Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.
Last week the Anti Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee circulated a proposed “unity pledge” for American Jews which, according to a press release, was designed “to encourage other national organizations, elected officials, religious leaders, community groups and individuals to rally around bipartisan support for Israel while preventing the Jewish state from becoming a wedge issue in the upcoming campaign season.”
Most have understood that to mean taking the issue of the Middle East off the table in the upcoming presidential campaign.
Telling Americans to cut back on ventilating a core issue in American politics for fear that voters might rally around the advocate for one of the positions as opposed to the other, is, on its face, bizarre. And since the topic of Israel is not President Obama’s strong point, it smacks of downright partisanship to suggest that it should not be a robust part of the political debate.
Yes, the last thing our community needs is to see support for Israel become a partisan or “wedge” issue in the upcoming campaign. Standing with Israel should not be exclusively identified with one political party. Indeed, expressions of support for Israel and its security have been part of the presidential campaign landscape for decades now, with virtually all Republican and Democratic candidates more or less on the same page.
If the pledge is designed to discourage some of the more shrill attacks that argue that one candidate or another is out to destroy Israel, we might see the point. But is President Obama’s declared desire to reach out to the Muslim world by reevaluating certain of our foreign policy premises – which have benefited Israel immensely over the years – out of bounds?
And what of his war against the settlements? He is at odds with both Democrats and Republicans on the issue. Is that too off the table in terms of political debate?
And what of his embrace of the 1967 lines? Is that a taboo subject? Should Ed Koch’s recent support of a Republican congressional candidate as a means of demonstrating his unhappiness with Mr. Obama’s treatment of Israel been verboten?
We’ve had very few positive things to say about the liberal J Street lobbying group. But J Street’s reaction to the unity pledge is instructive: “You can have a unified support for Israel – for the state of Israel, for the concept of Israel, for its future and for its security – but [have] a vehement disagreement about how you get there. And that’s what we have.”
In other words, certain Jewish organizational leaders need to chill out. Their fear that Mr. Obama has been losing a significant amount of Jewish support is all too palpable. Isn’t that the obvious reason for this misguided effort?
We don’t recall a similar “unity” campaign in 2004, when President Bush was being assailed by liberal Jews for his warm relationship with the Likud government and clear tilting toward Israel even if it meant offending the delicate sensibilities of Yasir Arafat.
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The question of anti-Semitism in Europe today is truly tied to the issue of immigration.
Polls indicate that the Palestinians are much more against a two state solution than the Israelis.
Turkey and Iran the 2 regional powers surrounding the ISIS conflict gain from a partial ISIS victory
Leon Klinghoffer’s daughters: “‘Klinghoffer’ is justified as ‘a work of art’…This is an outrage.”
Do you seriously think that as you kidnap our children we should medically treat and help yours?
Sometimes collective action against the heinous acts of the majority is not enough. The world should not only support the blockade of Gaza; it must enforce the dismantling of Hamas.
The Arab Spring has challenged Jordan with the task of gradual reform with regard to its monarchy.
Israel offered Syria the entire Golan Heights, only to find that the Syrians were demanding MORE!
Israeli hasbara too can be described at best as pathetic, at worst non existent.
A ‘good news’ story from the Nepal avalanche disaster to warm your heart. Take out your Kleenex.
Journalists see the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as morality play: Israel=evil; Palestine=innocent
Warsaw Ghetto: At its height, the Nazis walled in some 500,000 Jews within the1.3 square mile area.
While police officers face dangers every day on the job, Jews also face danger in their daily lives.
Carter developed a fondness for Arafat believing “they were both ordained to be peacemakers by God”
That key is the disarming of Hamas and the demilitarization of Gaza – as the U.S., EU, and others agreed to in principle at the end of Operation Protective Edge.
Given the vitality of Hamas, Israel can hardly rely on the commitments, even if sincere, of PA President Mahmoud Abbas for its security.
Is the president oblivious to polls saddling him with some of the lowest presidential popularity rankings in recent history?
There is not even a hint of recognition that Hamas deliberately fires rockets at civilian targets in Israel while storing arms and rocket launchers among its own civilians in Gaza.
No one with any sanity would dream of rationalizing or justifying the depredations perpetrated on the Arab world by ISIS.
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