Jews tend to view the evangelical community as a political and religious monolith, but that segment is every bit as diverse as …well, the Jews.
What brings this to mind: Thursday’s ¾ page ad in the Washington Post business section by the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) politely informing Jews that they like us and everything, but have a duty to try to convert us.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s spirited defense of Barack Obama before a Jewish organization in Florida this week leads to the obvious questions about whether he’s positioning for a veep nomination, trying to stay politically relevant, simply speaking his conscience, or some combination of the above.
You’ve read about them, now watch them for yourselves.
Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barack Obama, who have secured the Republican and Democratic presidential nominations, are staking out positions that will give Jewish voters a distinct choice on foreign policy questions.
Those differences were explicitly laid out in their speeches to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee policy conference this week. Here are video clips of their speeches.
It’ gaudy, it’s over the top, some say it’s tasteless, but it sure as heck is effective. AIPAC’s legendary “roll call,” a decades-old tradition at the annual policy conference banquet, is a graphic indication of the group’s continuing Capitol Hill clout.
You can bet politicians in both parties, at every level of the political game, hear the message loud and clear.
Every year there’s a predominant buzz at the AIPAC policy conference. Last year it was the controversy over the dramatic appearance of Christians United for Israel president John Hagee; in 2005 and 2006 much of the talk in the hallways was about the federal investigation into two former AIPAC staffers.
Several Barack Obama supporters said earlier in the week that today’s speech at AIPAC would be the critical moment in his effort to keep Jewish voters on the Democratic reservation in November.
They must be kvelling now that the speech is over. A pro-Israel group whose leaders feared a less-than-friendly reception gave Obama one of the most enthusiastic receptions of the three-day conference.