POLITICAL observations & opinions

* Michael Toamsky … liberal Jews argue it is not “pro-Israel” to support every self-destructive move the Likud bloc wants to make

Posted by Lew Weinstein on April 25, 2012



Michael Toamsky writes in the Daily Beast (4/24/12) …

  • President Obama is having trouble with Jewish voters.
    • He moved into the White House clearly thinking that he could reframe US-Israeli relations, and even reframe the very idea of what it means to be pro-Israel.
    • This was and is an extremely worthy project, but it has proven to be a hell of a lot harder than he thought it would. And so he has—for the time being at least—given up on the project, now that he needs the votes.
    • 62 percent of 1,004 American Jews surveyed said that they would vote for Obama. That sounds like an agreeable enough figure until you recall that he got 78 percent of the Jewish vote in 2008.
  • Remember back to the administration’s early days.
    • Obama thought he could strike quickly—if not get an outright peace deal, at that peak of his political strength, then at least get commitments from both the Israelis and the Palestinians that they were serious and ready to move.
  • And remember the broader context. For years you’ve had liberal Jews and others arguing—correctly, in my view, but in vain—that …

it was not “pro-Israel” for the United States to support

every self-destructive move the Likud bloc wanted to make.

  • Maybe that toxic, whatever-Likud-wants dynamic really could be changed.Obama went for broke and came up empty.And so, instead of Obama remaking the reality of the Middle East, that reality has remade him.
  • Whether Obama will pay a price this November, I don’t know.
  • But as Beinart eloquently warns in The Crisis of Zionism, the price for this “pro-Israel” blindness will be paid most dearly by Israel.
see Beinart, The crisis of Zionism, at …
In The Crisis of Zionism, Peter Beinart lays out in chilling detail the looming danger to Israeli democracy and the American Jewish establishment’s refusal to confront it. And he offers a fascinating, groundbreaking portrait of the two leaders at the center of the crisis: Barack Obama, a man steeped in the liberalism he learned from his many Jewish friends and mentors in Chicago; and Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister who considers liberalism the Jewish people’s special curse. These two men embody fundamentally different visions not just of American and Israeli national interests but of the mission of the Jewish people itself.

read Toamsky’s full article at … http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/04/24/michael-tomasky-on-obama-s-problem-with-jewish-voters-in-november.html?



Fundamentalists of many different stripes, driven by an unshakable religious conviction that only their view is correct, have caused more agony and bloodshed than any other force in human history. We will not benefit from that kind of thinking in America, and neither will Israel. President Obama has tried, and so far not succeeded, but there is hope that he may in a second term further the goal of a sensible two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian problem, a solution I believe is supported by most Jews in America and in Israel.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: