WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The White House website posted a defense of President Obama's Israel record, and several prominent Jewish Democrats penned Op-Eds defending his policies.
"President Obama: Advancing Israel's Security and Supporting Peace," which appeared online on Friday, addressed the controversy over the president's call in a May 19 Middle East policy speech for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations to based on 1967 lines, with mutually agreed swaps.
It was a lively week in presidential politics, a welcome relief from stories about killer tornados, the debt ceiling crisis and other natural disasters.
There was former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's motorcycle appearance at Rolling Thunder on Washington's Mall and her East Coast bus tour, and the strange rise of pizza king Herman Cain in the GOP standings (just weeks after Donald Trump rose to the top of the heap and abruptly folded).
Since President Obama’s much-promoted speech about the Israeli-Palestinian peace process two weeks ago, and Prime Minister Netanyahu’s heated reaction to it, the Jewish world has been engaged in serious if familiar impassioned conversation about exactly that. Is this President a “friend of Israel,” or something other?
I write about Jewish politics for a Jewish newspaper, so it's hardly surprising I tend to look at things through the lens of the issue that preoccupies most major Jewish groups: Israel.
But if I was working on President Obama's reelection campaign, Israel would be the least of my worries. Even among Jewish voters, he faces a much bigger danger in the months ahead: the sputtering economy.
Like so many others, I've been intrigued by the California radio preacher and his gullible flock who predicted doomsday on May 21, and are now engaged in furious rationalization to explain why they were right even though the world seems to be continuing on its merry way.
People keep asking me: in a frenzied few days of speech making, lobbying and diplomacy in Washington, who came out on top – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or President Barack Obama? (see my story on the week's events here.)