Today in Times of Israel, we are subjected once again to the continual misinformation of the Rabid Right Wing in America who will stop at no lie to influence the American Jewish Community, and attempt to get our community to support the Republicans at the Polls (I guess it is never to early to jockey for position in 2014 and even 2016).
What is even more tragic is that they try to get American Jews to buy into the “dual loyalty” canard promoted by anti-Semites through the ages. Unfortunately (and quite sadly), they get the occasional Jewish Useful Idiot to go along with this. What is the “dual loyalty” canard? It is that in the minds of anti-Semites (and apparently some Jews – 4% of the American Jewish voting polity), that Jews in whatever nation they may live in, are more loyal to Israel (or the “International Jewish Community” before Israel existed) than they would be to their own “people” and as such cannot be loyal citizens of their nations.
The latest example of this silliness can be found in Mike Lumish’ article Jews and Political Islam.
First of all, though we should give Lumish’ assertion that the Political Islam as represented by Hamas, Hizbollah, al-Qaeda, and the Muslim Brotherhood should be opposed, its due credit. I think anyone who supports freedom and/or liberal thought would agree with this assertion. I know I do.
But from there his argument loses any sort of anchor to reality. As with most Republican / Rabid Right rants he goes into a long screed about how President Obama is an enemy of the Jewish people and that American Jews seem to vote for him because of some “ideological blinkertude” (a made up word) and a misguided loyalty to the Democratic Party in the U.S. He uses the example of the way President Obama handled the fall of the Mubarak dictatorship as evidence of this theory.
Of course what he AND Republicans won’t tell you is that here in the U.S., the folks that they support, would not have done anything different from what President Obama did in the face of the Egyptian Revolution as is evidenced by Mitt Romney’s commentary during the 2012 election, and that Republican Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain are just itching to get the U.S. involved in Syria on the side of the Rebels (who have largely been infiltrated by both al-Qaeda AND the MB), but then again, why let that reality get in the way…. I just wonder why Mr. Lumish doesn’t mention those facts?
But.. it is this comment that is particularly disturbing and rather anti-Semitic. When Lumish states,
“If Barack Obama and the Democratic Party are more important to Jews than Israel, itself, then we end up supporting policies, like sending weaponry to the Muslim Brotherhood, that are obviously detrimental toward the Jewish people.”
he seems to be making the presumption that American Jews vote for the President out of some antipathy for Israel. It is this assumption that is both 100% wrong as well as incredibly offensive. Why?
First of all, Many of us consider President Obama to be a true friend to Israel (oh and apparently so do 57-63% of Israeli Jews (cited http://www.thejewishweek.com/blogs/political-insider/why-obamas-popularity-rising-israel and http://www.pewglobal.org/2013/07/18/chapter-2-global-opinion-of-barack-obama/). Though it is baffling to those on the Rabid Right, many us actually judge the man by his actions supporting Israel from funding of Iron Dome, Magic Wand, and David’s Sling, to his support in the U.N., to his increasing security cooperation between the U.S. and Israel to record levels as signs that perhaps (said sarcastically) he is NOT the enemy of either the Jewish people OR Israel. What I would say to those Rightists is “that even though YOU may not like the President, that is just your opinion.. it doesn’t mean you are necessarily right.”
But second of all, we (Jewish Americans) vote for President Obama because we ARE AMERICANS and President Obama and Democrats in general (not in every case of course) are far better for America than their Republican adversaries. For all their complaints regarding “Political Islam” and it’s stances against the rights of Women, the LGBT community, and local minorities that somehow seems to only apply to other nations. The Rabid Right has no problem voting for a party that stands diametrically opposed to those communities here in the United States. Somehow, the Women, or LGBT community or Minority communities are only important when it comes to the Middle East or anywhere else that Islamic Nations exist. But in the U.S. that seems to go out the window.
Perhaps those on the Rabid Right need this fact explained to them, but as Jewish Americans, our loyalties here do lie primarily with our own Nation not another. We love Israel and feel that a strong friendship between Israel and America is paramount. We will do all we can to support that relationship. But as Americans we have a responsibility to support our own nation. And that is a responsibility we should take seriously. Unless I am making Aliyah (and I have considered it), My President is Barack Obama NOT Benyamin Netanyahu and these folks need to understand that just because I am Jewish (and very proud of it) and just because I am Pro-Israel (and also very proud of that) I am an AMERICAN and America is my home.
Maybe, just maybe.. THAT is why as a Jew, I support President Obama and the Democratic Party. That as a President and a Party they are both better for my nation – America, AND that the President and the Party stand for a Strong and Vital Israel. It’s the best of both worlds.
So here is some unasked for advice to those that think supporting another nation is more important than supporting your own… Perhaps they should consider making Aliyah and moving to Israel. There they can have an active part in charting the future course of this very important nation and really there they get to live with the consequences or benefits of their political ideals
Just a thought.