The day before he mistakenly attributed the German death camps where millions of Jews were murdered to Poland, President Obama met with twenty leading Conservative rabbis to thank them for their shared commitment in rebuilding the U.S. economy, and their collective contributions to society.
There, according to the Israeli news site Haaretz, “Obama … stressed he probably knows about Judaism more than any other president, because he read about it.”
“I [am] not going to tell you again how I even feel about Israel, but why [are] we still talking about it?” he reportedly asked rhetorically.
The president also wondered why no one asks Speaker of the House John Boehner or Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell about their support for the Middle East’s only real democracy.
William Kristol of the Weekly Standard responded to Obama’s question in a piece, writing: “The reason no one asks John Boehner or Mitch McConnell about their support for Israel is … because they really do support Israel. The reason people ask Barack Obama about his support for Israel is because his support for Israel has been equivocal.”
President Obama has long come under fire for the state of his relationship with Israel, with many on the right claiming that he says all the right things, but when it comes to the nation’s actual security, he fails.
For instance, the president has said that he supports a two state solution with boundaries based on the indefensible 1967 borders.
As for the claim that he “probably” knows more about Israel than any other president, Kristol responds:
His vanity boggles the mind. One could begin by citing Adams and Madison, who knew Hebrew, or Harry Truman, who knew Jewish history … but it’s silly to dignify this claim with a rebuttal. In thinking about the presidents since Truman, though, I’d guess the president who knew the most about Judaism was Jimmy Carter, who taught Sunday school and had a deep interest in religion. So let’s stipulate that of the modern presidents, Carter and Obama “know” the most about Judaism. But what is it they know? In Obama’s case, one could ask whether what he “knows” is what he learned from Rashid Khalidi and Jeremiah Wright.
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