Obama’s hopes for transforming the Jewish vote, swapping out AIPAC for J Street, the OU for Uri L’Tzedek and the ADL for Jewish Funds for Justice fell flat. The old Jewish voter wasn’t going away and wasn’t about to be replaced by a bunch of campus radicals and community organizers praying for Hamas to win. As much as Obama tried to boost the status of the radical Jewish left, he found that the Jewish community was more organized and intractable than he expected. Prominent opposition from fixtures like Ed Koch and Alan Dershowitz, followed by the loss of Weiner’s old seat, sealed the deal.
But the deal is limited to lip service. As before, the policies haven’t changed, just the public relations. Jewish liberals will be able to go on enthusiastically praising the Democratic Party for its positive approach to Israel without being embarrassed by contradictory messages from within. And Obama will go on having a free hand against the Jewish State. His billionaire allies will go on plowing their fortunes into creating networks of left-wing Jewish groups aimed at the younger generation in the hope of rotting the next generation of the Jewish vote at the root. And everyone will be happy except the Israelis who are under fire and no one will pay much attention to them because they don’t really matter.
For American Jews, the question of Jerusalem is one of faith. Either faith in the peace process or faith in G-d. To believe in the peace process is to believe that the legitimacy of Israel, right down to its capital in Jerusalem, derives from reaching a final status agreement with Islamic terrorists. But to believe in G-d and the G-d-given land of Israel, G-d-given being another of the phrases eliminated from the Democratic platform, is to reject the notion that Israel or Jerusalem require validation for their right to exist from Arafat, Abbas or Hamas.
The frantic struggle over the Democratic Party platform is a symptom of that same insecurity as good liberal Jews go on seeking reassurances from their liberal peers for the survival and security of Israel. And the liberals pat them on the head, write in something about Jerusalem one day being recognized as the capital of Jerusalem when pigs fly El Al and the messiah of the peace process arrives wearing his keffiyah of goodwill, and send them back to explain to Jewish voters that the Democratic Party is back to being pro-Israel now.
For 2,000 years Jews chanted, “Next Year in Jerusalem” as an expression of their faith. Now a smaller liberal quorum chants, “Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel. The parties have agreed that Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations” as an expression of their own faith. Faith in peace, in negotiations, in the basic decency of all the people and the ability of dialogue to resolve anything, even with people who celebrate murdering children.
Israeli victims of terror have been described as “Sacrifices of Peace.” Blood for the ‘Peace God’, the leering god of the negotiating tables who is worshiped at altars in Oslo and Wye, whose negotiations end with children being passed through the flames. Jewish liberals believe in the ‘Peace God’ every bit as fervently as their religious brethren believe in the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They have faith that with enough blood sacrifices to the ‘Peace God’, next year there will be peace and an American embassy in Jerusalem. And pigs will fly alongside El Al through the blue sky.
For decades Israelis have been urged to take a leap of faith in the goodwill of their enemies. They have made that leap time and time again, only to fall bruised and bloodied into shallow graves. The only thing that the platforms have to offer them is more encouragement to jump again, believing that this time it will be different. But it has never been any different and it will never be any different and Israelis are running out of land to give away and security to pawn to their enemies.
Those American Jews who have chosen to once again put their faith in Obama, the latest ‘Peace God’ to come down the Potomac and promise them that next year they will be able to visit Jerusalem without feeling shame over the conflict between being their pacifist version of Jewish values and the existence of Israel, will applaud the new Democratic platform because it allows them to hold on to their faith.