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Apparently Without Irony, Washington Post Says Jewish Advocates Demand that Obama Show ‘Fealty to Israel’

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The story continues: supporters of Israel are rising against Obama, there is a major push this week to destroy his candidacy. Today’s Washington Post reports on a debate yesterday arranged by United Jewish Committees in D.C. among Jewish advocates for Hillary, Obama, and McCain. The debate became a rout, the Post columnist averred, in which the advocates for Hillary and McCain "used their time to raise doubts about Obama’s fealty to Israel."

Fealty to Israel? They portrayed Obama as a dangerous leftwinger, and when the Illinois senator’s surrogate defended Obama’s statement that the U.S. does not have to cleave to Likud policies, Ann Lewis, Hillary’s advocate, responded: 

"The role of the president of the United States is to support the
decisions that are made by the people of Israel. It is not up to us to
pick and choose from among the political parties."

Yup, sounds like fealty to me! What is there to say about such a statement? Horrifying. Likud has been against the peace process, against a Palestinian state, for the colonization of the West Bank. Do we have a foreign policy? Do we take sides on such matters? Do we take sides on minority rights in foreign countries? Are we the strongest country in the world, or do we get dragged around by racist biblical colonialists half a world away? What did we just do in Serbia and Kosovo–exercise our power to establish a Muslim state. But in this part of the world we have had no independent power to say what is right and wrong, for 60 years…

The columnist who wrote the piece is Dana Milbank, who in 2006 suggested that Walt and Mearsheimer are Nazis for talking about something called "the Israel lobby." When Milbank cites "fealty to Israel" and describes security guards with Israeli accents, it’s hard to tell how ironic he is being. I think he is impish; and is trying himself to marginalize Obama without coming out and saying so.

This is bad news for Obama but maybe good for America. If Obama is going down on this issue, there will at last be, I vouchsafe, a robust debate over our Israel policy.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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53 Responses

  1. piotr on April 1, 2015, 6:35 pm

    “Are we the strongest country in the world, or do we get dragged around by racist biblical colonialists half a world away?”

    Phil is totally misconstruing the problem. It is precisely because “we” are the the strongest country in the world that we can be dragged into various situation. China, being far from strongest, follows mercantilist policies and will not engage anywhere without some clear gain. To slightly smaller degree it is also true about other lesser powers.

    Now Wahhabi kingdom is mightily irate because assorted heretics (Shia and Sufi tribes and “elements of the military”) gain control of Yemen. And the kingdom dragged into that conflict the usual patsies along its eastern border, plus Egypt that clamors for the next installment of hefty subsidies. And U.S.A. that is engaged because … it can?

    It is the true mark of the supreme power that stuff like that can be done without much thinking. Yes, it is only U.S.A. that can bestow boons and poxes [almost] everywhere, and that fact could be doubted without fresh proofs being offered on continuing basis.

    In turn, it is a mark of second rate power that it can drug the supreme power according to its whims. Israel is definitely a second rate power, and so is KSA. It is not like Tuvalu can get American support in a fishing dispute with Kiribati.

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