To: The organized Jewish community
Re: Bad for the Jews
It has come to my attention that certain Jewish leaders have been making ninnies of themselves and, by extension, all of us. These leaders, who happen to be Republicans (I have no problem disclosing that I am a proud Democrat), have been saying as loudly as possible that Obama is bad for Israel, AND that American Jews agree with them (Many of this was quoted first in the Jerusalem Post, which, to its credit, also has a campaign section about Israel with a variety of views on Obama). Although certain other Jewish leaders, who are Democrats, have spoken out against this, it may be too late, since I saw a news story on CNN's Situation Room this evening about what Israel thinks of the American candidates. The fact that there even was such a story (as though the US should care what Israel, or any other allied country, thinks of their individual candidates, as long as neither one of them is an axe-murderer) indicates that certain people in media also take seriously this idea that "American Jews" are evaluating Obama solely on his position on Israel. Furthermore, the implication is that there is a substantive difference between his views on Israel's and McCain's, of which there is currently no evidence (other than, as CNN reported, that Obama might talk to Ahmadinejad--that's talk to, folks, not sign a mutural non-agression pact with--without preconditions instead of bombing first and asking questions later).
Remember 2004, Organized Jewish Community (OJC)? Republicans said the sky would fall if Kerry was elected, and then Bush proceded to: 1) do nothing for 3 years, and then 2) do something, which many of our friends in New York who had been so vehemently against Kerry nevertheless thought was totally unacceptable because it might result in peace (although no one seriously thought that it would result in peace, but, you know, it's the principle).
So, OJC, these are my requests: 1) Regardless of your party affiliation, stop portraying "American Jews" as a giant monlith whose behavior is identical with yours, or yours and your other New York friends; there are Jews all over the country, and the majority (including some in NY) both support peace in Israel, including with some symbolic concessions on Jeruslaem, and think that a candidate's fitness to be president involves his or her views on domestic and general foreign issues, in addition to his or her views on Israel; 2) Stop making the Jews look bad, traitorous, selfish, etc. This is related to 1), of course, but this Israel-centric behavior RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE TV CAMERAS OR NEWSPAPER REPORTERS just plays into the hands of the The Israel Lobby folks and everyone else who thinks that Jews control the government and/or don't care about anything other than Israel; and 3) Do some research on the remaining candidates from both parties and think about domestic policy for a while. You live here--and here's kind of a mess right now.