Can Trump contain Obama’s Middle East fallout?

by Matthew M. Hausman

The inauguration of Donald Trump signals the end of the most hostile presidency in the history of American-Israeli relations, and yet many liberal Jews are sad to see Barack Obama leave office. Despite his poor treatment of Israel and suspected collusion with the anti-Semitic United Nations, his progressive acolytes are reluctant to acknowledge the damage his Mideast policies have caused and the ripple effect they may have for the Trump administration.

Many suspect the Obama White House of complicity in crafting Security Council Resolution 2334 to pronounce Israeli “settlements” on Jewish land illegal. Though liberals like Alan Dershowitz and Chuck Schumer decried Obama’s betrayal, their criticism followed years of progressive denials of his disdain for Israel and relationships with her detractors. It’s not that liberals were unaware of Obama’s ambivalence towards Israel; it’s that they acted as though it didn’t matter.  

Those who felt spurned after having touted Obama’s supposed philosemitism could not claim surprise, given the clear ideological thread between his revisionist Cairo speech in 2009 and his refusal to veto Resolution 2334. They also should have known from his affinity for a United Nations that demonized Israel and served as a bully pulpit for global anti-Semitism throughout his presidency (and before that).