In the Arena

Conflated Loyalties

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Jennifer Rubin of Contentions, the Commentary magazine blog, makes the argument–in the Jerusalem Post–that the most important thing for Jewish Americans to consider about Barack Obama is his policy toward Israel. Of course, as a neoconservative, Rubin has a somewhat melodramatic notion of Israel’s perilous position:

Many Jewish Obama doubters are convinced that Israel faces a true existential threat unlike any in 35 years. From nation states like Iran, which threaten to destroy Israel, to Hizbullah and Hamas terrorists, Israel may in the next decade be pushed to the brink of its existence. Israel’s failure to defeat Hizbullah in 2006 demonstrated the limits of Israel’s historic military advantage.

Actually, Israel’s failure to defeat Hizballah in 2006 demonstrated a rare instance of terrible military thinking–an air force general running what should have been a much better planned ground operation. But the real problem with Rubin’s distorted view is this: the overwhelming majority of American Jews–except, perhaps, for the Commentary crowd–are far more concerned about what the next President has to say about the United States than about Israel. Rubin’s description of the interests of American Jews is an embarrassment that plays into the worst antisemitic stereotypes.