I don’t know if there is something in the water or if someone blew a dog whistle, but over the past two weeks the conservative media have been out in force tring to convince the Jewish community that if they are Democrats and they support Obama in 2012, then the terrorists will win and Israel will cease to exist.
The other day I highlighted the WaPo’s Jackson Diehl’s ridiculous article claiming Obama hearts Syria but not Israel- a sentiment breathlessly repeated by the Washington Post’s other peace rejectionist and resident hack, Jennifer Rubin.
Earlier today on Twitter some folks were getting a good laugh at this latest Commentary article called “The Low Standards of Jewish Democrats.” Catchy title. If you aren’t familiar with Commentary, it’s basically a very conservative online/print magazine that focuses on neoconservative issues and in particular, Israel. If you take a look at their Masthead you’ll find such intellectual giants *cough* as Max Boot, John Podhoretz and Noah Pollak. That pretty much sums it up.
Here’s an excerpt from the condescending article chastising Jewish people with whom the Commentary editorial board disagrees:
There are those who claim there is virtually nothing a Democratic president can do to Israel to cause liberal Jews to abandon his cause. But that is an exaggeration. Were a Democratic president to dramatically shift U.S. Middle East policy to Israel’s disadvantage without at the same time paying lip service to the concept of the U.S.-Israel alliance, there would probably be drastic consequences in terms of liberal Jewish support for that president. But even a president who made it clear from the first day of his administration he would distance the United States from Israel could retain the backing of liberal Jewish activists so long as he still claimed to be the friend of the Jewish state.
That is the only way to explain the willingness of so many Jewish Democrats who profess to be backers of Israel to line up in support of President Barack Obama’s re-election. As accounts of last night’s Barack Obama fundraiser for Jewish donors show, it doesn’t take much for a Democratic leader to seduce the Jewish faithful. As far as Israel is concerned, Barack Obama may be the least friendly resident of the White House since the first president George Bush or even Dwight Eisenhower, but that has not prevented him from raising large amounts of cash in the Jewish community. Nor will it prevent him from winning the majority of Jewish votes next year.
Never mind that the idea that Obama is hostile to Israel is total claptrap for reasons I have stated over and over. Did it ever occur to the author (Jonathan Tobin) that perhaps Jewish Democrats vote Democratic because a) they largely agree with the party platform on such issues as reproductive rights, the environment, the economy, gay rights and b) they understand that an administration that tries in good faith to broker Mideast peace has an uphill battle but that a negotiated settlement between both parties is in the long-term security interests of Israel?
Here’s some more sweet goodness:
It was less than a month ago that Obama specifically timed a major Middle East policy speech in order to ambush visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Right. Because Bibi had only good intentions vis a vis the Obama administration when he appeared before Congress and AIPAC and shot down the key components of Obama’s policies in the Mideast. In fact, Bibi’s aides pretty much came out and said Bibi requested the invitation to address Congress for the sole purpose of boxing Obama in and pre-empting any attempt by the administration to lay the foundation for negotiations. Shouldn’t that be a big turn-off to all Americans, irrespective of religion, political party, race etc? Do we really need to remind these folks that Netanyahu is a leader of a foreign country?
Now this is the best part of the article:
We shouldn’t be surprised by any of this. Most liberal Jews are fervently partisan Democrats and still wrongly fear conservative Christians far more than Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran and al-Qaeda combined. The standards liberal Jews have adopted on that issue are so low it allows virtually any Democrat, even one with no history of support for Israel (as was the case with Barack Obama in 2008) a pass by merely the uttering of a few catch phrases.
Wow, that’s one long ad hominem attack. It’s also ridiculous. I get a kick out of the fact that Tobin is accusing liberal Jews of being “fervently partisan,” because you know, he’s certainly not.
So, who cares what Tobin thinks? Well, it’s important insofar as these righties are out in force trying very, very hard to convince members of the Jewish community that voting for Obama is dangerous. Here’s an article today from Jennifer Rubin:
The White House and its spinners keep insisting everything is fine, just fine between Israel and the U.S. and between the White House and the American Jewish community. But they sure are having a lot of “reassurance” meetings and fundraisers. The most recent came Monday night when 80 fat cats (the results were “good,” we were told, which is sort of like being told your blind date is “nice”) shelled out more than $25,000 a pop to hear Obama talk about his record on Israel. The Associated Press reported, “Obama assured donors that his goals are the same as theirs — a secure Jewish state living in peace with its neighbors — even if there might be ‘tactical disagreements’ along the way.”
Indeed. After all, special interest groups NEVER try to raise money for their preferred candidates, right Jennifer? Good lord, for better or worse (worse) that’s how Washington operates. I wonder if Rubin has a problem with Irving Moskowitz, the guy who buys huge swaths of Palestinian land and turns them into Jewish-only settlements, being the top donor to GOP Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Ileana Ros-Lehtinen? Methinks not.
Now Rubin outdoes herself:
A Capitol Hill staffer rolled his eyes, cracking, “Why don’t the liberal Jewish donors just cut out the middle-man and write their checks directly to Abu Mazen [Mamoud Abbas] since the President is the performing the job of the chief negotiator of the PA.” Ouch.
There are a few take-aways from this. First, let’s dispense with the fiction that these liberal donors or their liberal communal “leaders” at White House briefings are accurate interpreters of Obama’s Middle East policy. They are in the business of self-delusion (make us feel better!). Second, they and the communal leaders who run interference for the Obama White House risk their own reputations and credibility on Israel. One way or another, Obama will leave office, and then what? Their support for this administration will remain, frankly, a reminder of the degree to which they put Israel at the bottom of their political priority list.
But here’s the money quote:
Fourth, it’s getting impossible for Jewish and mainstream reporters and pundits to argue with a straight face (well, then again, maybe they have no compunction about manning the spin squad) that all is well between Israel and the U.S. and between Obama and the Jewish community.
Hmmmmm….what is she referring to when she says “Jewish and mainstream reporters?” I’ve never heard anyone say “African American and mainstream reporters” or “gay and mainstream reporters.” Is Rubin essentially saying that Jewish members of the media should just be repeating the Israeli government talking points? That’s sort of troubling.
At the end of the day it’s tempting to write off Jennifer Rubin but keep in mind, she writes for the Washington Post. That’s quite a lofty perch she has to spread misinformation. Can you imagine a scenario where the WaPo would hire a Palestinian American for the purpose of acting as stenographer for the Palestinian Authority while lashing out anyone who doesn’t tow an activist, pro-Palestinian line? No, I don’t think you can.