Saturday, July 26, 2008

Manchild in the Promised Land

Harry at Israelity, gold standard of Israeli blogs, makes a trenchant point about Obama's visit.

...Obama delivered his only speech of his trip there (and said all the right things of course). As a result, Sderot’s plight will get mentioned in nearly every newspaper in the world today and all three major television networks in the states surely mentioned it last night.

Politics here unfortunately tend to be single-issue oriented. I think we, as Jews, need to wake up and realize that while the security and peace for Israel is important for the America, it is not the number one issue. Yair Lapid nails this in an excellent column in Yediot this week.

Anyone doubting Obama's finesse with foreign affairs need to read this little snip and the item he links.

Barack Obama will not be lying to us during his visit, but he won’t be telling us the truth either.

Here is someone who knows how to pay attention when a politician is talking...

Ever since Jimmy Carter was kicked out of the White House we haven’t had the chance to meet an objective American president. Reagan viewed us as a Cold War asset, Bush Sr., Clinton, and Bush Jr. supported us as part of their religious belief (and personal friendship.) Obama is about to become the first objective president in 30 years.

For Obama, any dollar sent to us means one dollar less for Detroit’s poor neighborhoods. Any flak jacket sent to the IDF is taken from a US Marine in Iraq; any dispute with the Saudis will turn into inflated fuel prices at gas stations in Los Angeles.

In the coming days, he will prove to us in many ways how much he likes us. Yet after that he will go and take care of the things that really matter to him.

One needs not look hard to realize what is important for him; he said it more than once. In the speech that boosted his stock in the Democratic Party convention in 2004 he said: “If there is a child on the south side of Chicago who can’t read, that matters to me, even if it’s not my child. If there is a senior citizen somewhere who can’t pay for their prescription drugs, and having to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it’s not my grandparent. If there’s an Arab American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties. that if there is a kid in south Chicago who cannot read, it is important to him even if it isn’t his own child.”

Since that time, there are many more kids in Chicago who cannot read, many more senior citizens who have no money for medicine, and many many more Arabs who have been held without a trial in Guantanamo and in Iraq.

In the coming days we will be exposed to Obama’s rhetorical abilities – few are able to deliver speeches like he does, and nobody does it better. Just like any great speaker, he will not be lying. He will simply spare us the truth – the fact that we are about to face a harsh rehabilitation process.

Should he be elected, he will have to take care of America’s weakness, the declining dollar, the energy crisis, China’s rise, the Iraq troop withdrawal, and the huge trade deficit. When he’s done with that (if he’s ever done with that) he will have to decide what is of greater interest to him: A group of loud Israelis who have become addicted to the attention of the world’s greatest superpower, or his hungry brothers and cousins in war-torn and AIDS-ridden Kenya, who are looking to him with pleading eyes and hoping that his America indeed believes in change.

A change will certainly be taking place; yet we might not like it.

A word to the wise here at home: If this man can grasp the realities of Obama's message as well as that, a lot of people here at home should start looking between the lines, as much for what is not said as what is.

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