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The real anti-Semites 

A full rebuttal to all the falsehoods, fabrications, and deliberate distortions in Al Fonzi’s recent opinion piece “Can we skip to 2018?” (New Times, Jan. 5) would fill your entire newspaper, so let me just address the ugliest slur leveled by Mr. Fonzi—the assertion that President Obama is an anti-Semite who “hates the Jewish people.”

Fonzi employs the usual shameful strategy of right-wing Republican extremists who accuse their opponents of the very crimes of which they are most guilty. Fonzi doesn’t seem to care that his president-elect is filling the White House with neo-Nazis and white nationalists, but Obama, who has celebrated Passover and Hanukkah in the White House and provided Israel with billions of dollars’ worth of weaponry, is libeled an anti-Semite. In truth, the Obama administration has tirelessly defended Israel’s security. Bringing Israelis and Palestinians closer to peace sometimes means disagreeing with the policies of the current Israeli government.

The U.S. abstention from voting on the UN resolution blocking Israeli settlements in the West Bank and subsequent speech by Secretary Kerry reflected an attempt by the administration to preserve the two-state solution and the survival of Israel as a democratic, Jewish homeland. This is entirely consistent with longstanding U.S. policy and reflects the views of the entire global community—including Israel’s allies in Europe who voted for it.

Fonzi doesn’t seem to notice the real anti-Semitism and hatred some Republicans have unleashed on our nation—swastikas painted on Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Jewish cemeteries in New York and elsewhere vandalized. His attack on Obama’s pro-Israel, pro-peace legacy is simply an attempt to score cheap political points with a dwindling constituency.

-- Barry A. Price - San Luis Obispo

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