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Red Lines for Obama?

Many thanks to Jeffrey Goldberg, both for taking a reader’s question “paraphrasing” me as to whether there is “any red line for [him] vis-a-vis Obama and Israel?” and for again demonstrating that there is apparently nothing Obama can do that would offend a certain segment of American Jewry. Parroting the Obama line, he declares:

What matters in Jerusalem is the Temple Mount. Everything else is commentary, and not Jennifer Rubin’s commentary, btw. I’m hoping that the Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem become the capital of the independent state of Palestine. I would expect that Jews will be allowed to visit these places (I’m sure there’s some rock or stone in one of these places that matters to some Jew or other) and even live in them. But Israel’s future depends on disengaging from Arab population centers acquired in 1967.

How nice for him to decide where Israel’s Jews can live and how foolish of him not to recognize that Israel’s future actually depends on things such as Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons and the persistent rejectionism of the Palestinians and many of the Arab states.

But as to his reader’s query, the liberal domestic agenda is too precious and the loss of face too great in having supported the most anti-Israel U.S. president (ever) for many (but certainly not all) liberal Jews to take issue with Obama’s fractured history, effort to renege on agreements on settlements, condescending advice (go “self-reflect”), and intention to “put daylight” between the U.S. and Israel. What would never be acceptable from a Bush or a Reagan gets no more than a bat of the eye from Obama. Sadly, the need to demonstrate independence from the dreaded “neo-cons” is greater than the need to demonstrate independence from a president hostile to Israel.

The good news is that for some prominent Jewish leaders, there are in fact red lines. And they are increasingly willing to talk about them.


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