Tag Archive | Obama

Obama, You’re Really Chatzuf

First you get involved in our elections.  Then, you get mad that all your funds, representatives, and organizational tactics didn’t work – because we managed to outvote you.

You sign a deal that carries a great deal of immediate danger for the entire Middle East, yet, you do not live here in the Middle East, and Israel and most of our neighbors are against the deal.

You then allow Kerry to threaten Israel that if Congress vetoes the deal, it will be Israel’s fault, and Israel will suffer.  How, exactly, will it be Israel’s fault, and why should we suffer?

After that, Senators are put under pressure to support your decision, regardless of what they themselves think.  MoveOn, a federal committee, cuts funding to those senators opposed to the deal.

You insist on threatening the very basis of democracy, by not allowing Congress to veto the Iran deal, and insisting, through force, on doing what you want to do – even if 6 out of 10 Americans oppose it.

You know, I thought that America was a democratic country, and a country that encouraged democracy.  May I ask why the leader of a so-called democratic country is acting in a way that is explicitly against democracy?

And then you have the chutzpa to get angry at Bibi for “interfering in American issues,” when first of all, it is not an “American affair,” but a Middle East affair first, and a global affair only second.  It is not an American affair at all; America is included with the rest of the globe.  And second, you had the audacity to interfere in our elections.

And you say we are interfering in your affairs?

Obama-rama making a speech, you have a lot of chutzpa.  I think maybe you should apologize to us, because your chatzuf actions and speeches are unacceptable, undemocratic, and unjust.

Oh, and that worry that if we don’t go through with the Iran deal, war will ensue?  We’ll have to fight a war with or without the deal . . . don’t you think it’s better to fight a non-nuclear Iran, rather than a nuclear one?

My Newest Obsession: Antarctica

This post was written on April 24, 2015.  I didn’t publish it then, because it needed a few tweaks.  Later, I didn’t publish it because life got hectic, and Antarctica was the furthest thing from my mind – besides for the fact that I was glad, at that point, that we live in a regular, civilized country.

Probably, you have already read about my Antarctica joke.  It goes like this:

Oh, no, X/Y/Z happened.  This world is such an awful, scary place.  I don’t know why I want to live in it, and I seriously don’t know why I am bringing another kid/ want to bring more kids into it.  Ugh.  It’s not safe in Israel, but at least here it’s more safe than other places, and we have a government and an army that doesn’t stick their heads into the sand.  If I thought there was a safer place, I’d go, but I don’t think any country is safe now . . . there’s really nowhere you can live safely . . .

Hey, wait! We can move to Antarctica!

Except that Yitzchak always pops the bubble:

Antarctica will suffer the after-effects of nukes in other places, just like every other country will, he says.

In twenty years, Antarctica will be the center of a major war, as every country tries to stake its claim, when the weather warms up and the land becomes habitable (there’s a treaty until 2048, maybe it will be extended?).

We would have sun six months out of the year, and we would have to accept Shabbat at one in the afternoon sometimes.  On the other hand, Shabbat would end at one in the afternoon – nice, but it makes the day pretty rushed, with barely enough time to daven and do kiddush.

Hmmm, there’s no mikva, and the snow doesn’t sound too nice.

At one point, he tried to scare me by telling me that it wasn’t exactly a safe place for women, because half the researchers are single guys who haven’t seen a woman in years.  Turns out, there are families there, too.

Our heating bill will be outrageous . . .

And so on . . .

But as we come closer to understanding that Iran will be allowed to get nukes, as far as Obama is concerned, and Putin has no issues giving Iran the tools to help them defend their nuclear reactor – and North Korea continues to help them develop nuclear weapons;

and as I hear more and more often about kidnappings, shootings, and who knows what;

and as we start and stop, start and stop, the task of getting rid of Hamas;

I’ve started to think that it’s better just to pick up and move.

To Antarctica.

Yes, seriously.

Now all I have to do is convince Yitzchak.

Obama’s Dangerous Iran Deal

I write about politics, yes.  But I don’t usually mention the possibility of Iran turning nuclear.  I try not to think about Iran, because it scares me.  It would be called burying my head in the sand, except that Yitzchak makes very certain to keep up with any sort of news on the subject.  So I told him a while ago to tell me ONLY what I need to know, and what affects my everyday life, and the rest of it to keep to himself.  Which he does, kind of.  I still have to tell him sometimes that, “I DON’T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT IT,” but other times he just speaks to his Dad.  That’s what Dads are for, right?

But at the moment, I feel like I can’t just ignore the topic.  And so I turn the computer over to Yitzchak, who will write what he likes, without telling me about it.

What can I say? In the middle east, there is no such thing as negotiating in “good faith”. Mostly because there is no relevance between “faith” and “negotiations” (it’s rather equivalent to “military intelligence” in that both are a contradiction in terms). Iran is in this deal because they see it as an opportunity to get rid of sanctions, and no other reason; in this case “negotiations” are a means of removing sanctions, without giving up what they want. “Compromise” is not a goal here, it is a contest, the winner being the one who dupes the other into thinking that he won the deal. Hence, for all of our good secular liberal arts education, we’re probably at a worse vantage point for appreciating the cross cultural exchange than if we were, say, some ignorant redneck in Eastern Kentucky with a pickup truck on cinder blocks in his front yard, and a loaded shotgun resting on his door post.

If Kerry were culturally informed, he would forget about a “happy compromise” and stick to the cultural standard. However they are pursuing a “Legacy”. In my opinion, saying that the negotiations failed is not a problem. It is a courageous act, stating to the world “we tried, and it didn’t work”, and by no means does it not mean that we can’t order the SSBNs in the Persian Gulf to open fire when the “time limit” runs out (a deadline should mean something shouldn’t it? we’re the ones in power here).

In my opinion, seeking nuclear weapons should be punished by being a victim of the self same weapons. (And don’t bring me Israel, we had nuclear weapons before the NPT and gave them to France, itself a nuclear weapon power on the NPT; so if we go, so do the Frenchies, not that it bothers me that much.)

Obama Revisited

Am I allowed to change my mind?  I hope so.

Since Obama left, some things have happened over here that have made me kind of suspicious.  It just smells funny, if you know what I mean.  What happened?

– Netanyahu apologized to Turkey, who then demanded $1 million per person killed in Mavi Marmara.  And was it our fault that they participated and were constituting a threat to our soldiers?  I don’t think so.

– There will, apparently, be more cuts in the aid that the United States gives to Israel.

– Obama helps flow cash to Palestinians.

– Netanyahu releases funds that he was holding from PA revenue – without receiving anything in return, and without using any of it to pay the PA’s electricity and water debts to Israel.  (Yes, everyone here pays electricity and water.  If you don’t pay, they cut it off.  But apparently if the PA doesn’t pay, theirs doesn’t get cut off.)

– There have been rumors that there will be an unofficial building freeze.  This means that we don’t state that we aren’t building, but we also don’t encourage it (or allow people to procure proper documentation).

– Both the US and Israel will help the PA out?  Really?  Especially when the home economy of each needs a lot of work?

– And then, there is Kerry.  But that’s for a different time.

See what I mean?

It’s all too coincidental; too perfectly timed.  It stinks of foul play and lies.

In addition, we may very well face budget cuts in the defense department.  Wonderful, huh?  I can’t wait.

So – what do I think of Obama now?  I’m not sure.  I guess I will just have to wait and see.  But in the meantime, I am trying to remember that he has sold us advanced war planes and funded the Iron Dome system.

At the end of the day – what Obama and Netanyahu decide is ultimately in G-d’s hands.  I believe that G-d won’t allow them to hurt us too badly (and now I am thinking about the Holocaust; but even then, those who saw it coming escaped in time).

 

Roadblocks (Or Obama’s Israel Visit)

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This post is about Obama’s visit to Israel.  It is subdivided into several sections, each of which was a post that I wanted to write this week (but couldn’t, because my computer broke, remember?).

A. Me: “I don’t get it – why does everything have to be closed, just because Obama is in the general area?  What, do they think someone will assassinate him will happen?”

Yitzchak: “The United States has a history of its presidents being assassinated.”

Me (thinking that I’ve only heard of Kennedy being assassinated): “In the U.S., not abroad.”

Yitzchak: “Both in the U.S. itself and abroad.”

Me (not sure, but not willing to argue the point): “They do know that if someone will assassinate Obama, it’s going to be an Arab, right?  Jews may or may not like him [FTR: I think I like him], but only an Arab would assassinate him – they don’t even want him to visit them.  Though, I’m not sure why, because he’s been pretty nice to them.”

Yitzchak: “Because they want to ‘cut off the head of the snake.'”

Me: “Hm, and this would be the head of ‘the head of the snake.'”

Yitzchak: “Yeah, and it would probably do them more harm than good, but they’re too blind to see that.  They don’t think that they [Muslim fighters] can be defeated.”

B. Me: “Why under the sun did Obama decide to visit right before Pesach?  He couldn’t have come during Pesach?  It’s not like he’s totally ignorant – there are lots of religious Jews in the White House, and he knows they’re getting ready for Pesach.”

Yitzchak: “If it were Bush, he’d have the excuse of being oblivious – all of Bush’s best friends are all Arabs.  But Obama’s best friends are all Jews, so he has no excuse for closing the roads when everyone needs to be shopping for Pesach.”

C. Today the 21 isn’t running.  The 5 isn’t running.  The 6 isn’t running.  I called the bus company and they told me that all three were running, but two of them had slight route changes.  On Wednesday, the 13 and 18 had changes or weren’t running.  The light rail train should be running, but we all know that “should” and “is” are two separate concepts.

None of these bus lines are running.  There are roadblocks set up, and buses can’t get through.  Neither can private cars.  And the taxi company in our neighborhood has been forbidden to send out taxis.  Yitzchak wasted over an hour today waiting for a bus that didn’t come, and then going to another neighborhood on foot, to wait for another bus that didn’t come.  And on a Friday, that’s pretty awful.

Yitzchak thinks – and I agree with his theory – that there must be American police involved.  Israeli police would probably allow buses through by making makeshift “checkpoints”.  Meaning, the bus stops at the roadblock, an officer gets on, he removes any suspicious people, and then allows the bus to pass.  Only American police officers could be stupid enough to freeze all of the traffic in three neighborhoods surrounding the one neighborhood where Obama is.  And no offense, but 9/11 would not have happened in Israel – simply because racial profiling is allowed, and the terrorists would not have been allowed to board.  Even today, with all the precautions that America takes, I am not sure that the airport security is enough.  And no, I don’t think that X-rays are appropriate, necessary, healthy, or acceptable.  All you need is to learn how to profile correctly.

D. (Theoretical conversation:)

Yitzchak (to a police officer): “Can I ask President Obama a question?”

Officer: “Why?”

Yitzchak: “Just because I’m curious, I want to ask a quick question.”

Officer: “Okay.”

Yitzchak (to Obama): “Mr. President, can I ask you why you decided to come, of all times, the week before Pesach?”

Obama: “That’s a very good question.  I’ll have to think about it and get back to you.” (or, alternatively)  “That’s a good question.  I really don’t know.”

(Both of these answers are actually very complimentary to Obama, since most people don’t know how to admit mistakes or say that they don’t know something.)

E. We have friends who were very anti-Obama in the elections and said that Romney is pro-Israel and Obama is an anti-Semite.  They encouraged us to vote for Romney.  Our voting cards did not get here in time, but we were planning to vote for Obama, and would have if we had had the opportunity.

This morning, one of them said, “Obama sounds like a Jew the way he’s talking.  He’s really being nice.  And he obviously knows his stuff.”

From one extreme to the other, huh?

F. One thing that does bother me is that this, “was not a political visit,” yet, students from Ariel University were not invited to Obama’s speech. That in itself is a political statement.  However, I blame the U.S. Consulate for this step.  I don’t know whether Obama corrected it, or why he did or did not (because my computer broke, remember?), but either way, I am more mad at the consulate than at the president.

G. Overall, I think Obama’s visit to Israel has gone pretty well.  He wants to speak to Bennett.  He has been pretty reasonable on the peace-process front.  And Netanyahu seems to be getting along with Obama just fine.  In addition, Obama seems to have realized – the first president in a long time – that peace truly depends on whether both sides want it, and not necessarily are both sides interested right now.

I like Obama as a person.  I was not sure that I liked his policies towards Israel last time, but I knew that Romney would undoubtedly be worse.  This is also Obama’s second term, which means that he can do whatever he wants without worrying about re-election and the political consequences.  The only – and scary – question for me, during the elections, was what exactly Obama wants, and what he truly believes in.  Was he being nicer to Israel than he would like to be, to get re-elected?  Or was he being nicer to the Arabs to get re-elected?

Now I breathe a sigh of relief that I looked at the other aspects of his relationship with Israel, and trusted that it would only get better with time.  Obama seems to be the most reasonable, intelligent American president that Israel has seen in a long time.

His friends are Jews, not Arabs.  He wants his children to grow up in a safe world.  And he can do whatever he wants, because he is not running for re-election.  I hope he continues to be a true friend of Israel.