From time to time I read the writings of The Jerusalem Post's Caroline Glick in order to gain insight into the way Klingons understand the Middle East. For those of you unfamiliar with her work, Glick is someone who thinks that Menachem Begin was soft on the Arabs. In any case, Glick is entertaining, except when she's not. To wit: Her recent column in the Jewish Press attacking Israel's ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, as an appeaser of that awful anti-Semitic dictator, Barack Obama. Oren's crime, according to Glick, is that he praises the Obama Administration when the Obama Administration comes to the aid of Israel, which it does, just in case you haven't been paying attention, with some frequency (for those of you who doubt this, please check with the Israeli Defense Ministry.) Here is Glick, in full-Pasionaria mode:
Given Oren's stated political views, it is obviously uncomfortable for him to defend Israel in a Washington governed by the Left. And, again in the interest of his own convenience, Oren has adopted the role of Obama's chief lobbyist to the U.S. Jewish community.
For instance, Oren has repeatedly, publicly and mendaciously denied that Obama mistreated Netanyahu during his visit to the White House in the spring. In a recent interview with American Jewish media, Oren extolled the virtues of Obama's speech to the Muslim world in Cairo in June 2009 where he claimed Israel owed its existence to the Holocaust and drew a parallel between the genocide of European Jewry and the absence of a Palestinian state....
Jewish activists who were present at Oren's Rosh Hashanah reception at the Israeli Embassy this month said he gave "the best stump speech for President Obama" they had ever heard.
All of this is rather silly. Oren, of course, is no leftist; he is, at the very least, a centrist, and he is an Israeli patriot who sometimes makes American Jews uncomfortable by unapologetically defending Israel, even when particular Israeli actions don't deserve a defense. The only notable aspect of this Glick column comes in the last paragraph I quoted -- the claim that Oren gave a "stump speech" for President Obama at his Rosh Hashanah reception. This interested me because I attended that reception (at the ambassador's house, not the embassy) and I did not hear a stump speech for Obama. I heard a short and rather anodyne speech that detailed the generally-strong state of relations with the United States, but I did not hear a stump speech.
Glick's baseless assertion, I quickly learned, came from a blast e-mail that has been ricocheting around the Intertubes, written by a Democratic fundraiser named Nancy Gilbert. It is a wildly unhinged letter, meant to make the case that Obama is the best friend Israel ever had. It goes on at some length, but it is inadvertently entertaining:
"Ambassador Oren and his wonderful wife Sally warmly received each guest -then stood before the assembled crowd in what was the best stump speech for President Obama that I have heard from any world leader (and yes, Ambassador Oren speaks FOR Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel!). Without a note, Ambassador Oren outlined the brilliant accomplishments and strong support of Israel demonstrated by the Obama Administration in LESS THAN 2 YEARS! Oren invoked our President's name, time and time again) : (please memorize these bullet points and tell everyone you know!)
President Obama's leadership (and coaxing) has produced an international coalition that INCLUDES China and Russia who have implemented unprecedented sanctions against Iran, which, according to conversations at the Monday reception, appear to have caught Iran off-guard. President Obama and his team are spending more time on this issue than almost any other issue facing our country today President Obama and our Congress have provided Israel with every cent (and then some) of foreign assistance requested by Israel President Obama has restored Israel's QME (qualitative military edge) which had been neglected for the last 8 years President Obama is the FIRST American leader to say - in an Arab country (Egypt) that the Arab world must recognize Israel as a JEWISH state and in a support of Israel's legitimacy to affirm the -quote- "unshakeable " bond between the USA & Israel President Obama & team played a critical role in leading a UNANIMOUS vote to include Israel in the OECD (Organization of Economic Cooperation & Development). The vote was 31-0 admitting Israel to this prestigious organization President Obama has dispatched leaders of the Joint Chiefs to Israel not once, but four times already in his less-than-2-years in office ( before that the Joint chiefs had not been in Israel for YEARS ( not once during the 'last' administration) The Obama administration has integrated US missile technology into Israel's expanding missile shield. The Obama administration continues to fund development of ARROW-3,Israel's advanced long-rage, high-altitude system for countering Iranian ballistic missiles President Obama asked Congress for $205 million dollars for Israel's IRON DOME rocket defense system (which will reduce incoming rocket threats from Hizbullah in the north and Hamas in the south...).
I called Nancy Gilbert at her home in Boca Raton to ask her how she managed to hear a speech no one else among the 150 or so people at the reception heard, and she said, first, that this was a private e-mail, not meant for public consumption, which was both a naive and immaterial thing to say. Then she said that she was "interpreting" what the ambassador was saying, rather than quoting what he actually said, and she added that she "loves Israel." It was Confucius, of course, who once said, "She who loves Israel should not manufacture quotations that involve Israel's QME." America."
There are a few lessons here. One is for Caroline Glick, "journalist": Just because a piece of information is contained in an e-mail does not mean it is true. Another, obviously, is that there is no such thing as a private blast e-mail. A third is that God help us when people who don't know how to take notes try to function as reporters. A fourth is that there is still at least one person in Boca Raton who supports Barack Obama.