Obama Crackdown on Jewish Dissent

Sultan Knish reports about intimidation and attempts at suppression of free speech by Obama supporters.

“Call it Scenes from the Obama Revolution Part 2. It’s happening quietly and under the radar but there is a pattern to it is a bit similar for it to be completely random. Editors and staff working for local Jewish papers that have run articles critical of Obama have been receiving hostile phone calls.

While critical phone calls are not unusual when you’re working on a newspaper, these phone calls are not from random readers, they are coming from lawyers and sometimes doctors who wield influence in the community and may often be advertisers. Typical talking points for these phone calls typically warn against running any further critical articles of Obama “now that he is President”, emphasize that most Jews voted for Obama and emphasize that “we must unite behind him” or there may be “consequences to our community.”

The phone calls are conducted with a brashness and rudeness that smack of Rahm Emanuel. A not atypical closing section from a phone call received by the editor of a Jewish newspaper not too far away from Obama’s home base ran like this.”

Caller: Who the hell does he think is writing things like this about Obama?

Editor: He is a respected journalist who is a Holocaust survivor and has been appearing with us for many years.

Caller: As far as I’m concerned he’s garbage! You can’t run any articles by him again, not until he moderates his position.

Editor: This is a free country, you can have your opinion and he can have his opinion.

Caller: No he can’t!

Read more.

I am wondering when my phone call is going to come?


Israel in Peril?

Caroline Glick, writing in the Jerusalem Post, talks about Obama’s advisors on the middle east:

US President-elect Barack Obama has properly sought to maintain a low profile in foreign affairs in this transition period ahead of his January inauguration. But while Obama has stipulated that the US can have only one president at a time, his aides and advisers are signaling that he intends to move US foreign policy in a sharply different direction from its current trajectory once he assumes office.

And they are signaling that this new direction will be applied most immediately and directly to US policy toward the Middle East.

Early in the Democratic Party’s primary season, the Obama campaign released a list of the now-president-elect’s foreign policy advisers to The Washington Post. The list raised a great deal of concern in policy circles, particularly among supporters of the US-Israel alliance. It included outspoken critics of Israel such as Zbigniew Brzezinski, who served as national security adviser under president Jimmy Carter, and Robert Malley, who served as a junior Middle East aide to president Bill Clinton. Both men are deeply hostile to Israel and both have called repeatedly for the US to end its strategic alliance with Israel.

In the months that followed the list’s publication, the Obama campaign sought to distance itself from both men as the president-elect’s advisers worked to position Obama as a centrist candidate.

Although he was a junior staffer in Clinton’s National Security Council, since 2000 Malley has used his Clinton administration credentials to pave his emergence as one of America’s most outspoken apologists for Palestinian terrorism against Israel. Immediately after the failed July 2000 Camp David peace summit, Malley invented the Palestinian “narrative” of the summit’s proceedings. While Clinton, then-prime minister Ehud Barak, and Ambassador Dennis Ross, who served as Clinton’s chief negotiator, have all concurred that Yasser Arafat torpedoed the prospects of peace when he refused Barak’s offer of Palestinian statehood, Malley claimed falsely that Israel was to blame for the failure of the talks.

In succeeding years, he has expanded his condemnation of Israel. He insists that not only Palestinian aggression, but Syrian, Lebanese and Iranian attacks against Israel are all Israel’s fault. The Obama campaign distanced itself from Malley in May after the Times of London reported that he was meeting regularly with Hamas terror leaders.

As the election drew closer, the Obama campaign expanded its efforts to present its candidate as a foreign policy moderate. Moderate foreign policy advisers such as Ross were paraded before reporters. Both Obama and his surrogates insisted that he supports a strong American alliance with Israel. Obama abandoned his earlier pledge to withdraw all US forces from Iraq by 2010. He attempted to temper and later deny his public pledge to hold direct negotiations with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad without preconditions.

Glick goes on to explain that while Obama insists that he supports a strong Israel, the recent activities by his advisors indicate the opposite.

Two days after his election, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius gave a sense of the direction in which Obama will likely take US foreign policy. And, apparently directed by Obama’s campaign staff, Ignatius based much of his column on his belief that Obama’s foreign policy views have been shaped by his “informal” adviser, Brzezinski.

Based on what Brzezinski and Obama’s “official” campaign told him, Ignatius wrote that the two major issues where Obama’s foreign policy is likely to diverge from Bush’s right off the bat are Israel and Iran. Obama, he claimed, will want to push hard to force Israel to come to an agreement with the Palestinians as soon as he comes into office. As for Iran, Obama plans to move immediately to improve US relations with the nuclear-weapons-building ayatollahs.

As for Malley, an aide of his told Frontpage magazine this week that acting on Obama’s instructions, Malley traveled to Cairo and Damascus after Obama’s electoral victory to tell Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Assad that “the Obama administration would take into greater account Egyptian and Syrian interests.”

In a related story, Hamas terror operative Ahmad Youssef told the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper that in the months leading up to his election, Obama’s advisers held steady contacts with the leaders of the terror group in Gaza, and had asked that Hamas keep the meetings secret in order not to harm Obama’s chances of being elected.

Both Obama’s transition team and Hamas leaders were quick to deny Youssef’s statements. Yet, together with the earlier Times of London story about Malley’s contacts with Hamas and the new revelations about Malley serving as Obama’s unofficial Middle East envoy, the Al-Hayat report has the ring of truth.

WHAT IS most alarming about Obama’s emerging foreign policy toward Iran and its proxies on the one hand and Israel on the other is that it will cause actual harm to the Jewish state.

By pressuring Israel to cede land to Syria and the Palestinians, Obama’s apparent foreign policy will provide Iran with still more territory from which to attack Israel both through its terror proxies and with its expanding ballistic missile arsenal. By embracing the Syrian regime in spite of its support for terrorism, its nuclear proliferation activities and its subversion of Lebanon, the incoming Obama administration will embolden Syria to increase its subversion of Lebanon and Iraq, while strengthening its ties to Iran still further.

As for direct talks with Iran itself, the question immediately arises, what could Obama offer Teheran in exchange for an end to its nuclear program that Bush hasn’t already offered?

What it can offer is Israel.

What she means by that is that Obama will attempt to get Iran to back off its nuclear ambitions by getting Israel to give up its nuclear capability.

Over the past few years, Obama’s top nuclear nonproliferation adviser, Joe Cirincione, has repeatedly advocated placing Israel’s nuclear arsenal on the negotiating table and offering it up in exchange for an Iranian pledge to end its nuclear program. Defense Secretary Robert Gates – whom Obama is considering retaining – insinuated in his 2006 confirmation hearings that Iran is only building nuclear weapons to defend itself against Israel. Gates, it should be recalled, has been instrumental in convincing Bush not only not to attack Iran’s nuclear installations, but not to support an Israeli attack against Iran’s nuclear installations.

What is profoundly distressing about statements by men like Cirincione and Gates is what they tell us about the strategic reasoning informing the incoming Obama administration. Their views echo those voiced by advocates of American abandonment of Israel such as Professors Steve Walt and John Mearshimer. Walt and Mearshimer argue that Iran is not a threat to US interests or to global security because in the event that the mullahs acquire nuclear weapons, they are likely to view them merely as a deterrent against Iran’s enemies. And as a result, Iran will respond as the Soviet Union did to a deterrent model based on mutually assured destruction.

This view is contradicted by Iran’s open advocacy of Israel’s destruction, and its declared willingness to absorb a nuclear attack in return for destroying Israel. But assuming that this how the Obama team views Iran, they should be the last ones advocating Israeli disarmament. Because if this is their view, then by their own reasoning, Israel’s presumed nuclear arsenal is necessary to deter Teheran from attacking. And if as Cirincione advocates, Obama intends to place Israel’s nuclear arsenal on the negotiating table, he will effectively be giving Iran a green light to attack Israel with nuclear weapons.

All of the Obama team’s post-election/pre-inaugural foreign policy signals place Israel’s next government – which will only be elected on February 10 – in an extraordinarily difficult position.

It is not just that their positions make clear that the Obama administration will do nothing to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. The Obama team’s pre-inaugural signals indicate strongly that Israel’s next government will need to strike Iran’s nuclear installations before two rapidly approaching deadlines.

The strike will have to occur before the mullahs enrich sufficient quantities of highly enriched uranium to produce nuclear bombs. And Israel will need to neutralize Iran’s nuclear program before the Obama administration begins implementing America’s new foreign policy.

I have a feeling that many Jews who supported Obama are going to find that they did not elect someone who has the best interest of the Jewish state in his policy program. While Americans support Israel because it is the only democracy in the middle east (with the exception now of Iraq), and because it is the only country in the middle east that supports freedom, democracy, and the United States, that support will now dissipate, it seems, under an Obama administration.

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First of all, I think it proper to say congratulations to President-Elect Obama who will be the 44th President of the United States of America.

Americans may have elected not only one of the least experienced candidates in our national history, but one who may be guided by some principles different from what we’re used to and on which the nation was founded.

Since Mr. Obama had no legislative history to look at, people were able to ascribe qualities to him that they hoped he possessed. I have a feeling that many of them will be greatly disappointed over the next four years. They are hoping for a quick fix to the economy. That will not happen. They are hoping for a quick exit from Iraq. That will not happen. They are hoping for prosperity and peace, but, alas, that doesn’t look likely in the next few years. They are hoping Obama will bring peace to the middle east and protect Israel from its enemies. That is also very unlikely. They are hoping that the US will not be challenged by threats to our national security. That, unfortunately, will also not happen. They are hoping the world will love us, and that will not happen. They are hoping that he will create special entitlements to benefit special interests. With the current economy, that isn’t likely either. There will be much disappointment among the supporters of President-Elect Obama.

The American people have handed him a sweeping victory without really knowing who he is. Four years ago he was a first-term State Senator in Illinois. His associations in the Chicago political world are questionable.

He was able to achieve that political victory for a few reasons, not the least of which is that a total of approximately $800 Million was spent on his campaign, considerably more than on any previous presidential campaign in our history. The previous high mark was the approximately $275 million for the Kerry campaign in 2004. Having that kind of war chest enabled him to run a superior campaign ground game and to be able to open several offices in many cities throughout the country – 60 offices in the State of Michigan, for example – manned by paid staff, not volunteers, and managed by salaried campaign organizers.

But the principal reasons Obama won had to do with a) the collapse of the economy and b) the overwhelming desire on the part of the American people for change.

Collapse of the Economy

After the Republican convention, for the following two weeks, John McCain was surging ahead of Barack Obama in the polls. I think it likely that if the economic collapse had not happened when it did, McCain could have won the election. The seeds of this economic collapse were planted before George Bush ever took office, but the fact that it happened during a Republican administration meant that the Republicans took the blame for it, even though they were not primarily responsible for it. In fact, several times over the past eight years, Republicans tried to rein in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and were blocked by House Democrats. All of the heads of the organizations that were responsible for the economic disaster were Democrats who contributed heavily to Democratic causes and campaigns, yet Republicans still took the blame.

Change for the sake of Change

We Republicans have been let down by our leadership in many ways. Ethical breaches and crimes committed by Republican leaders tainted the Republican brand. Those who thought of themselves, before their country, or their party, brought shame on Republicans everywhere. We have a leader in the White House who has been blamed for everything that has gone wrong in the country and who wasn’t responsible for most of it.

Right after 9-11 President Bush had a 90% approval rating. His approval rating is now 30%. In my view, George Bush’s biggest flaw has been his inability to communicate clearly and articulately to the American people.

After a badly managed battle in Iraq, a resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan, Katrina, the housing crash and finally the economic collapse, the American people were, rightly or wrongly, tired of Republicans and wanted a change. Apparently the question, “Change to what?” is answered by, “It doesn’t matter.”

What do we do now?

So that brings us to the question, “Where do we go from here?”

One of the reasons that we lost in 2006 and again in 2008 is because nobody knows what Republicans stand for. We say that we stand for limited government, yet over the past eight years we have had the greatest growth of government in the history of our country.

We say that we stand for reducing the costs of government. The opposite happened. The costs of government have been skyrocketing. We say that we stand for personal liberty and less government intrusion. The opposite has been the fact. We have less personal liberty and more government intrusion. We say that we believe in free trade, yet our Congress, including Republicans, has been passing legislation that inhibits free trade.

We say we stand for integrity and ethical behavior, yet more and more Republicans are indicted and convicted of criminal behavior. We say that we want to empower people and give them a stake in their future by enabling them to have private investment accounts in place of social security accounts, but we don’t fight to make that happen. We say that we want to have lower medical insurance costs for people who can’t afford current rates, but we don’t take a stand for making that happen. We say that we want to become independent of foreign oil, but we do nothing to develop alternative energy sources.

One might be able to say that Republicans “talk the talk”, but they don’t “walk the walk.” We say what we stand for, but we don’t do what we stand for. Americans basically dislike hypocrisy.

It is time for us to show that we are who we say we are.

Do we try to appeal to the center?

People say to me that we need to appeal more to the center. In other words, we need to be more like Democrats.

No! If the American people wanted someone who was like Democrats, they would pick the real thing – Democrats, as you saw last night.

There is nothing more persuasive than being passionately genuine. Republican conservative values mean something. They are what distinguish us. They are what make us different. They are what most of the country believes in. Tony Blankley, says it well: “Conservatism always has been and always will be a force to reckon with because it most closely approximates the reality of the human condition, based as it is, on the cumulative judgment and experience of a people. It is the heir, not the apostate, to the accumulated wisdom, morality and faith of the people.”

The fact is, we have had no conservative leader – no champion of the conservative cause, this election season.

We were not prepared to lead. We will only be ready to lead when we have leaders who will take a principled stand for conservative values – individual liberty and responsibility; smaller government; lower taxes; federalism; free trade; the fact that everyone, whatever his station in life, has an equal opportunity to achieve greatness; a strong national defense; protecting our national sovereignty; the American free enterprise economy; the rule of law and order; and most importantly, the understanding that the rights we enjoy are natural rights that do not come from government, but from our Creator. When we have someone who can lead the Party and who is capable of articulating what we stand for clearly to the American people, we will be ready to lead again.

Rebuilding the Party.

Whatever you say about Obama’s campaign, it was masterful. The use of new media, social networking, graphics, communication and the internet were outstanding. It was truly a 21st Century political campaign. McCain’s campaign, on the other hand was a 20th Century political campaign, and, in my view, poorly managed, as well. We need to look closely at the Obama campaign and use it as a model going forward.

We need to spend the next two years rebuilding the Republican Party. We need to find young dynamic spokesmen for the conservative cause. We need, on a national basis, to have leaders like Bobby Jindal, Tim Pawlenty, Sarah Palin, John Sununu, Haley Barbour, Jim Inhofe and other conservative lights step forward and assume leadership of a damaged Party.

The San Fernando Valley Republican Club

Change in the Republican Party will come, not from the top down, but from the grass-roots up. Since we are a Republican grass-roots organization we will be moving forward in the coming months with a program of renewal for the Republican Party in the San Fernando Valley. We will determine how best to communicate our message, and to recruit candidates who are a stand for conservative principles.

To that end, the speakers for our membership meetings for the next few months will be people who have concrete ideas on how to revitalize the Republican Party over the next couple of years. We need to be prepared to recapture seats in the House of Representatives and the Senate in 2010. We need to be unified as a party as to what we stand for. We need another Contract for America, just as we had in 1994 after two years of a Democrat administration. I think Newt Gingrich will be helpful in articulating a strategy.

We also need to be prepared to get more Republican candidates elected to statewide offices, especially Governor, which, so far, Steve Poizner has announced he will be a candidate for.

Our speaker for the November meeting will be Ben Shapiro who will give us his thoughts on revitalizing the Republican Party. Ben is a native of the San Fernando Valley and is the author of Brainwashed: How Universities Indoctrinate America’s Youth, Porn Generation: How Social Liberalism is Corrupting our Future, and Project President: Bad Hair and Botox on the Road to the White House. He also wrote The Jewish Case Against Barack Obama” for Townhall.com

Join the San Fernando Valley Republican Club in its mission to re-energize the Republican Party in the valley.

Congratulations to 2008 Candidates for a great job.

I also want to congratulate the candidates for State Assembly, State Senate and Congress who went out and fought the brave fight all over the San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles County. They ran strong campaigns and, unfortunately, because of the heavily Democrat districts, most of them were not elected. They deserve our profound congratulations for a great effort, and for standing up for Republican principles despite the odds.

Congratulations to Victory 2008 Volunteers

We can’t forget all of those grass-roots volunteers who came out to the headquarters, walked precincts, made phone calls and were there at all hours and for months on end. Without our grass-roots volunteers we would have no ground campaign. They deserve more than we can give them. It is those who gave of themselves that will be a part of building the future of the Party.

The next meeting of the San Fernando Valley Republican Club is on Tuesday, November 18, 2008 at Galpin Ford at 7:00pm. More details to follow.

We are at a new beginning for the Republican Party. Let’s re-emerge as a strong clear party that articulates and lives our conservative heritage.


Gary Aminoff
San Fernando Valley Republican Club

The foregoing was a letter sent to the members of the San Fernando Valley Republican Club on November 5, 2008.