David Goldman of First Things magazine
GLENN: We heard a story yesterday and I needed to find out more information about it. I couldn’t believe it. It was an interview with David Goldman. He is the senior editor of First Things magazine, which is a great magazine, and he was taking part in a convention at Ariel University in Israel last week and he heard some interesting things from Jewish leaders in reference to President Obama. One guy said that he thought he was — that Obama was a psychopath — or sociopath.
GLENN: Sociopath. And there is real anger and rage that is happening now in the Jewish community over Barack Obama. I wanted to get David Goldman’s firsthand account here, and David is on with us now. Hello, David, how are you?
GOLDMAN: Hi, Glenn, thanks for inviting me.
GLENN: Tell us what you experienced.
GOLDMAN: Well, I talk to a lot of people in the Jewish community who have been major funders of the Democratic Party and in July 2008 as you know when Obama was running for president, many news stories came out showing that he had very close associations with people who were overtly anti Israel and Obama went out of his way to make assurances to the Jewish community that he would continue the kind of relationship that, say, Bill Clinton had had with Israel, which is reasonably friendly. Marty Peretz, the editor of the New Republic which reflects the Democratic liberal center said, I’ve been assured by Obama, he’s okay, we can support him. And then when Obama tried to put Israel against the wall over apartments not in East Jerusalem but North Jerusalem which every peace agreement on draft had always assigned to Israel, the Jewish community realized that Obama had lied to them. So the term sociopath which in fact means a compulsive or indifferent liar is the term I’ve heard in a number of very big Jewish funders but this has become quite public, Glenn. In the Jerusalem Post yesterday, for example, the single largest funder of the Democratic Party is a media billionaire named Haim Saban. He’s the guy who developed Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. He said the following of Obama, he said there are leftists, really left leftists, so far to the left there’s not much space between them and the wall. So I think there’s a crack up in the romance between the kind of centrist, liberal, pro Israel Democratic funder who liked Bill Clinton, liked Hillary Clinton and who thought they had a deal with Obama and Obama who turns out to be an extreme leftist on the Israeli issue.
GLENN: You know, have you heard the, have you heard the audio of William Holder defending — or no, no. Not William Holder. William Holden I’m thinking. Eric Holder is the Department of Justice attorney general, and he was testifying, when was this?
PAT: I think it was yesterday.
PAT: Yesterday, the day before.
GLENN: And he was asked about radical Islam. And listen to this answer.
CONGRESSMAN POE: In the case of all three attempts last year, the terrorist attempts one of which was successful, those individuals have had ties to radical Islam. Do you feel that these individuals might have been incited to take the actions that they did because of radical Islam?
HOLDER: Because of?
CONGRESSMAN POE: Radical Islam?
HOLDER: There are a variety of reasons why I think people have taken these actions. It’s — one, I think you have to look at each individual case. I mean, we are in the process now of talking to Mr. Shahzad to try to understand what it is that drove him to take the action he —
CONGRESSMAN POE: But radical Islam could have been one of the reasons?
HOLDER: There are a variety of reasons why people —
CONGRESSMAN POE: But was radical Islam one of them?
HOLDER: There are a variety of reasons why people do these things. Some of them are potentially religious —
CONGRESSMAN POE: Okay. But all I’m asking is if you think among those variety of reasons radical Islam might have been one of the reasons that the individuals took the steps that they did.
HOLDER: You say radical Islam. I mean, I think those people who espouse a version of Islam that is not consistent.
CONGRESSMAN POE: Are you uncomfortable attributing any of their actions to radical Islam? It sounds like it.
HOLDER: No, I don’t want to say anything negative about a religion that is not —
CONGRESSMAN POE: No, no, I’m not talking about a religion. I’m talking about radical Islam. I’m not talking about the general religion.
HOLDER: Right. And I’m saying that a person like Anwar Awlaki, for instance, who has a version of Islam that is not consistent with the teachings of it and espouses a radical version.
CONGRESSMAN POE: Begun could radical Islam have motivated these individuals to take the steps that they did?
HOLDER: I certainly think that it’s possible that people who espouse a radical version of Islam have had an ability to have an impact on people like Mr. Shahzad.
CONGRESSMAN POE: Okay. And could it have been the case in one of these three instances?
HOLDER: Could that have been the case?
CONGRESSMAN POE: Yeah. Again could one of these three individuals have been incited by radical Islam? Apparently you feel that they could have been.
HOLDER: Well, I think potentially incited by people who have a view of Islam that is inconsistent with —
CONGRESSMAN POE: It’s hard to get an answer yes or no, but let me go on to my next question. This has to do —
GLENN: Okay. I mean, I don’t even know what to say to that. I don’t even know what to say to that.
GOLDMAN: Glenn, I think the problem we have is that we have a president who has a profound personal sympathy for Islam and Islamic culture. He had a Muslim father, a Muslim stepfather, was raised for four years in Indonesia. If you read Dreams of my Father, he talks about the ordered and coherent lives of poor Muslims in Indonesia in contrast to the disordered and alienated lives of us poor stupid Americans, don’t have this wonderful culture to draw on. This is all public record. And he’s completely incapacitated the U.S. Government in dealing with an urgent threat to the United States. It’s a real tragedy, of course.
GLENN: Well, here’s the disconnect that I’m having a hard time with. I don’t know how to get this across to people, and I was — I’m on Bill O’Reilly tonight and I taped it last night, and Bill and I had it out. I mean, Bill and I have never gone toe to toe and I about reached across the desk and slapped him across the face and said, what is wrong with you, man! Because he was talking about, you know, let’s take and Mirandize people — or not Mirandize. The government want to Mirandize people now if they are U.S. citizens and they take them off the street because even our new Supreme Court justice nominee says even if they are suspected of financing terror, we can hold them indefinitely, hold them indefinitely without trial. But those words don’t match with these words, where they won’t even say the word Islamic radical. Something is wrong here. They are the first to go, let’s cuddle and hold the Islamic radicals and find out what was wrong because they have such this great culture and we are just disturbing their culture. And yet now they are seemingly, seemingly caring about the Islamic radicals. He thinks it’s just politics. I think this — when you look at all of the people around Barack Obama, there’s a very, very deep rooted, I don’t know, love or excuse for the activities that happen in some parts of the culture in the Middle East.
GOLDMAN: It’s a profound personal sympathy with a cull fewer with which his father and stepfather were associated, in which he partly grew up which I think paralyzes the United States and has lost American lives. The Fort Hood killer was already identified as being in touch with radical Islamic groups and holding extreme jihadist opinions. Nobody would touch him because in the U.S. military at this point to say we’ve got to do something about a guy because he has extreme jihadist opinions is a guarantee for a career destruction.
GLENN: Well, now we have, now we have the United States government actually proposing medals for service personnel that exercise restraint on the field of action. I mean, personally I think you should give medals, and we have a caller here that wants to say get on and give medals to tea party members. I think they are right. I mean, you want to talk about restraint, how about that? They don’t want to give medals to those guys but now we’re handcuffing our troops in the most abhorrent of ways and say you are doing just doing your job and not being a cold blooded killer, you get a medal for that. That doesn’t make any sense.
GOLDMAN: Glenn, I agree with you. I think the security threats to the United States would be much easier to deal with if we identified the problem by its true name. It’s not that hard to track these people down. We know who the networks are. We know what the profile is. But to act on that profile would be considered ethnic profiling. We’re not allowed to do it. So after Major Nidal Malik Hasan shot 51 colleagues at Fort Hood, the army chief of staff George Casey said, quote, it would be a greater tragedy if diversity became a casualty here. In other words, if the army wasn’t able to promote to officer position pro jihadist Muslims. I’m not saying all Muslims are bad.
GLENN: Nobody is saying that.
GOLDMAN: Or that Islam is an evil religion but you have a radical Islamic strain which wants to kill us. And it’s easy to track these people down if you identify the profile. Failing to do so is throwing away American lives and it’s a scandal.
GLENN: Two questions. What you witnessed with the Jewish donors and in this meeting in Israel, are you hearing, you hearing one of two things or both of these, or none? One, that Jews are in trouble worldwide again globally. And two, that there is anything more than just a slight love for the culture because of his dad, is anybody suggesting at all that you are hearing that is credible that, you know, you are on the road of a Manchurian Candidate or something, that this guy is — has a hidden agenda?
GOLDMAN: Well, I described Obama in print two years ago as a third world anthropologist profiling us. In other words, somebody who didn’t feel himself part of the United States, who was in many ways alienated from American values who as an outsider was very good at manipulating us. But the problem for a Manchurian candidate is who is the Manchuria? I think that the man holds opinions which are in many ways antithetical to what most Americans believe but it’s very difficult to give the absence of a foreign power except maybe — he’s not working for Al Qaeda obviously.
GLENN: It doesn’t have to be.
GOLDMAN: Who is the — the problem in that is who is the Manchuria. But that’s not what I’m hearing in the Jewish community.
GLENN: You are not? Okay.
GOLDMAN: What I’m hearing is that we made a deal with him, we gave him tons of money, he made us promises and he lied to us bold faced. So we’re furious at him. And I think the result is the Democrats will get a lot less money from Jewish contributors in 2010 and 2012. It will help the Republicans. And there will be some people like Haim Saban, the more finish Power Rangers guy who’s also given to Republicans, who will give to Republicans and not to Democrats. That’s all that will happen.
GLENN: May I ask this? Are you hearing in the Jewish community yet any real concern? Because I mean, I see the signs. I mean, we’re repeating history again all around the world. With what’s happening in Germany now and everything else, is there any concern globally from the Jewish community that we are headed towards real, real trouble with this language of the bankers and everything else?
GOLDMAN: Absolutely, again. You have to remember there are many Jewish communities. We’re enormously diverse. We’re not centralized. I belong to an orthodox synagogue and we tend to be a lot more conservative than the secular or the reform. So there’s not a single Jewish community.
GOLDMAN: But one important indication would be a man like Abraham Foxman who is the head of the Anti Defamation League, a very prominent Jewish leader. I know Abe Foxman. He is very bright but he is going to be buried with a lock of Eleanor Roosevelt’s hair. He is the most liberal guy I know and there’s no way to argue with him about it. He’s a well intentioned man but I disagree with him because I’m a conservative and he’s a liberal. But he’s been attacking Obama in a tone that I’ve never heard from a Jewish leader before. Israel is under existential threat. If the Iranians get a new weapon, that puts Israel at risk. The Jewish communities in Europe are possibly not viable given the escalating level of Annie semitism. America’s a great country and I don’t believe that there will ever be serious anti Semitism in the United States of America. I love this country and I think that Jews are safer here in a sense than anywhere else in the world. But certainly Israel and many other Jewish communities are at great risk and a sense of deep concern, given the Obama administration’s stance, certainly is spreading through I think almost every part of the Jewish community.
GLENN: God bless you, sir. God bless you.
GOLDMAN: God bless you.
GLENN: David Goldman from First Things magazine.