Back in February 2008, in the thick of the U.S. presidential primaries, Ira N. Forman, executive director of the National Jewish Democratic Council, the Democratic party's Jewish outreach organization, castigated me in the Philadelphia Jewish Voice as a "conservative flack," called my writings on Barack Obama having been raised a Muslim "ridiculous and offensive," and characterized my work as a "back-alley political mugging."
Ira N. Forman, executive director of the National Jewish Democratic Council.
Comments: (1) Note my ascension from "conservative flack" to "prominent conservative," depending on how I fit Forman's agenda.
(2) Yes, I found Obama's June 4 speech not so bad. I explained in a weblog entry, "Assessing Obama's Cairo Speech," that "Obama reiterated his known policies" on a range of issues (Islam, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, the Arab-Israeli conflict, democracy) and "broke little new ground."
No, I did not say "there is no change in policy toward Israel," as Forman incorrectly characterizes my views. Quite the reverse, I warned in a Jerusalem Post article on June 4 about "A Rapid and Harsh Turn against Israel." An excerpt:
the gloves came off immediately [after the first Obama-Netanyahu meeting on May 18], with a series of tough American demands, especially U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's insistence on May 27 that the Netanyahu government end residential building for Israelis in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem. … the Obama administration's rapid and harsh turn against Israel has potentially great significance. Not only did the administration end George W. Bush's focus on changes on the Palestinian side but it even disregarded oral understandings Bush had reached with Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert.
I concluded that "If Washington continues on its present course, the result may well be spectacular policy failure that manages both to weaken America's only strategic ally in the Middle East even as it worsens Arab-Israeli tensions."
(3) Ira, do your research before you discredit yourself and your organization. (June 26, 2009)