President Obama’s stridently anti-Israel policies have drawn criticism from some of his key Jewish political allies. Among the most prominent are Sen. Charles Schumer and Rep. Anthony Weiner.
Such criticism poses a serious threat to Obama’s popularity among American Jews. Most mainstream Jews would rather silently suffer Obama’s shabby, and dangerous, treatment of Israel than risk deviating from liberal orthodoxy. But once liberal giants like Schumer refuse to suffer silently, liberal Jews can feel free to criticize Obama without feeling that they have betrayed liberalism. The result could be quite liberating.
Unfortunately, it’s far from clear that either Schumer’s criticism or a steep decline in Obama’s popularity among Jews in general will cause the president to back off from his hostile approach to Israel. Indeed, to Caroline Glick it seems clear that Obama will not back off.
She may well be right. President Johnson was willing to jeopardize the support of white southerners in the name of doing the right thing for southern blacks. Since Jews are far less valuable to the Democrats than white southerners, there’s little reason to doubt that Obama is prepared to risk losing the Jewish vote in the name of doing right (as he conceives it) for the Palestinians.
President Johnson’s decision was made easier by the part of him that (in my opinion) held the south in contempt. I have no reason to believe that Obama holds American Jews in contempt, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there’s a substantial part of him that is contempuous of Israel. Indeed, if Obama believes (as I think he does) that Israel has been unjust towards the Palestinians for decades, then it is quite natural for at least part of him to feel such contempt.