Skip to comments.Many “Rabbis for Obama” Support BDS & the Palestinian Cause against Israel: Do They Reflect Obama?
Posted on 08/29/2012 6:06:00 PM PDT by Ziva
President Obamas re-election campaign announced last month the launch of Rabbis for Obama, a group whose stated goal is to rally grassroots support for the President in the Jewish community. The announcement came amid reports that Jewish support for Barack Obama, while still strong, is dwindling when compared to his numbers in 2008; as well as some hard-hitting ads for GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney targeting Jewish concerns, especially regarding support for Israel.
[Picture] Rabbis for Obama: Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, Rabbi Brant Rosen, with Ayatollah Bojnoordi from 2008 trip to Iran. Photo from Shalom Rav blog
[Picture] Rabbis for Romney: Rabbi Yehudah Leib Ribiat (right) gives a Daf Yomi shiur to members of the Lakewood Kehila attending the Republican National Convention in Tampa
The problem for the Democrats is that more than one-third of the Rabbis for Obama have taken harsh left-wing, anti-Israel positions themselves that they clearly think the President also supports.
This perception will not help Mr. Obama in the normative pro-Israel Jewish community. According to the Boston Globe, there is speculation that he could lose between three and 10 percentage points among Jews this year. While this seems small, Jews constitute only four percent of Floridas population yet typically account for between five and six percent of the states voters. Even a small tilt could decide which way the swing state goes.
A Gallup poll released in July showed that, nationwide, 68 percent of Jews support Mr. Obamas re-election. Though a strong number, it represents a sharp drop from his 78 percent showing against Sen John McCain four years ago.
Rabbis for Obama was supposed to help stem this tide, but when Obama for America published the roster of Jewish spiritual leaders who have endorsed the re-election of the President, an analysis undertaken by many conservatives showed that of the more than 600 rabbis listed, 225 are also members of the rabbinic cabinet of the notorious J Street, a far-left group supported by George Soros and widely accused of claiming to be pro-Israel while adopting policies and positions that would harm, if not destroy, the Jewish state.
Others are members of groups that support the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction (BDS) Movement against all or parts of Israel.
Given these rabbis views, more than a few members of the Bergen County Orthodox community were surprised to see Rabbi Benjamin Kelsens name on the list.
In fact, Rabbi Kelsen, an attorney who, until he recently relocated to Bergenfield, had served as the quasi-official rabbi of the Congregation of the Teaneck Apartments, is not only a member of Rabbis for Obama, he is a co-chairman of the group.
Few Orthodox Rabbis
A former member of the Bergen County Democratic Committee and currently a consultant to the NJ Democratic Party, he know the number of Orthodox rabbi on the list can be counted on one hand. Another of them is Rabbi Craig Miller of Passaic, who is known in his community for his love of Israel and deep friendships with many residents of Judea and Samariaareas that Mr. Obama has made clear he wants the Jewish state to relinquish to the Palestinians who will render them Judenrein.
While Rabbi Kelsen was a member of Rabbis for Obama in 2008, Rabbi Miller was not. Rabbi Kelsen said he lent his name to Rabbis for Obama because he believes that, despite the fears of the vast majority of pro-Israel Orthodox-Jews, Obamas foreign and domestic policies are on the right track.
An ardent supporter of the State of Israel, Rabbi Kelsen said he does not believe the Presidents policies and behavior toward the Jewish state are as bad as most of his neighbors feel it is.
It is a position Mr. Obamas campaign hopes to sell to the Jewish community. While Rabbi Kelsen said he thought it might work, members of the Orthodox community seem more likely to agree with former Republican NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who called the claim that Mr. Obama is a friend of the Jewish state the biggest joke he had ever heard.When asked to be more specific, Mr. Giuliani pointed to Mr. Obamas position that negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority should be based on the pre-1967 boundary lines, a move that Mr. Giuliani said would place Israel in jeopardy and with which no responsible prime minister of Israel could possibly agree.
Asked to comment on Mr. Obamas border demand, Rabbi Kelsen said it was important to remember that politics and international diplomacy constitute a complex ballet. Each statement is part of a larger picture. The President was not really asking for a concession from Israel when it is clear the other side would not agree to anything, he said.
Asked about Mr. Obamas disparaging remarks to former French President Nicolas Sarkozy about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when neither Mr. Obama nor Mr. Sarkozy knew their microphones were open, Rabbi Kelsen preferred to discuss Mr. Obamas efforts to rescue Israeli diplomats trapped in Egypt last spring during the riots.
Mr. Giuliani said that, despite a few such gestures, the Presidents actions and statements show he feels much more empathy and sympathy for Israels enemies than he does for the Jewish state.
It isnt just that he doesnt go to Israelwhich I think is very significantbut its that he has policies that are against the interests of the people of the state of Israel. I think hes the least supportive President of the state of Israel that weve ever had, Republican or Democrat, said Mr. Giuliani.
While not all Israelis would go that farmany still remember President Jimmy Carters termthe consensus in the Jewish state is that Mr. Obama is not as supportive as they would like, and certainly not when compared to Mr. Romney.
Likud MK Danny Danon, who was clearly delighted with Mr. Romneys visit to Israel in July, said Mr. Obama, in contrast, has given Israel the cold shoulder.
We ask ourselves how come President Obama did not find the time to visit Jerusalem. He went to Saudi Arabia, to Turkey, to Egypt, but he forgot the USs ally here in the Middle East. On the other hand, we heard a strong commitment from Governor Romney and we hope to see a change in the American policy towards Israel, he said.
Those Jews are the reason why Jews were blamed for all the Ills of Europe from the Middle Ages till today.
Wasn't familiar with it, so figured it was Bibi Derangement Syndrome.
Why do they call themselves” Rabbi’s for Obama” rather than “Rabbi’s against Israel?”
Doesn’t Rabbi mean Teacher?
Ho can they call themselves Rabbi’s when they are too stupid to learn,much less teach.
Real Judaism is concerned with real justice -- not social justice or some other leftwing nonsense.
I’ve heard of Jewish anti-Semitism before. Sadly, this is a good illustration of it in practice.
Both BSD movements probably have the same members
This is as old as the year 35AD. Does Judas Goat mean anything?
Such lying, self-hating, traitorous trash should at least read their scriptures once in awhile... who knows what revelatory new self-knowledge they might acquire ....
” For the sin of their mouth, and the words of their lips, let them even be taken in their pride, and for cursing and lying which they speak.
Consume them in wrath, consume them, that they be no more; and let them know that G-d ruleth in Jacob, unto the ends of the earth. Selah
And they return at evening, they howl like a dog, and go round about the city;
They wander up and down to devour, and tarry all night if they have not their fill. “