… and learn more about President Obama’s strong pro-Israel record, and why I’m supporting him for re-election in 2012.
One last point to make here: Note that whenever Obama talks about Israel, especially on the world stage, he talks not just about the importance of Israel as a democratic ally in a volatile region — but about the absolute need for a safe and secure “Jewish” state. This is an extremely significant choice of words from the American president — a strong, consistent signal to the Arab world — at a time when many deny that there should even be an inherently Jewish character to a democratic state of Israel.
Here, for instance, is President Obama in his speech to the United Nations, Sept. 25, 2012:
Among Israelis and Palestinians, the future must not belong to those who turn their backs on a prospect of peace. Let us leave behind those who thrive on conflict, those who reject the right of Israel to exist. The road is hard, but the destination is clear — a secure, Jewish state of Israel and an independent, prosperous Palestine.
I have heard Obama speak twice about Israel to small Jewish audiences — the first in Cleveland during the presidential primary in ’08, and the second last June in Washington, D.C. I have absolutely no doubt he gets Israel in his “kishkes” — and that is why he has made stopping Iran’s nuclear capability one of his signature foreign policy objectives. (And if you doubt the Obama-led sanctions regime is having an impact, please read: Israel Finance Minister says Iran Economy on the ‘Verge of Collapse.’):
Israeli officials appear increasingly ready to acknowledge the effect of recent American and European sanctions designed to restrict Iran’s lifeline oil exports.
“The sanctions on Iran in the past year jumped a level,” Israeli finance minister Yuval Steinitz told Israel Radio, noting that as finance minister, he follows Iran’s economy. “It is not collapsing, but it is on the verge of collapse. The loss of income from oil there is approaching $45-50 billion by the year’s end.”
For all of the facts on President Obama’s policies designed to stop Iran, please read and share this.
[UPDATE: Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic has compiled a list of some of Obama’s strongest statements about Iran here: “Obama’s Crystal-Clear Promise to Stop Iran From Getting a Nuclear Weapon.”]
For all of the facts about President Obama’s policies that strengthen Israel — including information about how Obama restored Israel’s “Qualitative Military Edge” — please read and share this.
And for information about how Obama’s general policies reflect Jewish values, please read and share this.
I knew from the moment I met Obama that he had a quintessentially Jewish soul. In ’08, when I asked him to sign an autograph for our son, he asked — when he heard the name — if our son was named for Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel. How many people in public office today — let alone the president — even know who Rabbi Heschel was? (How many Jews know him?) How many of our leaders could cite Heschel on a dime in a rope line?
Many of Obama’s critics on Israel — some of whom are my dear friends — like to tell me that while Obama says the right things, it doesn’t ultimately matter; it’s just words. But as Rabbi Heschel said: “Speech has power. Words do not fade. What starts out in a sound, ends in a deed.”
That’s why when Obama speaks repeatedly not just about a safe Israel, but a secure Jewish state, its significance should not be understated.
Rabbi Heschel also famously said: “Above all, the prophets remind us of the moral state of people: Few are guilty, but all are responsible.”
That’s why I’m doing all I can — through my writing on Twitter this year — to help re-elect President Barack Obama. Please follow me @neuroticdem. Thanks.