Just before the Jewish holiday of Passover began this week, Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic posted a list by knee-jerk lefty Steve Sheffey–reliably pro-Israel, but also blindly partisan–hailing all that President Obama has done for Israel in two years in the White House.
The list is styled after the “Dayenu” song in the Passover liturgy, in which Jews praise God by noting all of His great deeds. The refrain, “Dayenu,” means: “It would have been enough.”
Bizarrely, Sheffey casts President Obama in the role of God in the song.
That’s just the first and worst distortion in Sheffey’s attempt to twist Passover for partisan gain:
President Obama has provided Israel with more security assistance than any president in history. But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.
In fact, President Obama has provided Israel’s Arab neighbors with record levels of “security assistance,” selling weapons that erode Israel’s strategic advantage and strengthen corrupt and undemocratic regimes.
President Obama has ushered in an era of unprecedented military cooperation between the United States and Israel. But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.
The United States and Israel have been close military allies for decades. Today’s continued cooperation continues plans laid under previous administrations. President Obama shouldn’t get extra credit for doing what he ought to be doing anyway.
President Obama has done more than any other president to thwart Iran’s illicit nuclear ambitions. But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.
The exact opposite is true. President Obama has emboldened Iran by appeasing it. He created unnecessary confrontation with Israel. He abandoned plans for missile defense in Europe. He failed to stand up for pro-democracy protestors.
President Obama fulfilled his promise to boycott Durban II. But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.
In fact, the Obama administration did everything it could to save Durban II. Obama only backed away when it became clear that Iran would exploit the conference. Other nations–e.g. Canada–took the lead on opposing Durban II.
President Obama renewed sanctions against Syria several times. But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.
Unwisely, President Obama resumed diplomatic relations with Syria and gave its regime undue legitimacy. To date, he has said little and done less about Syria’s ongoing murder of demonstrators, which far exceeds the brutality in Libya.
President Obama fully funded the Arrow 3 ballistic missile system and the Iron Dome system. But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.
Again, you don’t get points for doing what you’re supposed to–or what you already were. The Arrow, for instance, has always been a joint US-Israel project. And again, Obama funded these while dismantling critical missile defense programs in continental Europe.
President Obama maintained the U.S. policy of ambiguity on Israel’s nuclear weapons. But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.
Under President Obama, the United States joined calls for a “nuclear-free Middle East,” which Arab states hope to use to weaken Israel. President Obama also backed a Non-Proliferation Treaty conference that was set up to single out Israel.
Sheffey’s list is a preview of the talking points that Democrats will use in an attempt to convince pro-Israel voters not to reject Obama next year.
The reality is that President Obama has endangered Israel by appeasing Iran and other enemies, by treating Israel as the obstacle to peace, by giving legitimacy to anti-Israel forces at the UN, and by weakening America’s global leadership.
“Dayenu,” indeed! We’ve certainly had enough.