Monday, March 19, 2007
Off Their Meds
There's been something of an online firestorm lately regarding whether it's possible to support the State of Israel without supporting the position of the American pro-Israel lobby, which is, in case you've just tuned in, a shade more hawkish than Dr. Strangelove. Nevertheless, the risks of not toeing the line are significant, since running afoul of these guys seems to be the kiss of death for American politicians.
That's why Barack Obama is taking such great pains to convince them that despite appearances to the contrary, he's a friend of Israel:
Obama’s substantively hard line on Israel has cost him friends among Chicago’s Palestinian activists. But his rhetoric has given the pro-Israel side pause...
Some among Obama’s supporters suggest he simply isn’t totally familiar with the code-like vocabulary that has grown up around the Israel-Palestine debate. Phrases like “cycle of violence” and – worse still – pledges to be “even-handed” are freighted with meaning in that context, and a second-hand report in January from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in January that Obama had once pledged to be “even-handed” suggested to some Jewish critics that he was taking the Palestinian side.
The Iraq war also hovers on the fringes of the debate over candidates’ positions on Israel... Obama’s pledge to withdraw troops from Iraq... raised concern that the U.S. would be less able to confront Iran. (Obama argues that the Iraq invasion made Israel’s plight worse.)
“If you’re serious of confronting the regime of Iran and Ahmadinejad and his plans for mass murder then you have to look at the map and say how do we do this – what is the only way that we do this, what is the most practical way to do this,” Chouake said. “That is something [Obama] needs to rethink.” (Emphasis added.)
These guys are lunatics, but they're influential lunatics. Which makes them dangerous, for Israel and the US.