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Friday, August 27, 2010

Obama and Israel: The Truth By Representative Henry Waxman

Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA) has penned a thoughtful and well presented Op-Ed in the Jewish Journal.  In it, he examines President Obama, his position on Israel, and his relationship with the American Jewish community.  He examines how the President's actions have in some cases opened the door for charged (and false) rhetoric attacking his commitment to Israel, his faith, and his administration, and addresses the truth of how this administration has and continues to support Israel.

Congressman Waxman has eloquently laid out the facts as they have occurred regarding President Obama and his stance and actions regarding Israel, and dispells many of the hateful emails spreading falsehoods and divisiveness among many in our community.  Please take a moment to read this article.  Below are some excerpts.
Attacks on Barack Obama’s sincerity toward Israel date back to his candidacy for president. They were fueled by often-anonymous e-mail traffic rife with speculation that he was Muslim or that he was beholden to radical anti-Israel voices in the African American community. Ultimately, he dispelled these untruths and won the support of a large majority of Jewish voters. 

Unfortunately, President Obama got off to an uneasy start with Israel. As a result, he has faced doubts once again in the American Jewish community.
After outlining some of the areas that led to the doubts, he lays out the following facts and achievements:
Notwithstanding all the angst created by these events, this administration deserves an honest and clearheaded evaluation.
Since the recent meeting between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu, the two leaders are more clearly on the same page than ever before. Both spoke eloquently of bonds that they call “unbreakable” and “unshakable.” The peace process is also on a much steadier footing, with the burden having appropriately shifted to President Abbas to decide whether he will drop his preconditions and enter direct talks. 
On Iran, which is the primary existential threat facing Israel, both Israeli and American officials have talked openly about how our governments are closely strategizing to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. This goal has taken an enormous amount of the president’s personal attention, in talking directly to leaders in Russia, China, Europe and other key nations to advance unprecedented sanctions adopted by the U.N. Security Council in June that will block arms sales to Iran, freeze Revolutionary Guard assets and authorize searches of Iranian cargo vessels. The president also signed into law the Iran sanctions bill, which imposes sanctions on insurance, financing and shipping companies that assist Iran in developing its energy sector. This approach will inflict significant economic hardship on the Iranian regime and hopefully get them to see they would be better off not pursuing nuclear weapons.
This administration has enhanced Israel’s qualitative military edge. Joint military exercises, sales of the new F-35 fighter jet and $205 million for the Iron Dome missile defense system against Hezbollah rockets reflect our solid military ties.
The president is also leading the campaign against efforts to delegitimize Israel. At the United Nations, the United States has opposed action on the Goldstone Report, opposed calls for international investigations of the flotilla incident, and fought the anti-Israel bias at the U.N. Human Rights Council and other U.N. bodies. 
Read more at the Jewish Journal

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