Barack Obama’s Big Secret Could Ruin 2008 Bid
By Michael Collins Piper
ALTHOUGH THE MASS MEDIA ballyhooed Barack Obama’s visits to a number of countries, greeted with large, enthusiastic crowds—even in Germany, said to be the bastion of “race hatred” in the 20th Century—the media notably failed to mention that in Israel—America’s “closest ally”—polls have shown John McCain is more popular than Obama. In fact, Israel is the only country in the world where McCain’s popularity outranked that of Obama.
That single fact—a not insignificant one, considering the clout of Israel’s supporters in the U.S. arena— might be described as “the big secret” of the 2008 election that the average voter knows little about.
In contrast, McCain’s popularity in Israel—coupled with serious reservations about Obama among both Israelis and American Jews—has been a staple of reportage in Israel and in American Jewish community journals and on Internet sites aimed at that audience.
Forward—perhaps the most influential Jewish newspaper in America—let the cat out of the bag on July 17, when it revealed:
Polls indicate that Israelis evince some of the lowest levels of support for Obama of any country in the world. In France and Germany, both stops on Obama’s tour, respectively 65 percent and 67 percent of the population has said that they would vote for him if they could. By contrast, in Israel . . . only 27 percent of the respondents said that they would like to see him become president, with John McCain being the preferred choice of 36 percent. . . .
Now, although it is being said that Obama’s popularity has risen in Israel since his visit, those claims seem disingenuous, a feeble attempt to show that Israel is “in sync” with the rest of the world, when, in fact, it is not.
The truth is that many Obama supporters have been astounded by the revelation that there has been such a striking contrast between polls in Israel and those in all other countries regarding Obama and McCain.
The contrast has been so blatant that when the much quoted Pew Research Center conducted a poll regarding Obama and McCain among 22 countries—from Europe to Asia to Africa to South America—Pew did
not include Israel in its poll, a glaring omission considering the central part Israel plays in U.S. foreign policy.
Critics suggest Pew deleted Israel from the poll because McCain’s support by Israelis would have been so glaring in contrast to Obama’s popularity elsewhere. This would put Israel and its American disciples—especially those who are Democrats—in the awkward position of explaining to Obama supporters why Israel—America’s ally—would be hostile to Obama.
In addition, Forward noted—and this is critical—that even within Israel’s “center-left” (which many might expect to be Obama-friendly), there is significant support for Obama’s “conservative” challenger.
The reason for the Israeli enthusiasm for McCain—according to Joshua Teitelbaum of Israel’s Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern Studies—is that “politics [in Israel] is very single-issue: people formulate their opinions on the basis of the Arab-Israel conflict.”
And although Obama has made noises to assuage pro-Israel forces in the U.S., notably a fawning speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Dan Diker—cited by Forward as an “American-Israeli relations expert”—said that while “[The Israelis] know and understand McCain’s positions. Obama’s are surrounded with uncertainty.” Obama is thus considered a wild card by Israel and its powerful supporters on U.S. soil.
This same Forward editorially asserted in the past that there was reason to believe that Obama may have indeed been a practicing Muslim earlier in his life as Obama critics (mostly pro-Israel agitators) contend, despite Obama’s denials. That Forward would make this assertion (suggesting that Obama was prevaricating or even lying outright) did not go unnoticed by American Jewish readers who were already suspicious of Obama and hostile to his Muslim heritage.
In fact, from the beginning of the time when the Democratic presidential campaign began to narrow to a two-candidate race between Obama and Hillary Clinton, American Jewish newspapers—in alliance with Republican “neo-conservative” pro-Israel sources—were engaged in a thoroughgoing campaign to raise suspicions about Obama among Jewish Democrats.
One story in Washington Jewish Week noted that many attendees at a meeting of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith were quite suspicious of Obama. The subtle (but significant) difference in the way that the mainstream media (as opposed to the Jewish community press) has reported on Obama’s relations with the Jewish community is interesting.
Although one mainstream voice, Time—controlled by Edgar Bronfman, prime power behind the World Jewish Congress—did publish a notable article entitled “Obama’s Jewish Problem,” most other media play up the fact that, according to polls—if they are to be believed—Obama leads McCain among American Jewish voters by roughly a 60-40 margin.
However, what is generally not pointed out to the “average” American is that Obama’s lead is starkly less than what one would normally expect from a Democrat over a Republican challenger. In short, Obama is not
doing as well as he should be among Jewish voters.
This could spell trouble for Obama. Here’s why:
According to a report by Will Maslow of the American Jewish Congress, “The percentage of Jews . . . who involve themselves in party affairs as policymakers and fund-raisers, is probably higher than that of any other racial, religious or ethnic group. The result is that Jews play a role in the political life of the country whose significance far transcends their proportion of the total population.”
In short, if key Jewish forces fail to provide support for Obama, it could sabotage his candidacy.
In addition, Jewish writer Lenni Brenner has noted the actual voting power of American Jews is nearly twice their numbers: “They vote in greater proportions than any other ethnic or religious grouping. Ninety-two percent of all Jews vote in national elections compared to only 54 percent of the people as a whole. Jews may only be 10.6 percent of New York State, but they are between 16 percent and 20 percent of the voters.”
In this same realm, Jewish writer Stephen Silbiger, writing in The Jewish Phenomenon added:
About 80 percent of eligible Jews in the United States are registered to vote, compared to about 50 percent of all voting-age adults. In addition, registered Jews are twice as likely to vote. Combining the two multiplies Jewish voting power by a factor of three. Furthermore, 81 percent of Jews live in only nine states [New York, New Jersey, Florida, Massachusetts, Maryland, Connecticut, California, Pennsylvania and Illinois] making them a significant political bloc, especially on the national level. In presidential elections, those nine states cast 202 of the 535 votes in the Electoral College. Thus, the Jewish population could provide the swing vote in any close presidential election.
So the Jewish vote (normally heavily Democratic) could tip the balance for McCain, especially since one of America’s most respected Jewish figures, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), is making strenuous efforts on McCain’s behalf. If Lieberman ends up as McCain’s running mate, this could be another factor altogether:
Lieberman is known for his skill in extracting campaign funds from Jewish money kings across the land. Although two of the wealthiest Jewish families in America—the billionaire Pritzkers and Crowns, both of Chicago—are central players in Obama’s “inner circle” (as described by The Washington Post) observers say this indicates only that pro-Israel interests are determined to maintain influence in the Obama camp.
The Crown family are primary figures in the “military-industrial” complex as longtime controllers of the General Dynamics arms giant. The Crowns have bankrolled institutions in Israel central to the development of Israel’s nuclear weapons program.
In the meantime, there is an intriguing admixture of reportage about Obama and the issue of race appearing in the mainstream media.
Even the “liberal” Washington Post featured a front page story acknowledging that Americans do consider race a significant factor in their voting. That issue of the Post announced in a separate article that American “white racist” groups were blossoming in the wake of Obama’s candidacy. This suggests “racist” voters have achieved an accord with significant numbers of the American Jewish community vis-a-vis Obama.
The New York Times featured a widely quoted commentary by veteran pro-Israel geopolitical theoretician Edward Luttwak suggesting that Obama—as the son of a Muslim who abandoned his faith—could be in danger from radical Muslims if elected president.
Contending that Obama is considered a Muslim by Muslims (even if he never practiced the religion)—although some Muslim observers disputed that—Luttwak claimed that, as a result, radical Muslims would consider Obama an apostate for calling himself a Christian and thus subject to punishment.
So while Luttwak hyped a scenario for a “threat” against Obama by “radical Muslims” others suggested “white racists” might also be plotting against him.
And in light of frequent media allusions to potential “strategic alliances” between white racists and radical Muslims, some are concerned a preparatory propaganda foundation is being laid for some sort of provocation against Obama to be attributed to such an alliance, perhaps “funded by Iran”—a pretext for a war.
Such an event could be catastrophic. The “big secret” about the 2008 election may, in fact, be a time bomb that we don’t want to see explode.
A journalist specializing in media critique, Michael Collins Piper is a regular contributor to American Free Press. He is the author of numerous books and has several on the way.
(Issue # 32, August 11, 2008)