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Israel, Jews, and the US Election

It appears that there are a substantial number of American Jews who oppose Barack Obama because of what they perceive as his position on Israel, as reported by The Nation in “(Some) Jews Against Obama. As the article points out, there is no basis for most of their concerns. This was followed up by a Nation article on “Smearing Obama” that said a particular target of the false smears against Obama were directed at Jews.

Meanwhile, Mother Jones reports that Hillary is pandering to American Jews and Israel by taking a position that Israel should have “an undivided Jerusalem as its capital.” This appears to mean that she believes the Palestinians have no right to any part of Jerusalem. By deciding one of the major issues beforehand, this makes talks on peace between Israel and the Palestinians virtually pointless. The problem with Hillary’s position on Jerusalem is illustrated by Helena Cobban’s recent posting on Jerusalem, for example.

Finally, John McCain’s recent visit to Israel appeared designed to pander to American Jews. Besides visiting the Holocaust memorial in his yarmulke, he seemed to be getting his foreign policy advice from Sen. Joe Lieberman, who advocates an American war with Iran on behalf of Israel. The sight of Joe whispering in John’s ear about what to say about al-Qaida in Iraq was not a pretty sight.

I’m reminded of the movie Bulworth, where Warren Beatty’s senator character says something like, “My staff knows they always have to put the rich Jews on my campaign schedule.” Hillary and McCain need that “rich Jew” money. Obama has enough money coming in from regular people that he doesn’t have to pander to any particular group. Thus, it appears that the Jews fear him because they are afraid that they can’t control him, as they do Hillary, McCain, and most Presidents, certainly including George Bush, whose Middle East policies are blatantly pro-Israel, to the point of arming Fatah Palestinians in the hope that they will kill Hamas Palestinians.

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