Too Tough Love
Tue, 04/27/2010

By characterizing President Barack Obama’s policy towards Israel (“U.S. Israel Tensions Now Hitting Pulpits,” April 23) as “tough love,” Rabbi Andrew Bachman advances the mindless drivel typical of those who have no real interest in the well-being of Israel or her people.
 
There is little controversy, even in the Reform community, that the Arab permanent goal is the obliteration of Israel. Shrinking Israel to the “green line” and surrendering the Jerusalem of Jewish history and prayers (not “East” Jerusalem as if all that distinguishes east and west Jerusalem are compass points), will not end the Arab conflict against Israel.
 
Indeed, partial success in obliterating Israel will enhance the Arab military-strategic position and will likely invigorate their struggle for complete success.
 
Obama’s approach is not “tough love”; it is Arab partisanship plain and simple.
 

 

 

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Talking about the "Arab" threat to Israel is an extreme and dangerous generalization and completely writes off substantive progress Israel has made in years towards a just peace with many of its neighbors (Egypt, Jordan, the UAE and yes even Turkey). It's also interesting to note that the nation whose leader is considered to be the most "anti-Israel" in the Middle East (Iran) does not consider itself Arab. This piece shows blatant disregard towards any semblance of nuance and is typical of those written by many American Jews; it casts an extremely complicated conflict in terms of near-theological certainty. Rabbi Andy Bachman has the intelligence to know that this type of thinking has no place in global geopolitics.
If it's mindless, it's already drivel, and if it's typical, we already know both of these- so how mindful is a triple-redundancy, homeboy? The true misfortune lacing through "typical" American Jewish engagement in US-Israeli policy discourse is the usage of Arab intransigence to justify American tax dollars subsidizing settlements. Whether settlements bolster Israeli security is a dilemma worth discussing. However the (typically mindless) backlash that surges up whenever an American leader expresses reservation about support for settlements is undebatably idiotic, as is excoriating decent people who challenge it. Ultimately, Jews who expect to depend on American policy for Israeli security forever are nothing more than spoiled brats, hence more inclined to hurl invective at those who disagree (irony noted).

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