Trump is ‘doing a better job’ than Obama in his messaging on Israel, says liberal Zionist rabbi

US Politics
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A leading liberal Zionist New York rabbi says that Donald Trump is already proving to be better for Israel in terms of public relations than President Obama was. Trump is telling US Jews and Israel, “We got your back,” and Obama did not do that, Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove of the Park Avenue Synagogue said last night in a panel at his synagogue:

I’m going to say something that does surprise me and will be a gentle criticism of the past administration. I think Ambassador Shapiro, Dan, [Obama’s former ambassador to Israel] made a very compelling case of things being mischaracterized, the strength of the American-Israel relationship under the Obama administration versus how it’s portrayed and characterized. But I think that from the Cairo Speech through the Iran Deal till the very last few days of the UN resolution [2334], the Obama administration suffered from a perception problem with American Jewry. Perception– I’m not saying reality, I’m saying perception– problem.

And I have no idea what one day to the next bodes for the Trump administration on this issue or… on any issue. But what I do think is that out of the gate, and this is the thing that is surprising me that I’m saying it, is that I think Trump is doing a better job in terms of pr. That Israel knows, or at least American Jewry is hearing the message that “We got your back, that we got your back.” That and 50 cents might not get you a cup of coffee, because who knows what actually is going to happen. But if we’re simply saying that style is substance, then there is an argument to be made here–

Former US ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro leaped in to point out that Obama had upped Israel’s military aid package to $3.8 billion a year for the next ten years, more than half of all US military aid overseas; and that an Israeli cabinet official had said just on Sunday that Israel might not have gotten that money under Trump.

Cosgrove is a liberal Zionist, who is opposed to many of Donald Trump’s initiatives as being opposed to progressive Jewish values. Last night he criticized Trump’s immigration policies and aligned himself with Ferguson, Mo., social justice activists, too; though he criticized the left for siding with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement aimed at Israel.

Myself I regard Cosgrove’s statement as a reflection of It’s-never-enough-for-Israel or its supporters. President Obama himself repeatedly stated that he was behind Israel. Even the UN Security Council resolution abstention happened because the Obama administration deemed stopping settlements as being in Israel’s best interest.

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6 Responses

  1. bryan
    March 30, 2017, 9:26 am

    Seems a strange way to evaluate an American president, rather than on the broad range of policies, approach and philosophy. Trump seems to be very pro-Britain, applauding us for our courage in executing Brexit, giving an early visit to May, and treating some of our rascally politicians (Johnson and Farage) as bosom-pals. Nevertheless, give me Obama any day.

  2. eljay
    March 30, 2017, 10:01 am

    … But if we’re simply saying that style is substance, then there is an argument to be made here …

    Fred is always well-dressed, hard-working, polite and helpful, so he can’t possibly be a child molester. I mean, he is, but we’re simply saying if style is substance, then there’s an argument to be made here that he isn’t.

    Zionists use similar style-is-substance “logic” to argue that Israel isn’t an oppressive, colonialist, (war) criminal and religion-supremacist state.

  3. broadside
    March 30, 2017, 10:28 am

    “Even the UN Security Council resolution abstention happened because the Obama administration deemed stopping settlements as being in Israel’s best interest.”

    What???

    At that point, Barack Obama could not possibly have cared less what was in Israel’s best interest.

    • JosephA
      March 30, 2017, 12:09 pm

      Who in their right mind (besides fringe lunatics) thinks that settler-colonialism and theft of private (Palestinian-owned) land is in Israel’s best interest?

  4. The JillyBeans
    March 30, 2017, 5:42 pm

    So……you would trade your (and everybody else’s) safety and wellbeing st home for that of a foreign nation? Rabbi Cosgrove is a nut. He deserves a special place across the river Styx for that kind of lacking ethics.

  5. talknic
    March 31, 2017, 2:54 am

    They really have lost the plot

    ” I think that from the Cairo Speech through the Iran Deal till the very last few days of the UN resolution [2334], the Obama administration suffered from a perception problem with American Jewry. “

    The a slightest thought reveals gaping holes in the Israeli and pro-Israeli America Jewry narrative. The problem is in NOT thinking

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