by Jonathan Rosenblum
In their 2007 book The Israel Lobby, Professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt argued that there exists a loose coalition of groups that attempts to steer American policy in a pro-Israel direction at a high cost to American national interests. Mearsheimer and Walt's definition of pro-Israel was so broad and their sense of how injurious
The sad truth, however, is that if an Israeli Lobby exists, American Jews have failed to enlist. American Jews are demonstrably innocent of putting Israel's interests first, or even high, on their list of concerns — at least if Israel's interests have anything to do with how they are defined by the overwhelming consensus of Jews living in Israel.
A vast majority of Israeli Jews would be prepared to cede a good deal of the
By focusing on what
The focus on
Palestinian statehood, not peace, has become the watchword of American policy. And to that end, the Obama administration has indicated a willingness to impose a solution. National Security Advisor James Jones recently conveyed to a senior European official that "an endgame solution" would be formulated by the
The theory of an imposed solution is that the final contours of a settlement are already well known so it might as well be now. Even if the former proposition were true, the intention of the parties and their ability to perform would still be relevant. The Palestinians cannot run a state — certainly not one that Hamas would not quickly take over — nor do they seek to. Palestinian human rights activist Bassam Eid declared after the Hamas-Fatah civil war in
Meanwhile the contrast between the Obama administration's urgency with respect to the Palestinian-Israel tract and its lackadaisical approach to
The Sunni states fear a nuclear
What has been the response of American Jewry and the vaunted Israel Lobby to the mounting threats to
The overwhelming American Jewish support for President Obama demonstrates how far the perspectives of Israeli and American Jews have diverged. For Israeli Jews survival remains the primary desideratum. For American Jews the simulacrum of peace, in the form of a treaty, any treaty, is primary.
For many American Jews, an
It is left to Gordis's teenage daughter Talia to set their visitor straight: The purpose of
American Jews remained largely quiescent during the Holocaust, in part because of their adulation of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who could do no wrong in their eyes. Stephen Wise, the most influential voice in American Jewry, could not overcome his worship of FDR to challenge the latter's position that nothing could be done to save Jews other than win the War. (David Wyman's The Abandonment of the Jews seeringly details how much could have been done.)
To avoid embarrassing or pressuring the President, Wise sat on a telegram from Gerhard Riegner of the World Jewish Congress in August 1942, detailing plans to exterminate three to four million Jews in German-controlled Europe, until pressured by the Orthodox and Revisionist Zionists to do something.
American Jews are besotted again. This time the object of their affections is President Barack Obama, who has consciously fashioned himself the new FDR. And a little matter like
The Israel Lobby of Walt and Mearsheimers febrile imaginations never existed. And never has that been so obvious as today.
Jonathan Rosenblum is founder of Jewish Media Resources and a widely-read columnist for the Jerusalem Post's domestic and international editions and for the Hebrew daily Maariv.
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