Theodore's World: World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder Stands Up to Obama

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April 16, 2010

World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder Stands Up to Obama

In an unprecedented open letter to President Obama, Ronald Lauder, the President of the World Jewish Congress asks the President to stop his public feud with the State of Israel and start dealing with real issues like a nuclear Iran.

In a letter that will be published tomorrow in the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, Mr. Lauder takes the bold step of standing up for Israel and the Jewish people. With tension growing between the Obama White House and the government of Israel, this is the first time the World Jewish Congress has publicly challenged the conduct of American foreign policy toward Israel. The concerns and questions raised in Mr. Lauder's letter represent a respectful, but very troubling, expression of anxiety about the diplomatic confrontation the Obama Administration seems set on seeking with Israel.

The World Jewish Congress' unprecedented decision to "go public" with its concerns about the Obama Administration indicates that growing friction between the Obama Administration and Israel continues to cause real anxiety in the Jewish community. This is in line with the soon to be released McLaughlin poll which shows that among Jews who originally voted for Obama only 42% would vote for him again.

Much media speculation here and in Israel has focused on how strained relations with the Obama Administration will impact politics in Israel.

Full Text of Letter from Ronald S. Lauder to Obama

15 April 2010
Dear President Obama:

I write today as a proud American and a proud Jew.

Jews around the world are concerned today. We are concerned about the
nuclear ambitions of an Iranian regime that brags about its genocidal
intentions against Israel. We are concerned that the Jewish state is being
isolated and delegitimized.

Mr. President, we are concerned about the dramatic deterioration of
diplomatic relations between the United States and Israel.

The Israeli housing bureaucracy made a poorly timed announcement and your
Administration branded it an “insult.” This diplomatic faux pas was over
the fourth stage of a seven stage planning permission process – a plan to
build homes years from now in a Jewish area of Jerusalem that under any
peace agreement would remain an integral part of Israel.

Our concern grows to alarm as we consider some disturbing questions. Why
does the thrust of this Administration’s Middle East rhetoric seem to blame
Israel for the lack of movement on peace talks? After all, it is the
Palestinians, not Israel, who refuse to negotiate.

Israel has made unprecedented concessions. It has enacted the most far
reaching West Bank settlement moratorium in Israeli history.

Israel has publicly declared support for a two-state solution. Conversely,
many Palestinians continue their refusal to even acknowledge Israel’s right
to exist.

The conflict’s root cause has always been the Palestinian refusal to accept
Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people. Every American President
who has tried to broker a peace agreement has collided with that Palestinian
intransigence, sooner or later. Recall President Clinton’s anguish when his
peace proposals were bluntly rejected by the Palestinians in 2000.
Settlements were not the key issue then.

They are not the key issue now.

Another important question is this: what is the Administration’s position
on Israel’s borders in any final status agreement? Ambiguity on this matter
has provoked a wave of rumors and anxiety. Can it be true that America is
no longer committed to a final status agreement that provides defensible
borders for Israel? Is a new course being charted that would leave Israel
with the indefensible borders that invited invasion prior to 1967?

There are significant moves from the Palestinian side to use those
indefensible borders as the basis for a future unilateral declaration of
independence. How would the United States respond to such a reckless course
of action?

And what are America’s strategic ambitions in the broader Middle East? The
Administration’s desire to improve relations with the Muslim world is well
known. But is friction with Israel part of this new strategy? Is it
assumed worsening relations with Israel can improve relations with Muslims?
History is clear on the matter: appeasement does not work. It can achieve
the opposite of what is intended.

And what about the most dangerous player in the region? Shouldn’t the
United States remain focused on the single biggest threat that confronts the
world today? That threat is a nuclear armed Iran. Israel is not only
America’s closest ally in the Middle East, it is the one most committed to
this Administration’s declared aim of ensuring Iran does not get nuclear

Mr. President, we embrace your sincerity in your quest to seek a lasting
peace. But we urge you to take into consideration the concerns expressed
above. Our great country and the tiny State of Israel have long shared the
core values of freedom and democracy. It is a bond much treasured by the
Jewish people. In that spirit I submit, most respectfully, that it is time
to end our public feud with Israel and to confront the real challenges that
we face together.

Yours sincerely,
Ronald S. Lauder
World Jewish Congress


Wild Thing's comment........

Good for Ronald Lauder.

Lauder has always been a lifelong Republilcan so he has to be especially ticked like all of us are about Obama and what he is donig. He is a well known politically conservative . He has an imporotant voice and Obama had better head what he is being told.

He made a bid to become the mayor of New York City in 1989, losing to Rudy Giuliani in the Republican primary. Michael Massing, writing of this nomination race, notes that politically Lauder “seemed out of step with most American Jews; … he ran to the right of Rudolph Giuliani. And, on Israeli issues, he was a vocal Likudnik, with long-standing ties to Netanyahu.

Also House minority Whip Eric Cantor organized the writing of a statement signed by a few hundred members of Congress to Obama about the disturbing turn of events in lack of support for Israel.

And Ed Koch ( sorry now he voted for Obama ) has written two major article calling pout Obama, and Schumer and Gillibrand for remaining silent. His language is strong, harsh, and to the point.

....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.

3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67

Posted by Wild Thing at April 16, 2010 06:49 AM


obama, the muslim, wants to break the ties between Israel and America. He is making Israel desperate and as a result, the volatile MidEast will be even more destabilized and dangerous.

Posted by: TomR at April 16, 2010 10:31 AM

As a Jew, it amazes me why any Jew in America could ever vote for the nubian boy emperor of the universe wannabe. And it puzzles me even more why any Jew in America could be a liberal. It makes absolutely no sense.

Posted by: Eddie (Enemy of the State) at April 16, 2010 11:54 AM

Eddie and more than once on the campaign obama told them that if he had to choose between Muslims and any other group he'd choose the muslims to go with. That should have sent Red Flags up everywhere, this guy is a muslim right from the start. Wright's church was a scam and a frount to fool the American People into believing he was a Christian. He a phony from the get go.

After the Second world war why there are any Liberals Jews in the world is beyond my comprehension.

Posted by: Mark at April 16, 2010 03:51 PM

Tom, your right, amazing how he has no shame in doing this too.

Eddie, I can understand that. They are really waking up now and I am so glad.

Posted by: Wild Thing at April 17, 2010 01:09 AM