May 15, 2010

Haim Saban

Haim Saban, the Israeli (technically, a dual citizen of Israel and the U.S.) Hollywood mogul who unleashed upon us the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers ("five retards in spandex" according to to their owner), is the leading fundraiser for the Democratic Party.

He is profiled by Connie Bruck in the current New Yorker. This is evidently part of Bruck's on-going series on politically connected rich guys such as casino mogul and GOP/Likud power broker Sheldon Adelson and subprime mortgage monger Angelo Mozilo.
The Influencer
An entertainment mogul sets his sights on foreign policy 
He remains keenly interested in the world of business, but he is most proud of his role as political power broker. His greatest concern, he says, is to protect Israel, by strengthening the United States-Israel relationship. At a conference last fall in Israel, Saban described his formula. His “three ways to be influential in American politics,” he said, were: make donations to political parties, establish think tanks, and control media outlets. In 2002, he contributed seven million dollars toward the cost of a new building for the Democratic National Committee—one of the largest known donations ever made to an American political party. That year, he also founded the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, in Washington, D.C.  

The weird thing is how little this kind of influence upon the world's only superpower costs. According to the article, Saban has a net worth of $3.3 billion. Bruck lists his key donations as $7 million to the Democratic Party, $5 million to the Clinton Foundation, and $13 million to the Brookings Institute. Those are Israel-size handouts. In Russia, in contrast, $25 million in payoffs might buy you a little protection, but if you want influence, you'll need to pony up a lot more.

C'mon, T. Boone Pickens has given $165 million to the Oklahoma St. athletic department.

Presumably, it's not the initial donation that buys influence, it's the promise of lots more maintenance donations and the recipients' fear of not getting the subsequent donations.

Plus, the big advantage is not, say, the $13 million dollars worth of sub-think tank he bought at Brookings, but the implicit veto he bought himself over the rest of Brookings. That's a big advantage of giving $13 million to Brookings to set up the Saban Center for Middle East Policy instead of spending it setting up his own stand-alone think tank: it inevitably sends a warning to the Brookings Institute management that if they do something to displease Saban, they might not get another penny from him. But, he can't buy that kind of veto power over them without giving them the first penny.

Or is it the free private jet trips for big shots that buy influence? (Or am I overthinking all this, and the real influence doesn't come from the public donations but from suitcases full of unmarked bills?)
He considered buying The New Republic, but decided it wasn’t for him. He also tried to buy Time and Newsweek, but neither was available. He and his private-equity partners acquired Univision in 2007, and he has made repeated bids for the Los Angeles Times.

A friend writes:
The New Yorker is properly incurious as to how Saban will deploy Univision [the chief Spanish language television network in the U.S.] while observing his personal primary directive, not just "is it good for the Jews?" but "is it good for Israel?" What did they give it, two or three paragraphs on the deal itself after about 8000 words of history? (By the way, shouldn't a piece like this lead with the interest--his current political machinations--and then do the history? it's almost like they want people to quit articles before they get to the weenie*).
The preternaturally canny Saban went 10 bil in the hole to buy Uni at the top of the market [the subprime boom made outlets for Spanish-language advertising very profitable back in 2007]. I think he sees Uni first as a business opportunity--a guy who made his bones ferreting out unappreciated licensing revenue potential [in the publishing rights to music used in cartoons] might see the sprawling Uni and the Latin market a virtual playground for that kind of stuff. But what will he say to the Spanish-speaking population of North America (again, observing the prime directive)? Personally, I'm hoping he loses enough money to sicken of it and sells.
I'm thinking of that "where is the Hispanic Obama" theme the msm took up early in the post-Arizona hysterics. Reporters are exquisitely conditioned--they take on faith that a "Hispanic Obama" is just what we need! (I used to be disgusted...) Saban probably thinks it's a good idea too--with none of the delusional sentiment of our tel-luminati.

* The lede buried at the end of the article:
Several days before the opening of the Forum, Saban appeared on the Israeli “Meet the Press,” on Channel 2, which is owned by Keshet. Until a year earlier, Saban had been one of the owners of Keshet. The interviewer, Dana Weiss, warmly told Saban, “You really are our rich uncle in America, and we can rely on you.” Still, she noted that he had wanted to become the largest donor to the Democratic Party, and pointed out that, in Israel, “businesspeople’s desire for access to the political system immediately raises our suspicions.” 

Surely, she said, there must be potential for abuse when capital and government are linked. “Didn’t you ever see a politician that you had to stop?” Weiss asked. “Who was in your pocket?"

“Let me give you an example of this access, and why it’s completely O.K.,” Saban responded. “I hosted the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, in my home. I was informed that he refused to sign a letter to Obama, which was signed by most of the senators, supporting Israel, before the speech in Cairo. . . . I got the message on Saturday and he was at my house on Sunday. I asked him, ‘Why didn’t you sign?

“So he said, ‘Because I don’t sign other people’s initiatives,’ as the leader, as head of the Democratic Party.
“I said, ‘So send a letter of your own.’ ” And, Saban added, smiling, and with hesitation, as though he did not like to boast, “He did.”
    
He continued, “I won’t say that nobody abuses it. But I’ve been active in American politics for over fifteen years, and I’ve never abused it. No one ever wrote that I abused it. Everything is fine. We can look for something,” he added, laughing. “But we won’t find a thing.”

The article makes clear that Saban vastly preferred Hillary over Obama, and that he therefore flirted with McCain, but Saban couldn't bring himself to go GOP. But then Hillary got to be Secretary of State, so he can't be too unhappy.

In many ways, the growing role in American political life of Israelis such as Saban, Sheldon Adelson's latest wife, and Zev Chafets, author of that amusingly ironic article on the putative Hispanic Obama, is (or, at least, ought to be) an intellectually liberating one, since Israeli culture is so in-your-face frank that Israelis find it hard to resist at least hinting at what they really think.

The kind of semi-sincere Winston-Smith-loved-Big-Brother doublethink that we saw on display in the Stephanie Grace affair is the kind of thing that comes more naturally to Newton Minow's daughter. Can you image what Haim Saban would have said if he were the dean of Harvard Law School? I can't, but it's amusing to try.

72 comments:

Enoch Was Right said...

Paging Kevin MacDonald...

none of the above said...

The whole process of buying influence here is creepy, but the creepiest part is the bit about funding think tanks. I wonder what fraction of the people who really think about policy for a living work for this kind of oranization, with well-defined policies that must be justified or condemned in order to keep your job. This is like blinding ourselves, like a different flavor of pc that makes a bunch of our smartest people stupid.

Dave said...

Ironically, the front page of yesterday's financial times had an article about how the Israel government was planning on cracking down on its leading business families, to curtail their influence.

OneSTDV said...

But there is something great about the Power Rangers:

Zordon is a Racist

Polistra said...

"five retards in spandex"

Interestingly, I've noticed that low-intelligence folks really enjoy the Power Rangers. I sometimes ride a city bus that goes through a neighborhood with several group homes, taking the Down Syndrome folks to their janitorial jobs. The conversation among the young men is mainly about the latest doings of the Parrangers. (The young women talk almost exclusively about their own relationships, sounding like any TV "reality house" show.)

Dennis Mangan said...

I can think of a couple of reasons why influence in the US is so cheap. For one thing, politicians mostly can only deliver their vote, and there are a lot of politicians. So their votes simply aren't worth that much. In Russia, a politician can deliver, since the system is perhaps more corrupt than ours and the pols have real power. The influence of a Russian pol is quite a lot more valuable.

The other thing is getting caught. In Russia, presumably the means to avoid scrutiny are more numerous, whereas Harry Reid (just an example!) can't run around in his new Ferrari without questions being asked.

Anonymous said...

Is Kevin MacDonald moonlighting for The New Yorker now?

Anonymous said...

Why do I think the next great battle will be Steve Sailer vs. the Israeli lobby, the Hispanic lobby and the Democratic party...... I like our chances


Dan in DC

Thrasymachus said...

If the NYT is "properly incurious" it's because they already know, and anybody who needs to know or should know already does and nothing needs to be asked or said.

As Ayn Rand said- "Check your premises. There are no contradictions."

Whiskey said...

For all the money he's spent, Saban's been a loser, if his objective is increasing Israel's security.

Obama has made it clear he sides with Muslims over Jews, time and time again, not just with Israel but with anti-Jewish violence dished out by Muslims in Europe (and the US).

This just proves that billionaires can be financial and political idiots too. Like Spielberg and all those guys who lost millions with Madoff. Obama "appears" reasonable, and people ignore the things they don't want to see: self-described "hung out with the radicals, marxists, Muslims" in College, Rashid Khalidi, and so on.

The fact he had to LEAN ON Reid to send a letter to Obama outlining support for Israel shows how badly he calculated, like the German Landsbank and RBS buying sub-prime CDO junk and thinking it was worth something.

Univision is probably over-priced. As much of Latin America fractures into Chavez-zones, each his own tin-pot Mugabe (Chavez had to raid MEXICAN-owned tortilla factories to get food), trans-national media empires in Latin America would seem the first target.

Whiskey said...

Or more simply put, past success is no indication of future performance, the weasel words in every touting of mutual funds.

Saban did well in the 1980's. Does he even UNDERSTAND who Obama is and what Obama wants? Unlikely. Around 80% of Israelis think Obama is hostile to their very existence (they're right). Zbignew Brezinski, Obama's foreign policy eminence grise, recently mused about shooting down Israeli warplanes or missiles to protect Iran. While Obama does everything he can to cheer-lead Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Say Israel simply struck at Iran first. A thought experiment. Would Saban have enough political influence to prevent a US invasion of Israel and overthrow, installation of Hamas? Nope. Susan Rice, Obama's National Security Advisor, mused on that a while back.

Didn't Gerald Levin pay something like 100X the actual value for AOL? Didn't Murdoch write down something like 2 billion in the Dow Jones purchase price last Quarter?

Whiskey said...

Somewhat OT (or maybe not), Israel is cracking down on the Saban types:

FT reports on crackdown on top 20 business families.

Short version, Netanyahu, the military, and University research folks are seeing too much concentration (and rent seeking) and not enough new technology incubation. Critical for Israel's technical edge.

One thing in the article stood out -- that connected families do well when state institutions are non-existent and function in absence of stuff like Export-Import banks, and so on, but stifle entrepreneurship. The article quotes some guy saying that folks like the South Korean Chaebol, etc. are necessary at the first stage of economic development, but then must be crushed.

rob said...

while observing his personal primary directive, not just "is it good for the Jews?" but "is it good for Israel?"

Very interesting distinction. One day, American Zionists may see Israel demographically overwhelmed by its Arab citizens and ultra-orthodox parasites and decide that what's good for Israel is a huge influx of secular, Ashkenazi American jews. What would Saban do? Use his media influence to crank up resentment and crime against Jews. The newly unpleasant climate will drive both donations to Israeli causes and encourage (at the margins) American jews to relocate. Saban could do that through Univision, and very few people who aren't immersed in Spanish-language media would realize it.

This might be a brand new conspiracy theory. American Jews using media and political influence to drive Jews to Israel by encouraging anti_Semitism.

Anonymous said...

A quote from a recent Israel Shamir email, bold added:

"Our friend Jeff Blankfort have wrote the following to Stephen Zunes when accused of racism: 'Am I blaming Jews (not the Jews, mind you) for the situation of the Palestinians? You're damn right, I am.' He added that Jewishness of Barbara Boxer is relevant while discussing her defense of Israeli war crimes. Uniquely in the US Israel is exempt from criticism, for wealthy Jews contribute at least 60% of the funding to the Democratic Party. Of the top individual contributors to both political parties, seven of the top ten, 12 of the top 20 and at least 125 of the top 250 were Jewish.

Jeff said...

It was a brutal hit piece by the New Yorker. After reading it, I almost felt sorry for Saban.

But I guess that was kind of the point of it. The reporter wanted the reader to first understand how evil Saban is and how he screwed over so many people. Then he wanted the reader to believe that he could screw over US-Israeli relations.

Anonymous said...

Billionaire Jew buying up media to push an Israel-first agenda? Why that's an anti-Semitic canard!

And don't associate the Jewish state with Jews, because that's anti-Semitic too. Never mind that pointy thing on Israel's flag -- No collectivizing Jewish people!

slyboots said...

...but now you're just amused?

Anonymous said...

Is it me or is Whiskey protesting too much/


Dan in DC

none of the above said...

It has seemed to me, for many years now, like the main reason for investing in news companies is as a way to buy influence. (This is especially true with newspapers, whose industry has been going downhill, in a crisis, barbarians at the gates, etc., for a couple of decades now.)

Has anyone ever done a good analysis of stories covered by major news sources before and after they were bought/heavily invested in by some super-rich person? Like, if you could objectively characterize what stories would look bad for Carlos Slim or Rupert Murdoch or Haim Saban, could you somehow compare the coverage in the New York Times or Wall Street Journal or on Univision's news shows, and show that there was a difference?

I kind of doubt control over Univision news would have much impact on US politics. (How many people in the US whose main media consumption is Univision bother to vote?)

Jerry said...

That little detail about T. Boone Pickens donating over a hundred mil. to sports is disgusting. You've mentioned it before, Steve, and it's an important insight, the contrast between the corrupt insouciance of WASP America and the cool strategic moves of the other side. In a way, it's comforting for me to be able to say that yes, WASP America does deserve to get it good and hard.

Fred said...

Ah, by the way, the Egyptian-born Jew Saban married a non-Jew. Does that mean he's a Zionist but not ethnocentric? Or is it a form of intergenerational crypsis, so his offspring will be able to better blend into American society?

Anonymous said...

Another "Jews" post at iSteve. Sigh. What else is new?

Enoch Was Right said...

As a thought experiment, let's assume that Peter Brimelow was correct that Enoch Powell could have become Conservative party leader in 1974 and then PM in 1979 instead of Thatcher. If Britain had pursued a whites only immigration policy and had lobbyists in America trying to buy influence, would the Jewish owned media treat wealthy British lobbyists like they do wealthy Israeli lobbyists?
Who would be more likely to have America's interests aligned with their own?

Let's! said...

How will Saban deploy Univision? It's been 3 years so shouldn't he have shown his cards by now?

I actually watch the damn network several hours a week and it's the same as it's been since the nineties...overacting, over-Botoxed novela idols, faked Cristina guests a la Jerry Springer, crass commercialization of the Virgin of Guadalupe, editorial doctrine that all Mexicans should be cared for and catered to by the US...

Mr. Saban is playing a historic role, however. You see, it turns out that several actors on his payroll are among the great-great-...-great grandparents of a true legend for the millennium.

I speak, of course, of Hormel Chavez.

Jack Aubrey said...

Obama has made it clear he sides with Muslims over Jews, time and time again, not just with Israel but with anti-Jewish violence dished out by Muslims in Europe (and the US).

Has Obama cut Israel's foreign aid money? Has he actually punished them for anything they've done?

Democratic "anti-Semitism" is just talk, to make up for the fact that so much of the Democratic donor base is Jewish, and that the Democratic agenda is extremely pro-Jewish. In fact, the Democratic Party platform (at least the stuff they actually care about and work for) is pretty much the Jewish worldview made manifest.

Back before McCain-Feingold, when contributions to political parties were almost unlimited, Mother Jones used to publish a list of the top 400 political donors each election year - which they seem to have scrubbed from the internet. Most of the top 25 were Jewish, and overwhelmingly they were Democrats (Saban, Daniel Abraham, Bernard Schwartz)

Kagan's nomination, and the fact that all of Obama's 3 appointments to the Federal Reserve Board were Jewish pretty much proves this. Kagan's, Breyer's and Ginsburg's nominations were bought with Jewish campaign contributions.

It's absurd to think otherwise. There are plenty of extremely well qualified, extremely liberal non-Jewish lawyers and economists to appoint to such posts, but somehow Obama failed to find any.

Ah, by the way, the Egyptian-born Jew Saban married a non-Jew.

I'm ethnically British. I married a Polish girl but that does not mean I no longer care about Britain.

Anonymous said...

This might be a brand new conspiracy theory. American Jews using media and political influence to drive Jews to Israel by encouraging anti_Semitism.

Didnt they do that in the middle east during and after the foundation of Israel?

Not using the media, but terrorist attacks against jewish and arab targets to drive mid-east jews to Israel.

Anonymous said...

That little detail about T. Boone Pickens donating over a hundred mil. to sports is disgusting. etc et

Absolutely, that jewish guy bought himself the Sierra Club for less money than that and Pickens just pisses his money away on a load of jocks...hopeless.

Fred said...

Remember too, speaking of Univision, that the host of its biggest show, Sabado Gigante, is a Jew. His father fled Nazi Germany to Central America, I think.

Jack Aubrey said...

As for me, I don't have the slightest problem with Israel's right to exist. I'm all for it. I'm all for a US-Israeli defense pact, explicit or implicit.

So now what? You really think that Israel's existence is really all that Saban or other Jews care about? You think it's even what they care most about? Most Americans of most political persuasions are solidly pro-Israel. Enough Americans care that it will never be overrun, and if it is, well, they have nukes. From my perspective, the focus on "defending Israel" is really just a ploy to draw attention away from other matters.

If Israel is all you really care aabout you can sell Univision, Mr. Saban.

But look, for example, at how the concentration of wealth has increased over the last 4 decades; at how financial sector profits have grown (from 16% in the 70s to 41% in the 00s); at how Jewish representation in Congress, the Supreme Court, in academia, and on the Forbes 400 has grown (in case of the latter, from 23% ca. 1983 to 35% last year).

Something else is going on here, and everyone seems to be missing it.

Hoagie Ochoquatro said...

Hormel Chavez, of "Ow, my balls!"?
I prefer the thespian talents of Frito Pendejo.

troof said...

Fred sed:Ah, by the way, the Egyptian-born Jew Saban married a non-Jew. Does that mean he's a Zionist but not ethnocentric? Or is it a form of intergenerational crypsis, so his offspring will be able to better blend into American society?

nmuch simpler, gentile broads are, on average, hotter than jewish ones and guys like Saban are maxing their buying power on the female market. Why limit yourself to an ethnic market when you can go global? Whiskey could say something useful about this instead of blurting out his neocon shit about Israel.
The interesting thin now is that Sabans kids do not have automatic access to Israeli citizenship, unless I am mistaken and there are other avenues which nobody likes to talk about for obvious reasons.

Truth(er) said...

"niquely in the US Israel is exempt from criticism, for wealthy Jews contribute at least 60% of the funding to the Democratic Party. Of the top individual contributors to both political parties, seven of the top ten, 12 of the top 20 and at least 125 of the top 250 were Jewish.‘"

Hmmm...does that mean Republican low-tax and free-market policies contribute to the wealth of Jews that then gets transferred to the Democratic Party?

Outland said...

"His “three ways to be influential in American politics,” he said, were: make donations to political parties, establish think tanks, and control media outlets."

No comment.

Bruce Banned said...

Do Sephardic Jews count as Hispanic? I'm told they now claim Benjamin Cardozo as the first Hispanic justice. Hell, Saban himself could run for office on a Hispanic platform.

l said...

Here Rahm Emanuel tells a group of rabbis to ignore what Obama says about Middle East peace, etc.. Instead, watch what Obama does.

http://www.jpost.com/International/Article.aspx?id=175654

Several thousand American soldiers have been killed, tens of thousands more are disabled for life, and a trillion dollars has been spent fighting Israel's neighbors. And a bunch of rabbis go to the White House to ask, "What have you done for us lately?"

Anonymous said...

"nmuch simpler, gentile broads are, on average, hotter than jewish ones and guys like Saban are maxing their buying power on the female market."

This is true of New York where Jewish girls are less attractive than other groups.

Israeli girls are another story. Amazing mixed looks.

Peter A said...

Whiskey is exactly the sort of credulous paranoid personality that the Republicans prey on. There is no one in Washington DC who is anti-Israel, certainly not Obama. Bush I/Baker were the last American politicians who had the balls to stand up to Israel, everyone since then, without exception and without regard to party affiliation, has been bought and paid for.

moustache said...

if it didn't hurt goy interests as much, all this obsession with Israel by Jews, neocons and their lemmings would be just downright f. boring.

Bostonian said...

Saban donated a few millions to the DNC, but I think the president, a Democrat, has been fairly hostile to Israel, certainly compared to Bush. Doesn't this illustrate the limits of what donations can accomplish?

J said...

Do Sephardic Jews count as Hispanic?

Yes. Spain grants them authomatic citizenship. They come from Spain and speak (more or less) Spanish.

Are they entitled to "opressed" minority privileges in the USA? I wouldnt be surprised, yet probably they never asked. Steve could dig up some cases so we can have a laugh.

none said...

I:

It's not at all clear any of our wars are actually making Israel better off (we've made Iran more powerful, frex), so it seems weird to count those costs toward Israel. On the other hand, it's similarly unclear that these wars have
made the us any better off....

Anonymous said...

Obama has made it clear he sides with Muslims over Jews, time and time again, not just with Israel but with anti-Jewish violence dished out by Muslims in Europe (and the US).




Ah, that's why he was so eager to sell Iran the bomb, plus ICBM's to deliver it.

Anonymous said...

the Egyptian-born Jew Saban married a non-Jew. Does that mean he's a Zionist but not ethnocentric?


Will you (and Saban) regard his offspring as Jewish? As the answer is "yes" I don't think you've refuted the ethnocentric charge.

Anonymous said...

The interesting thin now is that Sabans kids do not have automatic access to Israeli citizenship, unless I am mistaken


You are mistaken.

He said...

"Several thousand American soldiers have been killed, tens of thousands more are disabled for life, and a trillion dollars has been spent fighting Israel's neighbors."

We fought Egypt or Jordan? When?

slyboots said...

@troof - his kids qualify for 'right of return' and Israeli citizenship. You need only show one Jewish [i]grandparent[/i] to qualify.

From Wikipedia:

Originally, the Law of Return was restricted to Jews only. A 1970 amendment, however, stated that, "The rights of a Jew under this Law and the rights of an oleh under the Nationality Law... are also vested in a child and a grandchild of a Jew, the spouse of a Jew, the spouse of a child of a Jew and the spouse of a grandchild of a Jew".

Anonymous said...

Steve, check this out...goes along with your thinking on this subject. This is the #1 most popular article on nytimes today.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/16/weekinreview/16steinberg.html?src=me&ref=general

Anonymous said...

Do Sephardic Jews count as Hispanic? I'm told they now claim Benjamin Cardozo as the first Hispanic justice.


What, you didn't know that the Portuguese were now "Hispanic"?

SGOTI said...

Man, some people really don't get the fact that the United States and Israel are two separate countries and nations. . .

I guess I am anti-Semitic for bringing up that point.

Fred said...

"Why limit yourself to an ethnic market when you can go global?"

Because you're ethnocentric, that's why.

"The interesting thin now is that Sabans kids do not have automatic access to Israeli citizenship, unless I am mistaken"

I doubt they have any interest in living in Israel as I'm sure it's better to be a billionaire's kid in the U.S., but 1) I'm sure the kids are Jews. Either Saban had his wife convert before having them, or he had the children converted after they were born. And 2) they wouldn't have to be Jews to qualify for Israel's Right of Return. Having one Jewish parent (mother or father) is more than enough to qualify.

Raoul said...

"Obama has made it clear he sides with Muslims over Jews, time and time again..."

Please name one Muslim Obama has appointed to serve in his adminstration or one that he's nominated to a post that requires congressional confirmation.

Jack Aubrey said...

Haim Saban, the Israeli (technically, a dual citizen of Israel and the U.S.)

There's part of the problem right there. Dual citizens should be barred from making political contributions, just as non-citizens are barred from doing.

Anthony said...

Another reason American politicians (including think-tankers) are cheap is that it's easy to find someone who largely agrees with you. The NRA can't buy a anti-gun-rights politician, but it can make an already favorable politician become more favorable. Similarly, there are lots of American politicians who are favorably disposed towards Israel, so it doesn't take much money to convince them to follow Likud's (or Israeli Labor's, or a particular rich Israeli's) specific wishes.

There's also an information asymmetry - the NRA knows better how to advance the cause of gun rights than do most politicians, and the politicians know it, so when those who are already pro-gun-rights are told by the NRA that some specific bill is important, they believe the NRA. The same is true for most other issues.

Black Sea said...

"five retards in spandex"

An 80s cover band?

Jim O said...

Little known fact:

The birth name of the host of Uni's most popular show, Sabado Gigante is not Don Francisco, but rather Mario Luis Kreutzberger Blumenfeld

Admittedly, this is somewhat off topic, since Blumenfeld has been there since long before Saban arrived, but interesting nevertheless, I think.

Anonymous said...

ROTFL

OT:

http://www.theonion.com/articles/new-david-simon-project-to-investigate-happy-upper,17426/

Anonymous said...

I can't figure out this Whiskey character. Can someone explain him to me? I'm scratching my head here.

We have an allegedly anti-Jewish president - one that has nominated a Jew to the Supreme Court, has a Jewish top adviser, regularly meets with members of the Israel lobby, has pledged - and delivered - on his promises to support Israel financially and militarily, has also pledged to assist Israel with building a new weapons systems, and has dedicated federal law enforcement officials to the task of tracking down Muslim extremists.

Where is this anti-Jewish sentiment in Obama? Is it that he has decided, like every President past in recent history, that he wants to be a power and peace broker in the Middle East, and that as such, he wants Israel to make some concessions? Is that it? I'm not getting it.

Obama has done absolutely nothing to make the situation in America worse off for Jews, at least on the basis of specifically targeting them. He has done the exact opposite, in fact.

Whiskey said...

I give you HotAir's story on Rahm Emmanuel "We Screwed up the Messaging on Israel" link.

Takeaways:

1. Obama pressed Israel to stop building in area of Jerusalem that had never been an issue before with either the White House or Palestinians.

2. Obama purposely humiliated Netanyahu.

3. Obama has said he will "impose" a peace plan on Israel.

4. Obama plans to "balance" interests with Israel with "other" interests.

Saban certainly sought to purchase influence. Like most human endeavors, most of the time, it has been an abject failure.

Because he drank the Kool-Aide. Dems depend HEAVILY upon Black turnout in the 98% range, and also Hispanics. Who hate and loathe Jews with a passion. Wealthy Jews make up the big money donors, but that's overwhelmed by the need for an urban Democratic Machine to gin up Black-Hispanic votes. The Rev. Wright - Louis Farrakhan model.

Saban thought he could "bargain" (like many Jews thought they could "bargain" with Nazis occupying Europe) and ended up being merely a useful idiot.

Obama is Black. He sought out Khalidi, Farrakhan, Wright, and others. Because he shares their values. Including views on Jews, which are widely shared on Huffington Post, most of "respectable" opinion in Europe, and Muslims. Who make up the BIG Democratic Money Source. Bill Clinton, for example, had made around $100 million making speeches to people in the Gulf. Saban's donations to Obama were dwarfed by donations from Hamas and Hezbollah (illegally, but Obama is both Dem and Black therefore protected). Donations from abroad by both groups through Obama's website were well-documented during the campaign but created no action.

Israel is of course doomed. Iran has or will have nukes, and Israel is a "one bomb state" where a single nuke destroying Tel Aviv and half the population will allow even lesser Arab militaries to complete the genocide. Iran wants this to make Israel an example to bring about Greater Iran, stretching from Israel (and likely Turkey and Egypt) in the West to Afghanistan in the East. A reconstitution of the Persian Empire.

Whiskey said...

I'll add that Israel's demographics alone insure their destruction. Jews are far too much like Germans, or Italians, or Spaniards, or Russians or Greeks. They don't believe in themselves enough to have children. Thus like all those peoples, they will vanish. Even Diaspora Jews don't reproduce.

Which is a pity. A culture and a people that lasted about 3,000 years or so, gone. With finality. After they had helped (along with the Greeks) create Western Culture. But if people don't believe in themselves, they don't have kids. Simple as that.

Anonymous said...

Which is a pity. A culture and a people that lasted about 3,000 years or so, gone. With finality. After they had helped (along with the Greeks) create Western Culture.

Don't worry, the Scotch-Irish will be there to carry the torch forward.

Anonymous said...

Saban certainly sought to purchase influence. Like most human endeavors, most of the time, it has been an abject failure.

I see. So if we compare two billionaires, Haim Saban and T. Boone Pickens, we can say that Saban, through his donations and political activities, has done the same amount for Israel and Jews (i.e. zilch) as Pickens has for White Gentiles by donating millions to Oklahoma State athletics that arguably will go to support black athletes, right?

Jason said...

I'll add that Israel's demographics alone insure their destruction. Jews are far too much like Germans, or Italians, or Spaniards, or Russians or Greeks. They don't believe in themselves enough to have children. Thus like all those peoples, they will vanish. Even Diaspora Jews don't reproduce.

Which is a pity. A culture and a people that lasted about 3,000 years or so, gone. With finality. After they had helped (along with the Greeks) create Western Culture. But if people don't believe in themselves, they don't have kids. Simple as that.


I'm not so sure. The blogger "J" aka the "Israeli Water Engineer" who is a commenter at iSteve and who lives in Israel, had some interesting posts on this topic:

http://h2oreuse.blogspot.com/2010/02/global-warmings-demographic-impact.html

“Since urban lifestyles are detrimental for human reproduction, and no city is sustaining its population except by continuous reinforcement from the countryside, the implosion of Middle East population is becoming more and more probable. I think that about 2025 Jewish population growth in Eretz Israel will be larger than Palestinian Arab growth.

http://h2oreuse.blogspot.com/2010/04/israels-demographic-reservoir.html

“Many political analysts wrote that Israel has lost the demographic race and it is condemned to Arab majority. They were all wrong.

Firstly, Jewish natural increase is growing. Today it is higher than any Western country and approaching our enemies."

Anonymous said...

"Obama to fund Israel's missile system"

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/7721768/Obamas-plan-to-fund-140m-Israeli-rocket-defence.html

Truth said...

I think Whiskey and Michael Richards should run as a presidential ticket in 2012. Their slogan could be:

Testing/Richards; Bringing the "Scots-Irish" back to the forefront!

l said...

none said...
I:

It's not at all clear any of our wars are actually making Israel better off (we've made Iran more powerful, frex), so it seems weird to count those costs toward Israel. On the other hand, it's similarly unclear that these wars have
made the us any better off....


Yes. Let's rule out that the US got suckered into Iraq by Israel/Israel boosters. It's just one of those unexplainable things.

Big bill said...

@Jason: don't fall for your water engineer's sophistry. As a secular Jew in Israel he and HIS tribe are facing extinction. Yeah, "Jewish" numbers are increasing, but they are the numbers of what the secular Jews call parasite Jews. The population of South Africa is likewise exploding and (at least as of 1994) South Africa is a first world nation. So South Africa faces a wonderful future as well? Of course not! Israel's population, like South Africa's, is extremely bi- or tri-modal. The builders don't breed, and the breeders don't build. it isn't the numbers, but the work those numbers do. Is a people ( the Haredim) that has evolved to fill a pious isolated niche adaptable enough to fulfill all the roles of a majority population? Can they adapt Halacha enough to become scientists, engineers, social workers and magistrates? Can South African blacks do that? Can Muslims adapt sharia to do that? Could the Amish do that?Could Oaxacan peasants do that? Israel will be totally different in 40 years, completely unrecognizable. But which trend will reach the tipping point first is unclear. I think it highly unlikely that the Haredim will reduce their Total Fertility Rate without incredible, perhaps genocidal, pressure. But it is also unlikely that the Israeli Ashkenazim and Russians will turn their women into competitive baby factories without massive patriarchal pressure. Since Jews, generally, culturally transplant themselves easily, either group (or both) could abandon the country. Who will rule Israel? Who will live there? Will the Haskala ever end or will it be an eternal struggle for the soul of the Nation of Israel?

Mr. Anon said...

"Whiskey said...

I'll add that Israel's demographics alone insure their destruction."

So much for Israel being an "unsinkable aircraft carrier" - one of your previous tropes.

ATBOTL said...

"1. Obama pressed Israel to stop building in area of Jerusalem that had never been an issue before with either the White House or Palestinians."

Really, the Palestinians never objected to Israelis seizing their land until now?

Anonymous said...

Big bill,

South Africa is not a good analogy.

The difference between the South African whites and the blacks and coloreds was much starker than the differences among the major groups in Israel.

Anonymous said...

Big Bill The builders don't breed, and the breeders don't build. it isn't the numbers, but the work those numbers do.

Great work distilling the concept down there Bill, thats a keeper, Im definitely going to use that.

Hector said...

Countrywide and KB Home - Are Homes built for profit not people, Just Google "KB Home Sucks". 6 weeks to build 10 years to fix them. There is no LEMON Law in the US for new home construction. Expect another round of new homebuyer tax credits, so convicted felons like KB Home's Bruce Karatz stock can go higher. Never heard of Karatz? That's because of his ties with the big bosses in the media. KB Home wants to lay low as they are trying to dump their Federal Consent Order. This was imposed on then by the FTC for shoddy practices and inferior building standards, not to mention the EPA fines for water pollution they are poisoning subdivisions with construction toxins water run off. Angelo Mozilo's trial is stalling, the trial was going to start in March or the latest April 2010, why the stall tactics? SEC. http://www.akbhomesucks.com

observer said...

Israel girls are very beautiful on average. I was surprised. I guess it's the "mixture" though most of the most beautiful were more or less Ashkenazi looking. However, Moroccan Jewish girls were long known for beauty -- "pearls of Eden" wrote a famous French writer-traveler whose name escapes me, who journied in Morocco during the 19th century. Think of Isabel Adjani. I also recall some remarkably handsome Jewish men of Moroccan descent.