According to this report, the Obama team is worried that “they may be losing the Jews,” but it’s all a big misunderstanding. That was Rahm Emanuel’s pitch to a meeting with rabbis last week:
The Obama administration has “screwed up the messaging” about its support for Israel over the past 14 months, and it will take “more than one month to make up for 14 months,” White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel said on Thursday to a group of rabbis called together for a meeting in the White House.
“During the elections there were doubts about President Obama’s support for Israel, and now they have resurfaced,” Emanuel said, according to one of those who participated in the meeting. “But concerning policy, we have done everything that we can that is in Israel’s security – and long-range interests. Watch what the administration does.”
Emanuel also came right out and said that the Obama team opposes unilateral sanctions. Dennis Ross, in his enabler role, assured the rabbis that just because the Obama administration is calling for a nuclear-free Middle East doesn’t mean anything has changed regarding our stance toward Israel’s nuclear capability. (No, it doesn’t make any sense, but that is what he supposedly told them.)
One hopes against hope that those assembled rebutted the nonsense that the Obama team’s problem is merely one of presentation. After all, demanding a unilateral settlement freeze, condemning the Jewish state, repudiating the Bush-Sharon agreements on settlements and Jerusalem, the leak campaign threatening to impose a peace plan, the anemic effort to deprive the mullahs of nuclear weapons, and the robust effort to prevent an Israeli strike to defend the Jewish state from an existential threat are all substantive moves — more than spin. And if the message is so defective, then Obama should go back to Cairo and revise and extend his speech — making clear he was wrong to suggest that Israel’s legitimacy rests on the Holocaust, wrong to omit the history of Palestinian rejectionism, wrong to equate Palestinians with enslaved African Americans, and wrong to ignore Muslim brutality toward girls and women.
The communication problem is actually American Jewry’s. Privately they bemoan the current administration, but they continue with smiles and nods of approval when they have an opportunity to confront the administration. And they refuse to condemn Obama’s policies. They so covet those private confabs and the status of being on speaking terms with administration figures — and are so smitten with the Democratic Party, which returns their loyalty with an assault on the Jewish state — that they find is so very hard to speak up forcefully when they are being spun by a Chicago pol.
Perhaps those in attendance will be more candid in the future. If not, it’s hard to see how they are serving their congregants, American Jewry, or Israel. Silence, in this case, is complicity.