Obama Opposes the Vision of the ProphetsRabbi Eliezer Melamed
Rabbi Eliezer Melamed is the Dean of Yeshiva Har Bracha and a prolific author on Jewish Law. Rabbi Melamed is one of the most active leaders amongst the religious-Zionist public. This article was translated from his popular weekly column "Revivim" which appears in the "Basheva" newspaper. According to official media surveys, his column is the most widely read editorial amongst the religious and ultra-Orthodox public in Israel.
Rabbi Melamed's articles also appear at: http://revivimen.yhb.org.il/
The Elections in America
Question: We are immigrants to Israel from America. Should we make an effort to participate in the upcoming elections for the U.S. Senate and Congress in order to strengthen candidates who oppose the policies of President Barak Obama? Is it ethical for us, who live in Israel, to vote according to the interests of Israel, when the elections mainly concern those living in America?
Answer: The subject of discussion concerns the right of every U.S. citizen no matter where they are located, to vote in U.S. elections. Thus, in practice, U.S. citizens throughout the world execute their right to vote according to their personal interests. Why, then, should the rights of Jews who immigrated to Israel be any different? It is well known that that the Jews made great contributions in the fields of the arts, science, economy, and defense of America, and many U.S. immigrants to Israel still pay taxes on assets they possess there. Why should their rights be less than any other person holding U.S. citizenship?
Beyond this, as believers in God, we are sure that the support which America granted the Jewish exiles and the State of Israel is one of the significant merits of this great country. Like in the times of Cyrus, about whom it is said (Isaiah 44:28): "That says of Koresh (Cyrus), He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: and saying to Jerusalem, You shall be rebuilt; and to the Temple, your foundation shall be laid," so too, a number of outstanding Americans merited assisting the Jewish nation to return to its land and fulfill the vision of the Prophets – to plant vineyards in the mountains of Samaria, to return the sons to their borders, to build the desolate cities, and to fill them with “flocks of people.” And as it is written (Genesis 27:28): "Those who curse you are cursed, and those who bless you are blessed", thus America was blessed by helping the Jewish nation.
An Afro-American President
When Barak Obama was elected President, I, along with many others, felt a spirit of rejoicing. Behold, in the country that, at its very beginning, enslaved Africans as servants against their will (for hundreds of year's traders and mercenaries would go out to capture people in Africa, kidnapping them from the lap of their families, in order to sell them to plantation owners in the south and north regions of America, thereby turning them and their offspring into eternal slaves until 150 years ago), and here, an African, married to a woman descended from slaves, was voted by the majority of citizens of the world's most powerful country, to the most esteemed office. I had tears in my eyes when I saw a picture of Afro-Americans standing upright with glorious honor, on the sides of the avenue leading to the White House, accompanying with their gaze the new President, Barak Obama, into the famous office.
What a wonderful victory for the spirit of a man who overcame all the obstacles. Undeniably, friends warned: "We're talking about a man who is hostile to the State of Israel." Nevertheless, there was hope that a man like him would also understand the Jewish nation, which granted the world the message of freedom and the foundations of morality, and concur that after 2,000 years of exile and suffering, it is fitting for the world to help the Jewish nation return to its land, as the word of God to his servants, the Prophets. Regretfully, it has become clear that he is perhaps the most hostile President that Israel has ever faced.
The splendid idea remains, the dream has not faded. However, its implementation by Barak Obama is awful.
They Have Raised Their Hand against Jerusalem and the Land of Israel
Instead of assisting the Jewish nation to build the Land of Israel, he began pressuring to freeze construction in Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem. The Prophet said (Zachariah 12): "The burden of the word of the Lord concerning Israel. The saying of the Lord, who stretches out the heavens, and lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him; Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of staggering to all the peoples round about" -- that is, anyone who passes the threshold of Jerusalem in order to harm her, will be punished. "And on that day I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all the peoples: all that burden themselves with it (attempt to transfer her to another nation) shall be grievously hurt." "On that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem… and it shall come to pass on that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem."
And Zachariah furthered prophesized (14): "And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations who came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Booths. And whoever does not come up of all the families of the earth to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, upon them shall be no rain (economic blessing)…" And lo and behold, precisely on Chag HaSukkot (the Feast of Booths) when the freeze on construction ended, instead of encouraging the Government of Israel to stop being negligent in building Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria, Obama and his team of ministers and advisors pressured the Government of Israel to continue the freeze on building in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria. Certainly, this will bring a curse on his country.
Therefore, it is fitting for every American citizen who believes in God and His Prophets, to vote for true friends of Israel, for people who believe that the entire Land of Israel belongs to the Jewish nation, as God promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – no matter whether he or she is a candidate from either the Republican or Democratic Party. And if there is no friend of Israel in that state, then one should vote for the candidate who will best hinder Barak Obama from exerting pressure on Israel.
If I may add my own two cents, I would add that not only do I believe libertarianism is the truest political philosophy, and that therefore libertarians are to be preferred, but I would add that their non-interventionist policy, letting Israel (and every nation) practice self-determination, makes them - especially Ron Paul - perhaps the best friends of Israel that America has yet seen.