The recent exchange of letters between Elie Wiesel, on one hand, gently reproaching the White House over its Jerusalem policy, and dovish Israeli politician Yossi Sarid, on behalf of J Street, on the other, seems to encapsulate the debate American Jews are having these days over what it means to be pro-Israel in 2010.
You gotta feel a little bad for Jewish leaders here, who were sandbagged by last week's announcement that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will be in New York on Monday for, of all things, the UN's nuclear nonproliferation talks.
The last-minute announcement by the Iranians meant there wasn't enough time for the customary debate over the best communal response, inevitably followed by the various Jewish organization going their own way, anyway.
And when you come down to it, what can Jewish organizations do?
Why are Jews so out of sync with the world? Why can't we see all that's beautiful about Obama the way Libya's Gaddafi can? Did you notice the way he keeps bringing up Obama's Muslim father? I guess he didn't he read all those editorials and columns in Jewish newspapers, back in 2008, saying no one should ever bring up Obama's connections to Islam. But really, what did all those Jews really know about Obama and Islam?
Iran's President Ahmadinejad is coming to the UN on Monday and there will be no Jewish communal rally of protest to greet him this time. That's because of the last-minute timing of the trip and because Jewish groups were worried that the turnout would be so small as to backfire.
Another poll is out looking at public opinion on Obama administration's handling of the Middle East and U.S.-Israel relations, and despite the small Jewish sample (see JTA's Ron Kampeas, who loves analyzing poll methodology; I defer to him, since I barely passed graduate statistics) there's
It was reported this morning by the Associated Press that Israel has lifted the ban on Apple's iPad, which ends the restrictions on importing the tablet computer to the Jewish State. The concern was that the iPad didn't comply with the European wireless standards that Israel follows and could disrupt other wireless devices.
I had several calls in the past few days expressing emotions ranging from anxiety to rage because of the Obama administration's rumored Middle East peace plan. And that made me wonder about how the other side – and J Street, in particular – will respond to the inevitable firestorm from mainstream pro-Israel groups when and if a plan is unveiled.