A newly released documentary explores how a 23-year-old American who voted for President Barack Obama in 2008 came to view the administration as dangerous for the Jewish state.
"This time around Obama won’t be getting my vote," declares Irina, the primary subject of "Absolutely Uncertain: Obama and the Threat to Israel," a new documentary exploring the president’s often-tense relationship with Israel.
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"Today the world is changing before our eyes, but it is not the change I had hoped President Obama would bring," says Irina, who only goes by her first name in the film. "As Americans we should be staying true to our values and true to our friend Israel—and in 2012 that friendship starts with the president."
Sponsored by RightChange, a nonprofit political advocacy group established to hold "America’s elected leaders accountable for their actions," the film follows Irina as she reviews the Obama administration’s dealings in the Middle East, particularly as they impact Israel.
"Israelis, Jews living in the U.S. need to understand that if Israel is important to them, they have to look closely at what President Obama and his administration has done," said Alan Peterson, the film’s director. "We’re hoping to demonstrate with this piece why voters should look very closely [at Obama’s record] before they cast their vote."
Opening with an ominous clamor and images of gas masks, the film goes on to quote President Abraham Lincoln: "A friend is one who has the same enemies as you have."
Over nearly 20 minutes, experts, journalists, and Jewish voters build the case that Obama cannot be relied upon to protect Israel as a conflict over Iran’s suspected nuclear arms program becomes increasingly likely.
"I don’t know how many people realize this," says Irina, "but today, as we speak, Israelis are lining up for gas masks and cleaning out their bomb shelters."
The film arrives just a day after Iran’s genocidal president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, stood before the United Nations in New York and declared that Israel will be eliminated.
Journalists and Middle East experts featured in the documentary explain how Obama, from the time he entered the White House, pursued a policy of outreach towards the Muslim world that created "daylight" between Israel and the United States.
"It’s been really scary to hear many of [Obama’s] long-time supporters question his support for Israel," says Irina, referring to Former Democratic New York Mayer Ed Koch and a host of other pro-Israel Democrats, including Sen. Bob Menendez (D., N.J.) Rep. Eliot Engel (D., N.Y.).
"The more I learn about his record, the less confidant I am that president Obama really does stand with Israel in these critical moments," she says.
Irina goes on to explain how she transitioned from hope to fear.
"When it was time for me to vote for the first time in 2008 I didn’t doubt for a moment that the strong relationship would continue, no matter who won," she explains. "I consider myself pretty liberal. After eight years of Bush, Barack Obama inspired hope and I was proud to cast my vote for him."
"Today," Irina says, "I’m having second thoughts, particularly as I learn about the president’s record across the Middle East."
Through various interviews and news clips, the documentary highlights Obama’s difficulties handling the Arab Spring.
It examines how spring in the Arab world has turned to winter, as extremism takes hold in places such as Libya and Egypt, where U.S. consulates recently came under deadly attacks by terrorist mobs.
According to the documentary, at every critical turn in the Middle East the Obama administration has dropped the ball, failing to foster democracy and impede the spread of radicalism.
"With the Middle East growing more and more hostile I think America’s support for Israel should get even stronger, yet the president has been sending mixed signals," Irina says, referring to Obama’s failure to visit Israel and recognize Jerusalem as its capital city.
Obama has "minimized the important of the [U.S.-Israel] relationship and minimized the threat of Iran," said director Peterson. "The U.S. relationship with Israel has become increasingly important and increasingly troubled" with Obama in office.