Commentary Magazine


Speaking of Pro-Israel. . .

As I noted, the notion that voters and advocacy groups should actually hold officials and candidates responsible for their records on Israel, along with other matters of public policy, sends shivers down the spine of the left.

So, on cue, J Street pops its head out to launch an ad hominem attack on the Emergency Committee for Israel. Just a bunch of right-wingers! They won’t take a stance on a two-state solution! But what about the ads and the records of liberal lawmakers who self-label as “pro-Israel” but are in lockstep with CAIR? What about candidates who think the UN Commission on Human Rights does a swell job or who love the notion of a two-state solution so much that they want one imposed? Nothing about any of that. The name of the game for J Street and other leftist critics of Israel is to keep the focus off the records of those who aren’t all that pro-Israel. Make it about ECI. Make it about conservative pundits. Anything. But just don’t make it about voting records. (You know, J Street started things with endorsing leftist Israel-bashers, so it’s odd that now they’re being so fussy about making Israel a campaign issue.)

Meanwhile, if you want to talk about being pro-Israel, there is this rather charming account by the head of Jews for Palin about a Shabbat evening with the former governor, whose office displayed the Israeli flag. She doesn’t leave anyone confused about where she stands:

Although 65 years have passed since the Holocaust, the threat of genocide still hangs over the Jewish people — and again from Persia. Iran openly threatens to wipe Israel off the map. Hamas, with its charter calling for the extermination of the Jewish State, fires rockets at Israeli schoolchildren. Syria races to build chemical and biological weapons to use against Israel. Mrs. Palin makes it clear that she recognizes these threats to America’s ally, Israel, and wants to end them. And she minced no words in her remarks to the Pennsylvania Family Institute, criticizing the Obama administration for “coddling our enemies while abandoning our treasured ally, Israel.”

On her lapel, she wore a pin showing the American and Israeli flags intertwined.

Somehow, that doesn’t “count” with liberal Jews because, well … because it’s not clear. What is clear is that she has a deep emotional and religious bond with the Jewish people:

As we enjoyed our Shabbat meal, we listened to Mrs. Palin’s references to “Judeo-Christian values” — a concept well understood by the deeply religious Christian audience with whom we shared the evening, including more than a few Amish ladies wearing their traditional bonnets. Mrs. Palin spoke of how the family is the building block of society and how strong families mean a strong nation. She did not suggest that Democrats do not share the attachment to family. But she warned that the most immediate threat to American families is the administration’s economic policies, which will burden our children’s generation with crushing, inescapable debt.

Such a wacky Christian, right? Probably believes Jews have a biblical claim to the Land of Israel. Really out-there stuff, huh?

You see, if she takes her Christianity seriously, she also takes the survival of the Jewish people seriously:

Mrs. Palin received the Hebrew volume with obvious delight; she has used the biblical Book of Esther as bedtime reading material for her eight year old daughter Piper. She wants Piper to emulate Esther, Jewish history’s great heroine, who risked everything to save the Jewish people from Haman’s plan for genocide.

If only more American Jews would read the Esther story at bedtime to their kids, right?