Whenever Israel is discussed, here or anywhere, invariably people start calling each other anti-Semites, often wrongly. You know what is actually anti-Semitic, though? Assuming that Jewish Americans’ number one issue is US policy towards Israel.
Earlier this week, a few dozen members of Obama’s regional finance committee met with Jim Messina, the campaign manager for the Obama 2012 effort. According to one bundler present, they discussed how Obama can win, even if the economy remains in the tank, and how the campaign can attract the smaller, grass-roots donors. The topic of Israel didn’t come up once.[….]
Jewish fund-raisers say that they fear for Israel’s future too, but continue to support the president, mainly because his Middle East speech didn’t contain anything Mr. Obama hadn’t already articulated. Plus, they point out, Israel is just one issue among several, and Mr. Obama remains more palatable than any of his opponents on issues ranging from the war in Iraq to the environment and preserving what remains of the social safety net.
“I have friends who are concerned, who wish Obama hadn’t said that,” said one bundler. “But at the end of the day, are they going to support Mitt Romney? I don’t think so.”
Most of my colleagues are older Jewish Americans and some of them have horrifying attitudes about Israel, call people anti-Semitic or self-hating if they don’t support right-wing policies in Israel, etc. But almost all of them — even those with the most out there ideas about Israel — still vote Democrat. I have never heard even one of them link their beliefs on Israel with how they plan to vote in American elections.
I know where the whole myth comes from. From a few whacks on the teevee, from Howard Fineman’s stories about how his cranky uncle votes, etc. But ultimately it’s a fairly offensive caricature that people should stop using.