends with Israel-bashers Rashid Khalidi, Ali Abunimah, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Zbigniew Brzezinski among others.”


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