Sherwin Pomerantz, a 29 year resident of Israel. is President of Atid-EDI Ltd., a Jerusalem-based economic development consulting firm and a former National President of the Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel
My fellow Americans, on Tuesday, November 6th you will go to the polls to elect, among others, the president and vice-president of the United States for the next four years. I urge you to vote against the re-election of President Obama because, in my opinion, he has not earned the right to be re-elected as he is neither good for the US nor Israel.
On the US side it is abundantly clear that Americans are surely not any better off today than they were four years ago. Some examples:
- Fuel prices have quadrupled;
- Unemployment continues to hover around 8% (and it is only that low because so many people have opted out of the work force altogether);
- The national debt is now over $16 trillion ($51,600 for every man, woman and child in the US), 60% higher than it was when Obama was elected;
- 15.7% of Americans are living in poverty, the highest number in the last 50 years.
As such, does he merit re-election?
From a foreign policy standpoint, the president and his advisors have clearly demonstrated that they do not have a coherent approach to the issues at hand. For example, in spite of the president’s attempts at pacifying the Muslim world by regularly apologizing to them on behalf of America, the level of respect for the US among Muslim countries is at low ebb. US embassies are attacked, diplomats are killed, the US flag is burned and anti-American riots are commonplace. America’s reluctance, under Obama, to support those who demanded regime change in Iran, or the rebel fighters in Syria or initially the anti-Mubarak protesters in Egypt have convinced the Muslim street in this part of the world that American leadership is vapid. And, sadly, so it is.
As such, does he merit re-election?
As for those of us living in Israel, the re-election of President Obama makes most of us fearful of the next four years. In principle a second term US president always has the potential of being bad for Israel as that person harbors no concern about the politics of re-election. However, even more so in this case, when Obama is perceived here as being, at best, neutral on Israel’s survival and, at worst, actually anti-Israel.
For sure everyone will say, and it is true, that strategic security cooperation between Israel and the US has never been stronger, and that is true. But such cooperation results from a confluence of strategic interests and is generally not dependent as much on who sits at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The president’s words of support for Israel notwithstanding, my sense is that 95% of Americans living here and voting, as well, in the US, are not comfortable with Obama as a second term president.
Even Obama’s former Harvard Law Professor, Roberto Ungar, who was squarely in the president’s corner four years ago now says that the “president must be defeated in 2012” (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2160715/Obamas-Harvard-law-professor-Roberto-Unger-says-defeated-2012.html ).
Most of Prof. Unger’s comments seem to be politically to the left of Obama, but he insists that the Republicans would be no more destructive than the Democrats as ‘the risk of military adventurism’ would remain the same. And some would doubtless strike a chord with the President’s GOP opponents, including the academic’s attacks on Mr. Obama’s efforts to reform healthcare. Prof. Unger argues: “He has subordinated the broadening of economic and educational opportunity to the important but secondary issue of access to health care in the mistaken belief that he would be spared a fight.” He also suggests that, despite their fierce rivalry, the Democrats’ agenda is little different to that of the Republicans, saying the party aims “to put a human face on the program of its adversaries”. The professor concludes by saying: “Only a political reversal can allow the voice of democratic prophecy to speak once again in American life.”
The saddest aspect of this whole election, of course, is the fact that the alternative is hardly the best America can offer. But, as happens more often than not these days, we tend to vote against a specific candidate rather than for the opposition.
In a word, America cannot any longer afford Obama nor can the world afford an America that does not lead.
44 years ago, Hubert Humphrey, the 38th Vice President of the US said “For the first time in the history of mankind, one generation literally has the power to destroy the past, the present and the future, (and) the power to bring time to an end.” That statement is even truer today than it was then. I don’t believe that the current president has earned the right to another four years at a time in world history where, once again, we stand at the brink of the apocalypse.
On November 6th, do the right thing, please for the sake of all of us!