web analytics
July 2, 2015 / 15 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Stepping Over The Line


Group solidarity is one trait that has earned Jews both plaudits and criticism. But according to a spokesman for a national Jewish organization, it’s long past time to stop the group-think.

M.J. Rosenberg, the director of the Israel Policy Forum’s Washington Policy Center wrote on the eve of the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Washington to register his disgust at the rituals of pandering politicians who seek to win Jewish votes. While he affirms that we should care deeply about Israel, he is down on those who seek Jewish votes by carrying on about their views on the issue.

“To suggest that an American Jew living in New York or Des Moines votes based on considerations entirely different from his non-Jewish neighbors is insulting,” wrote Rosenberg.

What Rosenberg is mad about is not so much the concern for Israel that he says he shares, but the fact that many American political leaders feel constrained to register their support for Israel’s stands against pressure to make concessions. They also speak out about the shortcomings and general mendacity of would-be Palestinian peace partners more than he seems to like.

As the representative of a group that is not shy about its desire to see the United State use its leverage over Israel to push the Jewish state to make still more concessions, the idea of Americans lining up to say that they want no part of such a process is antithetical to his purpose.

Rosenberg’s stand seems also rooted in the partisan debates that have been waged during recent elections as Republicans have vainly sought to make inroads on the Jewish vote. Israel has been their wedge issue. Democrats claimed the entire idea of debating support for Israel during elections was “divisive” because their own record made it a consensus issue. Rosenberg seems to be taking this a step further and delegitimizing the very notion of evaluating candidates on the basis of this issue at all.

That would, of course, be a terrible mistake. The essence of democracy is accountability. Candidates who want the votes of those who care about Israel – whether it is their priority or just one of many concerns – must understand that if they do or say the wrong thing, there are going to be consequences.

All this was put into sharp relief recently when a freshman Democratic Congressman from the suburbs of Philadelphia, Joe Sestak, found himself embroiled in a controversy over his decision to appear at a fundraiser for a well-known anti-Israel group.

Sestak, a retired U.S. Navy admiral, had agreed to speak at a Philadelphia event for the Council on American Islamic Relations on April 7. CAIR is a longtime antagonist not merely of Israel, but of the war against Islamist terror itself. A group founded largely by supporters of the Hamas terrorist organization, CAIR has worked hard to worm its way into the mainstream of American politics.

According to Jihad Incorporated: A Guide to Militant Islam in the United States, a recently published book by leading expert Steven Emerson and his Investigative Project on Terrorism, the purpose of groups like CAIR is to “subvert the interests and safety of American and Western interests behind a veil of false moderation.”

These organizations “operate in the United States,” Emerson writes in his textbook-style volume, expressly “for the purpose of supporting radical Islamist causes throughout the world.”

CAIR is a legal public-advocacy group with deep connections to groups like the Holy Land Foundation, a Hamas-fundraising front that was shut down by the U.S. government. The group steadfastly refuses to disavow or condemn the murderers fostered by Hamas and Hizbullah.

Far from being the legitimate voice of local Muslims, as Sestak mistakenly believes, CAIR’s entire purpose is, Emerson reports, “to drown out the truly moderate and diverse voices within the American Muslim community.”

In other words, this is not a group to which a congressman should be lending the prestige of his office. Instead, it is one he should be vigorously opposing.

This is not a partisan issue. Democrats such as House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) have also made it clear that they will have nothing to do with the group. Yet when called to account for this error, Sestak refused to back down, and naively claimed he would use his time with CAIR members to impress upon them his support for Israel. His subsequent attempt to revise the schedule so as to make it appear that his part in the program had nothing to do with raising funds for this despicable group was similarly lame.

About the Author: Jonathan S. Tobin is senior online editor of Commentary magazine and chief political blogger at www.commentarymagazine.com, where this first appeared. He can be reached via e-mail at jtobin@commentarymagazine.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Stepping Over The Line”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu speaks during a news conference in Be'er Sheba.
Netanyahu: Israel Faces Double Threat, From ISIS and Iran
Latest Indepth Stories
wedding cake

When words lose meaning, the world becomes an Orwellian dystopia; a veritable Tower of Babel

ISIS leads captured Egyptian Copts in death march.

Israel, like the non-radical Islamic world. will be happy see the ISIS beheaded for once.

Dr. Michael J. Salamon

Kids shouldn’t have “uninstructed” Internet access, better to train them how to use it responsibly

Gerstenfeld-070315

What if years from now, IS were to control substantial territory? What world havoc would that wreak?

Rambam writes the verse’s double term refers to 2 messiahs: first King David; 2nd the final Mashiach

The Gaza flotilla has been rightfully and legally blocked by Israel’s Navy, with greetings from Bibi

The president described the attack as “an act that drew on a long history of bombs and arson and shots fired at churches, not random, but as a means of control, a way to terrorize and oppress…”

“The only [candidate] that’s going to give real support to Israel is me,” said the 69-year-old Trump.

And whereas at the outset the plan was that Iran would have to surrender most of its centrifuges, it will now be able to retain several thousand.

Now oil independent, US no longer needs its former strategic alliances with Gulf States-or Israel

In addition to the palace’s tremendous size it was home to the “hanging gardens,” which were counted among the seven wonders of the ancient world.

Rather than asserting Jewish rights on Temple Mount or protecting Jewish lives Israel chooses soccer

Nothing in the NEW Paris Proposal differs much from what was offered by Olmert and rejected by Abbas

No longer will delegitimization efforts go unchallenged. That’s a silence we will continue to break.

More Articles from Jonathan S. Tobin
President Barack Obama

Obama thought he could replace the Saudis with Iran as the new ME lynchpin without paying a price

Tobin-012315

The abuse following publication proved a cautionary tale: no one followed in Peters’s footsteps

Anti-Semitism has returned to the mainstream of European society and Israel has become its focus.

One of the key talking points by apologists for Hamas in the current conflict is that it isn’t fair that Israelis under fire have bomb shelters while Palestinians in Gaza don’t have any. Among other factors, the lack of shelters accounts in part for the differences in casualty figures between the two peoples. But somehow […]

How will all this end? Hamas seems to think it will be Netanyahu who will blink first.

Nothing short of a stroke that will decapitate the leadership of this group will convince the Arabs that Hamas has made a mistake.

Z STREET will have the ability to compel IRS officials to testify as to their practices and produce all records.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/stepping-over-the-line/2007/03/21/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: