There is another report that Barack Obama is “still struggling to convince some wary Jewish voters to close ranks behind his campaign despite their traditional support for Democratic candidates.” The director of The Forward, hardly a right-wing publication, explains:
“There is a fear particularly among older Jews and the more traditionally religious, that he might be less sympathetic toward Israel or sympathetic toward the Palestinians, or at the very least neutral on the Middle East question, which to many Jews is as bad as anti-Israel, since they view Israel as fighting for its life against an overwhelmingly hostile Muslim world.”
In Israel, the same skepticism about Obama’s ability to stand up to Israel’s enemies runs rampant. (That skepticism did not extend to Hillary Clinton who polled well there when she was a candidate.)
Perhaps Obama can dispel some of this wariness both here and in Israel by showing he can draw some moral distinctions and can discern where the source of violence and unrest in the Middle East lies — not from the “constant sore” of the unresolved (and at this point unresolvable) Palestinian-Israeli conflict — but from the brutality and hostility of the enemies of both the U.S. and Israel. But if you are afraid to even identify evil, you are ill-equipped to fight it.
And that is why so many in the U.S. –Jews and non-Jews — and in Israel continue to fret. Is Obama equipped to stand up to terrorists and terror-sponsoring states? The jury is out.