December 11, 2009 by USA Post 

hanukkahHannukah,In what is increasingly being seen as a holiday power play, Barack Obama’s Jewish dissenters and some in the Jewish media are using the upcoming Hanukkah holiday as a way to reassert their considerable influence on the President. Today Michelle Obama and Barack Obama will light the first candle and on December 16th they will hold a holiday celebration for 400. Whose to blame for the friction, that’s the hard part and one that many are trying to decipher.

There is danger of being misunderstood on both sides as an Obama White House seeks to dispel some of the rumors of his administrations unusually strong ties in the Jewish community, the Black caucus put an exclamation point on it last week  when they accused Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel of poor communication between themselves and the President. Is Emanuel watering down the message  the Black Caucus wants to convey to the President?

The other side of the coin is Israel. It is no secret that Barack Obama’s administration and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have been on different pages recently and the ice has yet to thaw. Israel’s parliament has given preliminary approval to legislation that would require a national referendum on any peace deal that gives up control of east Jerusalem or the Golan Heights. If approved, the law could constrain a future Israeli government’s ability to turn over captured land as part of a peace arrangement.

This comes as Barack Obama is facing increased pressure from the U.N. over possible Israeli human rights violations. Investigators reporting to the United Nations Human Rights Council Monday enumerated a number of human rights violations committed by Israel during its Gaza incursion, including the specific targeting of occupied civilian homes and the use of children as human shields.

Is this Obama’s way of distancing himself?  The invitations with no mention of Hanukkah, the party down sized this year from 800 to 400.  Sounds to me like the message is clear.

President Obama is dealing with what every President must eventually deal with in the back of their mind. Thoughts of legacy and how they will be remembered creep into their thoughts from the moment they are sworn in. Barack Obama is his own man and it has taken some in the jewish community a little longer than others to realize that.

At the heart of the matter is the fact that the middle east in not really in the middle of things like it used to be. From a geopolitical stand point Isreal is not as sxy as it once was to the U.S. foreign policy play book, although still crucial to stability in the region, the U.S. focus has moved farther East to countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. With Afghanistan having the potential to be the buffer state of the future if they play their cards right, Israel’s days of getting no questions asked preferential treatment in the middle east may be over. It may be time for Israel to try harder to work with their Arab cousins in the region.

It’s going to be awhile before the Israeli government comes out of the ether they’ve been under during the past  2 U.S. administrations  and realize the geopolitical ramifications, the U.S. is stretched out on two war fronts. Anything more on the plate would be an instant political liability, no matter how close we are to the country. The European Union has not helped the middle east situation either.

Years of receiving the very best in U.S. weapons and technology have eroded the Israeli’s diplomatic skills. The Obama administrations relationship with Israel is very valuable, but it’s not for sale. Israeli extremists, the phrase has not caught on yet but it might.

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