Barack Obama’s presidential memoir A Promise Land hit store shelves this week.
The book, which portends to be an intimate look into his eight year presidency, joins Jimmy Carter in denouncing the Jewish lobby and the power of Israel over the American government.
Obama singles out the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) as a particularly pernicious fifth column. According to the former president, AIPAC strictly monitors US politicians for even mild criticism of Israel and will marshal the immense financial power of the Jewish community to destroy anyone who stood up to them.
The harassment began right away when, as a presidential candidate in 2008, he visited Israel and put a prayer in the Wailing Wall. The Israelis violated their own traditions to pluck his prayer from the wall and publish it.
When he arrived to the White House, he realized that politicians who “criticized Israel policy too loudly risked being tagged as ‘anti-Israel’ (and possibly anti-Semitic) and [were] confronted with a well-funded opponent in the next election.”
In another episode, Obama writes that “White House phones started ringing off the hook” after he publicly criticized Israel’s illegal West Bank settlements. When Benjamin Netanyahu expressed outrage, the Obama national security team was bombarded with calls and pressure from famous and powerful Jews, including an unnamed liberal Democratic congressman who in the book is described as “highly agitated” over the settlement reduction request.
Obama describes his tenure as president at certain points as difficult due to pressure applied through diverse avenues within the United States against his administration, which reminded him “that normal policy differences with an Israeli prime minister exacted a domestic political cost.”
One of Obama’s closest allies in public life, Rahm Emanuel, was also addressed in the book. Emanuel allegedly cursed Obama out after he had a meeting with Netanyahu, who he felt Obama had disrespected.
Obama hedges these criticisms with generous amounts of philo-Semitism, saying that he admired Jews for being the most culturally left-wing ethnic group in America except when it came to Israel and Palestine.
With Obama’s vice president preparing to take office, there is no sign the incoming Biden-Harris administration. Biden was always known in Jewish circles as being the “good cop” on Israel, while Harris, who was personally chosen by Jewish billionaires to be Biden’s running mate, is an outspoken Zionist hawk who held secret meetings with AIPAC. Many policies ushered in by Donald Trump — one of the most deferential-to-Israel presidents in American history — are expected to continue under the new regime.