Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Quit Hating on Jimmy

As Ben Smith reports on his Politico blog, some Jewish Democrats, although certainly not all, are taking offense at Jimmy Carter's willingness to make even a mild critique of Israeli policy. Elliot Abrams, an Iran-Contra indictee, and Ira Forman, executive director of the National Jewish Democratic Council whine about the former President's willingness to point out how big a contribution Israeli settlements have made to continuing the conflict in that region.

My Gut Reaction: Oh, boo-hoo...

Analysis: If one takes even a brief look at their website, it becomes clear what the NJDC is trying to do. As part of their "Stop the Smears" campaign, they are doing their best to present President Obama as Israel's best friend possible. Any comments, however legitimate, that might lead some to doubt the Democratic Party's support for Israel will be condemned, no matter how well-thought out they are.

However, these criticisms ignore the genuine moral claims of Palestinians in the face of Israeli settlers. Furthermore, they ignore the fact that, as a major source of funding for the Israeli government, we have the most control over what they do, and hold responsibility for their actions in the face of the Arab world. If we seek to be taken seriously as peacemakers, we must rein in the Israelis' actions.

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