Will Obama repudiate support from anti-Israel rabbis?
I’ve been away for a couple of days, and today’s news is ugly. Hizballah is practicing for an invasion of Israel, Iran is enriching uranium even faster than hitherto thought, and more than 600 rabbis have endorsed Obama’s reelection.
OK, that last one is not as alarming as the first two. They are almost all Reform and Reconstructionist rabbis, and we know that they tend to be Democrats. Many of them probably prefer Obama for other reasons than his policy towards Israel.
But several Jewish bloggers have noted that eight or nine of them are associated with A Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), one of the ADL’s “Top Ten Anti-Israel Groups in America,” the only Jewish organization on the list, and one that aggressively pushes boycott-divestment-sanctions of Israelon campuses and municipalities, and among liberal Christians.
JVP also calls for a ‘right of return’ for millions of Arabs claiming Palestinian ‘refugee’ status, which means an end to the Jewish state (and doubtless to many lives in the ensuing civil war).
The JVP rabbis include Lynn Gottlieb of Berkeley. Gottlieb, despite the daily threats of annihilation and vicious, Hitlerist anti-Jewish rhetoric coming from Teheran and its Lebanese proxy Hizballah (not to mention the non-rhetorical rockets from Gaza), continues to see an equivalence between the aggressors and Israel. She told a Ha’aretz reporter recently,
We’ve been living with a nuclear Israel which used conventional weapons on people. We’ve been living with nuclear India, with nuclear Pakistan, nuclear United States. Do we want to live with any government having nuclear power? I don’t think so. I personally do not want to live in a world with nuclear weapons, period. It’s unfortunate that we have been valuing militarism and war over diplomacy and peacemaking. It’s a choice, a human choice. War is not inevitable. It is a choice. Are we doing everything we can to prevent war? I would like to see all our politicians act differently in this regard.
The fact that they are trying to kill us is irrelevant, of course.
Another is David Mivasair of Vancouver, BC. While Gottlieb may be deluded about the intentions of Israel’s and our enemies, this guy is nothing more or less than their spokesperson, blaming Israel and the US for the terrorist attacks they have experienced. Here is what I wrote about him last year, and here is a recent quote from his blog:
I believe we all would be better off if we hold out as our goal getting past the ethnic state which has been and will continue to be the cause of so very much conflict and suffering — as well as the distortion and debasement of Judaism. I used to love the State of Israel and thought that it needed to exist. I no long[er] think that. In fact, I want our shared vision and goal to be enabling Jews to live in the Jewish homeland in a way that enables everyone there to be fulfilled as equal citizens of whatever state is organized by those people there to meet their common needs, i.e. not a “Jewish” state.
Yet another is Brant Rosen of Evanston, IL, who organized a “righteous fast” — against Israel’s blockade of Hamas-run Gaza. Rosen believes that the Jews stole Palestine, and should give it ‘back’. Here’s a snippet from a 2010 blog post:
…as a Jew I am growing increasingly heartsick that this [Israeli] culture has been and continues to be created on the backs of others. I am having a increasingly difficult time getting past the fact that our Jewish national rebirth has come at the expense of the Palestinians. And I am even more painfully considering whether these problems are not mere “blemishes” on an otherwise noble national project, but rather something fundamentally problematic with the Zionist enterprise itself.
Apparently Obama’s people didn’t check who these rabbis were when they published their list. They should have. Most pro-Israel voters see JVP as an extremist anti-Israel organization.
Will the President denounce JVP and its representatives?
I doubt it. Consider the example of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, whom Obama did not repudiate until several months after his anti-American and racist attitudes became public knowledge. This was a much bigger deal than a few pro-Israel Jews and Evangelical Christians who probably wouldn’t vote for him anyway.