“I can’t hear you”
In 2007, the day after Obama declared his candidacy for president, I met with him in his office (I was then working for Israel Policy Forum). Obama listened carefully while I explained why it was critical that he be an “honest broker” on Israel-Palestinian issues. Nothing I said, including my opinions of AIPAC’s influence, would surprise anyone who reads my columns.
The bottom line was that the occupation was terrible for the United States, for Israel, and most of all for the Palestinians, and that he should understand that the status quo lobbyists who defend everything Israel does are not representative of the Jewish community or anyone else.
Obama listened, cupped his ear, and said, “I can’t hear you.”
I didn’t understand; I was sitting right next to him.
He then said: “No, not literally. I mean that I don’t hear from people like you. But I hear from AIPAC [he then named the local AIPAC leader in Chicago] every week. I’m going to be president and, when I am, it is your job – you and all the people who feel the way you do – to make sure I hear that message. You cannot simply rely on the belief that you are right. You need to raise your voice so that I hear you and not just them.”
So maybe, just maybe, the president wants us to shout and holler about what appears to be a sell-out to AIPAC. After all, he is making no attempt to cover up what he’s doing or why he’s doing it. He only hears one voice.
Maybe Obama’s latest actions are a cry for help.
Yes, it’s just a theory. But it is infinitely better than thinking Obama actually believes that AIPAC’s status quo is in America’s interest. It just is not possible that this president could believe that.
It’s time to raise our voices so Obama can hear us, whether he still wants us to or not.Go to Article