I think it’s important to concede that Paul Berman was persuasive–and that bad ideas win sometimes–when he equated Islamism with fascism and called for a new cold war against the Islamophobic golem he shaped for fearful American pencilnecks post-911. Berman’s only-slightly hidden agenda was of course the Jewish state. And it’s important to point out that his idea has now been swallowed by Republicans and regurgitated to their followers. This is from Politico‘s Alex Isenstadt:
“Support for Israel is one of those issues, like anti-communism used to be, that holds together a number of pieces of the conservative movement, including evangelicals but also neocons, economic conservatives and foreign policy hawks,” said Tevi Troy, a visiting senior fellow at the Hudson Institute who served as Jewish liaison in the George W. Bush White House….
At AIPAC, neoconservative Robert Satloff of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy sought to extend this litmus test to Barack Obama, when he called on the president to use his considerable capital in the Third World to Israel’s advantage by stating, "I am a Zionist." I don’t think Obama will do so. American Democrats have a 40 percent favorable view of Israel, compared to over 90 for the Republicans, according to that Arab American Institute poll. Though Joe Biden famously proclaimed himself a Zionist, I bet he’s on the wagon now, too.
And of course, being dramatic, I predict that the Democratic Party will begin to fracture over this question; and Mark Green will face a tough choice.