Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro was apparently no fan of former president Barack Obama’s proclamation this week that he is “basically a liberal Jew.”
The former commander in chief reportedly made the quip on Wednesday while addressing an audience at Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center in New York City. Shapiro, who is an Orthodox Jew, responded by defining exactly what he believes Obama’s use of that term entails.
“If by this he means most liberal Jews don’t believe in basic Jewish tenets or care deeply about the safety and security of Israel, then yes,” he wrote.
If by this he means most liberal Jews don’t believe in basic Jewish tenets or care deeply about the safety and security of Israel, then yes https://t.co/1rwXr8GmrA
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) January 25, 2018
Obama’s appearance at the synagogue also involved a candid discussion about Israel, with the former president staunchly defending his administrations handling of Middle Eastern affairs. He specifically addressed his December 2016 decision to allow the United Nations to condemn Israel — an act that took place right before President Donald Trump took office.
The lede of a New York Times article that was published at the time captured the gravity and reality of that decision: “Defying extraordinary pressure from President-elect Donald J. Trump and furious lobbying by Israel, the Obama administration on Friday allowed the United Nations Security Council to adopt a resolution that condemned Israeli settlement construction.”
Obama defended himself, though, during Wednesday’s address, saying that a vote against the resolution “would have damaged our credibility on affirming human rights only when it’s convenient not when it has to do with ourselves and our friends.”
He also said that speaking truth on Israeli issues is tough amid America’s divided political climate, i24 News reported.
“To be a true friend of Israel it is important to be honest about it, and the politics of this country sometimes do not allow for it,” Obama said.
Israel has been center stage on the international stage of late, specifically after President Donald Trump’s controversial pledge to place the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, Israel — an act that will reportedly be fulfilled before the end of 2019.
Thank you, Prime Minister @Netanyahu, for your friendship and hospitality. We are grateful for your strong leadership for the people of Israel and your unbending commitment to the relationship between the United States and Israel. https://t.co/va4wTxRNYq
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) January 23, 2018
Vice President Mike Pence recently tweeted that the fulfillment of Trump’s pledge is being made “in the best interests of the U.S.” and in the best interest of peace in the Middle East.
“The alliance between our two countries has never been stronger and the friendship between our peoples has never been deeper,” Pence added.