Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Perils of a multicultural president

This op-ed by Jay Bergman was published in several newspapers, including the Waterbury Republican-American. It is posted here with the permission of the author.

By Jay Bergman

"Israelis distrust me because of my middle name."

This is how Barack Hussein Obama, in a recent interview on Israeli television, explained his unpopularity in Israel. What he said, in effect, is Israelis are bigots. This is in sharp contrast to what he thinks of Muslims, about whose supposed lack of self-esteem the president is so concerned that he tasked the head of NASA with raising it, despite the obvious irrelevance of such a task to NASA's mission of space exploration.

Obama's casual imputation of bigotry is empirically false. Israelis distrust Obama by large majorities — in one poll, 96 percent of respondents declared their lack of confidence in him — because they believe his policies are profoundly harmful to Israel's interests and may threaten its existence.

What is more, the president's charge is selective. American Jews are as cognizant as Israelis of his middle name, but the president does not accuse American Jews of bigotry, no doubt because they voted for him overwhelmingly two years ago and by and large still support him today.

But what makes his insinuation especially objectionable is it is directed against a U.S. ally and the only country in the Middle East with the same liberal values and democratic institutions. No amount of political stagecraft, such as Passover Seders in the White House this past spring, can obscure that sobering reality.

President Obama is not an anti-Semite. However, his disdain for Israel seems deeply rooted in an earlier period in his life. As a student at Columbia University and Harvard Law School, he was exposed to the multiculturalism that remains today the conventional wisdom on American college campuses.

In essence, multiculturalism holds there are no objective standards of truth and morality and therefore no culture can be considered superior to another. In the absence of ethical absolutes of any kind, all cultures are equal.

But there is one country to whose culture this moral relativism is not applied — the United States — the inherent depravity of which the multiculturalists in academia have enlarged to include Israel. In the multicultural credo, the white men who dominate America today, like the white men who created it, are irredeemably racist, sexist and imperialist, and thus the principal cause of exploitation and oppression around the world. So, as an ally of America and an extension of American values, Israel is complicit in this imperialism and irreversibly corrupted by it.

The result today is a U.S. president who betrays allies such as Poland and the Czech Republic, appeases adversaries such as Russia, and worst of all does almost nothing to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, which even if unused would facilitate the spread of an Islamic radicalism antithetical to all that is best in America: religious tolerance, the rule of law, individual rights and consensual government.

Because of his multiculturalism, Obama's foremost obligation as president, as he perceives it, is not to protect the American people and advance America's legitimate interests. Rather, it is to rise above such parochial considerations, and as a citizen of the world, help humanity achieve the moral rectitude he alone possesses. In Obama's own words, he has an obligation to "heal the planet."

But the humanity he seeks to save is not some indivisible entity whose values and aspirations are everywhere and at all times the same; rather it is riddled with hatreds so long-standing and immune to reason that they are impervious to negotiated settlement, much less to the pandering and flattery of which the president is so fond when meeting dictators and despots.

One only hopes that with the passage of time, Obama will see the world as it really is, not as he wishes it would be. Perhaps then he will protect and defend America, and support allies such as Israel instead of slandering them with malicious and wholly unfounded charges of bigotry.

His disdain and contempt, and ours as well, should be reserved for the world's real bigots.

His disdain and contempt, and ours as well, should be reserved for the world's real bigots.

Jay Bergman is a history professor at Central Connecticut State University, a member of the board of the National Association of Scholars and author of "Meeting the Demands of Reason: The Life and Thought of Andrei Sakharov."

2 comments:

There is NO Santa Claus said...

If Israel mis-trusts President O'Bama, why did 77% of American Jews vote for him? How thankless!

Has President O'Bama considered the fact that Israelis have reasons to mis-trust him because of his POLICIES and his public statements? Is he willing to take responsibility for his actions?

President O'Bama's policies have not been assuring to Israelis. Moreover, for all his big talk, President O'Bama continues to let the Saudi-dominated OPEC run rough-shod over the U.S. economy tying our hands diplomatically.

I'm tired of this superficial stuff. If I want to build a house in Jerusalem (the eternal capital of the Jewish people) I don't want the President of the United States (or the State Dept.) to tell me that I can't do that because I'm Jewish. What part of that does President O'Bama NOT understand?

primerprez said...

Right on, tinsc.

It's amazing how it's politically correct to demand that Israel discriminate in a way that would bring out the Civil Rights Commission in the United States. Imagine what would happen if some other country demanded we put Washington D.C. off limits to Jews, or to Blacks, or to Hispanics, or to any other group! Yet we demand Israel put the heart of its capital off limits to Jews.

If Jews were a race, it would qualify as racism. We're not, so it's just plain old bigoted anti-Semitism.