51st: Two Jews, Three Synagogues UPDATE
Margaret O'Brien Steinfels September 22, 2011 - 5:33pm
Barack Obama did himself no favors yesterday at the UN. He lost both his integrity and good chunks of the Jewish vote (along with the votes of many others). He heightened divisions in the Jewish community over the United States' unstinting support of Israel's seizure of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.Scanning reactions today, it looks to me like Jews on the Left are appalled; Jews on the Right are gleeful. There's a good chance the Left will sit at home in November 2012 and, in spite of Obama's pandering, the right will go for the Republican presidential candidate.The Palestinians have good reason to be deeply disappointed, but if they're lucky, the peace process will pass from American hands and be taken up by others with more brains and more integrity."Obama speech was shattering to liberal Zionists."Kiss of death: "Lieberman Praises Obama's UN General Assembly Speech."UPDATE and a few more items of interest: "Obama sold Israel Bunker-Buster Bombs." And a man who knows peace talks has this to say: Bill Clinton: Netanyahu isn't interested in Mideast peace deal.Henry Seligman always an incisive commentator on these matters has this to say: "The American insistence on aborting the Palestinians initiative and returning them to a peace process in which their fate remains dependent on Israel is shameful. It stains Americas honor. It will not succeed, for the Palestinian decision to defy the American demand is itself a declaration of independence; that genie cannot be returned to the bottle."Quasi-wonky but worth a read: "The Future of the U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership" a study from CSIS that has the virtue of being honest about the issues. Available for download.
About the Author
Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages and blogs at dotCommonweal.