Jonathan’s prediction that Andrew Adler’s disgraceful Obama assassination fantasy will be used to smear critics of the president’s Israel policy couldn’t have been more prescient. Here’s Yossi Gurvitz at 972 Magazine taking the first shot at the strawman:
The vast majority of American Jews will feel nothing but horror at Adler’s sick fantasy. Most of them would shudder at the idea of betraying their country like Jonathan Pollard did. A small number of them are, however, “Israel-firsters”: They put Israel’s interests – or, to be more precise, Greater Israel’s interest – ahead of their country’s. You can spot them easily: They generally doth protest too much about the usage of “Israel-firsters.”
Of course. Because if you didn’t secretly have a primary allegiance to Israel, why else would you possibly object to people saying you do?
It is difficult to know how exactly to classify a recent column published in the Atlanta Jewish Times that, unbelievably, listed the assassination of President Obama, as one of Israel’s options in dealing with the threat of nuclear attack from Iran. But whether you term it over-the-top criticism of Obama or a case of non-ideological idiocy, it is the sort of thing that all people of good will, no matter what they think of the president’s policies, must condemn in the harshest possible terms. The vile canard that Israel would ever consider such a thing is the sort of thing we might expect to see in an anti-Semitic publication rather than one that serves a Jewish community. The author of the piece, the paper’s publisher Andrew Adler, has apologized but he still ought to be forced to step down from his position.
But whatever Adler’s fate turns out to be — and he will be having some rather uncomfortable conversations with the Secret Service — there will be those who will try to use his absurd article to prove that President Obama’s Jewish detractors are so deranged by hatred for him that they are willing to say or write anything. Indeed, we should expect Adler’s stupidity to be a frequent theme employed by apologists for the president who will seek to discredit all of those who argue that Obama’s policies are potentially harmful to Israel. Democrats who try to associate all of Obama critics with Adler will be wrong. But the Atlanta outrage should also serve as a reminder to those who rightly take the president to task that their comments must remain within the bounds of civility and fact.
For the past few months we’ve been hearing a lot in the mainstream media about the demise of the Tea Party and conservative Republicans in general. After their triumph in 2010 the Tea Party’s influence was supposed to have peaked last summer during the debt ceiling crisis. The failure of presidential candidates who openly identified with the movement such as Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain and Rick Perry was seen as evidence of their not being able to even influence the GOP. But yesterday’s big victory in the South Carolina primary by Newt Gingrich is a clear indication that conservatives are still calling the tune in the Republican Party and anyone who thinks their concerns can be ignored or swept to the side is mistaken.
Gingrich won because, unlike Mitt Romney, he was able to tap into the genuine anger that conservatives in this country feel for President Obama and his cheerleaders in the liberal media echo chamber. While Gingrich’s claim to be the true conservative in the race is highly questionable, there is no question that he was the best at articulating the same fervor that helped galvanize Tea Party sentiment and sweep the last midterm elections. If Romney hopes to keep Gingrich’s latest comeback from gaining enough momentum to deny him the GOP nomination, he is going to have to find a way to convince conservatives that he is not merely a technocrat who understands the economy but a man who understands and can articulate their core beliefs. In other words, not only is the Tea Party’s moment not in the past, it is still very much the future of the Republican Party.