While the usual suspects are gloating that American Jewish support for Israel is falling away, what we’ve actually seen is support coming from unexpected places, even from Jewish celebrities who traditionally have had little use for Israel. And some who were even anti-Israel.
Let’s start with this quote.
“I’m troubled by what I’ve seen in the last week, and I hope that it’s just a momentary blip in what has been very strong support for Israel,” Steve Sacks, chairman of the Union for Reform Judaism, stated. “The Kerry peace proposal was ill-advised, and I hope they get to the right place.”
That’s an extraordinary statement for a movement that tends to be well to the left on Israel. Not to mention Obama.
Meanwhile the National Jewish Democratic Council’s missives sound increasingly downbeat and depressed. Jack Moline, the NJDC’s Director, sent out this message.
Our phone was ringing off the hook yesterday with concerns about Secretary Kerry’s efforts in the Middle East…
Please let me add that I get the sense that some of us are being worn down by the constant misrepresentation of the Obama administration regarding Israel. It can be hard to resist speculating that the consistently harsh words about the President and his team are somehow grounded in truth. There certainly can be disagreement about the political choices made by any elected official, but I hope we can put to rest the notion that Israel’s bond with the United States has in any way been compromised by the administration that provided funding for Iron Dome and the closest strategic relationship with Israel in history.
That’s the kind of language you get from someone who doesn’t believe what he’s saying and doesn’t even seem to want to be doing this anymore.
A psychologist would have a field day with a sentence like, “It can be hard to resist speculating that the consistently harsh words about the President and his team are somehow grounded in truth.”
NJDC is desperately clinging to the Rice speech that some Jewish staffer wrote for her, even while ignoring her actual actions at the UN. It’s clearly hearing from some donors who are angry and upset. And whatever is going on inside, it seems to have no enthusiasm for its work.
The NJDC press releases appear defense and put-upon. They don’t sound like the press releases of a confident organization that in theory has the majority of the population in its corner. Instead it sounds like desperate notes from people who feel the tide turning against them.
Obama lost a lot of the Jewish vote last time around. And the NJDC is struggling to convince even those involved in its organization that Obama isn’t the enemy.