Commentary Magazine


Topic: Lloyd Grove

RE: RE: No Denying White House Animus Toward Israel

Here is evidence that Obama has gone a bit too far for some prominent Jewish activists. Writing in the Daily Beast, Lloyd Grove interviews a major political donor, James S. Tisch, chief executive of Loews Corp.:

“I don’t think he’s pro-Israel,” Tisch says, voicing the suspicions of many. “I think the president comes to this from Jeremiah Wright’s church, and there’s no doubt in my mind that in Jeremiah Wright’s church, the Palestinians were portrayed as freedom fighters and not as terrorists.”

Tisch adds the flap is bound to influence the traditionally Democratic Jewish electorate, nearly 80 percent of which voted for Obama in 2008. “Now for the first time, there are a significant number of people in the organized Jewish community that feel that the president has gone too far,” Tisch says. It will be interesting to watch “what happens to the president’s approval rating among Jewish voters. I think this could really be an important point of demarcation for Jewish public opinion of the president.”

Grove says Tisch is not alone:

“Obama has done zero favors for the Democratic candidates in 2010,” says a prominent Democratic fundraiser who, like most of Jewish activists who spoke for this story, was unwilling to go on the record. “I know a lot of historical Democrats who are big check-writers and even bundlers, who have told me that until things settle down they have no interest in helping any Democrats.”

Grove, not surprisingly, finds a number of prominent Jewish Democrats unwilling to criticize Obama, let alone stop funding him. So the question remains, do most liberal Jews continue to suppress or ignore whatever misgivings they have about Obama and keep on enabling the most aggressive anti-Israel president? Or do they consider Abe Foxman’s counsel: “The issue here, for 78 percent of the Jews who voted for Obama, is you condemn your ally and your friend. … But when Syria spits in the president’s face by continuing to back Hezbollah, we don’t say anything? I think it’s nuts.”

Well, nuts would be expressing shock and disdain for the president’s Israel policies but nevertheless writing a check “with shaking fingers.” After all, the check still cashes.

Here is evidence that Obama has gone a bit too far for some prominent Jewish activists. Writing in the Daily Beast, Lloyd Grove interviews a major political donor, James S. Tisch, chief executive of Loews Corp.:

“I don’t think he’s pro-Israel,” Tisch says, voicing the suspicions of many. “I think the president comes to this from Jeremiah Wright’s church, and there’s no doubt in my mind that in Jeremiah Wright’s church, the Palestinians were portrayed as freedom fighters and not as terrorists.”

Tisch adds the flap is bound to influence the traditionally Democratic Jewish electorate, nearly 80 percent of which voted for Obama in 2008. “Now for the first time, there are a significant number of people in the organized Jewish community that feel that the president has gone too far,” Tisch says. It will be interesting to watch “what happens to the president’s approval rating among Jewish voters. I think this could really be an important point of demarcation for Jewish public opinion of the president.”

Grove says Tisch is not alone:

“Obama has done zero favors for the Democratic candidates in 2010,” says a prominent Democratic fundraiser who, like most of Jewish activists who spoke for this story, was unwilling to go on the record. “I know a lot of historical Democrats who are big check-writers and even bundlers, who have told me that until things settle down they have no interest in helping any Democrats.”

Grove, not surprisingly, finds a number of prominent Jewish Democrats unwilling to criticize Obama, let alone stop funding him. So the question remains, do most liberal Jews continue to suppress or ignore whatever misgivings they have about Obama and keep on enabling the most aggressive anti-Israel president? Or do they consider Abe Foxman’s counsel: “The issue here, for 78 percent of the Jews who voted for Obama, is you condemn your ally and your friend. … But when Syria spits in the president’s face by continuing to back Hezbollah, we don’t say anything? I think it’s nuts.”

Well, nuts would be expressing shock and disdain for the president’s Israel policies but nevertheless writing a check “with shaking fingers.” After all, the check still cashes.

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