Short Jew – 3. Arrogant, Professorial President – 0.

Glenn McCoy

Ok, I added the “short” part for obvious reasons. It turns out Netanyahu’s 6 feet tall. But I can’t resist the following from presidential historian Walter Russell Mead:

[Obama’s] record of grotesque, humiliating and total diplomatic failure in his dealings with Prime Minister Netanyahu has few parallels in American history. Three times he has gone up against Netanyahu; three times he has ingloriously failed. This last defeat—Netanyahu’s deadly, devastating speech to Congress in which he eviscerated President Obama’s foreign policy to prolonged and repeated standing ovations by members of both parties—may have been the single most stunning and effective public rebuke to an American President a foreign leader has ever delivered.

Netanyahu beat Obama like a red-headed stepchild; he played him like a fiddle; he pounded him like a big brass drum. The Prime Minister of Israel danced rings around his arrogant, professorial opponent. It was like watching the Harlem Globetrotters go up against the junior squad from Miss Porter’s School; like watching Harvard play Texas A&M, like watching Bambi meet Godzilla—or Bill Clinton run against Bob Dole.

The last time Netanyahu met with Obama, someone in the administration leaked that Obama considers Netanyahu not to be too smart. Of course, liberals think that, by definition, a non-liberal cannot be smart, and we all know that no one is, or ever was, as smart as Obama. Still, will the administration re-set its assessment of Bibi’s smarts?

I know that Congress’s response to Netanyahu is being portrayed by the leftist intelligentsia (including many if not most Jews) as motivated by fear of losing Jewish voters and money, but I don’t think so. Republicans get few Jewish votes and little Jewish money. Rather the response from politicians, I believe, is because the pro-Israel argument is an amazingly compelling one for ordinary people, if not for members of the “educated class, who reflexively reject the obvious.

Ordinary folks see Israel as a tiny country with a handful of Jews surrounded by millions of Arabs and Muslims, many of whom are fabulously rich from oil, living on vast expanses of land, and yet, they cannot tolerate this little country in their midst. These ordinary folks also understand that Israel repeatedly defeated their fanatical enemies who simply cannot accept defeat.

Most Americans know that when you lose, you don’t get the parade down the Champs Elysees or Broadway. Most Americans like winners who, against all odds, defeat an aggressor. But to intellectuals, that’s a simplistic a way of thinking, not worthy of an educated person.

Why do intellectuals hate Israel and love the Arabs?

Here’s my analysis:

1. Israelis and Jews in general are successful. Intellectuals don’t like success, particularly if it comes from military skill or results in somebody getting rich. Intellectuals affect to love the unsuccessful (read: victims of discrimination).

2. Israelis are bourgeois (Hey, I’m talkin’ French!), middle class and, worst of all, familiar. In other words, Jews are similar to intellectuals themselves, that is, “white” and prosperous . Familiarity, as someone once said, breeds contempt; thus, intellectuals hate their countries, their culture (and themselves) whom they blame for all of the world’s sins: capitalism, imperialism, racism, sexism, homophobia…

3. Arabs and Muslims, on the other hand, are not “white” (by contemporary definition) and are definitely not familiar. Arabs and Muslims are exotic, far out, and thus romantic, so they are powerfully attractive to intellectuals. This exoticism and non-whiteness excuses, in the intellectuals’ nuanced thinking, the Muslims’ historic militarism, imperialism, racism, sexism, and homophobia. Don’t ask: You have to be an intellectual.

This is why intellectuals love Obama and hate Netanyahu. Netanyahu’s argument is readily understandable to ordinary people, i.e., most Americans, and so Congress has to, because it’s made up of politicians, respond to what they know to be the opinion of the regular folks who vote for them. These benighted folks who, someone once said, “cling to their guns and religion,” just don’t get Professor Obama’s exegesis, poor things.

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