EMET is Gravely Concerned by the Intimations and Nuances of President Obama’s Accusation to Senator Menendez and Demands Clarification and an Apology
(January 19, 2015, Washington, DC)- Today, the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) deplored President Obama’s echoing of a classic anti-Semitic slur while attempting to cast aspersions on the courageous actions of his fellow Democrat, Senator Robert Menendez. EMET also called on President Obama to immediately apologize to his fellow Democrat.
The incident occurred in closed door Democratic meeting in Baltimore, which was reported in the New York Times:
President Obama and Senator Robert Menendez traded sharp words on Thursday over whether Congress should vote to impose new sanctions on Iran while the administration is negotiating with Tehran about its nuclear program, according to two people who witnessed the exchange. In the course of the argument, which was described as tense but generally respectful, Mr. Obama vowed to veto legislation being drafted by Mr. Menendez, Democrat of New Jersey, and Senator Mark Kirk, Republican of Illinois, that would trigger sanctions after multiparty talks are set to end this summer…According to one of the senators and another person who was present, the president urged lawmakers to stop pursuing sanctions, saying such a move would undermine his authority and could derail the talks…The president said he understood the pressures that senators face from donors and others, but he urged the lawmakers to take the long view rather than make a move for short-term political gain, according to the senator. Mr. Menendez, who was seated at a table in front of the podium, stood up and said he took “personal offense.” Mr. Menendez told the president that he had worked for more than 20 years to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions and had always been focused on the long-term implications. Mr. Menendez also warned the president that sanctions could not be imposed quickly if Congress waited to act and the talks failed, according to two people who were present.
It is a well-known fact that anti-Semites frequently claim that American Jews control U.S. politicians through the use of money, such as campaign donations. This is part of the classic anti-Semitic canard that Jews control the world through their money. For the President of the United States to echo this claim is, thus, not onlya personal insult to his fellow Democrat, Senator Menendez, but also a shockingly incendiary and irresponsible statement in general. President Obama must know that anti-Semites both within and without the United States will repeat this charge ad nauseam, and use it as “evidence” for their conspiratorial delusions that American Jews control U.S. foreign policy.
Ironically, this statement from President Obama came just three days after the Iranians announced the building of two new nuclear power plants in the Bushehr region of Iran, indicating that the nuclear talks with Iran have done very little, if nothing, to freeze the nuclear enrichment program of Iran. By using this language, President Obama has deftly but erroneously implied that the issue of Iranian nuclear weapons is simply a Jewish, or pro-Israel issue, which it is not. Iranian leaders frequently condemn and promise to destroy both the United States of America as ‘The Great Satan,’ and Israel as ‘The Minor Satan.’ A nuclear Iran puts at risk the Sunni Arab states, and all of Europe, and particularly the United States. In addition to the frequent Iranian threats issued against these nations, the Iranians are currently working on long- range ballistic missile systems that would only be necessary against Europe and the U.S.
Sarah Stern, Founder and President of EMET, said “For the President of the United States to personally insult his fellow Democrat and give aid and comfort to anti-Semites everywhere by echoing their arguments regarding Jewish donors controlling politicians is incredibly disturbing and irresponsible. First of all, it is well known fact that the Iranians consider America ‘The Great Satan,’ Israel is only ‘The Minor Satan.’ The Iranians are working on an extensive ballistic weapons program, with the hope of eventually reaching our shores. President Obama is the one who is actually looking for a quick foreign policy victory in a nuclear deal with Iran, which would, at best, only constitute a Pyrrhic victory, as the Iranians have made it clear that they are using the negotiating time as a smokescreen under which to advance their nuclear program. The Joint Plan of Action was supposed to have frozen all work. In fact, last Tuesday, the Iranians announced that they are building two new nuclear reactors.”
She continued, “Senator Menendez should be greatly commended for looking out for the long range national security interests of the United States, as opposed to the short term interest of President Obama for a quick deal which the Iranians have demonstrated that they have no intention of keeping. Beyond that, President Obama must understand the danger of using such loaded language, and he should immediately apologize to Senator Menendez, as well as to the Jewish community, and retract his statement.”
Founded in 2005, EMET’s mission is to educate policymakers in Washington and the general public about the importance of Israel to the United States in their common struggle against radical Islam. For more information, please visit www.emetonline.org.
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