More on McPeak and Israel - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
More on McPeak and Israel

Daniel Larison finds it amazing that anybody would have a problem with Obama advisor Merrill "Tony" McPeak's comments suggesting that Jews in Miami and New York City are to blame for messing up U.S. foreign policy. This may be news to Larison, but the reason why McPeak's comments are so offensive is that they play into the oldest and most pernicious stereotypes about Jewish influence. Larison one-ups McPeak by noting "donors" in the two cities.

McPeak's viewpoint also assumes that Jews vote and donate money largely on the basis of support for Israel, and that Jews are monolithically pro-Israel. In fact, some of the fiercest critics of Israel are Jews, and if Jews voted primarily on the basis of support for Israel, than President Bush would have done as well among Jews as he did among evangelicals. Alas, he did not.

The pro-Israel foreign policy of the U.S. is not the product of a concentration of rich Jews in a few cities, but a result of the fact that by a large margin, the American public has concluded – rightly — that Israelis have by far the morally superior position, and they are our staunch allies. A Gallup poll taken last month shows that by a 59 percent to 17 percent margin, Americans sympathize with Israelis over the Palestinians. Most Americans recognize that Israel is a democratic nation that has made countless efforts at peace, only to be thwarted by a Palestinian society that embraces violence and teaches its children to blow themselves up so that they can kill Jews. It was not, I may remind Larison, Israelis who were celebrating when 3,000 Americans were massacred on Sept. 11, it was the Palestinians. The point is that there are endless reasons why U.S. public opinion is overwhelmingly pro-Israel, and yet Larison offers the same tired explanations about American opinion being biased just because critics of Israel are ostracized.

As to where that leaves us with regard to Obama, Larison argues that the fact that Obama has made pro-Israel statements on the campaign trail in spite of his past views means that he would also be publicly pressured into governing as a pro-Israel president. Surely, public opinion would influence his actions as president and make it difficult for him to adopt an anti-Israel posture, but Obama has given supporters of Israel have every reason to fear he would be the most hostile president toward Israel since Jimmy Carter.

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