Barack Obama Just Can't Please Everyone

In response to this post, in which I noted that President Obama gave an impassioned pro-Israel speech (impassioned is actually Robert Satloff's description), I received many letters from many people, Jews and non-Jews, who believe, against all evidence, that President Obama hates Jews. Here is one example:

If that is your impression, you are a bigger idiot than I thought.  That by-election in NY scared the hell out of Obama about losing the Jewish vote in his re-election try, and until November 2012, he will be vocally "pro-Israel."  But Israel and Jews in general, watch out after the election if he is re-elected.  He will cut our throats if he can, as you, Goldberg, well know.  My impression is that that your impression is not what you say it is, but like all unprincipled Democratic partisans ashamed of their Jewish backgrounds, you will lie to re-elect Obama and help him throw Israeli Jews under the bus.  Afterwards, you can claim that you were misled.  No skin off your teeth.

Judge (ret.) Herbert Grossman
Here is another one, from Lee Smith, of the Boston Lobster Company (of all things) who entitled his e-mail, "Arab miscreants."
   First of all you are not qualified to know what is in Israel's best
interest.  Because of bleeding heart liberals like yourself we have elected
a real phony con man.  I know you were upset when Bibi came to Washington
and you were quoted about how you resented his comments etc  in my mind you
are a real asshole and I know someday you will suffer because you are really
full of shit   thanks  Lee smith
I post these letters only to show you how ridiculous anti-Obama invective can sound.

Speaking of Robert Satloff, the head of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, here is part of his analysis of Obama's speech, which did seem to mark a turn:
Perhaps most remarkably, Obama did not pair (the) recitation of a fundamentally pro-Israel narrative with an equal but opposite recitation of the Palestinian narrative -- the themes of rootlessness, humiliation, and dispossession that he has cited on previous occasions. (In last year's UN address, for example, he said: "This time, we will think not of ourselves, but of the young girl in Gaza who wants to have no ceiling on her dreams, or the young boy in Sderot who wants to sleep without the nightmare of rocket fire.") Instead, with no discussion of Israeli settlement activity, building in Jerusalem, or the difficulties of Palestinian movement through checkpoints, Obama limited himself to one side of the story. In essence, the punishment meted out to Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas for rejecting Washington's request to shelve his UN gambit was that Obama came to New York as Israel's ally, not as an impartial mediator of peace diplomacy.

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.


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