Obama, Israel & American Jews: The Challenge

Daniel Pipes 90x115 by Daniel Pipes

Under the title “Obama, Israel & American Jews: The Challenge—A Symposium,” the editors of Commentary Magazine asked the following questions:

The open conflict between the Obama administration and the government of Benjamin Netanyahu has created tensions between the United States and Israel of a kind not seen since the days of the administration of the first President Bush. And those tensions are placing unique pressure on American Jews, who voted for Barack Obama by a margin of nearly 4-to-1 in 2008 after being assured by Obama himself and by his supporters in the Jewish community that he was a friend and an ally of the State of Israel despite his long association with, among others, the unabashedly anti-Israel and anti-Semitic Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

We argue that American Jews are facing an unprecedented political challenge, and at a crucial moment, with the need to address the existential threat to Israel—and by extension to the future of the Jewish people as a whole—from a potentially nuclear Iran. How will American Jews handle this challenge? Can Obama’s Jewish supporters act in a way that will change the unmistakable direction of current American policy emanating from the White House? Will American Jews accept Barack Obama’s view that the state of Israel bears some responsibility for the loss of American “blood and treasure” in the Middle East? Will they continue to extend their support to the Obama administration and to Barack Obama’s political party?

My answer follows below. For the thirty other replies, click here.


‘Ware The Spider’s Web

Stan Goodenough 90x115 by Stan Goodenough

The eruption of violence that occurred on the high seas in the early hours of May 31, when criminals and terrorists masquerading as peace activists attacked and tried to kill Israeli soldiers had at least one positive outcome:

It caused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to cancel his visit to the White House, which had been set for Tuesday after President Barack Obama extended an invitation to the Israeli leader last week.