The left is plainly miffed that liberal candidates are being called out for their inconsistent or downright hostile stance toward Israel. In a scurrilous column (in the Jerusalem Post no less), we are told of the menacing “Republican efforts to transform support for Israel from a long-standing bipartisan national consensus into a divisive partisan wedge issue.” That means that a Republican is challenging the pro-Israel bona fides of his J Street–endorsed opponent.
There are a few problems with this formulation. First, a candidate’s receipt of donations and support by any group is fair game in an election. If a candidate wants to defend J Street, he has every right to, but his opponent has every right to cite chapter and verse on the nature of the organization that finds his opponent so attractive. Likewise, if a candidate has signed on to the Gaza 54 letter or keynoted for CAIR or, or that matter, sat idly by as the administration bashed the Jewish state, that is fair game, too.
Second, if the bipartisan support for Israel were as strong as it has historically been, there would be no issue to divide candidates. But as we’ve examined over the past year, that bipartisan support has frayed, in large part because of a president hostile to the Jewish state. There simply is no rationale for excluding Israel or Iran or any foreign policy issue from political campaigns. They actually have presidential debates devoted solely to such topics.
And finally, this is yet another variation on the “Shut up, the left explained” theme that has become rampant in the Obama era. It’s odd that the cognitively superior among us (according to the president) would shun rational debate and demand that certain topics be off-limits. And strange, isn’t it, that those topics (the Ground Zero mosque, Israel, etc.) are ones in which the left is badly out of sync with popular opinion?
Frankly, I think liberals are stunned that they are being held to account for their associations, statements, and votes on Israel. No one has ever tried this in such a concerted fashion. Don’t they get that I call myself pro-Israel? Yes, they get that part; what they don’t get is how a supposedly pro-Israel candidate can act and vote in ways inimical to the interests of the Jewish state.